The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

20% bran wheat flour (with germ)

jbeanie's picture

20% bran wheat flour (with germ)

 I recently bought "Bread Alone" by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik. Great information, terrific recipes (I want to make ALL of them!). Problem is this:  most of the recipes call for 20% bran wheat flour (with germ). Huh? They admit it's probably hard to find so recommend blending 3 parts unbleached white flour (preferably with germ), 1 part stone-ground whole wheat flour (preferably medium or fine grind). I have no idea if my flour has "germ" and the stone-ground whole wheat flour I've seen doesn't indicate if it's medium or fine grind. How does one know if the flour has "germ"? I really like the looks of all the recipes in the book and I hate to be thwarted by inaccessible ingredients. I'm open to all suggestions (other than throw away this dang book!) Thanks, my friends.

breadforfun's picture

I suggest that you just use what you've got on hand.  Fortunately, baking bread is very forgiving.  I don't have Bread Alone but my guess is that Leader is making suggestions that enhance the flavor of the bread.  You can always toss in some wheat germ into the mix (in Tartine 3 Chad Robertson includes 7% in nearly every recipe!).  If the flour is not fine it will affect your hydration a little, but you can adjust the recipe the next time you make it, just keep notes. Think of the recipes as starting points rather than absolutes and stay flexible.  Good luck.

-Brad's picture


I just logged on to post a bread I've been baking for which the formula involves 55# sieving out (and separately prefermenting) the "bran".  In the post, I say that the 55# sieve retained fraction of every WW flour I've used has been between 20 and 31% of the total flour (by weight).  20% is pretty normal for commercial WW flours that are actually reconstituted from separate milling fractions (bran + germ is added back to a mostly white flour fraction). 

However, whole milled flours are just ground up wheat with all fractions retained in the product -- no reconstitution of previously separated fractions.  One Degree Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour is whole milled (I confirmed this by email with the company rep) and this is what we like.  Other storebought WW flours no doubt are whole milled, but I can't say which (perhaps Bob's?).  A reconstituted WW flour that doesn't have any germ is a crime against humanity consumers.  I hope there aren't any like that but who can say.

I think you are unnecessarily stressing about Leader's flour specification.  Just use the best WW flour you can lay your hands on and all will be well.

Happy baking.


amberartisan's picture