Properties of Freshly Milled Whole Wheat Flour and Why
While I've been baking bread for about 3 years now, this is my first post to TFL. I was recently gifted a hand powered grain mill and purchased a few pounds of hard red winter wheat at the food co-op down the street. Last weekend I milled some to make a few loaves. I have a few questions regarding the properties of this flour I'm hoping you can shed some light on. I've been able to find a great deal of information about how fresh milled whole wheat flour behaves, but not why it does.
1) I've read that freshly milled flour generally needs more water and absorbs it slowly, why is this?
2) Supposedly fresh milled whole wheat flour will go rancid within a few days because of oils released from the germ, yet I can buy whole wheat flour on the shelf at the supermarket that has been sitting for weeks. What's the difference?
3) I know that the shards of bran in fresh whole wheat flour can hinder gluten development by tearing it. Yet when I made Reinhart's Light Whole Wheat bread the one with fresh milled flour rose significantly more, all other factors being equal. In contrast, I made a 100% whole wheat loaf (proofing in the fridge overnight)which rose little and had non existent oven spring.
If there is other general information you have I'd appreciate it!