What Kind of Wheat Flour is Best?

I get lots and lots of questions about which wheat flour I use and about which I feel is best for baking.  I decided to take a few pictures to try and show you the differences and to explain my favorites.

As you can imagine, the grain and flour picture taking thing was fun.  We all know that my fanciest and finest accessory is flour in my hair and on my jeans.  This gave me opportunity to look my best at a soccer game Saturday afternoon.  Yes, somehow I managed to get freshly ground flour at the bottom of my left pant leg by my shoe.  It takes talent, people.

I’ve talked bunches about how I love grinding my flour in my Nutrimill.  You can read through all of the posts in my Grains and Grain Mills section to learn more about whether or not a grain mill saves money, which grain mills I prefer and how to grind flour in a grain mill.

There really is no comparison between store bought whole wheat flour and freshly ground whole wheat flour.  I have found that all of my baked goods taste best when made with freshly ground hard white wheat.  I also discovered, after I saved up and purchased a grain mill six years ago, that I made my money back on it within six months.  It’s very cost effective to grind your own wheat, not to mention the fresher the flour, the more nutrients it contains.

If you still aren’t ready or able to buy a grain mill, I suggest that you try to find whole wheat flour at the store that is made from white wheat.  I’m just starting to see this flour pop in up local stores, so this is encouraging.  (Before, I only saw them if I went out of town to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.)  I’ve used and recommend King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Flour or better yet, try to find an organic variety like this one.

Okay, now a few pictures to show you some differences between red and white wheat, and the flour they each produce.

First, a lovely picture of wheat kernels (or berries).  On the left you will see Hard Red Wheat – on the right you will see Hard White Wheat:

See, they are both whole wheat kernels, they are just a different variety.  This should answer all those questions about whether white wheat is as healthy as red wheat.  The answer is yes.  They are both good for you.  They are just different kinds of wheat.  Red wheat produces a darker, heavier, stronger flavored flour.  Some like it – I don’t prefer it.  White wheat produces a much milder, easier to work with flour.  In many recipes, when I use Hard White Wheat, it’s hard to tell that the baked good is even made with whole wheat flour.  I love hard white wheat.

Next, I ground both some red wheat and some white wheat.  It may be difficult to tell the difference in the two pictures that follow, but if you look real closely, I think you’ll see a difference.

First you will see a picture of my beloved hard white wheat flour.  Notice that it is white in color with a few specks of light brown throughout.  It almost looks like white flour, but nope – all of those wonderful nutrients are all still there in the flour.

Second, we have the Hard Red Wheat Flour.  Do you see that the brown in this flour is darker and a little more reddish brown in color?  This will produce a darker, whole wheat baked product.  It’s still tasty and obviously still very good for you – just a little heavier tasting.  I had happened upon a great deal on some red wheat, which is why I have any at all!  I occasionally mix my red and white together to make it easier for our family to eat the red wheat.

One more thing:  You can also purchase Soft White Wheat.  Once ground, this becomes “whole wheat pastry flour” which can be used in any baked good that does not require the use of yeast.  You must use a hard grain for yeast breads. Pastry flour is great for muffins, cookies, quick breaks and cakes.  However, since my hard white wheat still works fine for these products, I usually just use it for all of my wheat baking.  It’s easier that way!

(You can read this post to learn great sources for purchasing grain.)

Your turn to share:  What’s your favorite kind of wheat flour?  Have you taken the plunge to grind your own grain yet?  Ever found yourself at a soccer game with flour on your pant leg?

Comments

  1. Sonja says

    OK I have a question. Actually I have lots of questions, but I digress. Anyway I just bought a Nutrimill. I was so excited. However, I am not getting a smooth flour. In fact, I made a french bread pizza dough and I thought it was kind of grainy. Help! Will I get smooth flour? I really don’t want to resort to buying flour at the store for certain things. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    melanie Reply:

    Where do you set the dial for finer/coarser? I usually set mine to
    the left of middle (close to the R in ‘finer’)

    Are you using *white* wheat berries?
    If you are used to ‘all-purpose’ flour, it might seem grainy for a while. I’m to the point I don’t ‘like’ a cookie made with white flour ~ Go figure!

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

    Sonja Reply:

    The folks I got it from said set both dials at “medium,so that is what I did. I will follow the advice I have gotten here. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Ashlee Reply:

    Where do you buy your berries from?

    [Reply]

    Ashlee Reply:

    have you ever tried another grain mill?

    melanie Reply:

    Ashlee,
    I’m in central Iowa, so I buy Wheat Montana from the Baker’s Pantry in Dallas Center or order from UNFI {their bulk organic}. I tried the wheat from Azure Standard but was disappointed with the bag I got – too much non-wheat matter for me.

    Long ago I used my SIL’s mill, can’t think of what it is – well-known name, but old version, so it’s probably not what they sell now anyway.

    I recently sent in my NutriMill for repairs ~ All I paid was the shipping to Utah. And the motor was rebuilt/whatever, so it runs great again! It’s had HEAVY use in its lifetime. : )

    I bought our mill and Electrolux mixer from Pleasant Hill Grain in Nebraska – excellent service! They also sell grain if you need to do mail order.

    Tara Wright Reply:

    Adjust your setting on the coarseness of the mill i just turn my nutrimill on and let it go on the lowest of both settings. Hopefully that helps since no one was offering help.

