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Milling Whole Grains Into Freshly Ground Flour

May 16, 2011 by  

Milling Whole Grains Into Freshly Ground Flour

The most economical way to purchase wheat for food storage is to buy it in bulk, store it in 5-gallon buckets and grind it into fresh flour as you need it. Make sure the wheat you store contains less than 10 percent moisture content. This is very important because weevils and insects like moisture to reproduce. The dryer the grain, the longer it will store. Dry grain will also grind better in a mill. I like to buy wheat that has been triple-cleaned and is free of rocks, sticks, grass and insects.

It is best to find organic grains that are not genetically modified (GM). Whole grains can be purchased in any health-food or grain store. If you don’t have a grain or feed store near you, look it up on the Internet and find the closest food-storage and preparedness store near you. It is best to purchase the grain locally, because you will pay as much for shipping as you do for the grain. It would be good to get a variety of different grains and experiment with them. Whole grains are great to store because they last forever and provide carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber and some naturally occurring fats. Because they are what we call complex carbohydrates, they are slow burning and provide extra energy in the body.

I grind up about a gallon of flour at a time and store the leftovers in a container in my freezer. It is ready for making breads, cakes, pancakes and other baked goods. By grinding it fresh each time I need it, the grain retains the nutritional value. Once the grain has been milled, it starts to lose nutrition the longer it sets. White flour in the grocery store has lost most of its nutritional value from being highly processed. The hull and bran are stripped away, and the flour is bleached to make it white. Then preservatives, whiteners, softeners and spoilage preventers are added. Processed food is dead food as far as nutrition goes.

I set up a baking center in my pantry where I can grind my wheat and grain. I keep together all the supplies needed for making bread — items such as honey, powdered milk, dried eggs, vegetable or olive oil, salt, vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer. I have gallon-sized containers with different grains in each one. I keep all the ingredients together, so they are handy to use. The only exception to the rule is the yeast. I keep it in the freezer, which extends the shelf life of the yeast. My wheat-grinder and bread-maker are on the shelf of my baking center. I have an electric wheat-grinder and a nonelectric hand wheat-grinder.

If you are storing the grain for long periods of time, it is good to use several oxygen-absorbers in the bucket. I use one 300-CC oxygen-absorber for every gallon of grain. I layer the grain and five oxygen-absorbers in a 5-gallon bucket so they are mixed in with the grain. If I am going to use the grain for grinding or cereal, I do not put an oxygen-absorber in the bucket, because as soon as you open it, the absorber will absorb oxygen from the air and will be useless. If I plan to sprout the grain, I do not put an oxygen-absorber in it, because it will kill the endosperm by depriving it of oxygen.

If a person is gluten intolerant (allergic to wheat), there are other grains that can be substituted in baked goods. The grains that contain gluten are wheat, spelt, kamut, faro, durum, bulgur, semolina, barley, rye, triticale and oats. The grains that do not contain gluten are amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, Indian ricegrass, quinoa, brown and white rice, sorghum, teff and wild rice. Grind all grains the same or mix them for a variety of texture, flavor and nutritional value.

If you are not used to whole grains, start slowly by incorporating the flour into baked goods. Use half whole wheat and half white flour at first. Because whole wheat and grains have fiber in them, they need to be introduced into the system slowly or they could can cause stomach upset until you get used to using them.

Electric And Nonelectric Wheat Grinders

There are many wheat-grinders available on the market today. I prefer to use an electric grain-mill (wheat-grinder) for everyday use. I make bread several times a week, and it takes more time to grind the flour by hand. However, I have a backup hand-grinder in case the power goes off and I need to grind flour or make cracked cereal. I also recommend a nonelectric grain-grinder called the WonderMill Junior for hand grinding. The electric mill is called the WonderMill. I also recommend the Country Living Grain Mill as the Cadillac of all hand grain-mills. It is heavy duty and very good quality. It is also the most expensive grain-mill. These mills can be purchased on my website.

