How to make your own flour at home, as shops report shortages

Home baking is having a big moment right now, with every second post on Instagram seeming to be banana bread or cupcakes. While this is a great development in the midst of all the horrible news in the world, it also means there have been shortages of a number of baking ingredients.

Reports yesterday stated that sales of flour were up 92% in the four weeks to 22 March compared to the same period last year, and you’ve probably noticed yourself that it’s hugely difficult to get hold of on your grocery shop.

Although you might think that this would put paid to your plans for Easter weekend baking, that’s not strictly true.

If you’re in a pinch there are ways to make your own flour using items you already have in your cupboard, and although it might not be the finely-milled flour you’re used to, it should do the trick. Here’s how to do it.

How to make your own flour

What you’ll need: Whole grain, rice, dried beans, or oats (we’ll speak about this later) A coffee grinder or food processor A sieve – the finer the mesh the better It’s a surprisingly small list of things to need, but the type of flour you’ll end up with is almost wholly dependent on what you plan to mill to make the flour.

If you want to make a flour that closely resembles standard wheat flour you’d buy in the supermarket you’ll need wheat grain, which can be bought online fairly inexpensively.

But if delivery times are a little too long for your liking or you’d rather use something you already have, there are plenty of options

Alternatively you can use white or brown rice, almonds, quinoa, adzuki beans, buckwheat, spelt, or basically any dried grain-type thing you have lying around in your cupboard. It’s not really a time for hard-and-fast rules, so feel free to experiment and see how your flour comes out. Once you’ve chosen what you’re making it with, get your food processor or coffee grinder out, and pop your main ingredient in there (ensure it’s all dry). The more high-powered the machine is, the finer your flour will be.

Just make sure to only fill your grinder or processor halfway to allow it room to get blended.

Around one cup of wheat will make a cup and a half (ish) of flour, and this is best done right before you bake as fresh flour can spoil fairly quickly. Keep grinding on the highest setting until the flour reaches a finely milled consistency – although a standard food processor will be unlikely to get it to powder form, so potentially adjust the expectations.

Then, sift your flour into a bowl, using a separate bowl to place the ‘bran’ leftover in the sieve. Sift again if you want it even finer. What’s left should be as close as you can get to flour, and the bran can be used on top of yoghurts, in heartier baking recipes like breads, or in smoothies for an extra bit of fibre.