Grinding My Own Flour – What Do I Need to Know

I need your help, frugal friends. I’m ready to take the “grind your own flour” plunge. There are still a number of “frugal activities” that I have not undertaken…cloth diapers, grinding flour, and making laundry detergent. I’m ok with not cloth diapering given the insane schedule of our family and my frequent travel schedule. I’m ok with not making my own laundry because I can usually get a bottle for $2 or less (as I did this week.)

But the grind my own flour thing has been pestering me for a while. I’ve amassed enough Amazon credits through Swagbucks to get a dry blade container for my Vitamix. So it’s time to invest!

I’m ready for the wonderful taste and texture of my freshly ground flour.  But I have a few questions…

  • Where is the best place to buy/order wheat berries?!
  • What are the best berry varieties for bread making, muffin making, cookie baking?!
  • What other grains, legumes or nuts have you had success with grinding?!
  • Any great recipes or links you can share for those who have gone before me in the flour grinding business?!
  • For those with a VitaMix, what do I need to know about the dry blade container?!

Thanks for all your help!  I can’t wait to get to grinding!


  1. says

    I like hard white wheat {more like white flour}, and the flavor of red wheat, and spelt {these are great for breads/rolls}. I actually use the white wheat more, though. We also grind our own cornmeal, using just regular ol’ popcorn. The taste difference is amazing!

  2. says

    I buy mine from Azure Standard. I believe they ship anywhere now, but I’m not sure on that. Winco foods seems to have okay prices on bulk foods too, though I don’t know if they sell wheat berries. I buy hard white for bread and soft white for cookies and such (though honestly I often don’t get around to grinding the soft). I grind cornmeal also, though I use dried corn also from Azure. I used to use popcorn, but I was told dried corn was better although I don’t remember why!
    I use a couple different recipes, but this is my main go-to and is excellent:
    Hope that helps!

  3. says

    This is a topic I will be watching closely, as I’m at about that same point.

    Buying wheat online is a bit tricky, since it winds up being a lot of weight, and then of course costing a lot to ship.

    If you have one locally, you might try your local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon, or LDS) church Cannery. You don’t have to be a member to purchase bulk foods, which are very inexpensive, although some policies vary by location. For me, with no good health food store or other resources nearby, it’s worth an hour drive to the one closest to me to buy it.

  4. says

    I have a whispermill and love it. I don’t make bread anymore because it didn’t get eaten by my family for some reason. I DO use my grinder to grind beans. I have a recipe from Country Beans for instant refried beans. I grind the beans, add the spices, and then store it in my refrigerator for quick and cheap refried beans. I use both black and pinto beans. Country Beans has quite a few recipes that use ground beans for quick and easy meals.

  5. says

    I started off with BreadBeckers as my place to go!!!! I have not gotten back into grinding my own flour since we came back from Japan but if you can get into a Co-Op in your area that helps with cost. I was lucky to have a place within driving distance to get my wheat but there are several companies that will deliver. I do remember that there is a hard wheat and soft wheat. Hard red or white, red having a richer flavor than white is great for breads and rolls. I used soft white for biscuits pie crusts and such. For my bread I used a combo of Hard red and Kalmut for my bread. It took a couple of weeks to get just the right flavor for my family but well worth the tears, laughter and memories when I began to make bread, lol!!!!!!

  6. Susan says

    i second the grind your own cornmeal from popcorn. i LOVE it. i use my grinder more for cornmeal than anything else b/c dh seems to be intolerant to the whole wheat. I got my flour from a mennonite bulk store. it’s several hours away but my mom goes there a few times a year so i just have her pick it up for me when she’s going. maybe if you have any amish/ menonite bulk stores in your area you might find some there. i use the hard white wheat for my bread just cause it turns out the same color as the nutritionless store bought bread. i’ve never tried the red. i know soft wheat is better for quick breads muffins and all the rest but i’ve personally never tried it. good luck.