    [Reply]

    Sonja Reply:

    Thanks! I had it set more toward the middle.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Hi Sonja — I have a Nutrimill, too, and I do what both Melanie and Tara do. Just turn on the mill and as soon as you hear the grain start to feed through (you’ll have to listen over the sound of the motor for the grain hitting the burrs), then don’t turn the dial any further. That will be the finest setting for that particular grain. For wheat I’ve also found that it starts to feed through when the dial is at the “R” in “Finer”, but for larger grains I have to turn it a little farther. Just know that for whatever grain you’re milling, as soon as you hear it start to actually grind the grain, then that is the lowest setting for that particular grain. Your flour will always feel more “grainy” and coarse than regular white flour, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a finely ground flour. It just takes a little bit of getting used to because the dead white stuff you buy in the store feels like cornstarch. What I did when I was getting used to grinding my own wheat, was I ground a little at different settings so I could feel the difference. It’s easy to feel a little intimidated when you’re just starting, so I hope this helps!

    [Reply]

    Sonja Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Randi Millward @ Expressions of Perceptions Reply:

    Like the others said, use the finest setting, but if you still don’t like the texture, you can sift your flour. Sifting will remove the germ/bran.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    I used to do that (sift out the germ and bran) when I first started because I wanted a finer-textured flour, but realized I was sifting out most of the vitamins, minerals and fiber by doing that. If you want to keep the full nutrition, I’d encourage you to not sift it out, or maybe gradually get to the point where you don’t sift it out. It’s hard to wean yourself off of white flour!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Wow, do I have the best bunch of readers or what? I’m finally sitting down today to answer some quetions and see that all of you already answered this one very thoroughly! You guys rock!

    [Reply]

    Sonja Reply:

    Yes they do!

    [Reply]

    shannon Reply:

    LOL. I always think this about your readers. They are always so helpful

    [Reply]

  2. Jessica says

    We’ve been grinding our own flour for a little over 6 months, and I LOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE it! I’ve only ever used hard white wheat, but it’s wonderful. I pretty much went out and bought a grain mill as soon as I found a source for wheat berries. So so so much better than store bought flour. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    [Reply]

  3. Suzanne says

    I have so enjoyed making several of your recipes, and greatly appreciate you making it so easy for me to make healthy food for my family! I began grinding wheat and making all our bread products only in February, so I’m kind of new to it. But my end game has really been to start using sprouted wheat. (I’m sure you’ve heard of Ezekial Bread. ?) It’s supposed to be so much healthier than just using wheat, and it’s even supposed to cut down on the number of carbs. Have you ever sprouted your wheat, or do you have any opinions on it? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Suzanne, I’ve sprouted wheat and it’s simple! I used a large glass gallon jar, and filled it up about half way with rinsed wheat berries. Then I added water to cover and soaked overnight. The next morning I drained the water and rinsed the wheat. I covered the top with a piece of cheese cloth and a rubber band, then laid the jar on it’s side on my counter. I rinsed and drained again that evening and the next morning. By the next evening, when I went to rinse, the wheat had sprouted. I dehydrated it in my Excalibur overnight, then stored it in my pantry in glass jars. It’s so handy to have it on hand. I grind it fresh when I’m ready to use it, and store any extra in the freezer. Hope this helps.

    [Reply]

    Kristin Reply:

    Interesting, I’ve never heard of doing it this way. I heard that the effort sprouting requires isn’t worth it for the added health benefits, but this seems pretty easy to me.

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    There is a video on youtube that I watched last night. It’s about 4.5 minutes long, and it shows how to sprout wheat. She does it in a big bowl (the tupperware that’s-a-bowl), so she’s able to do a lot at once. Then she has another video for how to dry it out once you sprout it. It does seem a whole ton easier than what I thought it would be. So the new thing on my wish list is a dehydrator!! (You can dry it in the sun, too, but as winter is approaching I won’t be able to do that. I think the nutritional benefits are going to be awesome! Especially since I have a couple of kids who won’t each much protein. (Can you believe that??)

    kristin Reply:

    Do you have a link to the youtube video?

    Suzanne Reply:

    Sure! Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX21C-tUSIc

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve not tried sprouting grain – but I really want to – thanks everyone for your suggestions!

    [Reply]

    Alice Reply:

    Sprouting IS very easy to do…..as long as your berries aren’t too
    old!!!…. I have an excalibur dehydrator, and it’s well worth
    sprouting, whether for wheatgrass juice, or for sprouted wheat cereal
    or sprouted bread making!! Sprouted wheat cereal is quite tasty!
    I am just wondering (as in my own comment below), are others having
    problems with sprouting after their wheat berries are a year old or
    more? I can sprout just about anything…but after a year I cannot
    sprout anything! That’s when it’s time for a whole lotta bread
    making! I guess they absorb too much moisture when they get old? I
    live in NW Florida.

    [Reply]

    Lili Reply:

    If you have a gas oven with pilot lit all the time, use that heat to dry your sprouts overnight spread out in a large baking pan.

