Invented by the Reverend Sylvester Graham in the mid-1800′s, graham flour has all the base components of whole wheat flour in it: germ, bran and endosperm. What makes it different is the way it’s ground. Graham believed that in order to be properly absorbed by the body, the endosperm of the wheat berry must be very, very finely ground. So, like conventional millers he separated it out and ground it to a powder-like consistency. But because he also believed that wheat germ and bran were most healthful when consumed in relatively large pieces, he ground them separately and only slightly. The result, when he mixed the whole mess back together, was a coarse meal that journalists of the day compared favorably to sawdust.
It made heavy bread (because the big bran pieces kept gluten strands from forming) and still heavier crackers. Just the tonic, so Graham believed, for quashing our unhealthful desires for white flour, meat, sugar, spices and sex.