The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking with freshly milled flour

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

The idea of honest bread and its making found its way into my thinking over the weekend. I find myself slipping more and more into this way of baking. Using less but wanting more from it. I didn’t bake any differently to past weekends yet I felt more connected and relaxed throughout the process. The slightly cooler temperatures certainly helped both my peace of mind and the resulting bread. The kitchen felt less frantic.

 I haven’t been pushing the envelope. Just practising consistency while noticing and adapting to the subtle differences the change of seasons is bringing. Perhaps this might be seen as boring or lazy … nevertheless I enjoyed it thoroughly and it keeps us well fed.

I baked two small batches of 100 per cent whole-wheat desem bread and country breads on the weekend. This will feed the family during the week and left us with a loaf to take away on a picnic to a country market in the northern New South Wales town of Bangalow. We had the best handmade organic doughnuts while wandering through the markets. One of the country breads was given to Nat’s parents on our trip home to help ease their struggling brought on by home renovations.

I have been trying a new method of milling where the flour is constantly stirred and moved around in the bowl as it falls from the mill. I want to disperse the heat as quickly as possible and noticed a definite improvement in the time it took for the flour to cool. Whether this translates into the final bread I really have no idea. Any ideas? I sifted the wheat flour for the country bread as normal and retained the bran for coating the desem loaves.

Mixing the desem starter

Autolyse and desem starter

Squeezing in desem starter

Stretch-and-fold

 

100% Whole-wheat Desem

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

2000g

 

Total flour

1081g

100%

Total water

919g

85%

Total salt

20g

1.8%

Prefermented flour

162g

15%

 

 

 

Desem starter build – 10 hrs 18-20°C

 

 

Starter

61g

50%

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

122g

100%

Water

61g

50%

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Desem starter

243g

26%

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

919g

100%

Water

838g

91%

Salt

20g

2%

 

Method

  1. Mix desem starter and leave to ferment for 10-12 hours at 18-20°C
  2. Mill flour and allow to cool to room temperature before mixing with water (hold back 50 grams of water) and autolyse for a minimum of one hour.
  3. Add levain to autolyse then knead (French fold) 5 mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and remaining 50 grams of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together smoothly) then knead a further 10 mins.
  4. Bulk ferment two and a half hours with three stretch-and-fold 30 mins apart.
  5. Preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Shape.
  6. Final proof was for 1.5 hours at 24°C
  7. Bake in a preheated dutch oven at 250°C for 10 mins then reduce temperature to 200°C and bake a further 10 mins. Remove bread from the dutch oven and continue to bake on a stone for a further 20mins to ensure even browning.

 

 

I am continuing to expand the desem starter with one build straight from the fridge and as the overnight temperature continues to cool the desem starter is achieving a more controlled fermentation and sweeter aroma by the following morning. I have been looking forward to this kind of weather all summer and it is so nice to not have sweating dough racing away from me into a sticky mess. I even had to increase proofing times by an extra half-an-hour for this bake.

For an aesthetic change to previous desem loaves I baked these without slashing in a dutch oven after coating them in bran sifted from the country breads. I was really surprised with the increased oven spring … quite possibly the best I have had with this form of bread.

Country bread baking

The most telling tale that the cooling temperatures are affecting the bread came with the cutting and tasting. Nat took a bite and then looked at me and asked quite seriously, ‘Have you added anything else to this … it tastes sweet?’ Not only does it taste sweet, but you can smell the sweetness in the kitchen while slicing through a loaf. The crust is delicate with the bran coating adding a crunchy contrast to the soft crumb within.

So far we have eaten it with Nat’s special ‘sick soup’, with honey and ricotta, toasted with peanut butter, with plum jam, with apricot jam … and the list goes on and on.

Happy baking all ...
Cheers
Phil

PiPs's picture
PiPs

It is 4:45am on a quiet and cool Sunday morning.  I am taking my time … a cup of tea while listening to the birds. I can smell mangos on the table next to me.

Nat and I packed a lot of effort into yesterday. The yard work is done, and in between all the mowing and trimming necessary after summer rain I managed to put a few loaves of bread through the oven.

Have you ever stopped to think about a grain of wheat? I am slowly learning the scientific terms and descriptions … but my brain is not really wired that way. What I am slowly starting to appreciate is that these little grains are really packets of life. I don’t stop and take the time to think about this enough. They hold all that is required to germinate … just needed is the right balance of moisture and warmth.