    [Reply]

  4. Alice says

    I have bought the hard red and white wheat berries originally because I wanted sprouts (greens) for making wheatgrass juice. I found Kamut to be excellent for this. But, after a year or so, they no longer sprout!! I’ve tried everything, (soaking longer, shorter) but the wheat berries just don’t sprout any longer. Do you know if that would also mean that my wheat would be too old to use for grinding into flour?
    I didn’t want to waste my large purchases of all this wheat, as I bought them in 40 lb buckets. So I went and bought a Mil-Rite, and it really is awesome, though I don’t have anything else to compare it to, other than using a vitamix.
    Is it even okay to use a vitamix for making flour? It makes it quite fast, but it does heat up. The Mil-rite is SLOW, but it doesn’t heat up, and allows me to use either a stone or steel.
    But I am very curious how long I can keep my buckets and buckets of wheat, and still be safe to use them for making flour. The buckets have been opened and used slowly over the past two years. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Micki Reply:

    Wheat has a 30+ year shelf life – meaning it doesn’t go bad AND it has limited nutrition deteriation for that long, if stored properly (buckets or canned, cool & dry, etc.)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Your wheat is perfectly fine to grind – and yes, you can use a vitamix to make flour. I don’t have a vitamix, but it is my understanding that it doesn’t grind flour as finely as other mills. It’s still a great option though!

    [Reply]

    Alice Reply:

    Thank you both for your replies!!

    I just wish that I could still sprout the seeds too! Are others
    having this problem with sprouting seeds after a year or so? I’d also
    like to make sprouted breads!

    [Reply]

  5. Kari says

    My understanding is that the red wheat is more acidic, while the white wheat is more alkaline. I find the white to be easier on the stomach. I’ve also read that one cup of sprouted red wheat provides all the nutrients, including a complete protein, that a person needs to sustain them for one day.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Interesting, I’d never heard that about the acidic/alkaline. Thanks for sharing that info!

    [Reply]

  6. Debbi says

    I have a nutrimill as well, bought about 6 years ago also. And I’m with you, Laura – I love hard white for it’s flexiblity. We used to buy red wheat – and I do believe it makes a fabulous sandwhich bread, but it’s just too strong for other recipes where you don’t want the wheat flavor to over power the other ingredients (like garlic bread or pizza crust). So we no longer purchase hard red, only hard white.

    I keep soft white wheat berries as well. If what I’m baking doesn’t call for yeast then I use soft white (pastry flour). All my baked goods turn out light and moist with soft wheat – yummy brownies, corn bread, waffles, cookies, etc. With the hard white I find these turn out a little more dense. I’m grinding our flours again after a bit of break and I’d forgotten how much of a difference it makes when the flour is fresh! Glad to be spending quality time with my grain mill again!

    [Reply]

  7. Aya says

    Yea! You answered a question I’ve had for a long time. I always just used fresh ground soft white wheat for any breads without yeast – pancakes, muffins, etc. They turned out great that way to our family. Now I know I really was using whole wheat pastry flour like many of the recipes call for!

    [Reply]

  8. says

    I have a Nutrimill as well and love it!! I bought Hard Red Wheat for a while because that is what I thought I needed. The man that I buy it from finally asked me if I had tried Hard White Wheat and explained that it made a less heavy bread. I have some of both and am combining them now to use up the red.

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  9. says

    We use hard white wheat for breads/any recipe for yeast and soft white wheat for recipes without yeast. The soft wheat puffs up better in these recipes so my family doesn’t even miss the white flour! NOTE: you MUST pack down your soft wheat when measuring (like you would if you used brown sugar).

    [Reply]

    Kathy Reply:

    I am glad you mentioned packing the soft wheat while measuring….I have not read that before. Thanks for sharing that tip.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t use soft wheat enough to know that – thanks!

    [Reply]

  10. Karen says

    We’ve been milling our own flour for just over a year now, and started with hard white wheat for everything. Yummy! Just to see if we could taste the difference, one day I made 2 batches of muffins – one with hard white and one with hard red wheat. I made plain wheat muffins so we wouldn’t let chocolate chips or fruit affect our decision about which we liked better. To our surprise, we all liked the hard red much better! So now we use the red wheat for pancakes, muffins, and waffles, and white wheat for bread, tortillas, and pizza dough. BTW, I also use applesauce in my pancakes, waffles, and muffins in place of oil or butter. It is one way we save money (much cheaper to use homemade applesauce!)

    [Reply]

  11. says

    Laura, it was your site that really inspired me to get a grain mill and I just LOVE grinding my own flour. We have a Wolfgang Stone Grinder. I love the hard white wheat for breads, but I love soft white wheat for cakes and cookies and I like using other grains such as Barley and Oats and even Pinto beans to add a little bit extra nutrients. Have you ever had chocolate chip cookies or an apple pie crust made with 1/2 Oat Flour? It is fabulous.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Mmm, that does sound good!

    [Reply]

  12. Samantha says

    I don’t grind my own wheat yet, but I do buy hard white wheat flour from Azure every few months. Well, 6 months lol. I just bought 75 pounds i’m picking up tonight and it should last us ( a family of 3) until May =]

    [Reply]

  13. Kathleen S says

    I just got a grain mill this past weekend and hope to try it today. Is there a rough estimate for how much flour 1 cup of wheatberries will make? Thanks!

    Kathy (O:

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    One cup of wheat berries will give you about 1-1/2 cups flour. :)

    [Reply]

    Kathleen S Reply:

    Thanks! Kathy (O:

    [Reply]

  14. Samantha says

    Oh and never a soccer game, but my husbands potluck (I baked two batches of monkey bread first!) and then my nephews birth… She was craving cinnamon sugar bread and I had to make it for after he was born lol =]

    [Reply]

  15. says

    Thanks for sharing this info. I recently switched from AP flour to White Whole Wheat and you can’t tell the difference when I use it. I thought it was just as good as the whole wheat flour because the nutrition facts are nearly the same. Thanks for the confirmation!

