Our goal is to make the best homemade pizza, and it is a never-ending learning process. We have experimented with making our own mozzarella, trying different sauces, and even growing some of our own herbs.
And ever since we covered the recent Pizza Expo 2022, we have been thinking about how to make flour at home.
The Pizza Expo covered every aspect of pizza making, and the flour mills of varying sizes really piqued our interest in using freshly milled flour. We hadn’t really considered making flour or how it affects the baking process until the professional pizzaiolos demonstrated how easy it is to do.
So we thought it would be interesting to learn about how to make flour at home and why more and more home bakers and home pizza chefs do it.
Why Make Flour at Home?
There are five main reasons to mill your own flour, and the first and foremost is nutritional value. Whole wheat flour is made when wheat berries are broken open and ground. Once they are broken open, wheat berries are at peak nutritional value.
The more time they are exposed, the nutritional value starts to deteriorate. Using freshly ground flour keeps the nutrition level high, so you are eating wheat berries at their peak.
Milling flour at home is also more economical. The price of wheat berries is much lower than the cost of flour. If you are an avid baker, pizzaiolo, or chef, then it really turns out to be more cost-effective even after factoring in the price of the home flour mill.
More choices for special diets and dietary restrictions. When you grind your own flour, you can choose the grain. So if you follow a gluten-free or keto diet, you can make your flour exactly how you need it.
Freshly milled flour just tastes better. The main reason it tastes better is that it doesn’t have that slightly bitter taste that whole wheat bread has due to the healthy fats that tend to turn bitter with age. This gives the dough a lighter flavor. If you haven’t tried it, we encourage you to do a taste test and see for yourself the difference.
Wheat berries have a much, much longer shelf life than flour. Buying wheat berries in bulk not only saves you money, but they also last longer as long as they are stored correctly in a cool, dry, dark place.
A bag of whole wheat flour will only last around six months and a bag of white around one year, but a bag of wheat berries will last as long as you are around making pizza and bread.
Choosing a Home Flour Mill
Before you get started on your journey to grind your own flour, you will need to buy a grain grinder or flour mill. You will want to consider how often you plan on using it and how much you want to spend. Home flour mills can range anywhere from fifty to several hundreds of dollars.
There are many options, from electric to hand crank, some allow for large volume, and others are smaller for the occasional home use. Also, consider your kitchen size and how much space you have to dedicate to making flour at home.
There are two different types of home flour mills: the impact grinder and the burr grinder. An impact grinder works with metal blades that grind the grains. And a burr grinder uses two plates to crush the grain. A burr grinder is how grains have been traditionally ground for centuries.
When choosing a home flour mill, you want to consider a few things:
- Nutritional value
Impact mills are less expensive but very loud. These electric mills heat the flour as its ground which can reduce some of the nutritional value. However, they are convenient and easy to use.
Burr mills are more expensive, but they don’t heat the flour and keep the nutrients intact. If nutrients are your main concern, this is the best option. Burr mills can be manual or electric, and some models let you opt between the two.
Your bread and pizza making needs will be satisfied with either mill. But if you also want to have a mill that will do oily or wet grains like almonds, coffee, and cacao, then a burr mill with steel plates is the only option.
We recommend the Deluxe Grain Single Mill. It is an excellent burr mill that will grind just about everything from dry grains to wet grains.
The CGoldenwall Electric Grain Grinder is a great option if you are on a budget.
And if you don’t mind an arm workout, there are a lot of grinders for under $50, but these hand grinders require some extra effort. An excellent choice of a hand crank grain grinder is the Victoria manual High Hopper Grain Grinder.
You can make flour from many types of grains and legumes. And when you make flour at home, you can experiment and play with different ratios and grain combinations.
Plus, you can play with the texture by mixing coarser grains with finer ones. It may take a little trial and error to find the perfect combo for your favorite pizza crust, but hey, that’s part of the fun.
- If you don’t plan on using the freshly ground flour right away, store it in the freezer.
- A sieve or sifter helps get the grain the right texture and helps remove the bran or germ.
- Hard wheat berries are good for breads.
- Red wheat berries mixed with spelt is great for pizzas.
- Soft wheat berries are good for pancakes and cookies.
- Durum wheat is good for pasta.
When it comes to pizza, we are always looking for ways to make the best homemade pizza, and learning to make flour at home fits our mission.
If you love the idea of using freshly milled flour to make pizza, but the thought of milling at home seems a little overwhelming, you can buy freshly milled flour on Etsy. This is a great place to start if you have never had freshly milled flour.
Trying it out first to see the difference in taste and digestion may give you the push to make the financial and time investment of milling your own flour.
Have you tried to make flour at home? Do you taste the difference between freshly milled flour and store-bought flour? An absolute huge difference in our opinion.