The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

can I use my bread machine with freshly ground flour?

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b2brechin's picture
b2brechin

can I use my bread machine with freshly ground flour?

Hi, I have been using my bread machine with regular store-bought flour, but now I am about to buy a mill. I read in one book that a bread machine will not work well enough with the freshly ground whole wheat flour. I can't find any other info on this and thought maybe you guys can help.

Can I use my bread machine or am I going to have to buy something like the Kitchen Aid mixer?
And if so, what are some inexpensive options (less than $300)? (I don't have time to do it by hand)

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

My daughter makes bread with freshly ground flour and makes great bread in her machine. You should have no problem as long as you are using the right grains for bread with a high protein count.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I have a mill and grind my own flour and I use my bread machine the way others use a mixer. I make 2 loave of bread at a time...I put my ingredients in the machine and use the dough cycle to knead the dough...remove the dough to a larger container to rise, then shape rise and bake in the oven.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

According to King Artur Flour, nothing kneads as well as a bread machine. Baking...well that's a different matter. My breadmaker recently pooped out, so i have been having to knead manually.


So far, i agree wholehartedly with KAF. At least the comparison between manual and bread machine kneading. Bread machine loaves rise higher. Can't speak to stand mixers.

b2brechin's picture
b2brechin

thank you. I've been using only the dough setting anyway, and I'm glad I won't have the added expense of the mixer yet.

ChristineH's picture
ChristineH

Though everyone so far has "ok'd" your use of the bread machine I would be very careful with fresh ground flour. It is a very dense flour and will most definitely strain the motor of your bread machine. I killed mine with it.  This was 7 years ago so perhaps the newer bread machines have a stronger motor.


 


I just wanted to give you some fair warning that even if it doesn't kill it it might shorten the life of the motor.  My wonderful husband bought me a Bosch mixer after my bread machine broke and you can't kill this thing.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Many of the new machines have settings for whole wheat bread. They also tell you that if the machine starts to bog down to add more liquid. Whether or not the flour is ground fresh or store bought makes no difference.


I agree that the Bosch mixer is a real workhorse when it comes to making large batches of dough.

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Any dough that would bog down a bread machine is way too dry. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The only thing that changes when using fresh milled flour is it tastes better. You have to adjust the hydration for every flour as the absorption varies.


This whole idea that a bread machine kneads better than any other way is ridiculous. I get it that people start baking not knowing how to knead and not knowing what the proper feel is for dough. That's how I started out. There seems to be an obstacle in kneading for some of us. The sooner you learn to mix and knead by hand, the quicker you will discover the skill our ancestors learned thousands of years ago.


There is no need for a mixer of any kind in the home baker kitchen. They are a convenient tool for larger batches, that's all. Even people with strength issues in the hands and arms can easily learn to fold and let time do the hard work of developing gluten.


Eric

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I suppose you are right...I don't really need that bread machine or the mixer in my kitchen...my grandmother never had them. But then she didn't have electricity either... I think I'll just keep mine. :)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Betty-yea, me too.lol

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I also sometimes use a food processor. I never use my mixer. And I do not have a bread machine.


Freshly milled flour needs different treatment than store bought. No doubt about it.


I am experimenting since I purchased my Fidibus which stone grinds grain. I am never going back to store bought flour.


I am also not a "kneader". There are techniques that make kneading obsolete, and also kneading aerates dough a lot and can oxidize oils in it, I think.


So it is on the whole a blessing to NOT use a bread machine or mixer as you will learn how to use techniques like autolyse, poolish or biga pre-ferment, soakers...that can work to make your bread rise better with whole grain home milled flour, so you aren't making squat dense loaves.


 

ChristineH's picture
ChristineH

Sorry to alarm you guys. Must've had a cheap bread machine 80/

Snickerdoodle's picture
Snickerdoodle

Hi,


Sorry to get in on the conversation a little late, but I wanted to add my $.02. 


 


To b2brechin: Yes, yes, yes absolutely YES! You can infact use freshly ground flour with a bread machine. I use mine ALL the time. In fact I am baking a loaf of 100% freshly ground wheat bread in mine right now. I have a Zojirushi X20 and it does a fantastic job everytime.


If you are an amateur bread maker/chef and like to tinker in the kitchen, using a bread machine might seem less authentic and take away from the experience. However if you're like me and my family and just want healthier bread, without sacrificing taste or taking forever just to bake a loaf then a bread machine may be right for you.


Snickerdoodle


 

BabyBlue's picture
BabyBlue

Would you share your recipe with us? 


I am not using a bread machine, but I did start out baking bread in a machine.  Then I used my kitchenaid stand mixer, and now I am kneading by hand.  I am new at using my own milled flour, so now I find I am learning again.  I want to make multigrain flours too.  I like miche type breads and baguette type sticks... it must be the French side of me!  I discovered this forum yesterday and have been reading ever since!  I hope to soon be able to post a picture of my "perfect" loaf!


Blue.

zuze's picture
zuze

Did you bake your bread? How did it come out?


 


I baked a loaf yeasterday and am baking one today in a bread machine from fresh milled flour, and dough is kuttke liquidy. I added more flour, but it still looks too soft.


Loaf yeasterday came out OK, just small, and hard crust.


 


I had mix of 2 cups red wheat, 2 cups white wheat and q cup mix of oats, tye and spelt berries. Baked it in bread machine for 1.5 lb loaf using my regular recipies that I have used with store bought flour. Any advice on what I need to change for the dough to be firmer?