  7. Lara says

    I use the hard red and white for bread – which I still haven’t perfected. (Maybe I’ll be able to get some good tips from the comments here, too!)
    What I love most is using the soft wheat for pancakes…my family loves them! Below is the recipe I use – I don’t remember where I got it.
    2 c. fresh ground flour from soft wheat berries
    4 tsp baking powder
    4T sugar (I often cut this in half)
    1 tsp salt
    1 1/4 c. milk
    2 eggs
    3T butter (I often substitue olive or canola oil)
    1T vanilla

  8. Kim says

    How are you going to mix the bread? Be careful as the fresh ground flour can be harder on a mixer. I wrecked my basic model Kitchen Aid by making 2 loaves at a time. Limiting it to one loaf may have been okay. I have since bought a Bosch mixer and it can handle 8+ loaves in one batch.

    • says

      Kim – I’m fortunate enough to have the older Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Got it as a wedding gift almost 16 years ago – back when they still made it with good metal parts :) Wow on the 8 loaves in one batch!

  9. says

    Erin, I’ve been grinding wheat and making bread, muffins, pancakes, french bread, cookies, etc. for six years now. I fit that stereotype homeschooling, bread-making mama :) The initial investment we thought of as groceries because long term it is so, so cheap. I’m a Bread Beckers girl all the way and have a Nutrimill grinder. I have lots of info and links in my Homemade Bread in 10 Minutes post (I really do have it down to 10 minutes. I timed it!)

    Making pancakes for supper tonight with freshly ground hard red wheat – tossing in blueberries! Being the batch cooking queen you are – you will LOVE how much you can do in one session and how tasty it is and good for you!!!

  10. says

    My sister gifted me a Vita-Mix with dry blade container for my birthday (thanks Sis!). The only thing I’ve found that some might say would be a negative, is you can only grind 1 3/4 cups of wheat berries at a time. Maybe other grinders work the same way (the Vita-Mix is my first and only). But I was surprised at that. However, it works well for me because I only do bread making on a small scale right now.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  11. A. says

  12. Sharon says

    This site has the BEST tasting bread recipe! I use a lot of her recipes and like them.
    I, too, love my Nutrimill as I can also grind popcorn for cornmeal or even many kinds of dry beans for bean flour.
    I just got my Bosch mixer a few weeks ago…I had to save for it for 4 months, but I can make many loaves at once then freeze them and have fresh bread handy. Now I only make bread once a week or even longer.
    Once you look past the initial investment, you can make bread VERY cheaply by grinding the wheat yourself.

    • Sharon says

      Also, I live on the east coast and can get a 6 gallon bucket of wheat (I think that is about 45 #s) for between $25-$30 shipped through a co-op that orders from Walton Feed in Idaho.

      • Katie says

        Right now my Costco in Tucson, Arizona has those same buckets of wheat for about $20. Maybe other Costcos have them too?

  13. Joy says

    It’s been several years, but I used to buy whole grains at Miller’s Bulk Foods in West Union, OH. You might call them and see if they still sell them. If they don’t, they may be able to direct you to a local farmer that would sell directly to you. You might be able to get a tour of the bakery too. It would be a great day trip if you were in the area.

  14. kristi says

    I looked at before I bought one. I like mine a lot! It is a Whisper Mill. I like that I can store it in my pantry & it doesn’t take up too much space & it really quick.
    The white wheat berries have a better flavor in my opinion. I live in Utah & the wheat is readily available.
    Good Luck!!

  15. Erin says

    I love griding my own wheat. I get mine from the LDS cannery,12566,2026-1-4,00.html. I think many people don’t realize this is open to any one. A 25 lbs. of wheat there is $11.45. Wheat prices have definitely gone up over the last while. You also don’t have to go and can things, you can just go buy a big bag and take it home. I like to use white wheat for my bread, it seems to makes it lighter. I also add dough enhancer and vital wheat gluten when I make whole wheat bread to make it softer and less sticky. I usually also add a couple cups of white flour when I makde a batch of 3 loaves to help with the stickiness. I also love my bosch! I have both a kitchen aid and a bosch. I had a kitchen aid first, since it was cheaper, and ended up breaking my dough hook. Bosch mixers have great power! Also if you aren’t going to use up your flour quickly make sure you store it in the freezer. Enjoy your new toy!