For the baking this weekend I wanted to take a step beyond sprouting into the world of malting. During the week I sprouted wheat, rye and barley grains. After drying (kilning), I gently roasted the grains in search of flavour and colouring, not diastatic power or enzyme content. The house smelt amazing during this process …

… I now wanted to try them freshly milled in bread … and it turned out Nat’s parents were staying with us – to offer them bread is the perfect excuse to bake.

I decided upon the sourdough formula from Richard Bertinets book Crust. This formula was probably the first I knew off the top of my head. I have made it so many times in all sorts of weather with every flour combination imaginable. It is a 75% hydration dough with 25% of the total flour being pre-fermented in a stiff levain. With this amount of pre-fermented flour you need to pay attention to the ripeness of the levain builds as they have a big impact on the final dough.

Included in this I combined roasted wheat and barley malt flour at 5% of the total flour. I have been racking my thoughts on a way to best describe the aroma and taste of the roasted malt flours. I can’t. There is malt flavour in the roasted barley but also stronger rich dark toasted overtones, especially when combined with the malted wheat.

The difference was apparent as soon as I combined the ingredients. You could smell the malted flours and see them streaked throughout the autolysing dough.

On Saturday morning I took the risen bread from the fridge and allowed it to come to room temperature before filling the waking house with the aromas of fresh bread.

In the end I think the roasted malt flours did more for the colouring than flavour. The blistered crust is packed with colour and caramelized flavour while the crumb is a little darker but I find it hard to pick a noticeable difference in the overall flavour. I thought this strange after the difference I had sensed in the mixing stages but with a crumb so soft that we struggled to cut it without serious squashing and squeezing – it was deemed a delicious success.

 

Sunflower and Sesame wholesome wholemeal

I have noticed how much I missed using the mill after last weeks bake of ciabattas and brioche. I somehow felt disconnected from the bread I was making. It all tasted great but it wasn’t ‘wriggling with life’. I missed the planning and preparation, the smell of freshly milled grains … oh and the eventual endless cleaning I seemingly produced. The vacuum and I are getting very well acquainted.

I pictured bread with freshly milled grains and roasted malt flour packed with seeds. Instead of an endless variety of seeds I paired two - sesame and sunflower. The aromas of these lightly toasted seeds complimented the roasted malt wheat flour bringing a richness and depth to this wholesome bread.

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight (minus mix-ins)

2000g

 

Total flour

1081g

100%

Total water

919g

85%

Total salt

20g

2%

Prefermented flour

270g

25%

Desired dough temperature 24°C

 

 

 

 

 

Levain build – 8 hrs 18-20°C

 

 

Starter (not included in final dough)

135g

50%

Flour (I use a flour mix of 70% AP flour, 18% fresh milled wheat, 9% fresh milled spelt and 3% fresh milled rye)

270g

100%

Water

135g

50%

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Levain

405g

50%

Freshly milled wheat flour (Four Leaf biodynamic grains)

761g

94%

Roasted malted wheat flour

50g

6%

Water

784g

96%

Salt

20g

2%

Mix-ins

 

 

Sesame seeds lightly toasted

50g

6%

Sunflower seeds lightly toasted

210g

25%

+ Sunflower seeds for coating

 

 

 

Method

  1. Autolyse flour and for one hour. (hold back 50 grams of water)
  2. Meanwhile lightly toast sunflower and sesame seeds until golden and allow to cool.
  3. Add levain to autolyse then knead (French fold) 5 mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and 50 grams of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together smoothly) then knead a further 10 mins.
  4. Gently mix in seeds until combined.
  5. Bulk ferment two hours with one stretch-and-fold after the first hour.
  6. Preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Shape. Spray the outside lightly with water and roll in untoasted sunflower seeds.
  7. Final proof was one hour at room temperature (25°).
  8. Bake in dutch oven for 10 mins at 250°C then 10 mins at 200°C. Remove loaf from dutch oven and bake a further 20 mins at 200°C.

 

 

After a day of mowing and raking, it was magic to stop and savor a slice of this while still warm. To top it off ­– a scraping butter. Sigh …

The Four Leaf milling grains lend their typical golden hue to a soft crumb packed with seeds. The sesame is subtle and appears in the background on occasions to remind you of their presence while sunflower seeds are the champions – from the tender bite in the crumb to the roasted crunch on the crust to the final enjoyment of picking at fallen seeds on the plate.

All the best,
Phil 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hi All,


Just want to start out by thanking both MC, and Shiao-Ping for their detailed postings and directions on making the Gérard Rubaud Miche.


Also, since so many people have tried out this method, I figured that I'd try it out too...  And my hand crank grain mill arrived a few days ago, and today was a snow day, so no work...