The WonderMill Junior For Hand Grinding (nonelectric)

The WonderMill Junior for Hand Grinding (non-electric)The WonderMill Junior hand-grinder has an adjustable dial which allows the mill to grind a variety of grains into fine flours and coarse cereals. The WonderMill Junior is a valuable emergency-preparedness tool. The sleekly designed mill allows you to have fresh, nutritious ingredients for your recipes, even when the power is out. The easy-to-turn handle grinds grain into fine flour or coarse, cracked grains for cereals. The mill is designed in one piece, which prevents the hopper from coming off during the milling process. Simply exchange the stone heads with the stainless-steel burr heads to make peanut butter or to grind flax, any other oily or wet grains, herbs, spices and all kinds of beans and legumes. The base of the mill is set back, which allows you to place a bowl under the grinding head to collect the freshly ground flour. This mill sells for $219.95. You will receive free shipping from my website.

The Electric WonderMill Grain Grinder

The Electric WonderMill Grain GrinderThe WonderMill Company has teamed up with LG to make a Quiet Wheat Grinder. It is easy to use and clean, and it grinds the grain fast. This grain-mill adjusts from coarse to pastry-fine flour by adjusting the dial. It has a separator lid which is easy to clean and dishwasher safe, and the large, 12-cup capacity flour canister is perfect for flour storage. The wheat grinder can process most hard and soft grains and legumes, giving you more nutrition and a way to use your stored wheat, rice, corn and beans. The stainless steel mill heads are self-cleaning. The WonderMill Wheat Grinder comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on the stainless-steel, heavy-duty and long-lasting mill heads and a six-year warranty on the rest of the parts. The mill includes an instruction manual, warranty card and great recipes. This mill sells for $259.95. You will receive free shipping from my website.

The Country Living Grain Mill Hand Grinder (nonelectric)

The Country Living Grain Mill Hand Grinder (non-Electric) The Country Living Grain Mill is a high-capacity, hand-operated mill that can easily be adapted to a motor drive. It has an attachment to the flywheel which doubles as a v-belt pulley. Construction of the Country Living Grain Mill is a strong, cast-metal alloy with a super-tough, powder-coat finish that won’t chip or peel. It’s a very easy mill to use. The grinding burrs for the Country Living Mill are precision-engineered, made of high-carbon steel (not lower-grade iron) and 5 inches in diameter. (The flour remains cool in the Country Living Mill, so nutrient quality is preserved.) I recommend purchasing the optional power-bar handle for easy turning. The Country Living Mill produces 1 cup of wheat flour in about 1.25 minutes. The Mill is adjustable, so you can crack grain at a loose setting or adjust it down and get very fine whole-grain flour, coarser meal or cracked cereal, depending on your needs. This nonelectric grain mill sells for $395. You will receive free shipping from my website.

Making Bread From Freshly Milled Grains

Bread is considered the staff of life. Many people believe grain will make them gain weight. The processed and refined flours are what make people gain weight. As a nation, we eat way too much processed and refined foods. Our brains need the rich supply of B vitamins found in whole grains. There is nothing better than coming home to the smell of freshly baked bread, warm and just out of the oven. If you learn the skill of making simple homemade breads, it could very well save your life.

I have a philosophy that you can live on simple soups and bread. The pioneers had a pot of soup on the stove at all times and a loaf of bread in the oven. They even made do with what they had. I have read accounts of the pioneers walking across the plains with a coffee grinder and a bag of wheat in their wagon. They used the coffee grinder to grind the wheat and make it into cracked wheat cereal and flour.

My book Cookin’ With Home Storage has an entire chapter dedicated to using whole wheat and other grains. There are recipes for simple breads: tortillas, flat bread, scones, yeast breads, rolls, crackers, cornbread, dumplings, homemade noodles, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, cereals, quick breads and pretzels. There are certain ingredients for making bread that must be kept in the food-storage pantry. The bread baking supplies include wheat and other grain for grinding, salt, yeast, powdered milk, dried eggs, oil, sweeteners such as honey, white or brown sugar, maple syrup, agave or stevia. I keep my yeast in the freezer because it extends the shelf life of the yeast.

Sprout The Grain Or Let It Grow Into Wheatgrass

In the pyramids of Egypt, grain was found that still sprouted despite having been entombed for centuries. Sprouted wheat can be added to bread to give it a nice texture and added nutrition. When the grain is sprouted, it is 300 times more nutritious. If you use sprouted wheat in bread, do not let it sprout past the second day or it will turn to wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is highly nutritious and, when put through a wheatgrass juicer, produces a great tonic for the body. People drink it to purify their blood and cleanse the body of toxins and poisons. It is very good for the health.