    • Christine says

      I looked on the LDS website and at the order form, but didn’t find any directions for actually ordering. What’s the process? I’m about 45 minutes from the closest home storage center.

      • Tacy M says

        Around here, we just call to verify their hours of operation because they are staffed by volunteers and the hours can vary. Then we just pop in during those hours. You can take in a prepared order sheet, or fill one out when you get there. The volunteers are always very friendly and happy to answer any questions you may have.

  16. J.C. says

    When I bought my Vita-Mix a couple of years ago, I’d asked about making flour & the sales guys told me that unless I planned to make flour & other things with the dry blade on a very regular basis, then I could get by with just the wet blade that it comes with. They said that it mainly just takes longer & doesn’t get 100% as ground, but it is perfectly doable. I haven’t tried it yet (that’s one of the many things I keep intending to do but never get around to doing!), but you might want to give it a try with the blade you have before investing in the dry blade, especially since it isn’t cheap (although if you get one, I’d see if there’s a demo where you can buy it from because when I bought my smaller wet blender at a Costco demo, it was a lot cheaper than I’d found elsewhere). Can’t wait to hear how things go for you! :-)

  17. Erin says

    I forgot to mention I’ve done rice flour and it turned out good. Also I would think you could make oat flour as long as you had steel cut oats or whole (more like the wheat berry)

  18. says

    1) I order mine from They are a great AMAZING co-op that i just love and are always expanding their routes….so give them a call on their toll free number and find out if there is a drop point in your area….their prices beat out Azure.

    2) My family prefers Hard White Spring Wheat (not hard winter) and it gives a yummy soft loaf of squishy bread that is soooo yummy!!! For breads i make with flax seed, sesame seed, and sunflower seeds in it, i use 1/2 and 1/2 of Hard Spring White and Hard Spring Red, for a more nutty wheat flavor…… for muffin and quick breads, etc. i will use Soft White Spring Wheat…though in a pinch, i have just used Hard spring wheat and it turned out just as good, only noticed it in texture a bit….though for cookies and such i always use the hard wheat and no one can EVEr tel

    I have never ground nuts but i have ground popping corn for cornbread (much better flavor than regular dent corn)

    Any great recipes or links you can share for those who have gone before me in the flour grinding business?! I love the site

    i don’t know about a vitamix but i have a Nutrimill and i LOVE it!!@!

    Read more:

  19. Teresa says

    There are several wheat farms that will sale for a reasonable price if you can get several families together to buy grains, rice and or beans. If you put the word out among your friends it is amazing how quickly you can get a large load (if it is large enough often they will give steep discounts in delievery. We have a group that buys about 1000 lbs 1-2 times a year, it runs about $30 for 45lb pail (organic) . If you buy online in bulk you will be paying steep shipping. Azure standards is good if you have a drop point, we now have one but have to pay an extra 10% shipping (not bad, not great). Sometimes for small amounts you can get it on amazon.

    There are lots of sites and many recipes (unfortunatly I have yet to find a good all ww sandwich bread).

    • flutemom says

      this is the recipe i use in my dak breadmaker (20 years old!) for a 2 lb loaf of whole wheat bread…
      2 tsp yeast (buy in bulk at costco), 1/2 c bread flour (i use pillsbury’s better-for-bread), 3 3/4 c whole wheat flour (i grind my own, golden 86), 1/4 c brown sugar, 4 t wheat gluten, 1 1/2 t salt, 3 T oil, 1 1/2 c warm water.

  20. Brenda says

    I agree with Erin who left the website for the LDS Cannery. I buy my Wheat, Rice and Oats there far more cheaper then at the store on any sale.

