Monday, June 25, 2012

Cooking with Food Storage: Make Your Own Flour

What do you do with all the wheat berries you have in food storage?

If you answered, "Grind them into flour." you are correct!  However, there is more to making flour than grinding wheat berries. I have quite a few gourmet dessert recipes in my food storage. Most of them require specialty flours. I do not store speciality flour, it is too expensive and has a short shelf life. Instead I make my own. 

Here are a few recipes you can use to turn your wheat berries into speciality flours.

All Purpose Flour
Recipe #1:
50% hard white wheat flour
50% soft white wheat flour

Recipe #2:
Replace 100% of the all purpose flour with hard white wheat flour
(This is great for everyday cooking.)

Recipe #3
50% hard white wheat flour
50% soft white wheat flour
Mix this hard/soft combo at a 80/20 ratio with barley or oats:
80% hard/soft white wheat flour
20% either barley or oat flour
(For example, sometimes I mix with barley when making bread, sometimes I mix with oats when making cookies.)

1 Cup of Bread Flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS vital wheat gluten
1/8 tsp vitamin C powder
(You can also find vital wheat gluten in the grocery store with the vitamin C already added.)

1 Cup of Cake Flour
Recipe #1:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 TBS cornstarch

Recipe #2:
3/4 cup soft white wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour

1 Cup of Self- Rising Cake Flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pastry Flour
Recipe #1:
Replace 100% of the pastry flour with soft white wheat flour

Recipe #2:
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour + 2/3 cup cake flour = 2 cups pastry flour

If all you have is hard red wheat in your food storage, here is another alternative for 'white' flour.  I got this off the Internet, I haven't tried it yet.

Alternative White Flour
1 cup brown rice flour (you can store brown rice and grind it into flour)
1 cup barley flour
1 cup spelt flour

If I am confusing anyone with the terms: 'hard wheat', 'soft wheat', or 'spelt' - let me define them for you.

There are two kinds of hard wheat - red and white. Hard red wheat is what gives whole wheat bread that traditional flavor. It has phenolic compounds and tannins in the bran. Some people (like me) don't like that flavor, so we opt for hard white wheat. Hard white wheat doesn't have as many phenolic compounds or tannins in the bran and tastes more like 'white' flour.  I no longer store any red wheat, all my wheat is white wheat. It tastes better in fruit cobblers, cakes, cookies and pastries then hard red wheat.  It also makes bread taste more like white bread.

The real wheat experts reading this will also want me to mention that there is a difference between spring and winter wheat.  However, that information is for the real gourmet chefs who need to know how much protein is in the wheat.  For those of us just trying to feed our families food they will eat, the difference between spring and winter wheat isn't as important.

Soft wheat is lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates than hard wheat and is used mostly for pastries, cakes and cookies. If using for making bread, it must be combined with other types of flours higher in protein - like hard wheat.

Spelt is a type of wheat. It is an ancient grain that has been consumed in other parts of the world for thousands of years. I think it has a bit of a nutty flavor. I use it for pancakes and waffles. 

I hope this information will inspire you to open that can or bucket of wheat berries sitting in your food storage and use it in your everyday baking!  If you don't have any wheat berries in your food storage, I hope this information will motivate you to add some. Wheat berries will store for up to 30 years. You can't say that for flour you purchase at the grocery store! Making these specialty flours is easy. Once you start making your own, you won't ever consider going back to store bought flour again!

If you have a question about making your own flour, send me an email or leave a comment.  I will be happy to help!


  1. what IF I wanted to make something and not use wheat but all chocolate chip cookies. How would I adjust the recipe?

    1. WiJoyMom,

      I am not a professional Chef so I don't know the science behind what each ingredient adds to a recipe. However, my friend Chef Tess does! I will email her to see if she has a solution to your question. When I hear back from her, I will post it here!

  2. If your friend is Tess Penninton, she has a cook book called "The Prepper's Cookbook."

    This book is wonderful and should be in everyone's book shelf. I have been experimenting with it the last few months. I'm a guy (we only cook simple things) and I find it well written and easy to use to make food I like to eat.

    1. I am going to have to look up 'The Prepper's Cookbook. Thanks for the tip!


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