Every baker knows that their baked products are only as good as the ingredients they use and that using fresh produce is the key factor in delivering quality goods. But believe it or not, one of the main ingredients that is oftentimes overlooked in baking is flour. Unfortunately, many people use flour that’s infused with additives and stripped of its nutrients in exchange for longer shelf life. While many health food stores and specialty sections in groceries offer a range of flours ground from a variety of legumes and cereals, they can be quite expensive, even when buying smaller quantities. It goes without saying that freshly ground flour is more flavourful and nutritious, all while offering a range of health benefits over refined flour. It has an earthy, lively taste and it contains every part of the seed, from the vitamins and protein of the starchy endosperm to the fibre and nutrients of the germ and bran.
But what if I told you that there’s a convenient solution that won’t break your bank? Buying your own flour mill is probably one of the best investments you can make, regardless of whether you’re a professional baker or enjoy baking at home. There are many different types of flour mill Australia bakery equipment stores offer, so you’re bound to find one that’s suitable for your specific needs. Having complete control over the final product can be a huge benefit to any aspiring baker, as it allows you to create your own signature blends by using your favourite seeds, cereals and legumes. Having your own mill will allow you to serve baked goods knowing they’re made with nutritious, wholesome that’s free of preservatives, fillers and additives. There are 3 types of flour mill Australia bakery specialty stores offer – manual, electric and convertible.
Manual Flour Mill Models
These are the most affordable types of flour mills, and they have less downtime when compared to electric flour mills, simply because they don’t feature any electrical components that can break down or overheat. The grains remain cool, thanks to the low RPMs of hand-operation. Additionally, they make no noise whatsoever. These flour mills provide a rustic, hands-on experience that you don’t get when flipping the switch on electric-powered models. However, make no mistake – these flour mills can be labour intensive and they can require quite a bit of work for larger batches. And if your hand doesn’t crank the flywheel, there won’t be flour to bake the goods. Multi-taskers can pick models that come with a converter kit that can be hooked onto a stationary bike, so you can even exercise while grinding the flour. Sounds crazy, right? Manual flour mills just require a steady surface to be securely attached to, which is done using either nuts or bolts (permanent) or clamps (temporary). Lastly, texture selection is generally more limited with these mills, simply because they mostly produce a coarser flour that’s suitable for bread, but not pastries and cake.
Electric Flour Mill Models
Electric flour mills are the easiest to operate and quickest, while still being quite affordable for the job they do. They feature a greater range of texture settings, and you can custom design your own blends to suit your needs. Most models will excel at creating fine flour needed for baking cakes and puff pastries, as well as cereal mixes and coarser flours. Electric models are portable, and they don’t require any stabilising anchors, so you can just place them aside when not using them. However, they do produce a fair amount of noise and generate heat. Further, they produce more dust than their manual counterparts, which is a result of their high RPMs.
Convertible Flour Mill Models
Convertible mills are also known as hybrid mills and they can be converted from manual to electric operation and vice versa. They can be useful when you want to hand-crank small amounts of flour, or when power is interrupted but you need contingency. Not all manual mills come with this option, so you should check the specifications of your selected model to make sure it’s convertible.
No matter what type of flour mill you decide to go for, you should consider a few factors, such as price, quality, convenience, ease of use and versatility. Start off by figuring out the type of power source you want, the type of foods you’ll grind and how often you’ll use it. Once you get a clear understanding of your specific requirements, choosing the features you want the mill to include is simple. For instance, some models can handle grinding of oily foods, dry grains and fibrous foods like nuts, seeds and coffee. However, some may require changing the burrs and using a larger beam auger. If you’re entertaining the idea of making nut butter besides flour, refer to the specifications to avoid disappointment. There are hopper extensions that can be fitted into the top of hoppers in order to increase the capacity, which can come in handy when processing larger batches. Lastly, some units come with a bowl canister that “catches’ the flour as it’s being processed. Make sure you get a canister that comes with a secure lid to store the processed flour.