    I have a Whisper Mill, which I got from Emergency Essentials. I love it. It is a bit more pricey but has a great warranty with it.

    Also, I learned a lot about wheat flour and bread making from The Family Homestead. Which I think was mentioned above. Crystal has a great cookbook that takes you step by step through making bread from easy to hard. My bread is always light and airy.

    Good Luck– Thank you for your site and efforts. They have helped me plan and cook far more better meals then before. It is very much appreciated on our house. :)

  21. says

    I know that this is a strange question but is this to be healty or to save money? I am trying to do both and taking it one step at a time by making tons of things from scratch and following lots of your recipes but I know that I am not ready for this step yet. Hoping that I will be at some point and it looks like there is a place close that I can get the supplies but I was trying to figure out the reasoning. Let me know if I missed that post :)

    • Tacy M says

      We have been gradually moving in the direction of both thrift and health, and it took a few years before I took the plunge and bought a wheat grinder…but before that I made sure I had a tried and true bread recipe for white bread. I now have a few different recipes that I love for their simplicity and results, and I don’t hardly do anything by hand. My Kitchenaid and my bread machines do all the mixing for me. When I did start testing wheat bread recipes, I relied on friends who let me buy the wheat and then use their wheat grinder. I’d throw the flour in the freezer right away to preserve the nutrients as much as possible, and now with my own machine, we get the benefits of the full nutrition as it goes straight in the dough and then the oven! I hide whole wheat (we prefer the hard white wheat from the LDS cannery over the red) in peanut butter cookies, quick breads, and almost anything I can think of with a strong flavor. Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal cookies don’t fly with wheat around here. Good luck!

    • Tacy M says

      My kids love the breadstick/pizza recipe at this site. I found it elsewhere, but now I’ll have to try the bread as well!

  22. says

    I think the Vita Mix is great when you need a little (and I do mean a little, as has already been mentioned) flour in a pinch, but I do not rely on my dry mix container for regular grinding at all (except cornmeal)! It just can’t grind it fine enough. To some people that may be ok, but I like really fine flour so I do not have to deal with graininess in certain baked goods – and I love whole wheat flour! If I were you, I would save your SB a little more to get a separate wheat grinder. You will not be sorry! Oh, and go with hard white wheat – it is a very good, all purpose one to use for pretty much everything without things tasting too “wheaty”.

  23. Wendy says

    I hand grind all my wheat and cornmeal, no electric for me. Just my thing. Also, I mix and kneed by hand, again just my thing. I try to do as much the “pioneer” way as I can. Hard white is best for bread if you prefer a lighter loaf but hard red has an awesome taste just stronger. I recommend buying a small amount of red just to try. I had heard it wasn’t as good but my family actually prefers the heavier, richer tasting bread. For anything pastery use soft white or it just won’t turn out as good. Yes LDS is the best place to buy if you can but I’m 8 hours away from the nearest one and it just doesn’t workout for me. I have to order it online from Walton feed. They are good people but the shipping is high so buy at least 200lbs to get the better shipping price. I use recipes from everyone of the sites mentioned in the comments above. There are MANY knowledgable people out there and trying the different recipes is half the fun. Enjoy your new adventure, it takes some time getting used to doing the extra work but once you do you will not go back to store bought bread!

  24. says

    well…I never tried to that either and don’t think I will (I am too lazy).
    But it must be so much better!!
    All natural stuff…
    It’s my first time on this blog and I love it!

  25. says

    I use hard white wheat to make breads, rolls, etc.- anything that needs good gluten formation. My family prefers the look, taste and texture of the white wheat, as opposed to the red wheat. I also use soft white wheat for my other baked goods- cookies, muffins, cakes, pancakes, quick breads- things that you don’t want gluten formation in. Soft wheat contains less gluten than hard wheat. I get most of my hard wheat from the LDS cannery, like many people have said, and I order my soft wheat from Walton Feed. A group, locally, does a big order once a year that is shipped to one persons house and then we all go and pick up our items there. It saves us all on the shipping costs.
    I use 100% whole wheat flour in most of my recipes now. I have noticed that with the whole wheat flour, especially in quick bread type items, I have to add a little extra flour to get the consistency right, but other than that, most of my recipes that call for white flour, I just use the whole wheat.