Recipe for Honey Whole-Wheat bread

5 cups lukewarm water

2/3 cup honey or sweetener

2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

2 tablespoons active dry yeast or 2 packages

2-3 eggs or (3 tablespoons dried egg powder) (optional)

1 tablespoons salt

¼ cup vital wheat gluten (optional)

2 tablespoons dough enhancer (optional) or 1 vitamin C tablet crushed

12 cups whole-wheat flour

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, mix the lukewarm water, honey, oil and eggs together. Let it set for about 5 minutes to make sure the yeast will form bubbles and grow. If it doesn’t grow, the yeast may be dead, and you will need to get fresh yeast from the grocery store. Store all yeast in the freezer to extend the shelf life.

3) Add salt, vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer and six cups of freshly ground whole wheat or grain flour to the yeast and water mixture. Stir it well until the water is absorbed and it resembles a spongy, sticky paste.

4) Slowly add the remaining flour, one cup at a time and mix it in with a wooden spoon. When the dough pulls away from the bowl and holds its shape, it is done. If you do not need all the flour to make it pull away, do not use it all.

5) Grease your hands and the counter top with vegetable oil. Put the dough on the greased counter top and begin kneading the dough by pulling it and stretching it. Knead it for 10 minutes until it is smooth.

6) Divide the dough into six small loaves or three large loaves. Roll the dough to form the dough into the size that will fit in small bread pans to about half the height of the pans. Let the dough set on the top of the warm oven as it preheats. When the dough has risen above the bread pans by about 1 inch, the loaves are ready to go into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes for small loaves and 45 minutes for large loaves.

7) I like to make rolls out of the dough by pinching off a small amount of dough and flattening it out into a rectangular piece. Put melted butter on the top and fold the roll over. Place the rolls on a greased cookie sheet close together.

Peggy Layton is the author of seven books on the subjects of food storage and preparedness. The previous recipe and many others can be found in the cookbook Cookin’ With Home Storage. It contains more than 550 simple recipes using very basic pantry ingredients that can be stored long-term. This book contains authentic pioneer recipes and fascinating historical tips on how the pioneers really lived. There are chapters on all the basic foods that can be stored: wheat and grains, beans and rice, dried fruits and vegetables, dried pasta, powdered milk and dried eggs. There are charts on how to reconstitute dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. There are tips on how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. The book includes chapters on grandma’s home remedies, natural household cleaners, emergency baby food and pet food, as well as emergency food-storage and survival tips.

To purchase the cookbooks, electric and nonelectric wheat grinders and grain mills, bulk food storage, oxygen-absorbers or any of the other preparedness items talked about in this article, click here.

If you are interested in a great source for premade meals that can be stored for 15 years and taste great, I have been testing out emergency food storage meals, packaged in Mylar pouches. These meals serve four people and are ready eat: Just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient and easy. To learn more about eFoods click here.


Peggy Layton

a home economist and licensed nutritionist, holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. Peggy lives in Manti, Utah with her husband Scott. Together they have raised seven children. Peggy owns and operates two businesses: One called "The Therapy Center", where she is a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and the other an online cookbook and preparedness products business. She is nationally known for publishing a series of seven books on the subject of food storage and also lectures and teaches seminars about preparedness and using food storage products. Peggy practices what she preaches, has no debt, grows a huge garden, lives off the land, raises chickens, bottles and dehydrates food and has time left over to operate her businesses. To check out Peggy's cookbooks and self sufficiency products go to her website To get a free sample of three different storable meals that have a 15-year shelf life go here.

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  • Wheatman

    We grow hard white winter wheat for Farmer Direct Foods, Atchison, KS ( especially for people who do home grinding. We grow the most desirable varieties with the best taste and baking qualities in a climate that is ideal, most of the time, for the best quality grain for human consumption. White wheat has a milder flavor, sweeter taste requiring less sugar for baking and better texture in the baked bread due the reduced tannin in the bran. We clean and bag the wheat berries on our farm and ship them to Atchison by the pallet where the wheat is placed in sealed buckets or sold by the bag to local customers.

  • nax777

    The Governing parties are unbeatable. It is inhumane to limit the number of immigrants. Life does not begin at conception. These believes combined has and always will wipe out the culture that holds them.

    The stage was set for people to be divided from each other before the founding of the United States. The attempt to unite the people was not and most likely never will be easy. It seems all too easy to pit people against each other and fan the flames.

