The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bolting

  • Pin It
varda's picture
varda

Lately I have been baking with flour home-milled from hard red winter wheat from Upinngil Farm in Gill Massachusetts.     I have also been experimenting with sifting the milled flour to achieve different results, and after reading about bolting - see Andy's post and note below - with bolting as well.   My first attempt at bolting using a knee-high nylon didn't go well.   The less said the better.    Then I realized that cheese cloth has a fine mesh and might possibly be well suited for the task at hand.    So I have been playing around with using cheese cloth to bolt fresh milled flour, without much good baking results.   

Today, I came back to it and made another attempt.    I decided to use my regular white starter, rather than working with a whole wheat starter, which adds another layer of complexity.   And also constrained the process by determining that I would only use the Upinngil whole wheat for the final dough.   

I proceeded as follows:  

1.  Mill 514 g of wheat berries at medium setting

2.  Sift with #24 wire strainer

3.  Mill what is caught in the sieve at fine setting

4.  Sift with #30 wire strainer

This process removed 50g of bran.

5.   Place flour on top of a square of cheese cloth and form a bag by folding up corners and securing with a twist tie

6.  Shake, bounce, bump, etc. into a wooden bowl.    (Note this step takes awhile.)

At the end of this process I had 226g of golden flour with only tiny flecks of bran in it, and left in the cheese cloth was 226g of a coarse flour / semolina mix.  

I decided to make two loaves - one with the more refined flour, and one with the less refined flour.  They both came out quite breadlike.

The one with the refined flour was a bit better behaved than the other.

I would say both tasted good with the second loaf with a much more rustic, coarse crumb.

Here are the formulae:

 

Starter builds

 

 

 

 

 

12/7/2012

 

2:30 PM

9:30 PM

Total

Percent

Seed

29

 

 

 

 

KAAP

16

47

95

158

95%

Whole Rye

1

3

5

9

5%

Water

12

34

67

113

67%

 

 

 

 

280

9.7

12/8/2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

KAAP

 

71

71

24%

 

Whole Rye

 

4

4

1%

 

Bolted Upinngil Tier 1

226

 

226

75%

 

Water

149

50

199

66%

 

Salt

5

 

5

1.7%

 

Starter

125

 

 

25%

 

 

 

 

505

 

 

Factor

0.45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

KAAP

 

71

71

22%

 

WR

 

4

4

1%

 

Bolted Upinngil Tier 2

226

 

226

69%

 

Med Rye

25

 

25

8%

 

Water

182

50

232

71%

 

Salt

7

 

7

2.1%

 

Starter

125

 

 

23%

 

 

 

 

565

 

 

Factor

0.45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mixed the first dough for 10 minutes, and the second for 20.    It was necessary to add a bit of medium rye to the second dough to make it adhere.   I was very worried about over fermenting and proofing these loaves so I erred on the side of under-doing it.    I fermented the first loaf for 2 hours, and the second for 1.5 hours, both with two stretch and folds.   Then proofed each of them for only 45 minutes.   They were baked together at 450F with steam for 20 minutes, and without for 25.  

Note:   Bolting is an old (say 17th century) method of refining flour by passing milled wheat through successively finer and finer cloth mesh tubes.   See for instance http://www.angelfire.com/journal/millbuilder/boulting.html%C2%A0%C2%A0   So technically I have done a hybrid of metal sifting and cloth bolting, as I only have one cloth mesh size.  

[Addendum:  For those of you who think that milling, sifting, and now bolting is too messy, please note that only 13g of flour was missing in action.    I'm sure it will be all cleaned up in the fullness of time. ] 

 

varda's picture
varda

I have been doing multiple bakes with home-milled sifted flour and it's nothing if not a learning experience.    My initial attempt at tempering was a fiasco.   All I could think of when I heard the word tempering was that somehow the wheat berries must be heated to very high temperatures to strengthen them.   Only a few seconds of thought though, is all it takes to realize that that is ridiculous.   But I was still surprised to learn that tempering when it comes to wheat means letting it absorb enough water to achieve a small measure of malting, and reach a desirable level of moisture.   

