Blenders aren’t designed for grinding wheat, but they do a surprisingly good job getting it done. A mill designed to mill flour will last longer and do a better job, but you can grind wheat berries into whole wheat flour with a blender.
My Country Living Grain Mill is hand-cranked and a tremendous amount of work, so I decided to experiment and see if I could make flour with my electric blender.
Hopefully, my experience will help you grind some grain with your blender to see if it’s something you want to do regularly. See the step-by-step instructions, the video, and how it went down below. An electric blender was much easier than a hand-cranked mill.
You can mill wheat or wheat berries to flour consistency using a blender. For best results, use a double-bladed blender with at least a 1200 watt motor. Blend slowly to keep the flour from overheating, diminishing nutrition, enzyme activity, and the end product quality.
Grind Wheat In A Blender: 5 Easy Steps
Ok, in this little experiment, I used dried, hard white wheat berries, purchased on-line in a #10 can, a measuring cup, and a Nutribullet Blender with a 1200 watt motor. Let’s get started.
Things You Need
- Dried Wheat Berries
- Measuring Cup
- Electric Blender
- Mixing Bowl
- Flour Sieve or Rotary Flour Sifter (Optional)
- Airtight Storage Container or Ziploc Freezer Bag
Step 1: Place Wheat In the Blender
Place 2 Cups of husked wheat or wheat berries in you blender.
Blend no more than 2 cups of wheat at a time if you are using a double-bladed blender. This will keep the heat down and reduce blending time.
If you are using a single-blade blender, you will have to fill the blender; the berries’ weight will allow them to be chopped instead of flying around without milling. You can also use the pulse setting if you have one.
Tip: 1 Cup of wheat berries will grind into 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
Step 2: Blend Wheat Berries In Short Bursts
- Turn the blender on for 15 seconds.
- Let berries sit 5 minutes between grinding sessions to cool down.
- Check the flour mixture before the next grind to make sure the flour has cooled.
If you’re like me, you will want to blast the wheat berries in a continuous grind to get the flour ASAP. Try not to. You will get much better results with your baked goods if you keep them cool.
Step 3: Grind Wheat Berries To The Desired Consistency
Continue with step #2 until you reach the desired consistency of flour.
Grind the berries, take a break and let them cool and then grind the berries or flour some more. Great things come to those who wait!
Step 4: Separate The Flour From The Bran and Germ (Optional)
Most of my baking endeavors have been making homemade bread, but some pastries and flatbread call for a tender crust. For this type of baking, you may want to remove the bran and germ.
Remove or separate bran and germ from the endosperm (flour) by using a sieve or rotary flour sifter.
Removing bran and germ from flour reduces the nutritional value and fiber content.
Tip: Use leftover bran and germ to make levain, also called yeast starter, or add to breakfast muffins for a shot of fiber.
*See the Ready Squirrel video below, under sources, to learn how to make levain, a wild yeast bread starter.
Step 5: Whole Wheat Flour Storage
If you aren’t using your fresh flour right away, pour it into an airtight storage container or a Ziploc bag. You can store it at room temperature, refrigerate it or store it in the freezer.
Whole Wheat Flour: Shelf Life
Fresh flour is best made on an “as you need it basis” because it tastes the best right out of the blender and into your dough. If you have to, you can store it:
- 3 days at room temperature Store-bought white flour is heavily processed by bleaching, bromating, and removing the bran and germ. It isn’t a natural product like home-milled wheat; this is why you can let it sit in your pantry for 6 months.
- 7 days in the refrigerator
- 6 months in the freezer
Wheat Berry Storage Life:
The shelf-life of wheat berries is 30 years if stored in an oxygen-free container.
If you have wheat berries for long-term storage, try to mill flour as you need it to retain the long shelf-life.
Should I Wash Wheat Before Grinding or Milling?
Do not wash wheat berries before milling or grinding. Moisture is a major contributor to wheat and flour spoilage. At room temperature, the maximum storage time for wheat berries is 3 days. Washing wheat adds moisture reducing the shelf-life to one day.
How Should I Clean Wheat:
Sort wheat to remove chafe like straw, twigs, pebbles, weed seeds, and bad wheat kernels. If you get rocks in your grinder, you will tear up the grinding plates in your wheat mill.
Wheat berries or husked wheat stored in oxygen-free containers for long-term storage should be 10% moisture or less. Higher levels of moisture may lead to botulism food poisoning.
Check out the video below to learn how to store wheat berries in long-term storage.
Avoid Creating Heat When Blending Wheatberries
When I experimented with grinding wheat in my blender, it got pretty hot, which destroys the nutritional value and baking characteristics of flour. So avoid blending your wheat berries without taking a break in between. Here’s what heat does to your flour at certain temperatures
- 112° to 115° Fahrenheit Vitamins sensitive to heat will deteriorate, and baking results are diminished
- 122° Fahrenheit The enzymes in flour become inactive, affecting the three main reactions in bread making
- Turning starch to maltose
- Turning complex sugar into simple sugar
- Breaking Protein Chains (Scientific American)
- 144° Fahrenheit Further destruction of vitamins, enzymes, texture, and flavor. (Mother Earth News)
Why Is Home Ground Wheat So Tough?
Bran and Germ make home-ground flour tough.
Highly processed flours don’t have the bran or the germ.
Using the Wrong Type of Wheat
If you are using milled flour for making pastries, the goal is a tender, flaky crust. You want to use soft white or red wheat or a mixture of soft and hard wheat (all-purpose flour is a mixture.) Hard white/red wheat alone is excellent for bread and leavened baked goods, but Soft white/red wheat is superior for unleavened pastries and bread.
How Do You Grind Pastry Flour With A Blender?
Mill or grind soft white or red wheat berries to the desired consistency and then put the flour through a sieve or a circular sifter to separate the bran and the germ from the endosperm (flour.)
This will leave you with a fluffy pastry type flour.
You can use hard wheat for pastry flour, but it won’t give you the tender crust.
What Is The Difference Between Hard And Soft Wheat?
Hard White and Red Wheat are high in gluten which gives baked bread the rise and the fluffiness. It will make your pastries bolder and chewier. Hard wheat by itself is not prime for making pastries, but it gets the job done.
Soft White and Red Wheat Berries have less gluten and are preferred for lightly or unleavened muffins, flatbreads, cookies, and pie crusts. Avoid using soft wheat berries for leavened bread. There isn’t enough gluten to get a good rise.
Choosing the Right Countertop Grain Mill, Marleeta F. Basey
Effect of conventional milling on the nutritional value and antioxidant capacity of wheat types common in Ethiopia…, Genet Gebremedhin Heshe, Gulelat Desse Haki, link
Enzymes: The Little Molecules That Bake Bread, Scientific American, Emily Buehler