    [Reply]

  16. Tiffany says

    Thanks for the info on whole wheat pastry flour! I bought a bunch at a Mennonite market near my mother to use for a recipe, but I wasn’t sure for what else I could use it. That market has an awesome selection of flours, so I haven’t invested in a grain mill yet. I buy white whole wheat and use it most of the time. My family’s favorite honey whole wheat bread recipe uses half red whole wheat and half unbleached white, and I’ve found that the substitution just isn’t as good, so I always keep some traditional whole wheat on hand just for the bread!

    [Reply]

  17. April says

    About how much does a Nutrimill cost? And do you have any suggestions as to how to get one for a reasonable price?

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Paulasbread.com has them on sale for $219.99 until Sept. 30.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    The pricing comes from the manufacturer, so anyone who is a licensed distributor will sell for the same price. I don’t know about Paulasbread.com as I’ve never ordered from her before, but Pleasant Hill Grain (www.pleasanthillgrain.com) also sells it and they have free shipping on orders over $99.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    That price from Paula’s Bread is the best I’ve ever seen. They are usually around $250, and sometimes are on sale for $229, so for it to be as low as $219 is great!

    [Reply]

  18. Tane says

    Just wondering…. What are your thoughts on adding vital wheat gluten or dough enhancer to your bread?

    Thanks for the post My DH and I are currently debating the whole grain mill thing

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    I use Laura’s recipe for bread, and it is absolutely fabulous. A friend of mine uses it, does not add gluten, and it rises great. I tried it several times without gluten and it was a total flop. Didn’t rise well at all. So I add about 1/4 cups of vital wheat gluten (that I buy from amazon) for every 6-8 or so cups of flour. I add the gluten first, then the flour, since you’re never sure exactly how much flour you’ll use. I also had to do some math on the recipe to figure out how to make it for 2 loaves, since I use my kitchenaid which can only take 8-9 cups of whole wheat flour. So if you use the full recipe, you should probably add about 1/3 cup of the gluten. I have also used that rule for other recipes I have that I love, that call for white flour. In substituting the wheat, I add that 1/4 cup gluten, and it really helps a lot. It may depend on your climate, the temperature of your house–I really don’t know. I sure wish my stuff would rise nicely without adding the gluten, but it just didn’t happen for me.

    [Reply]

    Kamilla Ostwald Reply:

    before I found Laura’s recipe for bread I had been given a recipe that called for gluten & enhancer but I couldnt get my family to eat it! I have made 7 loaves of hers in the last 5 days! I may try the enhancer next time just to see how it affects it. Otherwise I don’t think they are necessary:)

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Just my two-cents’ worth . . . be careful when buying gluten. Unless it has on the label “Vital Wheat Gluten” (vs. just “Wheat Gluten”) it will be too damaged by heat in the processing it goes through to be of any nutritional value, and could also affect how your loaves turn out. It’s a highly-processed product, as it is made by washing wheat flour to remove the starch. The gluten that is left is ground into a powder and that is what you’re buying. I used to use more gluten in my bread recipe, but cut down to lessen our chance of developing a gluten intolerance. If you have high protein wheat (around 14%), you shouldn’t need as much gluten. I use only 2 Tablespoons per recipe, and my recipe uses around 10-12 cups of flour, depending on how humid the days is when I make it (we live in Colorado and the humidity level can change quite a bit in just a half hour). A great resource for grains and related stuff (like gluten!) can be found in the book “Flour Power: A Guide to Modern Home Grain Milling” by Marleeta F. Basey. I bought my copy at Barnes and Noble years ago, and I know you can also buy it from amazon. I also don’t use dough enhancer anymore since it is soy-based and I don’t like using soy (it’s VERY highly processed to make it fit for human consumption and it’s also one of the biggest GMO crops). Instead I use ascorbic acid (about 1/4 teaspoon for each loaf of bread). It works even better than dough enhancer as far as shelf life of my bread. If you don’t have a local resource for either the vital wheat gluten or dough enhancer, you can order from Pleasant Hill Grain (www.pleasanthillgrain.com). They’re a great company to work with. I don’t know how they compare price-wise with other companies, but I’ve found them to be pretty reasonable.

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    Wow, you gave me some information I definitely didn’t know. Thanks! My gluten is the vital wheat gluten kind, so that’s good. I think I’ll look into ascorbic acid–although I keep my bread in the freezer/fridge, and it’s never around long enough to go bad (with 7 in the household). I am also interested in looking at the protien content of the wheat–never even heard of that! Awesome.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    No problem! If you’re purchasing the wheat from a distributor they should be able to provide the protein and moisture content information for you from the supplier — moisture should be no more than 10%. Keep in mind that it’s the hard wheat that will have the higher protein content, anywhere from 13-15% or higher is good. The soft wheat will have a somewhat lower protein content, around 8-10%. Buying high protein/low moisture wheat will give you more consistent (yummy!)results. :)

  19. Melissa says

    I have a question about measuring freshly ground wheat flour. If I grind 2 cups of wheat berries it yields nearly 3 cups of flour–but if I just use 2 cups of the flour that usually doesn’t seem to be enough and I have to add more flour. Do I just need to pack the flour down to measure it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Someone commented above that if you’re using SOFT white wheat flour, it does need to be packed down. I’ve never noticed that when using hard white wheat though.

