Make Flour at Home
Make Freshly Milled Flour At Home With Nothing But A Coffee Grinder
Adding freshly ground flour to your bread produces outstanding flavor and superior nutrition compared to store bought flours that may have been milled weeks ago. So what if you want to get in on these benefits but can't spend $100-$500 on a nice new grain mill? Well if you have a coffee grinder laying around then you're already set! I recently discovered that a cheap coffee grinder will turn grain into flour no problem. Just follow these steps:
1. ACQUIRE A COFFEE GRINDER.
Chances are you already have one of these in your kitchen. If not, don't worry, they aren't very expensive. This is the one I use but there are even cheaper and better reviewed ones that would probably do the trick as well.
2. GET SOME GRAIN
Choose the kind of flour that you want and get the appropriate whole grain to make that flour. For example, if you want to make whole wheat flour then you will need wheat berries. If you want rye flour you will need rye berries. Most whole grains can be turned into flour so feel free to experiment!(Another great advantage of milling your own flour). Many health food stores sell whole grain berries in bulk and at a cheaper price than the equivalent flour(yet another advantage!).
3. POUR SOME BERRIES INTO YOUR GRINDER.
For the most part the amount of berries you put in will be the amount of flour you get out. This means it's easy to grind the exact amount of flour you need without having extra that could be laying around for awhile. I would suggest not filling the grinder more than halfway in order to produce a more even grind.
4. GRIND THE BERRIES
The length of time you grind for will effect the coarseness of your flour. The longer you grind, the more fine your flour will be. The coffee grinder can only get so fine however. The finest level you can achieve is a bit more coarse than fine store bought flour which is one of the drawbacks of using the coffee grinder. One way of getting your flour finer is by sifting it through a fine mesh sifter and then regrinding the larger bits that don't pass through.
Below are grinding times with pictures of the flour coarseness produced. These photos were done with rye berries but I have experienced similar results using wheat.
Processing beyond 60 seconds doesn't produce much finer flour. If you want a finer flour you will need to sift from here.
5. USE YOUR FLOUR!
Time to put your freshly milled flour to use! You may want to start small by using your new flour as a flavor enhancer in a less than 100% whole grain loaf to get a feel for how it will perform. Freshly milled flour can act very differently from the store bought stuff so be mindful of this when baking with it. You will likely see an increase in fermentation activity because vitamin and mineral contents are higher in freshly milled flour giving the yeast more to feed on.
If you want a real challenge and to experience the full flavor of your freshly milled flour try making a 100% whole grain loaf using it. The flavor should be incredible.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or want to show off something you made with your own flour. I'd love to see other peoples creations. Good Luck!