I have a really hard time spending money on things that:
a) serve one purpose
b) take up more room than I have available
c) cost A LOT of money
That’s why I don’t own a yogurt maker. Or a quesadilla maker. Or a juicer.
I use a heating pad to make yogurt. My standard cast iron skillet for quesadillas. And I have a super-cool Blendtec that will pulverize anything I feed it, including an iPhone. (Oh yes, it’s true!)
That Blendtec is actually the first thing on my list of things to grab when your house is on fire. I use it every single day. Sometimes twice a day.
My lovely, red Kitchen Aid stand mixer (a wedding gift) is number two. It’s used at least once a week and really saves time in breads and desserts. And it’s red, my favorite color.
Now neither of these are must-haves. You can make high-protein smoothies just fine with any standard blender (which we used for a long time, without a lid mind you, before getting the Blendtec). You can use a very simple hand-held mixer, like what Walmart offers for $5 on Black Friday, cakes and cookies and your own two arms for bread dough.
So despite having high-quality whole wheat berries from Tropical Traditions sitting on my doorstep, I knew I could grind them into flour using what I already hand on hand.
How to Make Flour Without a Grain Mill
Using my blender would be the easy solution to my no-grain-mill problem, especially since it can turn an Apple store into dust, but I chose not to take that path.
Not everyone has a high-powered blender, and it’s no fun teaching ya’ll how to do something when you may not have the tools to do it. So I made sure to only use appliances that you guys would likely have on hand. Or worst case, could buy from your local Target for under $20 with some birthday or Christmas money.
So, I devised a simple two step process for grinding wheat berries into flour using two very common and inexpensive kitchen appliances: a coffee grinder and small food processor.
Pour 1/2 cup of whole berries into a coffee grinder. (It doesn’t have to be fancy. This basic coffee grinder will work just fine.)
Adjust the settings of the grinder to maximum cup and finest grind. This ensures the grains will be ground for as long as possible, as fine as possible.
Grind the berries through two cycles on the coffee grinder. (My coffee grinder has an auto-timer and shuts off when the cycle is complete. If yours does not shut off automatically, grind for 45 seconds and then repeat.)
Note: If your grinder is a bit aged like mine, you may notice it getting a bit warm during the process. Apparently the grinder wasn’t designed for those who enjoy multiple pots of freshly ground coffee throughout the morning… just take your time, letting it rest and cool as necessary. If you know you’ll be needing the flour immediately, you may want to grind it a day or two ahead of time. See tips below on proper storage.
Pour ground flour into a small food processor. (Something like this Black Friday $10 processor would do the trick).
Process the flour for one full minute.
Pour ground flour into a bowl or bag, to be measured from for the recipe.
Why a Two-Step Method?
My first round of grinding in the coffee grinder alone didn’t give a “powdery” flour like I’ve come to recognize from stores. There were still some larger pieces of wheat (see above) mixed in, no matter how many times I ran the coffee grinder.
I made one loaf of bread with this batch of flour and the bread didn’t rise like I expected it too. It tasted GREAT, but it didn’t look so great. I didn’t want to risk making more and more bread with more and more failed results, so I tried adding the food processor to the grinding method too and that did the trick! I mean, you saw the end result, right? Beautiful!
Tips on Freshly Ground Flour
- 1 cup of whole berries yields approximately 1 1/4 cups of freshly ground flour. Flour on grocery store shelves was ground some time ago and has since settled.
- Measurements of flour in most recipes are referring to settled flour. You can prepare your flour in advance to account for this, or gently tap the measuring cups to settle the flour within the cup.
- Freshly ground flour contains all parts of the berry, including the fat. Store any unused flour in a sealed container, in the freezer, for up to 30 days to prevent the flour from going rancid.
Try It Yourself
Tropical Traditions is giving away 5 pounds of wheat berries to one lucky Crumbs reader! [OVER]
Tropical Traditions (the best place to get virgin coconut oil) provided me with a free sample of this product to review, which I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. Nor was I obligated to write a review…. but after putting their wheat through the ringer, testing it in both bread and baked goods, it’s officially earned two Crumbs thumbs up – just like their coconut oil did, which will come in handy later this week for a DELICIOUS sourdough pancake recipe I’ve been working on for you!
The winner of the giveaway will have their choice of a 5lb bag of either hard red spring OR soft white winter wheat. If you win, remember that hard red is best for bread and soft white is best for cakes and cookies!
Do you grind your own flour? Do you have a grain mill, or have you tried this method? Leave your comments below!
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