To get any type of flour, wheat grains must be processed. The tough grains need to be ground down and separated to get a usable material for baking. Throughout time, this has been accomplished by many methods. These often were time consuming methods that produced course flour in relatively small amounts. To accommodate the worlds need for bread, Mass production of flour was needed. Mass production of flour called for a better system. The most efficient system to date is the Roller Mills in Oregon.
The earliest of large production grain processing was done by grist mills. Originally fueled by water, these mills would use mill stones to grind the grain. A large moving stone would press the grain against a stationary stone to grind up the grain. There are records of these being used as early as 71 BC. These mills were used all over the world as the main means to process grain into flour. There was little change to them until the 19th century. This is when roller mills began to be fitted in grist mills until eventually replacing them.
Roller Mills in Oregon are a system of cylindrical rollers used to grind grain. They are either used against apposing cylinders or flat plates. This system is capable of breaking down and separating the grain more thoroughly. The endosperm of the grain makes up 80% of the volume of each grain. This part is best suited for white flour. It is considered to have a milder flavor and much smoother texture. This is very beneficial for bread making. The roller mill, unlike millstone, is capable of separating this completely from the bran and germ of the grain. This gives a much better quality of flour.
Roller mills have become the more optimal way of grinding grain. It can produce a more desirable flour. It can also give the option to add the bran and grain back to the flour. This will give the whole wheat flour many enjoy. Mill stones are still used today for those who appreciate the old style flavor. However, the more commonly used mill to produce the best flour is the roller mill.