    [Reply]

  20. Lynda says

    Has anyone tried the brand “Wheat Montana Farms and Bakery, Prairie Gold, 100% White Whole Wheat Flour”, it is made from hard white spring wheat. I have found it at the only two stores in this area, Walmart and the health market at Hy-Vee. I would love a Nutrimill but cannot afford one yet. But with reading the label and using this flour, I have been satisfied using it. Hopefully I am getting as close to fresh as possible.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Hi Linda, lucky you if your Walmart carries it! I believe it’s the next best thing to grinding your own wheat. Most of my wheat is actually from Wheat Montana Farms (we have a local resource here that places truckload orders from them). You’re right — it’s not the same nutrition-wise as freshly ground, but in my humble opinion it’s the best of the “store-bought”!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I agree – Wheat Montana is one of the best, and if you aren’t able to grind your own, this flour is a perfect choice!

    [Reply]

  21. Colean says

    I am probably in the minority, but I love, Love, LOVE red wheat flour. I love the taste and consistency. That being said, my husband is not really a fan of it so I bought a small bag of white wheat flour to try to see if he likes it better. Regardless he knows he has to eat one or the other as I’m no longer buying white flour, but I’m leaving the choice up to him ^_^

    [Reply]

    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen Reply:

    I love red wheat too — especially for breads! The flavor is wonderful.

    [Reply]

  22. Erin says

    Do you grind extra wheat for everyday cooking when you’re grinding? I started freezing my ground wheat because I heard this will preserve the nutrition. Is this true? I can’t grind when I need 1 cup. I need a bit of extra. Also, do I need to wash EVERYTHING everytime I grind. I figured if I don’t wash out my flour bin everytime I use it that my grinder didn’t need washed everytime(can’t wash up inside the grinder either). After 6 months of grinding, the lid is still so tight to get back on and I need to flour it to get it back on. Okay, you may have opened a can of worms with this post :) Next, I want to get the Bosch bread maker!!!! Dreaming of 100% whole wheat bread!! With my Kithenaid mixture, I can’t get it 100% whole yet. Unless I want bricks to make a new house!!!

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Erin–you can freeze your freshly-ground wheat for up to 30 days and it will still retain nearly all the nutrients it had as when you milled it. I put mine in ziploc freezer bags and label it with what kind of flour it is (hard or soft wheat, barley, corn, etc.) and when I milled it. You can keep it there longer, but it will have lost most of the nutrients by that point. I’ve used my flour that’s been in the freezer for several months and it’s worked fine. I figure even if it’s lost most of the nutrients, it’s still better than using white flour! Just bring it to room temperature before using it, unless what you’re baking won’t be affected by the coldness (like cookies or pie crust). You don’t say what mill you have, but I have the Nutrimill and I found that cornstarch on the rubber actually works better than flour. Washing it keeps rancid flour from colleting in it, so I wash out the bowl, lid, filter, cup and intake gasket each time. I also will grind other kinds of flour at that time if I know I’m going to need them, so that would cut down on your washing, too. The Nutrimill is SO easy to clean, though, compared to the last mill I had. Hopefully you’ll be able to get a Bosch. I have both a Kitchenaid and a Bosch, and the Bosch wins hands down! I’ve had it for nearly 13 years and it’s such a great workhorse. I only use my Kitchenaid for quickbreads and some cookie recipes, because it just can’ handle heavy doughs . . . and I have their big, powerful one! You’ll love your Bosch too when you can get one! (Do I sound like an advertisement?) :)

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    Thanks, and I was already sold on the Bosch although you would make a good sell, Maybe others here will want one now, too!!! hehe. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    Interesting! I use my kitchenaid and have absolutely loved it for everything. Bread, pizza dough, pretzels, cookies–just everything. Granted, I’ve never tried Bosche so I have nothing to compare it to. But I use my vitamix to grind and my kitchenaid to mix, and I’ve never been happier in my life. The kitchenaid is the only reason I even make bread–until I got it I really never would have thought I would bake much of anything. That was back in February. Now I never buy any kind of bread anything at the store. Guess I’ll stick with what works for me–and if it ever gives out, maybe I’ll try the Bosche. I have only heard good things about it.

    [Reply]

  23. Lisa says

    I got a Nutrimill about 9 months ago, and absolutely love it!! I typically use hard white for everything, but am interested in branching out into other grains such as Kamut & Spelt. Do you have recipes and/or tips to share on these grains? How about grinding quinoa? Brown rice? I’d love to expand beyond just wheat. Any info shared would be wonderful!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m trying to be more brave and use different grains. As of yet, I haven’t shared much on my blog about other grains besides wheat and corn. Eventually…. :)

    [Reply]

    Lois Reply:

    I grind many different grains along with my wheat…..even pinto beans, for extra nutrition. I have a whispermill, and I grind 8 cups of grain and get about 12 cups of flour. I repeat the process with just wheat. The first time I put in a cup of beans, and 3 cups of rice, barley, spelt, kamut, whatever I want, then the last 4 cups wheat. I use hard red. I dump all the flour together when I make the bread. I have a Bosch, which makes 6 loaves. I find one batch of flour is a bit short for a batch of bread, but whatever is left I freeze. Call it pot luck bread! If I am making a specific bread, like Whole Wheat Millet bread, then I won’t deviate too much from the recipe.

