Everything you need to know in how to make Whole Wheat flour at home using whole grains. I share where I buy my whole grains and the basics of making wholemeal flour using a grain mill. Grinding wheat berries to make whole wheat bread has been the best food change for our family!
We make whole wheat flour for this Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, easy whole wheat pancakes, and have even converted it into our favorite white wheat flour recipes like bagels and banana bread! Waffles, biscuits, and crackers are among the other baked goods you can make using freshly milled whole-wheat flour!
What is Whole Wheat Flour?
Whole wheat flour is a type of wheatberry in its whole grain form including the outer layer (except the husk) that has been milled to a powdery consistency known as flour. There are different types of wheat berries differing in gluten content and some are more white than others. I will share all the basic grains that I buy and their uses. Making your own flour from grains consist of its natural components of germ, bran, and starchy endosperm (known as white flour.) These are incredibly rich in nutrients and dietary fiber. Read more below if you are wondering what are whole grains and how I use them.
Hard Red Wheat Berries:
What are grains? Wheat is a type of grain. Hard red wheat is a dark northern wheatberry high in protein and gluten, making it perfect for baking bread. When sifted it’s considered a type of bread flour and is used in a lot of whole wheat bread baking for its high level of gluten. Gluten is a protein that gives dough its elasticity, helping it rise and keep its shape better. It also makes a great cereal grain.
Hard White Wheat Berries:
Hard white is another type of wheat kernel lighter in color than hard red. It also is a high-protein grain, perfect for baking whole-wheat pizza dough and French bread without the dark “brown bread” look. It’s mild in taste and isn’t as robust as the hard red variety. I like to mix this grain with hard red when milling flour for bread.
Soft White Wheat Berries:
Soft white wheat kernels are very light in color. It’s basically a pastry flour that is lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates than the hard wheat varieties. This is the whole wheat pastry flour to use in chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, cakes, pie crust, pancakes, and waffles. To replace regular white all-purpose flour use a quarter cup more of soft wheat flour when using.
Rye is the most winter-hardy grain that can grow in harsh climates and is popular in Europe. Most recipes will only call for part rye flour for its pumpernickel tangy taste. It is best to use in yeast bread and is preferably left to “sponge” when preparing. Other grains I like to use are Spelt, Gold 86′, and Kamut. Durum wheat is ideal for making Whole Wheat pasta and makes yellow mealy flour.
Where To Buy Whole Grain?
Where do I buy Whole Grain wheat? My favorite place to buy all of my wheatberries and organic food is Azure. I have been buying my grains in bulk from them for years! Azure is a co-op community providing organic grains from local farmers. They get it from the suppliers and sell it to you in big or small quantities. Typically, I pick my order up from a drop near me but you can have your order shipped straight to your house. I typically reorder the Hard Red Wheat Berries, Hard White Wheat Berries, and Soft White Wheat, these are my staples. My labels for jars are from Amazon.
The Best Grain Mill:
The best grinding mechanism in our modern time is an electric mill. My favorite grain grinder is the WonderMill because whole wheat berry kernels can be ground into fine flour with its bran, germ, and endosperm, that is where most of the grain nutrients sit. It makes fine flour at a high speed and doesn’t shoot dust in the air considering it makes fine pastry flour from wheat kernels. The Wondermill stores compactly on my kitchen counter along with my grains for easy-to-use access. It may look bulky but this machine can make flour from wheat berries, rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, beans (legumes), and gluten-free flours such as brown rice, white rice, sorghum, quinoa, soy, millet, chickpeas (garbanzos), and more. Do not run oily seeds or nuts through this grain mill, I’d use a small electric grinder for those.
Measuring Whole Wheat Flour:
How to measure flour? I’ve learned that fluffing up the flour and spooning it into a measuring cup doesn’t quite work with freshly ground whole wheat flour. Because the germ, bran, and endosperm are present, wheat flour is fluffier in volume taking up more space in a cup. It’s best to scoop the flour directly from the canister using a measuring cup and gently shaking off any flour rather than scraping a knife across the top.
Whole Wheat Flour vs all-purpose flour? Recipes by weight always remain the same in the amount of flour you use. In grams, one cup of white flour weighs more than a cup of whole wheat flour. That is because white flour is more compact being made up mostly of the endosperm.
My Favorite Whole Wheat Flour Recipes:
So, you know that whole wheat bread is good for you, now you want to cook all kinds of recipes. Here are my top whole wheat flour recipes that you can make from freshly ground grains.
- Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (100% whole wheat bread)
- Whole Wheat English Muffins
- Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
- Wrap your favorite tortillas up with this Whole Wheat Tortilla Recipe
- Pancakes- this can even be used with store-bought King Arthur flour.
