Estimated time: 15 mins.
More people are milling their own flour, and we are increasingly being asked about the benefits and practicalities of home milling. If you’ve bought a home mill or are thinking about investing in one, one of the first things you should know is what to mill to produce interesting flours to bake with.
Most bakers will be most familiar with flours milled from grains – wheat, einkorn, spelt and Khorasan flours are all now widely available. These grains, and many more, can also be bought for home milling. Check out our directory to find suppliers, and have a look at this list of grains you can mill for more information. One thing to remember is that, although you may have a lot of experience in baking with flour milled from these grains, freshly milled flour has different properties. So expect to be baking a few loaves to enable you to really get a ‘feel’ for these.
In addition to grains, you can mill a wide range of seeds to add flavour and benefit from the additional vitamins and minerals they bring. Seeds like sunflower, flaxseed, poppy and coriander can easily be bought in supermarkets. But for a wider range and larger quantities, our milling directory again lists suppliers.
Lentils, dried beans and peas are another easy way to add nutritional value to your flour. And why not include some spices, dried herbs, dried fruit or even edible flower petals? The one thing to be wary of milling is nuts. These are too oily for most home mills and can clog up the stones.
At the Sourdough School, we are keen to promote home milling because it gives you the opportunity to increase the diversity of grains and other ingredients in your bakes. Diversity is key to supporting a healthy gut microbiome. We have developed a range of Botanical Blends to help inspire you and support your health. These blends incorporate a wide range of ingredients, each one chosen for specific nutritional value and health benefits. Sourdough Club members have full access to the details of our Botanical Blends and tutorials on how to mill them.
One tip for when you start milling your own flour: keep a record of what you mill, and what you blend to create each flour. There’s nothing more frustrating than baking a delicious loaf and not being able to remember exactly what went into creating it. A notepad and pencil kept next to your home mill allows you to jot down ingredients and quantities each time.