The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Bitter Taste in fresh milled WW

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ron45's picture
ron45

The Bitter Taste in fresh milled WW

I have been grinding organic hard red winter and spring whole wheat berries off and on for over 30 years. I have never had that taste. But buying flours off the shelf in markets I have had it plenty of times. It could be rancid. The bitter taste is charactoristic of rancidity. This is usually accompanied with a slight burning taste after swallowing. I usually taste the raw flour after grinding to check for that. I had to throw away several batches of just baked corn bread from store mixes that I didn't taste before hand. It's an unmistakable taste even after cooking. A few bags of ww flour have been rancid as well. Most people don't use that much whole wheat flour so it sits around in the store too long.

Ron

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 That bitter taste is why so many people say they don't like WW,,,,,

      At least that's why I didn't like it until I milled my own WW, I think there is no comparison. qahtan

umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

i've been buying my ww and high-extraction flour from a local, co-operatively owned grocery store that rotates its bulk stock frequently, and i've never had a problem with rancidity in my flours. I wonder, if you're buying pre-packaged bags, are there any dates on the bags signifying how old the flour might be? or if you're grinding your own, is there any way to tell if the wheat kernels you buy are fresh?

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

if you're grinding your own, is there any way to tell if the wheat kernels you buy are fresh?

The wheat berry in its whole form will keep for years and years so long as its kept cool and dry. If they get wet, they sprout. Otherwise, though, you really don't need to worry about it. I think it's one of the big advantages of home grinding for those who bake a lot of flour with whole grain flour -- you can buy in bulk to save money and not worry about that 50 lb bag going rancid.
ron45's picture
ron45

Hi JMonkey, This is something I've been wanting to check into myself. Where does the info on the longevity of whole grains come from? My uncle's farm,
where I spent all my summers and countless weekends, kept grains, barley, rye, wheat and oats, only till the next planting season.

This could be for practicle reasons i.e. storage and production capacities. I know about the stories of sealed Phoenician amphoras at the bottom of the Med with drinkable wine and sproutable grain. But that's a pretty special situation. Also I wonder about flours and how long before they start to turn. I just tried wiki but they didn't have much to say. Could have been I didn't enter the right string.

Ron

Ramona's picture
Ramona

If you go into the links area of this website, there is a link called Pleasant Hill Grain.  Go into that and look up storage.  You can find Gamma Lids that have gaskets in them to put on 5 gallon buckets.  You can store grains this way for years and they are fine.  As for the freshness of flour, you can look up the heading, on the freshloaf website, "what are you eating," and it provides some information that I gave about what happens to the flour once it is milled.  I have read accounts also of seeds, that were hundreds of years old, being found in burial sites and were able to be sprouted.  So, if the storage is proper, things can last. 

ron45's picture
ron45

Hey Ramona, thanks for the links.

On storage, a while back someone here or the pizza forum posted a link to an ebay seller selling UN approved food storage containers with screw on lids and an O ring gasket. They were 9 bux I think plus shipping. I got one of those. The only nigglet is if you put the lid on too tight it's hard to unscrew. There must be some kind of tool like a strap wrench to use on these but I can usually get it off easily now that I know not to over tighten. These hold about 30 lbs of wheat.

ROn

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

From the Utah State University Extension Service:

Question: Can flour be stored like unmilled wheat?

Answer: Flour cannot be stored as long as wheat and should never be stored near apples, onions, potatoes, etc., as they will cause the flour to have an odor or flavor. Whole wheat or white flour stored for more than 5 years results in off flavored bread and reduced loaf volume.

Whole grain wheat stored for 23 years and then milled yielded excellent loaf volume and flavor. Whole wheat flour includes the wheat germ and cannot be stored as long as white flour without developing a rancid taste.

Personally, I'd not store whole wheat flour for longer than 6 months, and I'd store it in the freezer, but that's just me. Lots of information on storing wheat berries in the home here, too.

Frankly, some of the storage advice seems a bit of overkill to me, though. I just empty a 50 lb bag into two five-gallon buckets fixed with Gamma seals, and leave it in my garage. But then, I usually go through 150-200 lbs of wheat each year, which means I'm done with a 50 lb bag in 3-4 months. But I bake all our baked goods from freshly milled flour -- English muffins, pancakes, waffles, brownies, cakes, pie crusts, bread, etc -- and I also bake a lot of bread to give away as gifts.
ron45's picture
ron45

In the early seventies a chemist and a nutritionist appeared on the Johnny Carson show. They were introducing the free radical theory of aging to the general public. During their discussion they mentioned that grinding wheat begins and irreversible of process of oxidation. [rancification] That has always stuck in my mind. I've always been leery of commercial flour. Whole wheat or not.

But, having spent my late teens thru most of my 30s in a touring band based in Malibu, in the 60s/70s; my views on nutrition and many other things are forever changed. It was just like taking the correct pill for Alice or Neo in the matrix.

What you say about flour in the freezer is very good idea. It should slow down the oxidation considerably, but as someone said a while back, rust never sleeps.

Peace, Love.... Dough!

Ron