The Fresh Loaf

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Whole Wheat Bread from BBA made with fresh-ground flour

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Whole Wheat Bread from BBA made with fresh-ground flour



A couple days ago, I tested my new KitchenAid Grain Mill's output with a formula calling for about 30% whole grain flour. It was very good. In fact, the flavor of that bread has improved over two days. Even as I dipped my toe in the home-milled flour waters, I knew that the real test, for me, would be how the flour performed in a 100% whole wheat bread.


Most of my breads are made with levain, but my favorite whole wheat bread has remained the “Whole Wheat Bread” from BBA. This is made with a soaker of coarse ground whole grains and a “poolish” made with whole wheat flour. I have used bulgur for the soaker in the past. Today, I used coarsely ground fresh-ground hard red winter wheat, the same wheat was used finely ground for the poolish and final dough. The formula can be made as a lean dough (plus honey) or can be enriched with oil and/or egg. I used both.


The KitchenAid Grain Mill does a great job with coarse grinding. I found that, with the first pass, the particle size is rather variable. It seems to even out by putting the flour through the mill again at the same setting.


I ground the rest of the grain at the next to finest setting. I put it through 3 passes of increasing fineness, actually. The flour ends up somewhere between semolina and AP flour fineness, at least by feel. This slightly coarse flour, fresh-ground, seems to absorb a bit less water than the KAF WW flour I usually use. I ended up adding about an extra tablespoon of flour to adjust dough consistency during mixing.


Bulk fermentation, dividing, shaping and proofing showed no differences I noticed from the behavior of this bread made with KAF WW flour. However, there was a remarkable difference in the aroma of the bread during baking and cooling. It filled the kitchen with a wheaty smell that both my wife and I found absolutely lovely. (As I write this, the bread is cooling. I hope it tastes as good as it smells!)


Another remarkable difference is that the color of the loaves is quite a bit lighter than loaves made with KAF WW flour and exactly the same other ingredients and the same baking time and temperature. I thought this might be because the KAF WW has malt added, but it is “100% hard red whole wheat,” according to the ingredient list on the bag.





The flavor of the bread is just perfect, to my taste. It has a wonderful whole wheat flavor with not a bit of grassiness. It is very slightly sweet. I used a very mild-flavored clover honey, and I cannot find any distinct honey taste in the bread. The flavor is bolder and more complex than this same bread made with KAF WW flour. I'm sold!


As I've written, above, Reinhart's whole wheat bread from BBA has been my favorite. I've made other whole wheat breads from formulas in Hamelman's “Bread” and Suas' “Advanced Bread & Pastry” that I found less tasty. I am now wondering how they would be if made with fresh-ground flour. Hmmmm …. This is shaping up to be a project.


David


Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Just has to be fabulous, nothing beats fresh!  I know I always have my nose stuck in my bags flour's, especially the wheat..I've tossed so many..wheat really doesn't store very long for my taste or smell.  I can just smell the aroma in your home from this bake...mmmmm!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I just had to find out for myself, you know. What others have said about the wonderfulness of breads made with freshly milled flour appears to be true. But I need more data! (This is going to be fun!)


* Impact of fresh-milled flour on starters? How about M. Rubaud's flour mix?


* Try a sourdough whole wheat bread again. (I haven't liked the ones I've made to date.)


* Revisit some of the WW breads I've made that I found insipid.


David

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Those whole wheat loaves are very impressive, especially the crumb.  It looks like it is tender, chewy...  wonderful.  I know from experience that baking with home-milled flour yields a very different aroma, in a very good way.


I have also noticed the crust coloration difference between home-milled fresh whole wheat flour and commercially milled flour.  For some reason, my own whole wheat loaves from flour milled at home have resulted in a lighter crust color and also a somewhat sandy look to the crust as opposed to the shiny, nearly smooth crust on the commercially milled flour loaves. I'm not sure what causes that, but I've wondered if it might be related to the bran particle size in some way, or to the fact that I never "age" my flour, but just mill it and bake with it right away.  It is curious, though.


You are obviously enjoying your the exploration of freshly milled flour, and I look forward to your new project.  It sounds like you may have found something to keep you busy for at least the first few weeks of the new year.
OldWoodenSpoon

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks for your kind words.


It's nice to have confirmation of my findings. The dark color does come from the red wheat bran pigments, as I understand it. I can think of 3 possible explanations for the lighter color of my/our breads: 1) A different strain of wheat with lighter or less pigment; 2) difference in particle size with home-milling - an optical effect; 3) an effect of aging the flour. (However, I'd guess aging leads to oxidation which - another guess - would lighten the color of the bran.)


I wil definitely be in project mode for a while. First, I've got to set priorities.


David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Stellar Results, David! Very Nice Looking Wholewheat. Nothing beats fresh. Now if you've increased the dough for each pan, you'd have a higher loaf.


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Reinhart's pan loaf recipes in BBA - at least the two that I make at all frequently - are rather stingy on the dough weight/pan. They are meant for the high point of the loaf to just peak over the pan when the loaves are fully proofed. The loaves always have this profile. If you have BBA, look at the photo of the Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread. The ones OldWoodenSpoon just showed us (See BBA Cinnamon, Raisin, Walnut Bread) have a greater volume than any I've baked.


I've thought about baking a single loaf in a 9" pan, or just scaling up the recipe.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Glad to see you are having fun with fresh ground grains. I got the impression that Rubaud was saying the fresh ground grains would deliver more activity in his Levain. His combination of grains in his feeding strategy produced a very active and needy culture for me. Not wanting to get involved in grinding much myself, I have been buying fresh ground Organic flours and storing them cold to keep the freshness.