    Dems & Pubs are faceless but focused power hungry inanities. Do you want the power or freedom?

    Protect your right to self-preservation. Only those with a strong will to maintain numbers and a defensive army will prosper. The more people that engage in distraction the easier it is for the focused., and depend on active rolls from people as any movement needs in order to succeed. links to these movements, you might be able to click on my name.

    • BimBam

      When does life begin if not at conception? At birth? What started the birth process?

      It is HUMANE to limit or even eliminate immigration. We cannot take the entire world into our country. There is not enough food, water, or energy.

      Rather we should teach these people in their own country how we did it and if they don’t want to learn in 200 years they will never learn in 2000 years.

      And our country will turn into theirs. So, limit or eliminate immigration.

      • Kay Watson

        BimBam, you are so right.

    • e. henderson

      I think you need to study Malthus. People act like the world has limitless resources.
      And what makes you think we can afford the whole world? I mean it, where do you think all the resources are going to come from? And I don’t mean money. You can have all the money in the world: if there is no fresh water to be had, it won’t do you a bit of good. If we have more natural disasters that wipe out food crops, you think money will buy bread? Guess again.

      two cents ¢¢

    • granny mae

      I think you posted on the wrong subject ! This is supposed to be about milling whole grains ! Stick with the subject ! Not interrested in your crap !

  • Christin

    Great Article as always Peggy.

    I buy UNbleached flour, Whole Wheat Flour and Bread Flour (Organic when I can) to bake and cook with. I have learned to make home-made bread by hand, but I do not grind whole grains… so time consuming, I think. I don’t know how you do it. My space is limited here at my small country house. And my time is limited as I have two busy boys who have lots of home work, and a new fruit orchard and garden to water and tend to… (It’s been dry here.)

    I did not know that store bought pregrounded flour has lost much of its nutritional value… it seems like we have been deceived by food companies.

    Thanks ever so much for your much needed food information. It’s good to know our options and to have someone who knows teach us how to cook with nutritional food, store properly, and recommend useful products.

    • granny mae


      I share your feelings about Peggy. I have been getting her books for quite a while and have learned a lot from her. I do a pretty good job of baking bread but in the last couple months I have had to have my better half do the kneeding of the bread dough. My hands are giving out on me. Peggy don’t quit teaching . There is always new stuff coming along and I’m sure you can be depended on to let us know when it gets here !

      • libertytrain

        granny, while I know this would not be much use if the power goes out, for now a Kitchen-Aid mixer is great. I’ve had mine, the simplest model, for over 20 years and use it because of the kneading ability. My hands had been a problem for me as well for kneading the bread so that’s when I was given one as a gift and grateful for same.

        • granny mae


          Thanks for the info. Maybe I will hit the old guy up for one for Christmas. I’ll assure him of how much work it will save him ! LOL ! Might work !

          • libertytrain

            I would really miss mine.

      • Christin

        Hi Mae,
        Guess I need to break down and buy some of Peggy’s books… in the mean time I am printing out her recipes that she puts in these articles.
        I don’t have a bread machine like my sister-in-law has… thought maybe I should learn to make bread by hand incase we are without energy, ya know. This bread article must have got my brain thinking… my oldest son and I just made a loaf of bread yesterday!
        Everyone loves it! (makes me happy :)

        • libertytrain

          Christin, I’ve used bread machines over the years but it’s just not the same. Seemed to take so much more time than just baking bread – and you always get at least two loaves done at one time – :)

        • granny mae

          Hi Christin,

          Good for you. Glad it turned out so well! My first loaf (years ago) was a real laugh ! The woman next door to me had 9 kids and made bread every couple days and she was kind eough to help me out ! I love home made bread. Several years ago I was in Michigan with my sister and we visited a home of some Amish and bought some bread from them and it was the best I have ever had. Wish I know her secret !

  • SusieQ

    Thanks for the information …. we are moving towards a more independent lifestyle and I’d like to learn how to best make my own bread, but we have challenges at high altitudes in Denver… any suggestions? Also, do you have recommendations for bread makers? I appreciate any feedback!