    [Reply]

  24. Angela says

    I am currently saving up for nutrimill. But since I do not have one yet I found out that my local Wal-Mart sells Wheat Montana brand Prairie Gold 100% Whole Wheat Flour. It is made with hard white spring wheat and even thought it is not organic it is non GMO and certified chemical free.

    In my opinion it has been working so much better in my breads and other bake goods compared to hard red wheat. Even my husband really has noticed the difference.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Perfect – I’m so glad you have that option!

    [Reply]

  25. Nancy says

    We mill hard red wheat in our Nutrimill. We really enjoy the mill.

    The reason we eat hard red wheat is that hard white wheat is genetically engineered from red wheat and we prefer not to eat anything genetically engineered. Hard red wheat also has up to 15% more protein in it which is important to us since we are vegetarians.

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    I really appreciate you bringing to light the fact that the hard white is
    genetically engineered from the hard red. More often than not our food
    is not what it seems! It concerns me that we often sacrifice “wholeness”
    so that things will “taste better” to us. I had been making bread (from hard red wheat berries)and
    gotten away from it for a time. Recently (in the past year) I started up again, concerned that my family wasn’t getting the best nutrition and my 5 year old daughter didn’t like it at first. Now, she loves it! I think she needed some time to get used to it…
    If we are concerned about what we are putting into our bodies (and that
    of our families!) preferring not to eat GME products would be the best
    way to go!

    [Reply]

  26. Kathie says

    Since I don’t have, and cannot yet afford, my own grain mill…I buy fresh ground hard red or white flour at HyVee and freeze it so I don’t have to buy it every few days.

    I usually buy the red but now that I’ve read your post, I am going to try the hard white and see if maybe that will work better for my bread products. I love the hard red for waffles, I use your waffle recipe except I add cinnamon.

    So thanks for the tips!

    [Reply]

  27. Sheila W. says

    I use only hard white and soft white berries–we have tried hard red and didn’t really care for it. I started out keeping it separate (hard for yeast breads, soft for cakes, muffins, etc.) but then got lazy and now I just combine it. I use 1/2 and 1/2 for EVERYTHING, including whole wheat bread in my Zojirushi. It turns out great! I know it’s unconventional to do it this way, and I’ve had people tell me it wouldn’t work, but it is our absolute favorite bread. I do add in vital wheat gluten that I buy at Paula’s Bread.

    [Reply]

  28. Aimee says

    I generally use half red wheat and half white wheat for my bread and all white wheat for my other baking. But we sift (and soak some), so that makes a big difference.

    [Reply]

  29. Alyssa says

    I got a Nutrimill this year and LOVE it! We don’t like the taste of hard red wheat, so I use hard white, soft white, spelt and oat. The fam is having a bit of trouble adjusting to it all though…especially any items that call for all-purpose flour…any suggestions? Soft wheat, maybe? I caved and bought some unbleached ap flour from King Arthur, just so they’d eat the pancakes! Of course, I’ve also noticed that there is a bit of learning curve transitioning from store bought, white flours to whole wheat…still trying to recreate our favorite bread recipe…

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, try soft white wheat to see if they like the pancakes and other foods that call for AP flour. Great idea!

    [Reply]

  30. Sea says

    Thanks for the info., I so enjoy learning from your site! I do have a couple questions:
    1. Whole wheat pastry flour- is 1 part to 1 part when replacing regular flour in a recipe?
    2. At this point I am not able to grind my own flour- I am curious is it recommended to buy organic flour or does it matter too much? Is flour high in pesticides? I’ve tried searching but have not found a clear answer!
    Thanks for your time!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    1. Yes, replace one to one in recipes, but someone above commented that with soft wheat (pastry flour) you need to “pack it in” to the measuring cup – I’d not heard that before!

    2. If possible, I do recommend organic flour to avoid the pesticides and the GMO grain.

    [Reply]

    Kristi W. Reply:

    I have learned a whole lot about this from the Bread Beckers in Woodstock, GA. They have a store devoted to those who want to start making their own grain products (bread, tortillas, pancakes, etc.) They have been milling their own wheat since the early 90′s and the owner is a food biologist and nutritionist so I tend to trust her advice on the whole matter. They have a website http://www.breadbeckers.com where you can watch cooking classes online, buy products, etc. She also has a great cookbook she has developed with her own recipes over the years. You can buy it for only $6 and it contains recipes using all freshly milled flours. Anyway, she also suggests using soft white wheat flour for pastries and instead of packing it down, she suggests increasing the amount of soft white wheat flour by 1/4 c. for each cup called for in the recipe. So if the recipe calls for 2 c. of AP flour, you would use 2 1/2 c. It has worked great for me!

    Also I LOVE hard red wheat and actually DON’T love the hard white wheat. I just love the nutty flavor of the hard red wheat. I have some hard white wheat and use it in my pizza dough or other breads where I don’t want that nutty flavor to over power the other food, but for just every day bread and muffins, I LOVE the hard red wheat. My family loves it too!

    The Bread Beckers also sell an Ezekiel mix of grains that you can grind in your mill to make Ezekiel flour. It’s great for muffins, pancakes, etc. The combination of grains and beans makes a complete protein!

    Yay for whole wheat flour! I LOVE it!

    [Reply]

  31. Amber says

    Great topic! I actually work for King Arthur Flour (part-time baking instructor at the Vermont headquarters)and there is Organic White Whole Wheat. I’m not pushing it, just mentioning it’s available:) Love your blog – just about the only one I read.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for sharing this information!

