Thursday, July 29, 2010

Making Flour from Grain

I needed to replenish my whole grain flour this week, which meant grinding grain. I know some people like to grind their flour fresh each time they go to use it. It has more nutrients when you do, however, as my blog indicates, this is a journey, and I am still about convenience when possible. I prefer to grind the grain into flour and store it in the refrigerator so it is ready when I want to use it. It is still healthier than processed flour when I do this.  I also do not like to clean up messes, and since the parts require hand washing, I like to do as little of that as possible. I still like my dishwasher and put as much into it as I can!

I bought my grain mill after many months of research about a year ago. I kind of did things backwards. I purchased the grain first, then the mill. For awhile I was having a friend grind grain for me until I decided on which grain mill I actually wanted to purchase. I decided on the Nutrimill. I purchased it from Pleasant Hill Grain and was very pleased with the purchase and delivery. Their prices were less than competitors, they have a good reputation, and shipping was FREE!

I chose the Nutrimill Grain Mill after reading many reviews and have been pleased with it.  I wanted a machine that would grind the grain into as fine of a flour as possible since my family doesn't truly like "whole grains".  When I use the milled flour I often use it 1:2 or 1:3 with organic unbleached flour, or organic spelt flour.  The ground flour will make a recipe heavier and give it more substance.  I find I get slightly more cups of flour than I grind in grain.

This is organic spelt grain in the hopper.  I fill the hopper full and generally fill it again before emptying the flour.

I use the high speed setting and place the dial on as fine of a setting as it will allow. This means just slightly turning the dial.  You can also set the dial to a more coarse setting to crack corn for chickens, or slightly course to make corn meal.  The mill will grind various types of grains.  Be sure to check with each manufacturer as they do not all grind the same types of grain.

The machine is quite loud when running so you will most likely want to wear ear protection if you are sensitive to noise. I wear my head set I wear when shooting so I can still watch the machine while it grinds.  Some may choose to walk away and return when they hear the hopper has run out of grain.

This is the flour.

Finished Product.  I place this container in my refrigerator and use it in many recipes.  I replenish it as needed.

 I also have a hand grain mill which I  purchased should the electricity go out at some point, but I have not tried it yet.  As I mentioned, I prefer a finer flour and most hand grinders do not grind as fine.  Once I get it out and use it, I will post on it in the future.

**Note my storage container in the first picture is a recycled animal cracker canister.  I love these canisters to hold grain and other items I purchase in bulk.  I remove the label and wash them before reusing.  I also buy baking soda in a 13# bag which fits nicely into these containers.  

For more information on grinding flour:

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