SURVIVAL KITCHEN

Why You Should Mill Your Own Flour From Wheat Berries

Benefits of milling your own flour

The benefits of milling your own flour:

1. Enables long term storage of wheat (decades).
2. Self reliance and homemade bread making skills.
3. Always able to make bread at home.
4. Health benefits.
5. Frugality.

Long Term Storage of Wheat Berries

One very good reason why you should be milling your own flour is to advantage long term storage of wheat! More specifically, wheat berries. A properly sealed and stored bucket of wheat berries will last for decades!

Wheat berries will not begin to lose nutrients until you actually mill it to make flour, making it a great choice for storage.

Survival Calories

There are lots of calories in a 5 gallon bucket of wheat, making it an excellent part of your food storage diversification plan.

Depending on where you source caloric weights & measures, the following figures are pretty close:

630 calories in one cup of hard red wheat berries.
75 cups of wheat berries in one 5-gallon bucket.
47,000 calories in one 5-gallon bucket of wheat berries.

There are quite a few “survival days” in a bucket of wheat…

[ Read: Calories Per Pound Of Rice, Beans, Wheat ]

[ Read: The Calories in a 5-Gallon Bucket of Rice, Beans, and Wheat ]

Self Reliance & Homemade Bread

Do you know how to make homemade bread? It’s really quite easy.

Just from a preparedness standpoint, knowing how to make your own homemade bread is a good basic kitchen skill. Unfortunately the vast majority of people only know which aisle in the grocery store to buy their bread.

There are a bazillion recipes for homemade bread. You might simply use only very basic ingredients or you might add more to make it interesting. That’s the fun of it…

[ Read: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe ]

Bread Baking For Beginners
(view on amzn)

Health Benefits of Milling Your Own Flour

How many foods do we consume that include unpronounceable ingredients? Ever wonder how some foods can sit on grocery store shelves for so long without seemingly ‘going bad’? Wonder what’s in that stuff…!

When you control the ingredients that go into your own foods (homemade bread), you control the health attributes.

Consuming wheat bread and other foods from whole wheat is apparently healthier than eating foods from processed-bleached flours.

Even if you buy whole grain flour at the grocery store (already milled), you have little idea how long it has been sitting there on the shelf or how long it has been since it was milled. Milling your own flour will remove any doubts about the freshness and nutritional benefits you will be receiving. 

Fresh milled flour contains the most nutrients. When you mill only what you need, you’re always consuming peak freshness.

Frugality

After the initial outlay for a flour mill, you may find that it costs less to make your own bread than buying store bought bread after awhile.

For the sake of an example, lets say that a 50 pound bag of wheat berries cost $50. A typical homemade loaf of bread will then cost about $1.30 of wheat. Add a few other ingredients – but you’re still looking at less expensive bread compared with most brand name store breads.

 
Weights and Measures

A typical 5-gallon bucket will hold 33 pounds (528 oz) of wheat berries after subtracting the weight of the bucket.

Wheat berries weigh about 7 ounces per cup.

My bread loaves require about 3 cups of wheat berries for milling. That’s 1.3 pounds (21 oz).

Each 33 pound bucket of wheat berries will make about 25 loaves of bread.

Which Flour Mill To Buy?

We have both an electric flour mill and a hand flour mill. Obviously milling your flour by hand takes a lot longer! However for the sake of higher level preparedness it’s a good idea to have one!

WonderMill Electric Flour Mill
(view on amzn)

A popular yet inexpensive hand flour mill:
Roots & Branches VKP1012
(view on amzn)

Unfortunately as of this update, there are few grain mills available on amzn (other than what I’ve listed above). This is due to the unfolding Coronavirus situation at this time and inventory shortages. The following is a related article which lists a few choices. You might check back later to see if they’re available:

[ Read: Choosing a Hand Grain Flour Mill ]

[ Read: Food & Kitchen category on Modern Survival Blog ]

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63 Comments

  1. if you mill your own, you KNOW what is in it.

    Most, if not all purchased flours (including organic) have various things added to them. Way back when, maybe in the fifties, governments in North America and most (if not all) “civilized” countries, decided that many folks were nutrient deficient in Iron, some B vitamins, and some other stuff. Laws were passed that these then must by law be added to flour. Thinking was, stuff those nutrients in. Laws still in effect today, etc.

