The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

home-milled flour???

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ringingrockfarm's picture
ringingrockfarm

home-milled flour???

I've been making a whole wheat bread recipe successfully for awhile now.  Yummy!  But today I tried using fresh home-milled flour,  which I was very excited about!  But the dough didn't act the same,  and the loaves turned out really dense and hard...  much more so than I thought they would.   Is there special recipes for using home milled flour?  or a different technique I should know about?

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

I have found that 100% whole wheat, especially fresh ground, needs a little extra water in it.  There are many variables, from what kind of wheat it is, to hydration etc.  I use either Hard Winter White wheat, or Hard Winter Red wheat for making yeast breads.  I actually soak all the fresh ground flour in the liquid (adding buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, or some lemon juice seems to really improve the dough) from the recipes overnight, which I have been having really good results from.  Other factors that can effect your bread are if you have put grains/fibers, such as flax or oat bran etc, this can make a heavier loaf.  There are really a lot of factors that can cause this, even simply having yeast that is to old to rise properly. 


If you post your recipe and the methods that you used, it would help us help you.

Grain Mill Mary's picture
Grain Mill Mary

I agree with the use of lemon juice or other citrus in the dough of 100% whole wheat.  I have used Vital Wheat Gluten which has vitamin C in it.  I also have a few recipes that use orange zest.  The reason for the lemon juice, other citrus or Vitamin C is that it helps the yeast to bloom further in the last rise. 


Yes, the fresh milled flour is different in that it has the whole grain, and the whole nutrition.  The regulation for shipping flour is that the germ is removed.  This is what will go rancid and actually become toxic, therefore it is removed in flours before they are shipped.  The flour from a home grain mill has all the nutrition and flavor.


Please visit www.foodtoolsplus.com/grain_mills and sign up for recipes using home milled flour.


Grain Mill Mary

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

The transition from King Arthur Whole Wheat to fresh ground whole wheat wasn't a big bump in thje road.  The wheat I mill is hard wheat with high protein levels (probably a spring wheat).  The hyration is about 70% of the weight of flour used and I soak the wheat in a soaker and a biga overnight. 


Red

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Just a though, how coarse is your flour?  I used to make rocks with hand milled flour, unless I added about 50% bread flour to it.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I only use whole grains that I grind myself.  A great resource for me has been Peter Reinhart's book that deals exclusively with whole grains.  TItle is Whole Grain Breads.  


I checked it out at our library and then, after baking a couple of loaves with it, i bough a copy off of Amazon.  It has revolutionized my loaves...


One contributor here has recipes that she uses with only whole wheat and they come out amazingly soft.  You might check out her threads and read how she does what she does.


Her user name is Txfarmer and the 2 recipes I have made using her method have been amazing.  I just baked her Lemony Loaf today and it is a big hit.  The other loaf of hers that I have done is her 100% whole wheat sourdough oatmeal loaf...at least I think that is the name of it... (Both of these loaves are more sandwich type loaves.)


As others have said above, whole grain flours do need more water and soaking helps tremendously. 


Another excellent book using only whole grains is Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.


Good Luck!

ringingrockfarm's picture
ringingrockfarm

Thank you all very much!  I will get at least one of those books mentioned...


and check out Txfarmer.  The flour was indeed very coarse.  And I didn't soak.


One clarification question...  you mean that I should soak the wheat berries, right?  In a soaker or a biga?  I don't know what those are,  but I'll google them... :)

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I don't know what type of mill you are using.  I have a Nutramill and can adjust the coarseness of my flour and I generally use a finer grind for a sandwich loaf.


The flour is what is soaked.  If you can borrow a copy of WGB from the library he goes into great detail about this method.


A rough idea:


Soaker = about 1/2 of your total flour with about 1/2 of your water and a bit of the salt all mixed together and left out at room temp. for 12-24 hours.


Biga = about 1/2 of your total flour with about 1/2 of your water and a small amount of yeast mixed together and put into the refrig. for 12 - 24 hours.


Both of these pre-ferments are then combined on baking day with the remainder of your ingredients and allowed to rise and bake.


The long fermentation times really help to soften the bran in the whole grain which not only adds to the flavor but helps keep the bran from damaging the gluten which all amounts to a softer and loftier loaf with exceptional flavor.


I generally mix up the soaker and the biga in the afternoon and let them sit overnight.  I put them all together the following morning and bake.


These recipes are flexible and can be made to fit just about any schedule.


Another member here uses PR's recipes and sells them to a local health food store in her area.  Her technique is to mix the pre-ferments in the morning and then mix the final dough in the evening followed by an overnight bulk ferment in the refrigerator thus making baking day a snap...her name is Hanseata.


Take a look for her topics...one I think is about using this method to bake a STRAUN loaf.


jc

catfuzz's picture
catfuzz

Actually, I love all of his books!  The Whole Grain book turns out amazing bread! 


:)

JBeddo's picture
JBeddo

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I am at near 7000 feet so I use a lot more water than you might need because of the low air pressure everything dries out very quickly. I also like to let bread rise three times instead of two. The shorter rise times at high altitudes don’t give it long enough to develop the full flavor. This is my go to bread recipe, I use for sandwich bread, hamburger buns, pizza dough, dinner sized calzones, my own version of hot pockets (usually ham & cheese with broccoli), and a desert where I fill it with pie filling and drizzle a sweet topping on them.                                

·         2.2 lbs hard (winter or spring) wheat berries ground into Flour  (I do 1/2 red & ½ white wheat berries)                    

·         3 ¾ cups warm water                        

·         1 ½ Tbsp Kosher (coarse) salt

·         1 ½ Tbsp instant yeast                      

·         1 Tbsp gluten                                    

·         1 Tbsp lecithin                                  

·         2 Tbsp sucanat or sugar

·         ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

       This dough is very wet. I mix it until it is “shaggy.” Put the dough hook on let the mixer have at for several minutes to develop the gluten even though the dough may not come together in the traditional way because it is so wet. Then scrape down the bowl and oil on all sides cover with oiled wax paper and let rise in a warm place. I have a 7 quart bowl on my mixer so it’s a monster large enough to handle when it has doubled so I let it rise in the same bowl I mixed it in.

       Punch down and turn out on an oiled surface again this is how I deal with the altitude drying everything out. Stretch and Fold to work the very wet dough. Allow to rise again (like I mentioned I let it rise a third time if when I’m not pressed for time). Shape, slash and bake. I bake at 375 for 45 minutes when I use loaf pans for everyday bread and use a hotter oven when I use pizza/kiln shelf baking stone.     

·         Or: Store in the refrigerator after the first rise and use within 7 days or freeze for a longer shelf life. This way you can pull off a loaf let it come to room temperature shape and bake so you can have fresh bread at every meal. A few rolls or loaf that you have worked in roasted garlic or whatever.

Breadbeckers.com also has a collection of recipes mostly breads that are all for freshly milled flour. The book costs only $6 on her website. I found it very useful when I first got my mill.

 

JBeddo's picture
JBeddo

sorry about all that stuff at the beginning I copied and pasted and accidently hit enter before I meant to

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Look for the word "edit" in the lower right, click on it (and wait several seconds for the post to look just like it did when first posted rather than like webpage source), then fix your post.


Posts don't always need to remain exactly as they are. Changing the meaning of your post -or otherwise implementing second thoughts- is considered "bad form" (or "downright rude" or even "anti-social")  ...partly because it often makes nonsense of the posts before and after it in the thread. But correcting plain old cockpit errors is often a good idea (and the technology is there).

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Not sure if you are familiar with this book....It has wonderful recipes and you do not have to add gluten to get a soft crumb due to the pre-ferments.