So here is my attempt that came out of the oven earlier today.  I have to say that it is the most amazing bread that I have made so far...  I probably should have let the loaf age for 1 day before cutting, but I was impatient and cut into it when the internal temp almost hit 80F.  I was not disappointed.


Please find the pictures and recipe below.  Also, I didn't really follow MC's or Shiao-Ping's instructions on building the levain, or on mixing, etc...  Lemme know what you think.  Thanks.


Enjoy!


Tim







Special tools:


Small Iron Grain Mill from Lehman's as described on MC's blog about Gérard Rubaud


2 - 8" linen lined bannetons or brotforms


2 baking stones


Steam tray or method to create steam.


Ingredients:


600g AP Flour (60%)


100g Bread Flour (10%)


150g Organic Winter Hard Wheat Berries (15%)


100g Organic Spelt Berries (10%)


50g Organic Rye Berries (5%)


250g Firm Sourdough Starter @ 60-65% hydration (25%) See notes below.


750g Water (75%)


20g Kosher Salt (2%)


Total Dough Weight: Approx 2000g


Yield: 2 x 800g loaves after baking


Evening of Day 1 - Preparing the Firm Sourdough Starter


8:00pm


Ingredients below not included in above recipe.)


- Grind 25g wheat berries, 15g spelt berries, 10g rye berries with a grain mill.


- Take 100g of your firm storage starter from the refrigerator, mix with 150g AP flour, and 50g of the freshly ground wheat/spelt/rye berries, and 130g water.  Cover and let rest on counter for 2-4 hours.  Starter should double...


11:30pm


- Measure out all ingredients.


- Grind the wheat/spelt/rye berries.


Day 2 - Mixing Final Dough and Baking


12:00am (Midnight)


- Put water, and 250g of firm sourdough starter in large mixing bowl, place dry ingredients on top, mix with wooden spoon until all combined into shaggy dough.  Knead dough in bowl using wet hands using the french fold method for 1 minute making sure to squish out any dry bits or lumps.  Do not add any extra flour.  Dough should be pretty smooth.  Put dough into oiled plastic container, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.


12:20am


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 25 minutes.


12:45am


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 20 minutes.


1:05am


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rise overnight on counter.  Go to bed.


7:30am


- Check dough to see if it has doubled in size.  Also press dough with we fingertip.  If impression remains, dough is ready to be divided and preshaped into 2 boules approx 1000g each.  Cover with towel and let rest for 15 minutes.


7:45am


- Final shape into tight boule, then place into lightly floured banneton/brotform seam side up and place into large plastic bag so they don't dry out, and proof for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs.


9:45am


- Arrange 2 baking stones on racks in oven, one should be the 1st space from the bottom, and the next should be 2nd from the top.  Arrange steam pan.  Preheat 550F with convection.


10:15am


- Remove proofing baskets from plastic bag, and cover with dish towel.


10:45am


- Lightly flour the boules before turning them out onto a peel, slash as desired, place directly on baking stone.  Repeat for 2nd loaf.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water to your steam pan, close oven door.  Turn oven down to 450F with covection and bake for 25 minutes.  After the 1st 25 minutes, rotate the loaves between the stones and bake for another 25 minutes with convection at 425F.  Loaves are done when the internal temp reaches 205F to 210F.


11:45am - Take loaves out of oven and cool for 3-4 hours or until internal temp is 80F.  Loaves should weigh approx 800g after baking.


Notes: for the AP flour, I mixed Whole Foods 365 AP, and Gold Medal Unbleached AP.  The bread flour is King Arthur.  The organic whole grains are from Fairway Market in NYC.  The grinder is really cool!  Hard wheat is hard to grind.  Spelt is easy, and rye is about as hard as hard wheat...


 Submitted to Yeastspotting on 2/11/10

Gristmiller's picture

Stone milled flour

November 16, 2009 - 11:18am -- Gristmiller

I operate a water powered french buhr gristmill.  We mill six products--spelt, pastry flour 1.5% gluten, bread flour 8% gluten, rye flour, corn meal and polenta.  Any suggestions to help us mill perfect flours for a variety of uses.  I bake often and am developing ideas about what works for me but would love to hear from other bakers and milers. 

Big Brick House Bakery's picture

Baking with freshly milled flour

June 22, 2009 - 7:19am -- Big Brick House...

I am a scratch baker, I purchase grains and use them in my bread recipes.  I have to make conversions from traditional flours to my fresh flour, has anyone else ran into this?  I have came up with several tricks, but always looking for more suggestions, along with other peoples creations with their fresh flour.

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