    [Reply]

  32. Marla (Robbfamily7) says

    Thanks for the info! I actually did not know that you couldn’t use soft white for items needing yeast. And I’ve been grinding wheat for 2 years. Not sure how that detail escaped me, but that explains a lot!

    [Reply]

  33. Rachel says

    Laura, Do you have a post on storing your grains before you grind them and after? I’m still unclear…
    as the best way to store the ground flour,
    if you have to warm it/sit out before using if storing in the freezing,
    how long you can store it w/o losing nutritional content,
    and if storing it at room temp is bad?

    LOTS of questions!! I really appreciate your insight.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I guess I haven’t shared much about these things:

    I store the ground flour in the freezer, but the fresher it is the better, so I try not to grind too much ahead of time. I don’t know the specifics, but it is my understanding that it loses nutritional quality after just a few hours of being ground. Room temp really isn’t great – freezer is best.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    You can keep your flour in the freezer for 30 days and one week in the refrigerator before it loses it’s nutritional value. After 24-48 hours at room temperature it’s lost about 80% of it’s nutrients, and over 90% after 72 hours. (That’s why whole wheat flour from the store is already rancid when you buy it.) Definitely store in the freezer! Just take out what you need for your recipe and let it come to room temperature. I can’t tell you how many loaves of banana bread fell (actually I had craters in the middle) because I forgot (or got lazy) and used cold flour! Don’t mean to sound like a walking grain encyclopedia . . . I just did A LOT of research and soaked up as much information as I could when I first started out. :)

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    Thanks for all the info!! I’m just wondering.. if you grind it and freeze it right away would that stop it
    from losing nutrients? How much would it go down in nutritional value if you ground it, froze it, and
    used it two weeks later? Am I making sense? ;) (and one more thing.. how much does the flour have to
    warm up? Just set it on the counter for a few hours before baking?) The joys of learning a new skill!! I did
    just place my order for my nutrimill though!!!

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Hi Rachel — Obviously using fresh is best, but freezing right away should keep all the nutrients. From everything I’ve read, it won’t start losing it’s nutritional value until after 30 days. Some people say the flour will be rancid after that and have a sour taste/smell, but I haven’t found that to be true. It still tastes and smells fresh, even if it doesn’t have all the nutrients anymore. If it ever does smell or taste sour, throw it out! What happens is, once the wheat kernel is broken open by grinding and that protective outer “shell” on the grain is gone, the exposure to air starts to degrade the bran and the germ, which is where the vitamins, fiber and minerals are. Heat and moisture only quicken the process. Freezing slows the process way down, just like with other foods. Probably more information than what you wanted . . . no one ever accused me of not being detail-oriented! Anyway, I just let the flour come to about room temperature. It would still work if it was a little “cool” to the touch. I live at high altitude, and it’s hard enough for leavening (baking soda or powder) to work, much less fighting against a cold batter from cold flour! In things like pie crust or cookies where you might want a colder dough/batter, I’ve found I don’t need to warm up the flour. Good luck . . . and I’m sure you’ll LOVE your Nutrimill!

  34. Lena Courbron says

    Awesome, Thanks Laura! I am about to start buying my wheat so I can grind it myself. This was just what I needed to know so that I can buy the right berries. It is like you were reading my mind.

    [Reply]

  35. says

    I use all hard white in my beloved NutriMill (and sometimes spelt – I love spelt but it’s so much more expensive!). I know the red wheat actually has a higher acidic content which makes for the stronger taste. Either red or white flour looks divine mixed in my hair – which happens frequently, haha!

    I have to say it – I DON’T RECOMMEND ANYONE BUY SOFT WHEAT!!! I tried to use it as a pastry flour and it’s super hard to work with. Like – extremely. I did not like the taste either. Apparently, it is far higher in carbohydrates compared to the hard wheats and consequently has less protein. Bummer that I purchased a whole 50lb bag of the stuff. I might just plant it in my yard. Anyway, that’s my experience ;-)

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    You’re right about the protein content, so you definitely don’t want to use it with yeast. You don’t say what you tried to make with it, but you might want to use a combination of hard and soft wheat next time. I’ve used soft wheat alone for years to make my cookies, quickbreads and pancakes/waffles with no problem, but I’ll also occassionally mix it with hard wheat when I have some leftover from bread making. All-purpose flour in the stores is 80% hard wheat and 20% soft wheat, so maybe you could start with that kind of ratio or something close to it. When I combine the two I’ll usually do 2/3 soft and 1/3 hard for quickbreads, and 3/4 soft and 1/4 hard for pancakes. Just a suggestion to help you use it up!

    [Reply]

    Hannah @ Treasuring It Up Reply:

    Thank you so much, Trudi! After typing my comment, I read the other
    posts afterward (maybe that was the wrong order of events) and was motivated
    to give soft another try. I have used it in tortillas, cookies and quick
    bread without rather dismal results. Maybe I need to pack it more as suggested above. I had no idea about the percentage of soft in all-purpose flour! That is so interesting! I’ll
    just mix it in the mill and see what happens. Thanks again, and next time
    I’ll read the wisdom of others first ;-D

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    You are very welcome! Grinding your own grains is like opening up a whole other world for people who love to cook and bake, and it would be a shame to never try different grains because you got discouraged the first time you tried a new one. Good luck!!

  36. Lynnette Shields says

    Being an art teacher, I would call them a lovely umber brown and a beautiful burnt sienna! :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Ha – Awesome! I should have consulted you when I was writing this because I really did need better discriptive colors!!!

