Smackdown! Fresh vs Aged Home Milled Flour
Since the discussion continues on aging flour, this week I had the opportunity to mill and bake all in one day and I thought I would document the results.
I used the milling routine from my former post, but added two “medium coarse” passes prior to removing the bran. Immediately after milling I made the dough using the same method as my prior loaf. I really attempted to go “by the numbers” – number of strokes, dough temperature, fermentation time and temperature, and proofing time and temperature so the only difference would be between aging and not aging the flour.
What I observed was that I really didn’t feel the need for any adjustments. At no point was I thinking “Wow, this is different!” All seemed to move along as it had with the aged flour.
The final loaf (although somewhat more “boldly baked” shall we say) bore this out. Given small variations of shaping and slashing, it was nearly the twin of my other loaf.
The crumb – likewise.
The taste was a bit fresher, a little more lively – in short better to my taste.
My results seem to be consistent with Mr. Reinhart’s advice to bake quickly or wait two weeks. What I really can’t reconcile is the science – that says that oxidation is required to bring the flour to full gluten development potential. I will need to read and research more on this.
Unfortunately, my personal schedule will prevent me from running an experiment on aging day by day for some time – and that would be interesting. But for now, if my schedule permits – fresh flour it is.