- Convert this recipe for Whole wheat bread by swapping it out with freshly ground flour it’s so good!
Note: I’ve made whole wheat naan, pizza crust, hot dog buns, no-knead bread, pita bread, and dinner rolls with fantastic results. To substitute all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, grind soft white wheat and add 1/4 cup more of it to a standard recipe, so, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of white flour you would use 1 1/4 cups of freshly ground soft wheat flour. Recipes by weight stay the same.
Need To Buy Sourdough Starter? We sell our very own sourdough starter!
How To Properly Store Whole Wheat Flour:
Grain can store for years! However, there are things to keep in mind for storing them without getting infested with pantry weevils (flour bugs.) Always keep grains in airtight food containers, buckets, or glass jars. We try to throw a couple of oxygen absorbers into every container to keep them out. I store my bulk supply of grains in 5-gallon buckets with gamma lids and a couple of gallon-sized jars next to my grain mill for easy access to my grains.
Typically, we will place the entire bag of whole grains into our freezer for 24 hours first to ensure any eggs or insects have died out, then we will transfer them into buckets and from there I constantly refill my counter jars with the grains. Ideally, 50 pounds of grains fit into two 5-gallon buckets and 10 pounds of grains fit into one 2-gallon bucket.
How To Store Flour From Grains: once you grind the grains into flour it’s best if you use it up. However, leftover flour can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week then I would freeze it. If you want to grind several cups of flour to have on hand when leaving home, it’s best to grind the grains and transfer them to a gallon-freezer bag and keep it frozen until use. Freshly ground can go rancid quickly so always keep it refrigerated or frozen once in powdery form.
How To Make Whole Wheat Flour:
It is so easy to make whole wheat bread using whole grains. Use a high-quality electric mill that grinds grain fast. The WonderMill grain mill has stainless steel heads that work at a high speed to make super-fine flour. This machine will only fit 8 cups of grains at a time to make 12 cups of flour. The canister can explode open and flour can fly everywhere if you overfill the canister.
- Connect and prep your grain mill to manufacture settings. The Wondermill requires the machine to run before adding grains to the hopper. This makes the grains flow and not get stuck in the milling heads.
- Place the wheat grains into the hopper and grind to the desired flour texture (I usually have it on pastry flour setting.)
- Allow the grain mill to run a few seconds after grinding to self-clean.
- Remove the lid from the canister and scoop the desired amount of flour needed.
- Store leftover flour in the fridge or freezer.
Whole Wheat vs Whole Grain?
Is whole wheat the same as whole grain? Bread made entirely from whole wheat kernel, would be considered whole grains as long as the grain is cracked with all its components (germ, bran, and the starchy endosperm) according to the American Association of Cereal Chemists. Foods labeled with “wheat flour” are not a clear indicator of how much percent of whole grains are in it although wheat flour is made from grains.
- Best whole wheat bread is made with a sourdough starter! We sell our very own right here at Alyona’s Cooking!
- If you see yourself baking whole wheat bread a lot invest in durable equipment like a bread machine and heavy-duty mixer.
- We love easy whole-wheat bread recipes! Fill out our contact form and submit your favorite recipe here on our blog for us to feature it!
- Bread flour is a high-protein flour like hard red wheat. Hard white is also a high-protein grain milder in taste and lighter in color.
- Soft white wheat is a great substitute for all-purpose flour.
- You can grind your own flour and freeze it for later if you are traveling or baking in bulk.
- For 2 cups of self-rising flour use 2 1/2 cups of soft wheat flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking soda.
- Let the Wondermill run a few seconds after grinding the grain to self-clean.
- Use a pastry brush to dust off any excess flour from the canister. I do not recommend washing the unit as that can clog your canister lid and cause build-up in the machine.
- Every 1 cup of grain makes about 1 1/2 cups of flour.
Whole wheat includes the husk and outer layer shell which is packed with healthy nutrients that even nutrition experts rave about. Read more about Sue Becker and the rich information she shares on the health benefits of whole-grain and baking with freshly milled flour. You can also buy her Essential Home-Ground Flour Book.
Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 electric grain mill (WonderMill is my favorite)
- 1 measuring cup
- 1 cup whole grain (wheat berries of choice *see notes)
- Place the grains into the hopper of an electric grain mill and grind to the desired flour texture (I use the pastry setting on my Wondermill to make fine flour.)
- Allow the mill to run a few seconds after grinding to self-clean. Turn the machine off and wait for the milling heads to stop running. Open the canister and use flour for your favorite recipes.