How to Make Bread Flour and More at Home

Your best option is always grinding grains by category, but sometimes you’ll want to mill a specific “type” of flour, such as bread flour, pastry flour, cake flour, or all purpose flour. Why and when? Let’s imagine you have a favorite recipe passed down by your granny, and you want to convert it to fresh milled flour. Her recipe lists bread flour, all purpose, or something else. Here is a guide on how to mill bread flour, cake flour and more.

How to Make Bread Flour

To make bread flour at home, grind hard white wheat (and commercially the bran and germ are filtered out so it’s shelf stable). You get all the good stuff when milling fresh at home, and none of the side-effects of chemical “stabilizers” and whiteners used in commercial flour.

Mill: hard grains like hard white wheat, hard red wheat, durum, Emmer, Einkhorn, Spelt, Khorasan, or even rye.

How to Make Pastry Flour / Cake Flour

Pastry flour, also known as cake flour,  is made by milling all-purpose (a mix of hard and soft wheat) with some corn starch added.  This can be beat by milling soft grains, and leaving the corn starch out.

Mill: soft grains like soft white wheat, spelt, barley, rye, or gluten free grains

How to Make All Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is made by milling a mixture of hard and soft grains. Avoid this common pitfall of milling your own all-purpose flour. Instead mill the type of grains best for the type of goods you are baking (pasta, bread, pastries).

Mill: a mixture of hard and soft grains – start with equal parts, maybe even 1 part soft wheat to 2 parts hard wheat.

How to Make Self Rising Flour

We make self-rising flour by mixing baking powder into all purpose flour.

Mill: soft grains like soft wheat, spelt, barley, or rye and add 1 tsp baking powder per cup of grains.

How to Make Semolina Flour

Semolina flour is made milling durum wheat in a coarse grind.  Durum wheat is the hardest of all the grains. Known for that characteristic golden color.

Mill: durum wheat berries slightly finer than corn meal.

How to Make Semola Flour

Known as twice-milled durum, semola flour is made by milling durum wheat berries as fine as possible in the mill, sifting the bran and germ, and then milling it again.

Mill: durum as fine as you can get it, and then run it in a high powered blender like the Vita-mix to get it even finer.

It is unnecessary to double mill durum for great pasta, but you choose how you want to do it. I mill as fine as I can get it in my stone mill on the first pass. It works well whether made in my Phillips Avance pasta extruder or by hand. There are different recipes for both types of dough, however.

How to Make Chickpea Flour

Take dried chickpeas and put them into your mill once it’s been turned on.  Be sure your mill is capable of milling chickpeas.  Stone mills such as the Mockmill are capable, but not all mills are the same.  If you are shopping around brands, be sure to check before purchasing so you don’t possibly damage your stones making chickpeas into flour.

How to Make Gluten Free Flour

Grind a variety of gluten-free grains in your mill, so long as they’re not oily. Mill hemp seeds, chia, and flax seeds in a high-powered blender or manual mill with steel burrs. If they’re a small percentage of non-oily grains, you can mill them in a stone mill. Suitable options include sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, amaranth, and millet. This method saves you money and boosts the nutritional value.  If you have Celiac’s disease, you MUST have a dedicated gluten free mill – as the particles left behind can injure someone with this disease.  Never mill gluten-free grains in a mill that has also milled gluten-containing grains for a person with Celiac’s disease.

Can I Buy Whole Grain Flour Fresh?

While it’s not the best option, I recommend purchasing from a local mill that does 100% extraction flour, and ships it fresh with instructions on how to keep it and for how long.  It’s IMPORTANT to follow these instructions for best nutritional health.  Check out Janie’s Mill for some 100% extraction flour.

How much do I mill to get 1 cup of flour?

1 cup of flour will range from 120 to 130 grams per cup. Some will specify 128 grams per cup. I use 125 grams per cup of flour.

Grains weigh the same amount whether whole or ground into fine flour. The only thing that changes is how much space they take up. This is one of SEVERAL reasons I prefer to mill by weight instead of cups and spoons.

I wrote an entire article on this very topic, with a chart that you may like – especially if you prefer to use cups and spoons instead of weighing things in grams.

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