MILLER AND BAKER
THE LOWDOWN ON STONEGROUND FLOUR
– Wheat and Rye berries are stonemilled gently at low temperatures,
retaining nutrients from the bran, endosperm and wheatgerm,
producing a fine creamy flour
– Our wheat is grown in microbiome rich soil in the WA wheatbelt,
without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
– Our flour contains no additives – just pure stoneground wheat
Most of us have been brought up on dead bread. The sliced white stuff found on supermarket
shelves. What is it made of? Roller milled white flour, and any number of added ingredients to keep
it ‘fresh’ and improve the taste and texture. They’ve even had to add nutrients, since the flour itself
has none. This hasn’t always been true, but is for most of us growing up since the sixties.
There is a revolution happening. We’re here to tell you that bread’s not dead. In fact, starting with
the main ingredient – Flour – it’s very much alive!
What’s wrong with roller milled flour?
Traditionally all flour was stoneground, but the majority of modern mills use steel rollers, which are
very efficient at separating the germ and husk from the starchy, sugary endosperm. These mills
operate at high heat, reducing the number of wild yeasts and lactic acid bacteria which may be
present in the flour.(1) The wheat germ and husk contain the highest amount of 1 nutrients while the
endosperm, the white starchy interior of the grain, kept in the roller mill process, contains very little
nutrients at all. This means some of the nutrients, calcium carbonate, thiamine, (vitamin B) and iron
often need to be added in.
Stonemilling flour on the other hand is a much gentler process, grinding at low temperatures, finely
crushing the wheat germ, husk and endosperm. We sieve the larger particles of the bran out for our
house white flour, but we still retain 75-90% of the grain, including the wheatgerm. Stonemilled
wholewheat retains 100% of the grain and many more nutrients.
Stoneground flour has a beautiful creamy colour, nutty aroma and subtle flavour which you won’t
find in the bag of flour from the supermarket shelf.
Microbiomes in Soil
We source our wheat from some of the leading regenerave farmers in the world, and they’re right
here in our own backyard – 3.5 hours from Perth. The Haggerty family(2) have developed a method of
farming which increases the naturally occurring microbiomes in the soil, before and during seeding.
They’ve coined the term Natural Intelligence Farming, and it’s turning heads in the regen farming
world. At the edge of the desert and with very low rainfall they’re proving it is possible to grow a
high yield crop of nutrient dense grain without the need for any chemical fertlisers or pesticides.
1 Vanessa Kimbell, the Sourdough School p.36
2 You can check out the Haggerty’s story in a short video in the WA Museum Boola Bardip, look for the section on
environmental land management.
Return to Wheat Diversity
Together with forward thinking WA farmers, like the Haggerty’s, we’re working on improving the
flour even further, by selecting more flavoursome, more nutritious wheat grains. There are literally
thousands of varieties of wheat, however commercial wheat production has narrowed the genetic
diversity of available varieties. The majority of wheat grown in Australia today are hybrids,
selectively grown for disease resistance and higher yield. Modern wheat has a large head of wheat,
shallow root structure and stunted growth.
The tides are turning as millers and bakers around the world collaborate with farmers, seed banks
and grain researchers to de-commodify and reintroduce diversity in wheat varietes for flavour and
nutrition. For example, the recent harvest from the Haggerty’s Mollerin farm includes Halberg,
grown commercially until the 70’s. This wheat has a taller growth habit but deeper root structure.
The Haggerty’s tell us the sheep could not stay away from this wheat, perhaps they know something
we’re yet to prove. It makes sense that deeper roots would improve the uptake of nutrients into the
head and the grain.
We’re trialing other varietes of wheat, including our own experimental landrace3. It is a very slow
process but we believe good things take time.
A note about Commercial Roller Milled Flour
Full disclosure – bread made with 100% stoneground flour may not give you the results you want.
Although we use only fresh stoneground flour to feed our levains and sourdough starters, for some
of our breads we blend our freshly stoneground flour with some excellent quality roller milled
sustainable white flour with a higher protein level. This gives us the best of both worlds – highly
nutritious and flavourful loaves, with a more predictable rise and open crumb. Not all roller milled
flour is equal. We look towards companies like Wholegrain Milling Co and Eden Valley Flour, sourcing
sustainable or organic wheat, which hasn’t been treated with synthetic fertilisers or chemically
Stoneground Flour Storage
You need to to remember that stoneground flour is a fresh ingredient. Just like roasted and freshly
milled coffee or nuts. There is an optimum time range to use the flour and this is within 3 months of
milling when stored at room temperature. Storing your flour in the fridge will keep the flour fresh for
up to 6 months – but we’re 100% sure you’ll use it before then.
Experiment with freshly milled stoneground flour – you might find it soaks up moisture more readily
so you may need to increase the liquid in your recipe slightly. Use just as you would a general
purpose flour in cakes, muffins, pastry, pancakes and enjoy the difference.
3 Landrace – diversity in a single crop