    Problem is (as I see it). ..those nutrients were determined on basis of that loaf of bread (way back) being a major part of the daily food. Sometimes all the daily food. Levels of nutrients, were assessed on that basis. Maybe that was the case, maybe not. But not so much these days. Imagine the toxic overload of say Iron, if the amounts were ingested today were likely many times what is “safe”. (the body really has no easy way to get rid of excess iron, and problems occur). Today, folks who eat bread, very unlikely they eat one slice, a day…Say toast for breakfast, sandwhich for lunch, bun with supper….Iron levels were determined way back likely based on one or two slices. Then, of course, keep in mind, that iron is in cereals, anything which uses bought flour, etc…Big overload.

    If you can, make your own. Healthier.

  2. ………………………………………………..Azodicarbonamide………………………………………….
    is a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner use in the USA in commercial breads.
    It is also called “the Yoga mat chemical” as it is used in foam plastics.
    Most all other countries have Banned It for use in or around food. The USA of course has not.
    Subway stopped putting it in their bread. McDonalds did not, along with many other businesses.
    The additive can cause allergies and asthma etc to flair up.
    We humans are so soft that many of us cannot fathom a healthier bread with a bit of substance. It must be soft and white with no flavor and little life source.
    So why would it be good to make your own bread?

  3. I nearly bought a hand powered mill a couple of years ago. Then again, about 6 months ago I researched and came to the same conclusion on which one to buy. I’m embaresed to admit, I didn’t buy one then either.

    Amazon had the wondermill Jr. but wanted $500 plus for it. Searched online and finally found one for 225. It arrived yesterday. My procrastination cost me approx. $50 for not buying it back when. I hurt my leg, trying to kick my own a$$. (not really)

    I’m sure there is a learning curve. It’s still sitting in the garage, in the box. A couple of days sitting in front of the window should kill any cooties. Sometimes I’m such a dim bulb!!!!!!!!

    1. Plainsmedic,
      At least you bought One! I went through the same motions as you did, and still haven’t bought one. (Typical miner, I figured I could make due with a couple of rocks. Lol.)

    2. I waited to for some months. There was always something more important came up. But when this started old man said buy it. It was $20 more.

    3. I have both the Roots & Branches VKP1012 and a wonder mill JR. The wonder mill is still in the box. I purchased it as the smaller VKP1012 doesn’t grind corn. I have used it for years with good results on wheat though it does take a while to grind 3 cups for a loaf of bread but don’t know how it would stand up to using it every single day.

    4. Use it NOW. Experiment NOW. Make sure you have enough ingredients on hand for the long haul. Things are likely going to get scarce.

  4. Especially during this Coronavirus situation, we have been making our own bread. I know when it’s happening because when Mrs.J fires up the electric mill, it sounds like a jet engine! I’m not going to complain because I might be forced to use the hand grain mill. I don’t want to do it that way if and until a EMP takes out the grid ;)

    1. Ken,
      If ya don’t mind, I could provide the name of the place I purchased mine?????
      I think they are getting hard to find. When I ordered, they were “out of stock” and wouldn’t ship until 4-6-20. I got it yesterday, so they must have received a shipment.

        1. Double Tap,
          I’d be happy to provide the name, but I’ll wait for Ken’s OK. He might figure a way to earn some advertising $$$. New Client?

      1. Plainsmedic,
        A couple of homesteaders put out a pretty good video on your grain mill.
        Guildbrook Farm on YouTube. They bought the adapters to use a bicycle, and electric drill motor to mill your grains.

        1. CR,
          Yea, I’ve seen some of those youtube videos. I’m hoping I could cobble something together for an old junk bicycle. I like doing stuff like that, anyway. Keeps the mind busy instead of too much thinking about “what might/may/could happen.”

        1. Ken,
          It’s the wondermill junior deluxe + grain Mill

          There is an MPN and a Vendor SKU if ya need those.

          It doesn’t matter to me, it’s just I think they’re getting hard to find. Hopefully, the one I now own will last out my lifetime.

  5. So glad I bought my old school hand crank grinder and wheat berries a few years ago. I’m not much of a cook…but I can follow instructions. There is a sense of ease knowing it is there if I need it

  6. Ken, good article especially when I clicked on the recipe and read the comments from 1 year ago with no mention of corona virus, oh how good we had it back then.😶

  7. We have wheat berries stored from the LDS Online Store. We also have a Wonder Jr. and a hand-crank grain mill. We have a bread machine. If I want a sandwich loaf, I will use my USA pan. I got the one with the lid that slides on for even cooking. Beans and rice, along with a loaf of bread is good eatin’.

  8. DH tells me today there is NO unbleached flour available at 3-4 different local stores……so GLAD we have our own buckets of wheat and a hand mill….guess our planning is about to pay off. YAY

    1. Pioneer Woman;
      Did a sight seeing tour through the local stores…..
      No Flour, Sugar, Meats, TP, Bottled Water.
      Stores are mostly wiped.
      First of the month, and Monday. It’s still NUTS out there.
      So I agree 1000% Us Lifestylers kinda figured this out awhile ago.
      Kinda makes those 10 buckets of Wheat Berries look mighty good don’t it?

  9. Been hand grinding Wheat Berries for a few years.
    I’m done, I bought a nice Commercial Duty mill today (through Ken’s amazon link of course).
    Getting wayyyyy to old for that manual work as much.
    But YESSSSS going to keep the old-un, JIC we get fried with an EMP.

    BTW, once ya had fresh ground, ya wont go back. Sour Dough with fresh ground, a SLAB of REAL butter and a smothering of homemade Apricot Jam OMG
    Then wash it down with a nice cup of Ginger Tea…….. Any Questions?

      1. Antique Collector;
        No, I got an off brand that looks like a HUGE motor with a mill screwed on the front, cpl of legs and a nice hopper.

        SLSY Electric Grain Mill Grinder Heavy Duty 3000W

    1. I’m there, NRP……nothing like homemade Apricot Jam!

      I will even bring along a house gift if you feed me a slice.
      A roll of Precious for a slice of your bread treat?

      1. Modern Throwback;
        Make that 2 rolls and I’ll add the Ginger Tea…..

        Barter System in full swing already HAHAHAH

        1. NRP, that’s a deal, but don’t use the river water for your special tea. rofl

          1. Modern Throwback;
            Not to worry, I have a Big Burkey filter, makes GREAT Tea, and I do NOT burn the water by boiling it, just very hot… with a tad of local Honey.

            The new Ken’s MSB cooking channel, HAHAHA

          2. Modern Throwback;
            I can see it now, a weekly special on Cast Iron cooking, than on Grilling, then maybe Drinks aka Fluids, and so-on…..
            After all this is a Modern Survival Blog.
            How many millions out there have NO idea on how to cook? all alone how to cook over an open fire in Cast Iron…..

          3. NRP and all,
            Mmmmmm…
            I’m drooling on my phone just thinking about it, yum!
            I’m all for the MSB food cooking channel, cast iron, fresh baked goods, using dehydrated stores when fresh not available… I’m in!

            And I’m looking for my homemade flour tortilla recipe (simple one – no yeast or lard) tortillas have been selling out as fast as bread in local stores.

          4. What’s For Dinner? Making a skillet meal with only shelf-ready ingredients

            Using Bega Cheese: Using canned cheese products

            SpamORama: 50 Ways to cook Spam

            Breads: How To Loaf A Round

            Get Fired Up: Meals over an open fire

            One Pot Meals: Soups, Stews, Gumbos, and Burgoos

    2. Mr. is my grinder person and now I have the GS! They help or I can be the Little Red Hen!

  10. Answering the question in the title of “why?”:

    Answer: Because it tastes sooooo good!

    We made 2 loaves of Ezekiel Bread using hand ground ingredients, such as wheat, spelt, beans, millet, barley and more. It makes a hearty and delicious bread that seems like a meal all in itself! In our household it doesn’t last long.

  11. I have a horse of a hand mill — it’s the Country Living Mill. It’s cast iron and mounted on our island.
    The mill used to be available via Lehman’s, but no longer. Now you order direct from countrylivinggrainmills dot com. Lehman’s has other mills but I don’t know anything about other brands.

    I was given an electric mill by the owner of an organic food place where I’d buy my 50# bags of wheat berries. It was sooo noisy that I gave it to my mom. lol I like the quiet grinding sound of my hand mill. It’s an awesome machine.

    I’ve made bread for decades and a few years ago, I followed Ken’s advise and got the Zojirushi bread machine (via Amazon) — it makes rectangular loaves. I’ve given that machine a crazy workout, and been very pleased with it.

    In our new world, I think that most of us will be making our own breads. It’s exciting to make something ‘from scratch’ that’s so basic, yet so nutritious and aromatic.

    1. Modern Throwback;

      “In our new world, I think that most of us will be making our own breads.”

      Thinking we’ll all be doing a lot more of the all around “Old Style” living.
      Honestly I think maybe for the better.

      1. Down to earth lifestyles are tried and true. The “old style” way of living is how America was founded. You’re talking to a throwback here….LOL You and I will have some great conversation over a cup of tea.

        1. Modern Throwback;

          “You and I will have some great conversation over a cup of tea.”

          Totally agreed upon. Maybe around Ken’s fire pit someday.

          1. NRP,
            Yeah we would. But that Ken guy has to fire that MSB pit up, and then get a few people to hang around first. ;-)

            Ken,
            Your pit chairs aren’t 6-feet apart…..just sayin’…

          2. NRP, Is June 2020 at Ken’s place still on? Ken…..Ken……oh Keeennn?

          3. blackjack22;
            I’m guessing probably not.
            Not sure the States will open up the Borders by then…
            I know New Mexico’s Governor is seriously considering closing the State Borders

  12. I usually use my Nutrimill for grinding. Although I did purchase a Country Living Grain Mill for back up last year (and so glad I did). Also, although I have hard red wheat stocked on hand, I prefer the hard white wheat for bread. I also finally purchased Soft White Wheat for baking this past year. OMGosh! It is wonderful for baked goods!

    For bread I am a total fan of Jim Lahey’s recipe and book “My Bread.” Old world style, mix up the night before, bake in the morning. Uses only 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. Fantastic!

    He also has “The Sullivan Street Bakery” cookbook. Deliciousness. Sigh. I’ll be in the kitchen now……..

  13. I have used a kitchen aid grain grinder attachment for decades. It’s stainless steel, has a turn knob for grade and it is easy to use. For peasant bread, which we like, one trip thru the grinder and it’s done. For finer flour I have to put it thru two or three times depending on the grade of flour I want. Wondermills are truly wonderful, but could never afford to get one.

    1. They are worth every penny. I love mine and it is so easy to crank. Beats an old cheap one I had.

    2. I just ordered the No. 99!

      I looked at both the Country Living (CL) and the GrainMaker and there is no comparison between the two. The GrainMaker is actually less expensive if you add up all the options you have to purchase for the Country Living to do what the stock GrainMaker No 99 is capable of.

      1. Judd,
        Ive got one, its great!
        Bar none the best grinder
        Get some fine mesh screens, will really make your flour a cut above!

          1. Amazon
            Just search flour sifting screen
            #40 mesh, stainless steel

  14. We now have a hand grinder produced out of Utah, picked it up during Christmas time from flour mill. Had been looking at it for years, but finances did not allow the purchase. We have an electric grinder which works well but I take it out side to run, it is loud. Sounds like a jet engine preparing to take off, so I also wear an ear noise cancelling head set. The fine flour mist that comes off this machine is better done outside, easier clean up…lol. NO cleaning up, let mother nature take care of that for me.

    Use the flour for making cookies when time allows.

  15. My wife has been milling our own flour for years… that along with a nice bread machine keep us in yummy, yummy carbs all the time. It really does make a difference.

    1. There’s nothing like your own freshly milled flour turned into yummy homemade bread! Right outta the oven with a pad of melting butter – right down the hatch. Oh my…

  16. So we bought the junior wonder mill. We took Ison’s advice and used our credit card to fill in the gaps. We put it together and got it going. After grinding the 1 pound throw away wheat berries, we decided to try a loaf of bread. 3 days later we finally had enough for a loaf of French bread! It was real good. We then packed it up and stored it away for when the electric is off. We use our vitamix for quick loaves of bread and we don’t have to wait 3 days to grind enough for a loaf.

    1. Excellent! Having a hand grain mill is a great preparedness tool – assuming you also have a supply of wheat berries!

  17. Home ground whole wheat raisin bread for breakfast. It will really stick with you. (And add a few pound)

  18. Once you’ve got your mill and wheat add oats, rye berries and dent or flint corn to your grain supply. Oat groats lightly toasted then milled into a very coarse meal will cook up into the best oat porridge you’ve ever had. Rye makes one of the most vigorous starters for use when commercial yeast isn’t available. Cornbread made with freshly milled corn and wheat is its own reward.

    1. JustAnOldGuy
      That is good news on the Rye grain, had never heard that before so I saved it to my files. Will pass this on to others whom I know, but do not read this blog. Thank you

  19. Being a “Southern Boy” we don’t eat much wheat bread. Now Corn Bread or Biscuits? yup!

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