Easier said than done.   I tried heating a sample of berries at low temperature for several hours to see what their moisture content was.   See the strategy described by Michael here.  Then I added the requisite amount of water to the berries I intended to bake with and stored in a closed container for 2 days while the berries absorbed the moisture, shaking the container whenever I passed by.    I knew that I needed to be careful not to use overly moist berries in my Komo mill.    Fortunately the owners manual gives a handy rule of thumb.   Smash a berry with a spoon on the counter.   If it cracks with a nice snap, it's dry enough.   If it just kind of smashes, it's too wet.   Unfortunately after it seemed that the berries were dry, they smashed.   I had to dry them out for a whole day to get them to crack again.    When they got back into a crackable state, they had lost all the water weight that I'd put into them.   Furthermore the bread I made with these tempered and redried berries was flavorless.   

So presumably my berries are moist enough as it is, and don't need water added.   This still leaves the question of whether I'll get good enough bran separation during milling without going through the tempering step.    But for now at least I've put tempering on hold.  

For my next few bakes, I tried a milling and sifting approach as follows.   Mill berries coarsely.   Sift.   (I used a roughly #24 strainer - that is 24 holes per inch.)   Remill what is caught by the sifter at medium coarse, and sift again.   Remill the leavings again at medium fine and sift again.   Remill the leavings again at fine and sift again.   Stop.   The flour and bran in the picture above resulted from this approach.   While the bread I baked with this approach was a lot tastier than the one with the mis-tempered flour, I still felt that a lot was left to be desired.   

Today, I went out and got more sifting ammunition.   A roughly #30 strainer, and a roughly #40 splatter screen.    I also changed my approach to milling and sifting.    In addition to remilling the leavings and resifting, I decided to progressively sift the flour.     So I milled the berries at medium, then sifted in the #24 strainer and set aside the leavings.    Then sifted the flour in the #30 strainer and set aside the leavings.   Then sifted the flour in the #40 strainer and mixed all the leavings from the three sifts together and remilled at medium.   Then went through the 3 siftings again of the remilled material and added to the flour.  

The flour I got from this process was lighter and silkier than the other approach.    The bad news is that I started with 350g of berries and got only 170g of flour, a less than 50% extraction rate.    That meant that to get a full bake, I had to add a lot of other flour, which I did.     So the flour from the Upinngil wheat berries ended up at a quarter of total flour.    To throw yet another wild card into the bake, I hadn't prepared starter in advance, but I had some leftover rye starter from a bake a few days ago in the refrigerator, and I decided to use as is.   However, not knowing how potent it was I threw in some instant yeast.   

Of course any bread I got out of this was just in the interests of science (aka hacking around with milling and sifting.)   And here is what I got.   Mild and pleasant, but just another step along the way toward something or other.  

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 
      

Whole Rye

 

146

146

23%

 

Sifted Upinngil

171

 

171

26%

 

KA Bread Flour

329

 

329

51%

 

Water

352

119

471

73%

 

Salt

14

 

14

2.2%

 

Yeast

8

 

8

1.2%

 

Starter

265

    
   

1139

  
      

Grind 350g hard red wheat berries at medium

  

Sift in #24 sifter.   Sift resulting flour in #30 sifter.

  

Sift resulting flour in #40 sifter.

   

Regrind all the leavings at medium.

   

Redo the three part sift.   This left me with 170g silky

 

golden brown flour. 

    
      
      

Mix all ingredients in mixer.   When all ingredients incorporated mix at speed 2 for 20 minutes. 

 

BF 1.5 hours until dough is double.  

 

Cut and preshape.   Rest 15 minutes.

  

Shape into batards.  Proof 1 hour.   Coat with bran/semolina mix.

Slash and bake at 450 F with steam for 20 minutes, without for 25 minutes

 
      

Addendum:   Andy's recent post about bolted wheat flour from an operating watermill, led me straight to google to look up bolting.   Well bolting is sifting, but it has an interesting history as I found in this article -  http://www.angelfire.com/journal/millbuilder/boulting.html   There is a lot of interesting stuff in this article but one of the things that struck me is that much of sifting has been done with cloth rather than a wire mesh.    Which leads me to wonder if that would be a good strategy for the home miller.   Would a nylon or silk stocking work?    Has anyone tried it?   

Subscribe to RSS - bolting