How to Use a Grain Mill to Make Your Own Flour from Wheat Berries • The Prairie Homestead
Because of a global pandemic, there was a severe shortage of toilet paper, yeast, and flour. While pre-ground flour is difficult to store long-term, wheat berries are almost magical.
What are Wheat Berries?
Wheat berries are the edible parts of wheat kernels that include the germ, bran, and endosperm, and have a chewy texture and nutty flavor, similar to brown rice or other whole grains. Wheat berries have not been processed, so they retain all of the grain’s vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
1. Wheat Berries have a Long Shelf Life.
Wheat berries can last for decades in storage if properly stored, and whole wheat berries will stay fresh in their whole form for a long time.
2. Wheat Berries are Versatile.
Wheat berries are great for making flour, but you can also use them to make oatmeal or porridge for breakfast, or pop them like popcorn for lunch. You can also use whole wheat to feed your livestock by making fodder.
3. Wheat Berries are Good for You.
Wheat berries are a good source of fiber, protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals, and the flour you make from them contains more nutrients than store-bought ground flour because it’s so fresh and hasn’t been stripped of any edible parts.
Types of Wheat Berries
There are several different types of wheat berries, and the different names are based on a few factors: color (red or white), growing season for the wheat berries, and gluten content (hard or soft).
Hard vs. Soft
Although hard and soft wheat berries can almost always be used interchangeably, it’s important to know the difference between the two: hard wheat berries have more protein and gluten, while soft wheat berries have more starch. Soft wheat berries are commonly used in pastries and cakes, whereas hard wheat berries are more commonly used in bread.
1. Red Wheat Berries
Hard red wheat berries (both winter and spring varieties) are the classic wheat used in many yeast breads. They are darker in color than white wheat berries and are used to make whole wheat flour. They have a slightly higher protein content and are best used in hearty and heavy recipes.
2. White Wheat Berries
White wheat berries, which are slightly lighter in color than red wheat berries, are used to make whole white wheat flour. White wheat flour is still whole wheat, but it will not be as fluffy as all-purpose flour, which has been processed and sifted; it is also what is most commonly used in home beer brewing.
How Can Wheat Berries Be Used for Cooking?
I primarily use wheat berries to grind into fresh flour, but they have a variety of other uses as well. You can cook wheat berries in your pressure cooker or crockpot, just like rice or other grains, to save time in the kitchen. Here are a few basic recipes/ideas for using wheat berries.
How to Grind Your Own Flour
Freshly ground whole wheat flour has more nutrients than store-bought flours, but it’s best to grind wheat berries right before you plan to use the flour, as freshly ground wheat berries can go rancid quickly.
How many wheat berries equals one cup of flour?
Depending on the type of flour you use and how finely you grind your wheat berries, 1 cup of wheat berries should yield slightly less than 2 cups of flour, depending on the size of the berry.
Choosing a Grain Mill for Grinding Wheat Berries
Grain mills come in a variety of shapes and sizes; some are standalone appliances, while others are attachments for your mixer or attach to your counter.
What Other Grains Can Be Ground into Flour with a Grain Mill?
Wheat, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, lentils, dried beans, and seeds can all be ground in a grain mill, and you might even be able to grind popcorn as a corn meal substitute.
Where to Buy Wheat Berries
If you can’t find wheat berries in your local store, you can buy them online. There are many great sources for organic, unbleached flour, both online and most likely local to your area.
How to Store Wheat Berries
Wheat berries can last for a year or more if stored properly, and cooked wheat berries freeze well. Overall, I think a large supply of whole wheat and a grain mill are great additions to any everyday preparedness pantry.
More From-Scratch & Heritage Food Tips:
Listen to Old Fashioned On Purpose podcast episode #107 about grain mills, flour shortages, and whole wheat – it’s all about how to get your hands on some of the world’s most well-known brands of bread and other baked goods from all over the world.
When you grind wheat to make flour the flour comes out very warm?
Explain why when you grind wheat to make flour, the flour comes out very warmu2014you can actually scorch the flour if you grind too quickly. Large forces are used to crush the wheat, and the force is applied over some non-zero distance as the wheat crumbles.
How do you grind barley into flour?
I’ve discovered that the best way to mill small amounts of barley is to use an electric coffee grinder, which quickly breaks down the small hard seeds into flour (just don’t do too much at once). You can also use a food processor or blender, but you won’t get as fine flour and it will take longer.
Can flour get too hot?
Heat and sunlight can prematurely spoil flour, so keep it in a cabinet away from your oven and other hot spots in your kitchen.
Can flour go bad in extreme heat?
Flour is considered shelf-stable by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which means it can be safely stored at room temperature (5). However, it should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to maintain its freshness.
Can you grind your own wheat flour?
You can mill your own flour at home using whole wheat grain kernels (also known as wheat berries) and a home grain milling machine or other home kitchen methods. The benefit of using freshly milled flour is the higher nutritional content and better flavor.
Is milling your own flour worth it?
The most important reason to own a mill, however, is flavor. Whole grain flours are highly perishable because they contain the germ and its rancidity-prone oils. Having your own mill allows you to make a dough as soon as the flour is milled, preserving as much of the grain’s flavor as possible.
How do you grind jowar flour at home?
Simply follow the steps below:
- POUR SOME BERRIES INTO YOUR GRINDER.
- GRIND THE BERRIES.
- USE YOUR FLOUR!
Can you grind flour in a food processor?
Blend grains in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder on high speed for 2 minutes to achieve a flour consistency.
Can I grind wheat in a coffee grinder?
Using a coffee grinder to grind wheat is a great and inexpensive way to make delicious homemade bread for cheap! A small coffee grinder can usually handle 3/4 to 1 cup of grain, and coffee grinders are usually under $20, so this is a great way to try out fresh ground wheat before investing in a grain mill.
Is it better to store flour in glass or plastic?
The best way to store whole grains is in an airtight container. Alternatively, empty the flour sack into a plastic bag (preferably a double bag for extra security), or a container with a tight seal: plastic or glass are both fine. You want the flour to be as airtight as possible: the less air and moisture, the slower the oxidation process.
What happens if you use old flour?
Although cooked foods made with rancid flour may taste unpleasant, they are unlikely to harm your health if eaten in small amounts. When flour goes rancid, its molecular structure changes, which may produce harmful compounds. However, no recent studies have revealed any harmful effects of eating rancid flour.
Can I use flour that expired a year ago?
To cut a long story short, it will keep for a long time after its “best by” or “better if used by” date, which can be found on the original container. Regular flour will keep for 6-8 months after its printed date, while whole wheat flour will keep for only 4-6 months.