The crumb on your WW loaf is beautiful.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I resisted home milling for a long time, but, as long as you don't get into sifting the flour, the time involved in grinding enough flour for a couple loaves is about the same as the time it takes to feed your starter.


Of course, the decision to deprive yourself is yours to make. ;-)


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

David--


You can always be counted on to undertake a new direction (or several) well before you get bored with the newly old ones.  One old dog with a constant supply of new tricks.  I never would have guessed that you'd start grinding your own grain before you started roasting your own coffee beans.


Now, of course, we have to name this enterprise.  Perhaps a pun would be in order.  Something having to do with the sound of your new KA device:  "The Grind's Tone"?  Or maybe a locational reference, but "Joaquin Miller" is already taken.  Hmmm.


I just hope this doesn't distract you too long from baking (and posting the formula for) the SFBI Miche.


Very nice loaves.  I look forward to trying your fresh grind.


Glenn


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

When some one convinces me I can roast coffee at home better than Stumptown, I'll start roasting coffee beans.


David

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Wow... Looks great, sounds great... I have a feeling I may be looking into one  of those attachments too in the near future!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I had whole wheat toast with home made almond butter for breakfast. This is definitely great bread.


My only concern is whether the KitchenAid Grain Mill is just "a gateway drug," leading to the hard stuff.


David

Crider's picture
Crider

I'm throwing a small (2%) of malted barley I got at a brewing supply house in my grinder these days to get a boost in volume in my flours. I haven't done any tests yet to assess it's effectiveness. Other than that, I'm truly addicted to fresh ground wheat now. Have fun!

proth5's picture
proth5

Nothing better than fresh ground.


I need to get back to some serious milling.  I'm hoping that my prediction of "things will slow down once I get past the holiday crush" will come true.


Defintely a gateway drug.  If only you had a different mill and could get the flour really fine - or do remoullage on the bran - then the results inprove so much more.  I've slid down that slippery slope.


Let me know when you need information on sifting, etc...  :>)


Pat

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If and when I succumb to the siren call of the graduated sifters, I will surely avail myself of your expert advice ... Just promise not to gloat!


David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Your bread looks great!


Though I baked myself through nearly all of the BBA, I never made this particular bread. I like the 100% whole wheat bread from WGB, though. You said you like the BBA version best, how does it compare to the one from WGB?


Did you reduce the amount of sugar, David? I always do, because I find P.R. (otherwise great) recipes a bit too sweet.


Since I get most of my flours in 50 lb bags, I don't grind my own flour. But I bought a hand-cranked grain mill to make coarser grinds of spelt, barley etc.


Karin


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I made the WW bread from WGB once but with a biga naturale, so it really can't compare with the yeasted version from BBA. I should try the WGB version with yeast. It's a substantially different formula with higher hydration and almost all the flour pre-fermented.


I did not reduce the honey, which is the only sweetener in the BBA WW bread. I don't find the bread nearly as sweet as most "honey whole wheat" bread I've tried.


I'd encourage you to try a WW bread with home-milled flour, if only for the taste experience. 


David

wildeny's picture
wildeny

I agree with hanseat's comment. I tried the 100% whole wheat bread from WGB, and found the brown sugar (honey) in 8.3% of total flour weight is too much for my taste. The recipe of whole wheat bread in Artisan Breads Every Day even calls for 8.9%.


However, my trial was a failure because I forgot the 2.25 tsp yeast in the final dough :-(. You can imagine the result of this bread.


I adapted the recipe from WGB but with lower sugar & oil percentage in Lahey's no-knead method. That also didn't work well. I guess no-knead method doesn't work on 100% whole grain bread.

wally's picture
wally

That is seriously good looking bread - especially the crumb!  I hadn't paid much attention to Reinhart's whole wheat recipe, but looking at it again I'm intrigued by the amount of soaker and preferment compared to the final mix.  He's certainly front-loaded a lot of flavor development into it.


And obviously, your freshly milled grain has added another dimension.


More good baking in 2011!


Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you think the BBA WW Bread uses a lot of pre-ferment and soaker, look at the WW Sandwich Bread in Whole Grain Baking!


See my reply to Karin, above.


Another year of good baking to you too!


David

longhorn's picture
longhorn

That's the aroma I like to "spike" my country loaves with! It's obviously not as "strong" as in WW but even 5% makes a lovely difference!


Very inspirational to make some BBA WW!


Thanks!
Jay

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Wildeny, the formula for the 100% Whole Wheat Bread in WGB works just fine - if you only cut down on the sweetener! I use 19 g honey instead of 43 g, and with this amount of honey the bread still has slightly sweet taste. I do the same with most of the other WGB breads, except for the Whole Wheat Pitas - they need the full dose of honey (28 g).


I bake the 100% Whole Wheat, and the transitional version (but with spelt instead of wheat) regularly, for sale and for myself. Both taste very good and are also great for toasting.


Karin


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'll have to revisit this formula.


David

wildeny's picture
wildeny

I'll give it a try on WGB's whole wheat bread again. 19g should be just right for me. Thank you, Karin.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I never liked 100% whole wheat breads (those I bought in Germany) because they were always "too healthy", brittle, dry, and kind of crude. I baked this loaf therefore with some doubts, but having such good experiences with other P.R.'s breads, that I at least wanted to give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised how good the bread tasted, moist and flavorful, only a bit too sweet.


I should mention that I found you can also reduce the overall amount of yeast in the WGB formulas: 5 g instant yeast in the final dough is really sufficient. I do the bulk rise always in the refrigerator overnight. Works like a charm.


Karin