  26. Lori says

    I grind my wheat with my vita-mix. Have always had trouble with the breadbeckers recipes not turning out like I hoped. With their help, I believe we have concluded that the vita-mix doesn’t grind the wheat fine enough. Not to say it doesn’t work with other recipes, just not that well with the breadbeckers ones.

    Also the flour is hot after grinding. If using yeast, you want to give it time to cool before mixing.

    Hard to know exactly how much flour you will get. 1 3/4 cups of berries doesn’t get you 1 3/4 cups flour. While I love my vitamix would much rather have a “real” wheat grinder.

  27. Amy says

    I like Prairie Gold wheat. It works equally well for yeast breads plus things like muffins, pancakes, etc. I can get mine from a local co-op, or for even cheaper, I order with other people during a yearly order. If you can get 5,000 pounds all together, then the shipping is cheap.

    Be careful with LDS canneries. Their foods all have cross-contamination warnings for top 8 allergens. I emailed Prairie Gold, and they were safe for our allergen set (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and dairy).

  28. says

    You are going to love grinding your own wheat. It is so much tastier.
    I have a Wondermill. It can grind quite a bit at a time, but I make 4 loaves of bread at a time in my bosch, so I like that.
    I mostly grind hard white wheat, but I’ve also ground spelt, rye, popcorn, brown rice, and oat groats – that I can think of off the top of my head. All have worked well.
    I got my grain from a lady around here that did a bulk order once. I’ve also found a couple of other local people who do bulk orders – one I don’t know from where, but the other is through Walton Feed. You could check their website. They have just about everything you could think of. You may try and find out if others in your area know of a group that does grain orders together. That seems to reduce the shipping costs which can be high considering the weight involved.
    I do have to agree that the cheapest place I’ve seen to get wheat berries is at the LDS cannery, but you are limited to wheat berries as far as whole grains are concerned. (at least at the one around here.)

  29. says

    Gah! I’m interested, fascinated maybe. But confused. I love the idea of learning how to do more of this myself, and having more control over my food. But I’m having a hard time seeing it as practical for the cost. I dont have a vitamix, and as far as I can see on amazon, even the least expensive electronic mills are about $100-$200. Even a lot of the hand-crank ones are like $50. It seems like I’d be 80 years old before I recognized the cost savings over store-milled flours. Am I missing something?

  30. Carey says

    I use my dry container of my Vitamix to grind many of my gluten free flours. Saves a lot of money, just on the brown and white rice alone. I’ve done brown rice, white rice, quinoa, and millet. I haven’t done sorghum flour b/c I haven’t been able to find gluten free whole sorghum at a good enough price to justify the extra work of grinding it myself. I’ve also heard that you can blanch almonds and make your own almond flour too (of course that’s kind of labor intensive).
    I can’t speak to the wheat berries, but I would recommend putting your whole grains in the freezer before you grind them in the Vita-Mix dry container. It helps make sure the motor doesn’t overheat. And never run it for more than a minute at a time. If I have my grains in the freezer, I find I can grind one batch and then still be able to do another right afterwards w/o overheating the motor. Then, you need to let it take a little break before you do it again.

  31. Jean says

    Does anyone know which is the healthiest wheat to use? Or are they pretty much the same? Right now I use 100% whole wheat flour when baking and buy 100% whole wheat bread….I am very interested in in making my own bread but with the best health benefits possible. Thanks!

  32. Beth says

    I joined a buying group through United Natural Foods International. I am able to order all organic so that I can grind the grains myself, when I figure out how! I do like to order other things through them as well. They are close to my house. I may check out the Amish/Mennonite store that is not far either to compare prices.

