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Grind it fine – whole grain flour

In real estate the three factors that are said to matter are “Location, Location, Location”.  A similar thing might be said of baking – the secret is all in the ingredients.

So, it’s somewhat surprising then when folks use whole grain flour that has the consistency of sand and wonder why their whole grain baking doesn’t match up with what they can produce with the super fine white flour.

Whole grain flour Lower Left - Cracked Top - Second pass Lower Right - Pastry fine

Whole grain flour
Lower Left – Cracked
Top – Second pass
Lower Right – Pastry fine

Really?  It’s all in the ingredients, so when starting with a coarse flour it is hardly surprising that you get a coarse product.

The homestead mill will produce pastry fine flour – and that is the grade that I aim to produce and use in all of my baking.  If anything using fine flour is more important with whole extraction flours than with white since the lower proportion of gluten in whole grain flour and the slower absorption of liquid due to the higher fiber content benefits significantly from the smaller particle size.

Now, I think that one of the reasons folks go coarse is because they expect to produce suitable flour in one pass through the burrs.  I guess that with a tiny mill it might be possible enough to muster the torque to produce that quality

of flour in a single pass – but you certainly wouldn’t be doing it very quickly.  As soon as you step up the burr size that becomes nearly impossible.  Move up to a six inch burr like those on the Homestead Grain Mill and you’re up for a real challenge.

Instead of struggling to do it in one pass I usually do it in at least two passes, and more often three.  The first pass is just to crack the grain, the second brings it down to a much finer but still cracked consistency, with a third pass to get it pastry flour fine.  If I  am using the power drive I usually end doing the reduction in four passes.

With finely ground flour I think you’ll find that your whole grain baking gains a whole new level of endorsement from your family and friends.

 

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