Learn the basics of how to bake with fresh milled flour so you can get the most out of your grain mill and bake quick breads, yeasted breads, and sourdough breads perfectly every time! This is Part 1 in a new series of videos and corresponding posts all about baking with fresh milled flour.

Mary showing fresh milled flour.
Watch The Basics of How to Bake with Fresh Milled Flour video

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How Much Flour Does One Cup of Whole Grain Make?

When grinding whole grain into flour, the general rule is that one cup of whole grain will make one and one-half cups of flour. There are slight variations to this if you are grinding a large whole grain like modern day wheat berries or a very small whole grain like einkorn.

If you have more fresh milled flour than you need for a recipe, you can store your flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator or freezer for up to six months.

Emmer in bowl with measuring cup

How to Bake with Fresh Milled Flour

Fresh milled flour is more thirsty than store-bought flour, so you need to add more liquid than called for in a recipe, but how much? There are general rules that apply to baking with fresh milled flour, so your quick bread batter, yeasted bread dough, and sourdough bread dough will have the proper level of hydration.

The General Rules for baking with fresh milled flour:

  • Modern Day Wheats: When you mill hard red wheat berries or hard white wheat berries into flour and bake with the fresh milled flour, you will need approximately 1/4 cup extra liquid per cup of fresh milled flour.
  • Rye Flour: Rye flour, in general, can be thirstier than modern day wheat flour, so when baking with fresh milled rye flour, you will need approximately 1/3 cup extra liquid per cup of fresh milled rye flour.
  • Ancient Wheats: On the other hand, ancient grains tend to be less thirsty than modern day wheat or rye. When you mill ancient whole grains, including spelt, emmer, or einkorn, into flour and then bake with the fresh milled flour, you will need approximately only 2 tablespoons extra liquid per cup of fresh milled flour.

Learn More About Ancient Grains and Modern Day Wheats

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When to Add Less Liquid to Fresh Milled Flour

As described earlier, the ratio of fresh milled flour to liquid is only a general rule. A number of factors will require you to decrease the amount of liquid you add to fresh milled flour.

Generally, fresh milled flour is considered “fresh milled” if it is used the day it is milled or, at the latest, the day after it is milled. If you do not use fresh milled flour within this time frame, you will need to adjust the general rule that applies to the ratio of fresh milled flour to liquid.

There will be variations in how much liquid you will need to add to your flour if you are baking with fresh milled flour that has been stored:

  • At room temperature (for no more than 3 days as it will go rancid),
  • In the refrigerator, or
  • In the freezer

If you store fresh milled flour in one of these three ways, it will begin to take on moisture. When this happens, fresh milled flour will become more similar to store-bought flour. In this case, it’s best to add the amount of liquid specified in the original recipe you are using and then slowly add additional liquid to the flour, one tablespoon at a time, as needed, until the batter or dough takes on the proper consistency.

Mesh with bran and germ after sifting flour.

How to Sift Fresh Milled Flour

Fresh milled flour includes three parts:

  • Bran
  • Endosperm
  • Germ

Together, they create whole grain flour. If you want to lighten your fresh milled flour, you can sift out some of the bran and germ. You can do this using a standard mesh strainer, which will sift out only a small amount of the bran and germ.

If you want to sift out considerably more bran and germ, I recommend that you use bakers sifters (40 mesh or 60 mesh). These come in different mesh densities that will allow you to create a fresh milled flour that’s closer to all-purpose or bread flour.

What is the Proper Consistency of Batter or Dough When Baking with Fresh Milled Flour?

This video and blog post are the first in a series on the subject of baking with fresh milled flour. In future videos, I will be demonstrating what a batter or dough should look like when baking with fresh milled flour. I will also include examples of baking with whole grain fresh milled flours as well as sifted flours.

If you want to be notified of those future videos, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and signing up for my free newsletter. Most Saturday mornings, I send out a newsletter announcing my most recent video release and corresponding blog post.

Soaking flour with apple cider vinegar

Why Soak Fresh Milled Flour?

In my previous How to Soak Flour to Maximize Nutrition and Digestibility video, I shared why you want to soak flour, and I show you how to use my flour soaking technique to make the best muffins you’ve ever had. Soaking flour is best done when baking with fresh milled flour that you will use to make quick breads or yeasted breads. This isn’t as much of a concern when making sourdough breads.

Many whole grains contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that can make it hard for our digestive systems to absorb nutrients from the grain. Phytic acid can also strip nutrients from our digestive system. However, if we soak our whole grains or the fresh milled flour from whole grains, we can deactivate some of the phytic acid. When making sourdough bread, the fermentation stage helps to deactivate some of the phytic acid.

Do we deactivate all the phytic acid during the soaking process? No, but this is not a bad thing. Phytic acid is also an antioxidant, which means that it helps prevent oxidation in our bodies. Oxidation damages the cells in our bodies, so ingesting antioxidants can help slow or prevent this damage.

General Rule for Soaking Whole Grains or Fresh Milled Flour

As with the general rules that apply to baking with fresh milled flour, a general rule also governs soaking whole grains or fresh milled flour, but it’s a rule that sometimes needs adjustment. The general rule is a basic 1:1 ratio. You should soak one cup of flour in one cup of cultured or acidulated liquid. Some of these liquids include:

  • 1 cup water with one tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 cup water with one tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup kefir
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt thinned with 1/2 cup water
Closeup of Soaked Flour Muffins on a Plate.

Modern day wheats are often thirstier than ancient wheats. However, if there is any liquid that does not appear to be absorbed after soaking whole grain fresh milled flour, you can easily pour it off and proceed with the recipe you are using. An easy recipe to begin with are my Soaked Flour Muffins. In the recipe video, you will be able to observe what a soaked batter should look like, which is very much like a thick pancake batter.

What Are the Different Types of Farro?

I like baking with flour milled from ancient grains since they are typically easier to digest than modern-day whole wheat flour. In today’s video, I show you how to make fresh milled flour from emmer.

Emmer wheat berries in a glass bowl.

If ancient grains are new to you, it’s essential to understand the different labels given to these whole grains and flours. Farro is a common umbrella term that often describes the three most common ancient grains. The only difference is that the term farro is preceded by a word that indicates the size of the whole grain. So einkorn, emmer, and spelt are often described as follows:

  • Einkorn – Piccolo (Small) Farro
  • Emmer – Medio (Medium) Farro
  • Spelt – Grande (Large) Farro

Learn more with Farro: An Ancient And Complicated Grain Worth Figuring Out.

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Grind Your Own Flour with the Mockmill

If you have ancient grains or modern day whole grains that you want to turn into freshly milled flour, you’ll need a manual or electric grain.

When it comes to electric grain mills, after I did A LOT of research, I decided to buy a Mockmill. And am I so happy I did! The Mockmill is a very affordable but beautifully crafted German-made mill that stone grinds grain with settings ranging from 1 to 10—fine to coarse ground grain.

Learn more about Mockmill electric grain mills for making fresh flour and their Flake Lover’s Flaker that flakes whole grain in minutes. (This is not a sponsored post, I bought the Mockmill products that I show you, and I’m a happy user of their devices in my kitchen.)

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  1. Wendie says:

    Which is the finer sifter — 40 mesh or the 60?

    1. Mary Bryant Shrader says:

      Hi Wendie,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The 60 mesh sifter is finer. The higher the mesh number, the smaller the particles that fall underneath.

      Love and God bless,

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