    [Reply]

  37. Aileen says

    This is such a helpful post! I have a question about baking powder and baking soda. If you are using whole wheat flour in place of all purpose flour in a recipe, do you need to adjust the amount of baking soda or powder that is required? Many of the baking recipes (non yeast like muffuns) that I’ve tried with whole wheat don’t rise. They taste great but don’t rise. Just wondering if it has something to do with the baking soda/powder or something else.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never adjusted the amounts of soda or powder, but it sounds like you may need to since you’ve experienced trouble with your muffins rising. Maybe just try an additional 1/4 teaspoon?

    [Reply]

  38. says

    I love my Nutramill. I have been using it now for about 3 years. I have several different types of berries. The hard red I use for waffles and pancakes. I use the soft white for everything else.
    I don’t think anyone has mentioned cornmeal. I get a great popcorn for movie night and I pour some into my grinder when I want to make cornbread. The difference is HUGE. It also cleans out your mill. I highly recommend grinding your own cornmeal.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Tudor Reply:

    Hey Jill,
    I have never done corn in my nutrimill, I heard I was not suppose to because it was to hard for the grinder or something like that! But i have only been doing this for a year! So I love to learn new things! I love corn meal but have been asking my friend who has a fancy blender to do it for me, when she makes hers! Blessings!

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Haven’t tried popcorn in my Nutrimill . . . I’ve heard it’s pretty good, but that it makes a different type of cornbread/muffin (a little heavier). If you don’t want to use popcorn, you can buy dent corn (also called field corn). It’s larger than the sweet corn we typically eat. It grinds up wonderfully and you won’t believe the taste. The cornbread turns out delicious — light and sweet. My husband wouldn’t even eat cornbread before I started grinding my own cornmeal because he didn’t like the taste, and now he often asks for it!

    [Reply]

  39. Sarah Tudor says

    I love grinding my own wheat! So wonderful, I get Hard & soft white wheat berries. I also get Kamut, Spelt, and 7 grain mixes as well. Super good for you and my family loves it.

    [Reply]

  40. says

    I didn’t have time to read through all of the comments (101!!!) but I use King Arthurs white wheat flour and love it. I always have great results with it! One day I hope to have a grain mill but it’s just not time for that right now.

    My best tip for using this flour to help get good results is to sift it before you measure it. I just use a whisk to sift it right in my flour jar before I measure!

    [Reply]

  41. Melissa Hamor says

    I started out grinding Prairie Gold, since that is what a neighboring coop sold. Now I use almost only Kamut. It is high protein and if you are wheat sensitive it is perfect. I found a breadmaker recipe that adds a bit of vital wheat gluten (since we don’t have sensitivities) so it will rise better – otherwise it is a very dense bread. In my opinion my kamut bread is tastier than wheat. But my kamut rolls are not very good – still looking for a good recipe on that. I’m soaking my grain for the first time tonight for pancakes in the morning. Does anyone know if Prairie Gold is Red or White? Thanks for all the comments – they have been great.

    [Reply]

  42. Anna says

    Hi, Love your site! I’m hoping someone can answer my questions. I am new to grinding wheat…I’ve recently bought a wheat grinder Vitamix and I have been grinding mainly Hard red wheat berries because that’s all my local grocery store offered. I went to a new store, ‘Natural Pantry’ and they have so many other options!!

    Hard red wheat has seemed a little too strong for me. I want something that tastes good, but is also healthy. What kind of wheat berry is the healthiest? Hard red/white wheat? Kamut?

    I want my breads/baked goods to taste better than the hard red wheat, but I care more about the nutrients so I will stick with the hard red if I have to. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    All are healthy, but my favorite is hard white wheat. It has a very mild flavor and hardly seems like we’re eating whole wheat at all!

    [Reply]

  43. Erika says

    Thank you so much for this post !! I’m so fortunate to have come across it after a frustrating few days of internet searches. I just purchased a Nutrimill grain mill that I’ve been wanting for so many years but kept putting off due to our limited finances (I’m a SAHM). I was agonizing over the different wheat berry choices !! I usually use Whole Foods 365 organic whole wheat flour but I use it to bake bread (once in a blue moon) and also to make pancakes frequently. I wanted a happy medium since my husband doesn’t like whole wheat pizza crust and whole wheat biscuits (too strong of a flavor) .. Wheat berries seem to be so expensive upfront and it was daunting to think that I’d have to buy both hard and soft varieties !! I wanted one that was versatile and your article has helped so very much when I was losing hope of finding out this exact information !! This is a wonderful article !

    [Reply]

  44. Shawnie says

    I buy hard red winter wheat from Golden Wheat Farms and love it every time! Their wheat is super clean and ships fast. Their website is shop.goldenwheatfarms.com

    [Reply]

  45. Tracy says

    I have recently been blessed with a Nutrimill in the last couple months and some soft white wheat and Hard red. We have absolutely loved it. When i say blessed, I truly mean blessed they were all a gift from a dear friend who decided she did not want to use it or grind her on wheat. I have wanted one for years but money had been an issue. She did not still have the manual that came with it. I did look it up online and have had amazing results so far. However, I am a little confused at what all I can grind in my Nutri mill. Would you please tell me what all you grind in yours? I do not want to mess up this incredible blessing.

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Paula’sbread.com has great info on what you can grind. :)

    [Reply]

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