A little over a year ago, when we first cut out processed food, a facebook friend told me she was grinding her own wheat for homemade breads and other recipes. I’d honestly never heard of such a thing and had no clue why anyone would want to grind their own grains in the first place. I also didn’t know where one would get wheat to grind (or what it would look like). Maybe she grew it in her own backyard? Maybe she spent all day harvesting wheat stalks and then turning a crank on some old-fashioned machine to make flour? I certainly thought it sounded way too hard-core for me and like something I would NEVER do (or want to do). Well, look at what’s happened…I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I am grinding my own wheat now too!
I realize wheat grinding initially sounded crazy to me because I didn’t understand it one bit. So I decided to create a little video (below) to show you what it’s really all about. There are no wheat stalks or cranks involved and it is actually a rather simple and high-tech process. Before we dive right in to my first blog video though, I want to share the reason why I wanted a wheat grinder in the first place. You see, before our real food adventures I used to only eat white bread. If whole-wheat bread was the only option I would go out of my way to avoid it (and I promise this is no exaggeration). A friend of mine recently reminded me that once while having lunch at her house I stubbornly rolled up some lunch meat in a piece of cheese when I learned she only had whole-wheat bread available!
My first experience eating whole-wheat bread that I actually liked was the honey whole-wheat bread from Great Harvest. Not only was it made from five simple ingredients, but it also contained whole-wheat flour that was freshly ground every morning. This experience convinced me that’s what whole-wheat bread was “supposed” to taste like. Not like the pungent 2-week old “wheat” taste you get out of factory-made grocery store bread. So before I ventured into making my own bread with a bread maker (for the convenience and cost savings) I felt I had to get a wheat grinder for it to be really good! And trust me, it is good. I cannot believe how much I like this bread considering my history with whole-wheat. And aside from the taste, many say freshly ground wheat is more nutritious than store-bought whole-wheat flour as well. According to Carrie Vitt with Deliciously Organic:
“The freshly ground whole wheat grains contain an amazing lightness and sweet flavor because the germ oil in the grains are still intact and have not gone rancid due to oxidation. When whole grain flour is stored at room temperature for over 24 hours, it begins to oxidize. It’s best to store your flour in the refrigerator. The freezer can destroy the vitamin e in the flour so best not to freeze it. If I’m going to use whole wheat flour, I want it to contain all the nutrients whole wheat is so famous for.”
So without further ado, here is a little video clip to show you what wheat grinding is really all about! As you will see in the video I use the Nutrimill, and while it is quite the investment I have been very happy with the machine so far.
[Entered into Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday]
117 thoughts on “Grinding your own wheat is not crazy after all (including video)”
I have used your bread recipe and I’m having a little trouble with some spilling out and it burns when the bread bakes. The bread turns out ok but what spilled burns in the bottom and you can taste it in the bread. I have the same bread machine as you do. Any chance you’ve had this to happen?
You say, ”When whole grain flour is stored at room temperature for over 24 hours, it begins to oxidize.” That’s not the case. Spokespeople from both King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill assured me that all the germ is included in their whole grain flours. and, their products stay free of rancidity on store shelves many months without the use of preservatives.
I use a dry attachment for my vitamix and grind all my own wheat and when making bread I even knead my dough in it. Seriously my favorite piece of equipment because it has replaced so many of my other bulky items.
I got my Nutrimill over Christmas, and I love it. Is there some reason that you take the entire top off? You can just slide the flour bucket in and out. Did I misread the directions?
Hi there. No, just follow your models directions.
Could you do this with a blender or food processor and achieve comparable results?
Hi Jenn. I use my Vitamix for grinding.
I have red wheat that I have bought in bulk from a food storage store. Does that have the same nutritional value as whole wheat? So whole wheat flour is what comes from wheat berries after I grind it up? Does red wheat and whole wheat work the same in the bread maker to make bread for sandwiches?
Hi there. Yes, any whole wheat berry flour should work similarly. This website it full of info: http://wholegrainscouncil.org/.
Where do you all buy your wheat berries? I live in New England if that helps.
I buy them from our health food store!
Which store? I’ve looked all around Charlotte for hard white wheat berries and can’t find them anywhere!
Have you tried Earth Fare? You can also find them online.
Yes, they have the hard red but not white at Earthfare. I went ahead and ordered online. Thanks much!
Hi there. You can find Lisa’s bread machine here: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/my-kitchen-essentials/. :)
I would love to get a bread maker but there are a lot of options on the market. What brand do you use?
I have made yeast breads and bisquits for over 50 years … bread made with yeast should have more protein or gluten, that comes from Hard Winter Wheat berries. Making yeast bread ingredients warm or room temperature is best. Pastries and bisquits, that require no rise or baking powder you really want flour made from SOFT Winter wheat berries. Pie crusts and bisquits you use cold flour and cold butter or fats for better results. Just my opinion …
Southern grandma here.