    • MNNorth

      I’ve just found something that might be a lifesaver IF the elec. goes out for an extended period of time and/or I run out of yeast. Watching PBS last week (probably a re-run), Baking With Julia. She had a lady on named Marion Cunningham who made IRISH SODA BREAD. Just 4 ingredients, NO YEAST: flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk (which can be made using regular milk and a tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice). It was fascinating so I tried it this morning. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm good. Crisp crust and soft interior. I would hope it could be baked in a cast iron skillet in an outdoor grill of some kind. Don’t know if altitude would have an effect on this kind of bread but it might be worth a try.

  • Scarefacesquirrel.

    “Failure to Prepare, is Preparing to Fail”. Don’t wait for inflation or the fed to steal your future. Wheat is easily storable, last a long time, and is a great resource for hard times BUT, I grew up about 3 miles from a bakery and remember being able to smell the bread cook. What a beautiful smell.
    However in a time of crises that smell is inviting every starving person, scavenger and loon for miles in all directions to “Your House”.
    Don’t rely simple on wheat “Man does not live by bread alone”.
    We get our easily storable, movable, great tasting and inexpensive food reserves from Healthy and inexpensive. You can try the food for FREE, just pay shipping. Check it out when you get a sec.

    • granny mae

      When in need one could always make Indian fry bread. It doesn’t have the yeast smell like raised bread does. There is also chipatas. Asimple flat bread made by many ethnic groups and has many different names. There are lots of forms of bread.

  • Kathleen

    SuzieQ, get a copy of Pie In The Sky, a high altitude cookbook by Susan Purdy. It has helped me immensly! Grinding your grain doesn’t take much time once you are set up with your supplies and grinder. You need to do it for your kids. But tackle your high altitude baking problem first or you may be discouraged.
    Kathleen at over 6,000 ft.

  • http://com i41

    SuzieQ. go out a either north to Casper and look for har red winter wheat orr east for hard red spring or winter wheat. Or head up to the western Dakotas or in to Neb, buy it right off of the combineand save $1- $4 a bushel with a protein of at least 13% for hard red winter and 17% protein for hard red spring wheat. As for baking you bake time get longer as elevation gets higher, gluten is the strechness in wheat and if you chew a hand full of wheat it will become wheat gum, which my brother and I were always betting who could guess the protein level on whaet on how long it took to create a wheat gum. You should also put in some barely which grows at high elevation and barely up in Wyo goes to the Coors brewery in Golden Colo., it will make your bread taste sweeter and if you can find some Trycallie( a rye wheat cross) which is growen in Kansas and eastern Colo.

  • FreedomFighter

    Home made tasty fresh bread is hard to beat.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Marten

      But keep in mind, that grain is the father of all misery, unlessssss sprouted…..

  • Vigilant


    Is freezing the only method to extend the life of yeast? And how long will it last in the freezer?

    • libertytrain

      Vigilant – I’ve been making bread forever and I always keep the yeast in the freezer and for me it has lasted for several years at a time. I buy the big double pack they sell at Sam’s Club because it is so incredibly reasonable compared to anything at grocery stores – but that’s me.

  • Dora

    How to best store yeast if you no longer have electricity or gas for a freezer?—THANKS!!

  • George

    Use sour dough starter instead of yeast.

  • Kathleen

    You can even dehydrate your sourdough starter in your food dryer.

  • Average Joe Patriot

    Anyone serious about survival after the collapse should, at the very least, add this link to their favorites if only for the embedded links. Although I have commented before about surviving on organic lentils, rice, mined sea salt and filtered water (sprout some of the lentils for vitamin C and others and, indeed, you can last quite a long while), few people would choose to do so if given the choice. Layton’s advice is a cornucopia, not only for survival, but for survival in style and complete nutritional health.

    Thanks for this article, Peggy, and for others I’ve enjoyed.

    • Average Joe Patriot

      PS: At the risk of having to change my middle name to “Lentil,” I should add that though I have not tried making bread with it (I’m sure it would probably work well enough with a little experimentation), I have milled dry organic lentils into powder and mixed it with whole grain flour for a more complete and nourishing legume/grain protein mix. A camp breakfast of flapjacks made with this combination will keep you going on the trail well into the afternoon. It keeps and travels well in any water/air-tight container and weighs very little for its nutritional value (the organic honey, molasses, or maple syrup you pour over the finished product will probably add more to your pack weight than the protein-packed flour will).

    • Christin

      I remember those posts of yours well, Average Joe Patriot.

      I took notes… great informatoion on food that I knew pretty much nothing about. Thanks ever so much… please share anytime… so much to learn


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