What’s the Difference Between Stoneground and Roller Milled Flour?
Traditional milling is the only way to ensure the integrity, quality, flavour and nutritional value of flour. This is because whole grain is ground in a single pass through and between two horizontal, round millstones, retaining and integrating the wheat germ oil. This simple process is at the heart of traditional milling. Nothing is taken away, or added – whole grain goes in, and wholegrain flour comes out.
And that is the point. In its whole state grain contains a natural balance of starch, protein, vitamins, and fibre. In wheat, many oils and essential B and E vitamins are concentrated in the wheat germ, the life-force of the grain. It is from the wheatgerm that grain sprouts when put on wet blotting paper or cotton wool. This oily, flavoursome and nutritious wheat germ cannot be separated out in stonegrinding, and gives the flour a characteristic nutty flavour. Although wholegrain flour is the ideal, stoneground flour does retain some of the quality of the wheatgerm if sieved to produce a lighter "85%" flour (with 15% bran removed) or a "white" flour.
Modern roller milling, by contrast, is specifically, and very efficiently, designed to extract as much white flour as possible from each grain. High speed rollers scrape layer upon layer, sieve it off, then remove another layer, and so on. A particle of flour can travel over a mile passing between rollers and sieves. It enables the wheatgerm and bran to be removed efficiently, and can produce a vast amount of flour quickly and with minimum human intervention. It is possible to re-integrate and mix the various sieved components, but it is not the same as stoneground wholemeal flour – that is not what rollermilling was designed for.