Wow that is easy! We are going to start grinding our own grains too :). Do not be embarrassed lots of people do it lol. Enjoy grinding more nutritious grains:).
I have found lots of bread baking info on http://www.thefreshloaf.com, found it via Micheal Pollan’s book Cooked. It has helped me a lot!
I have a question… I have recently began grinding my own wheat for everything… bread and pastries… my pastries come out kind of “grainy” tasting even though I have placed it on the pastry dial. Can I “re” grind the flour to get it even finer? The flavor is fine but getting past the larger pieces is just too weird for me. My pound cakes, cookies and brownies…all just taste odd. Thanks for the help!
I know what you mean about the grainy texture, but I honestly am not sure about regrinding. I have never tried that nor have I read about anyone doing it. I am sorry I don’t have a better answer!
I tried it once in my hand grinder and it gummed it up pretty good. The ground flour doesn’t have the ability to ‘flow’ into the the buhrs so it just builds up and stops up. Thankfully I was able to take my hand grinder apart to clean it out, I would definitely NOT do that in an electric grinder!
Thank you for all the great recipes and suggestions. We are making a slow transition to eating more real foods. I have a question that you might have already answered somewhere, but I couldn’t find it with the quick search that I tried. You have talked about storing your flour in the refrigerator in glass containers, I believe. Can you tell me what kind of containers you use? Thanks again!
Hi there Lisa. You can find a link to the air tight containers from Sur La Table in this post: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/11/16/moths-invaded-our-pantrybugs-like-real-food-too/. Cheers. ~Amy
Hi, regarding grinding your own berries to make fresh flour…..I suggest that you allow the flour to reach room temperature before making your bread….all ingredients should be that way especially the milk. You don’t want to KILL the yeast…right :)Hope this helps.
I used a Vitamix for years, however when it comes to grinding wheat berries etc my Magic Bullet does a very fine job :)
I LOVE grinding my own flour!! We’ve got a ancient Magic Mill grinder, and we use is at least 1 x’s a month to grind our wheat flour!! There is nothing that taste better than fresh ground wheat baked bread!! I’ve even converted a few of my friends!!
I have a question I am wondering if you can answer. I have been using my nutribullet to grind my own wheat. I decided to try the dry attachment that is made specifically for grinding dry ingredients first before buying a larger grain grinder/mill to see if I can even do this and make breads in my breadmachine that don’t flop, before investing alot of money. My first 2 batches turned out good but I was using red wheat berries and then I decided to buy some hard white wheat berries from whole foods to try. Anyways, the second 2 batches of bread flopped on me. They did not rise correctly, and instead sunk in the middle. This is my question, I did notice that when grinding the flour for the 2nd 2 batches, my flour got quite warm, along with my nutribullet, as it let it run longer, hoping to get a finer flour. Do you know what happens to the wheat flour if it gets too warm in the grinding process? I am wondering if this could have flopped them for me. This is all I can think of, or if this shouldn’t make a difference, I am wondering if the hard white wheat berries I got from whole foods aren’t good. They don’t smell bad and look fine so it is just wierd. Also, I used the hodgkins mills yeast for whole wheat, so that’s can’t be the cause. Any insight you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
I have personally had better luck with red wheat berries vs. white. Also, I notice I need a little extra flour than the recipe calls for when grinding my own. I hope those two tips help!
try letting your flour “rest” before baking! My mill makes my flour warm too!! I have found that if I let it rest for a day then I don’t have the falling issue!
The only problem with resting the flour is that the nutrients oxidize quickly. For optimum nutrients the flour should be used right away or stored in the freezer.
Hi, Love your site! I’m hoping someone can answer my questions. I am new to grinding wheat…I’ve recently bought a wheat grinder Vitamix and I have been grinding mainly Hard red wheat berries because that’s all my local grocery store offered. I went to a new store, ‘Natural Pantry’ and they have so many other options!!
Hard red wheat has seemed a little too strong for me. I want something that tastes good, but is also healthy. What kind of wheat berry is the healthiest? Hard red/white wheat? Kamut?
I want my breads/baked goods to taste better than the hard red wheat, but I care more about the nutrients so I will stick with the hard red if I have to. Thanks!
I’ve been baking bread (and sometimes grinding wheat) for abt 20 years, and *love* kamut. :)
Hi Anna. I know a lot of people use the soft white winter wheat and have reported good results. You might want to give that a try if you can find it by you. Jill
Soft white wheat doesn’t have enough gluten to work well in yeast breads, but does work well in quick breads, cookies, pastries, etc. For yeast breads with a bit milder taste, hard white wheat offers the same nutritional value as hard red wheat.
My personal fave is Spelt!