  33. Karen says

    Ahh, this discussion is so good and at the same time makes me feel a little guilty for not keeping up what used to be a passion. First off, I’m a farm wife in the county that was once called the “Wheatheart of the Nation” so we do wheat around here. We grow hard red winter and it makes an excellent loaf of bread, but you have to like the intense flavor. Other varieties just don’t grow well around here. I believe hard wheat is best for things that need gluten and soft what is best for those things that don’t. Like others have said, Prairie Gold is great; it’s just not available around here. I bought a Vita Mix in ’94 and a Whisper Mill and Bosch in ’96. I love all three except for the Bosch when doing anything besides bread. I really don’t like the *thingie* in the middle. I got the biggest Kitchen Aid for Christmas and it has a hard time doing my cinnamon roll recipe that calls for 10-12 cups flour (they say it can handle 15, I believe) and then it’s too big to do small amounts of anything. Anyhoo, I have done all kinds of things in my Vita Mix. Probably one of our favorites is blender pancakes or waffles. Not sure where my recipes came from but one came from She has a lot of whole grain recipes that are fairly fast and easy. When my family was much smaller (we now have 8 children), I used to make bread using the Vita Mix recipe in the dry container. It just seemed like a lot of work for one loaf of bread that was gobbled up almost instantly, but it was a start. I have ground all kinds of grains in my Whisper Mill including milo (sorghum). Just FYI, sorghum is a feed grain that can be either red or cream colored. Cream colored is considered food grade and I’ve used home grown sorghum in my Whole Wheat Sorghum Cornbread recipe. My daughter even got 2nd place in the Texas 4H Food Show for it. You can just put all the grains in the mill, grind it together and mix it like a regular cornbread recipe or you can use the Vita Mix and grind the grains with the liquid which only works for a 9X9 recipe size (believe me, I’ve tried!). Karey Swann’s Hearth and Home Recipes for Life is another good cookbook and where I found the Whole Wheat Cornbread recipe that I tweaked. It’s late so this is very disjointed, but I hope this helps someone! Eat more wheat!

  34. silver says

    I can see doing this for taste, but it doesn’t sound like it would save money. I can get a 5lb bag of whole wheat flour on sale for $2. None of the prices quoted here are less than that for the whole wheat berries. Add in the cost of a grinder and you really aren’t saving money. I understand that freshly ground wheat tastes a whole lot better; but the grinder is out of my price range, so I can’t justify it.

  35. Andrea Castor says

    This isn’t something I have looked into myself, but a facebook group I’m part of, Crunchy Granola Chicks, all swear by a place up in Clayton called The Flour Barrel. They suggest it for a lot of bulk cooking supplies/herbs and spices/etc. I’m guessing they’d carry items for making your own flour as well….although you’d need to have an excuse for already being up that way (the airport maybe?) to make it worth the gas though. ;P

  36. Alexis R says

    We grind our own wheat also. I am lucky enough to live close by breadbeckers to get my grain and bread making supplies. We use the wondermill and love it, we have done grains and beans with it. We love our fresh bread and anything that we make with fres ground grains.

  37. Carol says

    I get mine through a food co op Azure Standard (or Azure Farms). Organic and cheap. The main thing you need to know is that you can only process a little at a time (don’t remember how much). Hopefully you will get the dry blade container cook book. Has instructions and recipes. I love my Vita Mix. One of the greatest investments I’ve made.

  38. Rebecca says is THE CHEAPEST place to buy wheat. I order 50 lbs. for less than $25, no shipping fees. Hard White Winter Wheat for bread, Soft White Winter Wheat for other baked goods. The soft white is AMAZING!!! You won’t believe the stuff (pancakes, muffins, cookies) you’re making are whole wheat. I have been successful swapping for all purpose flour in most every recipe I’ve tried.

  39. david says

    Just found this site. EXCELLENT!!!!
    Help! Am Celiac and am just starting doing my own flour. I need a good, inexpensive grinder.
    What do I get and where do I get it!!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *