must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever.
Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do
not grind it. All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in
counsel and magnificent in wisdom."
The Bible, Isaiah
28:28-29 740 BC
kind of mill that will best meet your needs depends upon how much baking
you do, the size of your family, space in your kitchen, how much dust and
noise you are willing to tolerate, and the price you are willing to pay.
When we travel overseas we pack a coffee bean mill. Coffee
bean mills do a better milling job than blenders but only with small
amounts of grain (about 1/2 cup at a time). They are compact, convenient,
and inexpensive ($12 to $15).
Cuisinart also puts out a small burr mill (about $50) with a capacity of
a little more than a cup.
A blender can be used to chop dry grains, but most people are not
satisfied with the results. Blenders are much better at pureeing and
blending in a semisolid or liquid medium.
You can get a reliable blender such as an Osterizer rated at 450 watts for $30 to
$40 at Kmart, Walmart, Lowes, etc. We're very impressed with the new Braun
blender. It is rated at 525 watts, is the first blender we've seen to come
with safety pins that prevent the blades from being power on unless the
bowl is firmly seated. The triangular shaped glass bowl also facilitates
better churning action. Order on the internet for about $50.
Blenders will crack dry grains but leave you frustrated if you want fine
flour. Super blenders such as the Vitamix or the blender attachment that
comes with a Bosch Kitchen Machine or DLX have more power but, at best,
produce coarse flours.
created some "blender batter baking" recipes that use the blender very effectively in preparing waffles, pancakes, muffins,
crepes, and coffee cakes with thin batters. The grain is
"ground" in a liquid medium, not dry, in this process. See Blender
Batter Baking Waffles & Pancakes.
. . see recipe
For heavier doughs as in yeast
breads, rolls, biscuits, and cookies, however, you have to rely on a flour
the newest development on the home milling market, were adapted from
technology used in the pharmaceutical industry to produce very fine
powders. These units come in a compact plastic shell of contemporary
design, weigh less than 12 lbs., and are moderately priced (about $140 to
Micronizers do not "grind" grain. Instead,
grain is fed into the center of the unit consisting of a
stationary spindle with metal teeth arranged in concentric circles meshed
with a facing spindle spinning at 28,000 rpm. Grain is reduced to fine
flour in milliseconds as it bounces off the teeth. That is why they are
sometimes called "impact mills."
must be attended while operating. You must keep the air filters clean and
you must not let the flour pan overflow or you will dust your kitchen and
overheat the motor in short order. The plastic shell will meltdown if
overheated. Definitely not for commercial use. Tiny rocks, an
inevitability in all but super cleaned grains, are not friends to
micronizer teeth. Their best asset is that they will produce very fine
flours very fast. The negative--not for sustained operation.
they whine and
they scream. Imagine yourself at an airport as a ground crewman on the tarmac bringing jets to
the gate. Manufacturers are attempting to resolve this problem with sound
dampeners and by separating the flour pan from the milling unit. The GrainMaster
WhisperMill and NutriMill are two such examples.
you have a small family, don't demand 20 year durability, and can tolerate
the noise (get aircraft ear protectors), you may get your money's worth
out of this machine. We’ve found that owners either love ‘em or hate
‘em. If you are one of the latter and you demand durability,
dependability, quiet, and minimal maintance, you may wish to consider a
slow speed stone or burr mill.
HIGH SPEED Stone
We've milled a lot of flour with various
adaptations of high speed electric motors attached to stones. Most are
dusty, noisy, and difficult to clean and keep in adjustment.
speed stone mills come in beautifully crafted wooden
cases, cost over $400, and are sold through mail order. They are noisy,
dusty, and heavy (50 lbs). You must clean accumulated flour out of the
milling chamber. Large models designed for continuous operation will
produce flour fast enough to supply a small bakery.
Stones need periodic
adjustment. Because of the high
speed they tend to heat up and are limited to milling only very dry
grains. If you attempt to mill a grain not recommended by the
manufacturer, you may "gum up" or "glaze" the stones.
In spite of their drawbacks, they are still a good buy and the best models
will last for years.
INTERMEDIATE SPEED STONE MILL
speed stone mills usually avoid the dusting annoyance of high speed
stone mills. The ones we have seen come from Germany in beautifully
crafted wooden cases manufactured by Schnitzer.
SPEED STONE MILL
micronizers are the hares of grain milling machines, a slow speed stone
mill is the
tortoise. Its best features are its durability, quiet, dust free, low
temperature operation. Slow speed means low milling temperatures. A
thermometer stuck in the fresh flour hasn't risen above 100 degrees yet.
It is the only mill we've seen that drops flour into an open pan. Take a
scoop out whenever you like. The stones adjust to produce cracked and fine
flours. Its appearance is what one might call "utilitarian." If
you are a person who puts covers over toasters, you can dress it up a bit
with a decorated cover when not in use. This mill is a major appliance
investment (about $400), but you will only buy it once (unless you need a
replacement for the one you pass on to your children or grandchildren).
simplicity of this low tech unit starts with a Dayton split phase 1/4 hp
reduction drive electric gear motor.
five inch fluted stones attach to the gear unit by a single adjustment
knob. Grain drops through a funnel and is fed to the milling stones by a
short auger. Flour textures can be adjusted from fine to coarse or cracked
for all grains. Fine enough, in fact, for whole wheat Angel Food Cake or
white sauce. It doesn't have or need a computer chip, fast or slow speeds,
or a digital read out. In short it's just a simple machine that does a
simple job very well.
appreciate its virtues as the compact unit quietly drops freshly milled
flour into an always accessible pan. Its self-cleaning design minimizes
the danger of leaving rancid or stale flour in the milling chamber.
speed mills are forever threatening to dust the entire kitchen. Not so
with this slow speed stone mill. In this day of instant everything some may consider the
slow speed (1/2 to 1 cup per minute) a drawback. We have not found that so,
because once the grain is measured into the hopper, you can leave it and
attend to other tasks. By the time the ingredients are collected, utensils
assembled, and the oven turned on preheat, a batch of flour will be ready.
Even if the phone calls or the baby needs tending, no harm is done if the
mill runs out of grain while your away.
stones will manage quite nicely with all the dry grains. Don't put oily
soybeans into this mill. Your blender will probably do an adequate job on
them. (We don't recommend soy products anyway.)
preparing multi-grain blends, we mix the small grains such as millet in
with the larger grains before we mill them. A burr attachment will work for damp grains, beans, and small grains.
For more customer reviews of this machine.
. . see reviews
BURR MILLS & HAND MILLS
Burr mills grind grains between two metal surfaces with raised cutting
surfaces. They are
available in both hand and powered units. (See Cuisinart above.)
We have not reviewed hand
mills here (either stone or burr) because we consider all of them
inadequate for efficient milling. In short we've concluded that if you
baked bread from the flour produced and fed it to a man who was cranking
a mill, he would slowly starve to death.
(Yes, we actually conducted an experiment at a 10,000 ft. high California
Sierra Nevada mountain cabin. After the caloric numbers indicated that he
was expending more energy grinding than he was consuming we halted the
experiment before his demise.) In the event that you find
yourself without electricity for a prolong period of time (portable
generators are almost ubiquitous even in Afghanistan), we recommend
that you use one of the recipes from our Four
Food Storage Plans
cookbook to prepare cooked whole grains.
. . . review book
While stone grinding has an ancient romantic appeal, we see no reason
to avoid burr mill flours. We haven't heard of any studies or convincing
arguments for the nutritional superiority of stone milled flours.
The well-known Champion Juicer (about $200) has a burr mill attachment
(about $65) which we have found to do a satisfactory milling job at
about the same speed and fineness of slow speed stone mills (a pound in
four minutes). You can get a 2 for 1 machine at a
price of the cheaper impact mills but with the dust free
advantages of a slow speed stone mill.
For whole grain yeast bread recipes
. . . more
For information on the Two Stage Process to enhance nutrients in
grains and beans
. . . more
Go to a listing of grain mill distributors
. . . more
Here is a YouTube video of a Grinding
1,000 lbs of Grain for 9.5 Hours -- Run Continuously in the WonderMill