The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home Milled Flour

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loydb's picture
loydb

Saturday was pickup day for Pioneer Valley's grain CSA. I am really impressed with the variety and quality of the grains and beans we got. I'll do a more extensive post on what we got later, but here's the first cooking effort. I used the same recipe from my blue corn cornbread entry, using Red Llamas Wheat and Mandan Bride Corn.

The Bride Corn kernels were so big that my mill had a hard time 'grabbing' them and pulling them into the stone. I ended up having to mill it twice -- the first time with the outer wheel very loose to get a coarse, rough grind, and then a second pass at a finer setting. It was a pain in the butt, but it worked.

The flavor of the final product was superb, I paired the bread with a berebere-rubbed pot roast with yams and carrots.

loydb's picture
loydb

Round one of this fight can be found at this blog post.

The problem I had the first time was insufficient hydration. I certainly solved that problem...

I changed a bunch of things around this time, resulting in a far superior flavor (IMO), but going completely overboard on hydration to the point that it was more like ciabatta than bread. Here's what I did:

  • First, instead of the spelt poolish, I mixed 1 ounce of my KA New England sourdough starter at 1:3:3 with whole milled spelt. After that sat overnight, I fed it again roughly 1:1:1 to get the volume for my poolish.
     
  • Second, I made a soaker with water, all of the durum flour, and 100g of the spelt flour that was called for in the final dough. I didn't sift any of it -- though I did sift to 85% the final addition of spelt the next day. The soaker sat on the counter overnight. I did add the yeast called for into the final dough, so it wasn't a 100% sourdough fermentation.
     
  • Third, I added a bunch of extra water to get the hydration up. Too far up, as it turned out. As you'll see below, the dough just spread out after having stuck to the banneton...

The taste came out fantastic. I still have half a loaf of the first round I baked of this, so we could do side-by-side tasting. It's not as sour as something done without any commercial yeast, but the tang is still there. So, for round three, I'll repeat everything except the flood of water and see how it comes out.

loydb's picture
loydb

Last week I finally found the elusive box that had my DLX bowl & paddles in it. Although my KA makes an appearance here for its whipping prowess, it has now been relegated back to the pantry until I next need it for grinding meat or extruding pasta. I've really been enjoying Hanne Risgaard's Home Baked: Nordic Recipes and Techniques for Organic Bread and Pastry. It has some great looking recipes, many of which use grains other than the standard wheat. The first one I've tried is her Spelt-Durum bread.

I had durum flour on hand, and got some of Bob's Mill's spelt. This is the first time I've milled it. The recipe calls for both sifted and whole spelt flour. For the sifted, I used a #30 mining seive. I don't know if the spelt grinds differently, or if I just had the stones set further apart than normal, but instead of the 15% extraction I get with wheat, I got right at 20% extraction with the spelt.


The bread uses a poolish, and calls for it to be "whipped." When I think whip, I think Kitchenaid (well, I actually think Catwoman, but that's a whole 'nuther thing). I used the KA wire whisk to beat the hell out of the 100% hydration starter. When it was done, it was like pancake batter. I poured it into a small bucket to sit overnight.





Fortunately, about 6 hours later, before going to bed, I happened to glance at it to see how things were going... Good thing I did, the top was swollen up and it was about to explode. After enduring the Great Homebrew Cherry Stout Kitchen Explosion of 1997 (a debacle that sent fermenting stout spraying across the ceiling, blinds, and cabinets -- stout that we still found traces of 5 years later when we moved out), which nearly led to murder and/or divorce, I was happy to catch this one before it decorated our new kitchen. I dumped it into the DLX bowl, covered it with a damp cloth, and went to bed.


The next morning, it was nice and bubbly. I added the rest of the water and the dry ingredients and began to mix the final dough. As you can see, it was very dry at the end, and I added just enough water with a spray bottle to get it to come together. First takeaway from this batch is that I need to add more water, as you'll see later.

As per instructions, I proofed for an hour, did a stretch and fold, and proofed for another hour. The dough felt pliant, but a little dry, and was prone to the type of small surface tears I get when I do a whole grain challah.



Finally it was time to shape. I had a really hard time getting the bottom of the bread to seal -- it just didn't want to form a homogenous mass. With the long loaf, I put the seams on the bottom and hoped for the best (and it ended up working. For the round loaf, the seams went up, which didn't work too well.

When I lifted the cloth in the proofer, I was greeted with this:

I decided to try and use its own weight to work it together (which worked with the long loaf), and inverted it on the board to finish rising.

The long loaf did well. I scored it and stuck it in the oven.

I let the other loaf continue to rise for the 25 minutes of cooking, but still had this to deal with:

Here are the final results. One good, one not so good. Fortunately, the taste is fantastic -- I'm just not entering the second loaf in the county fair :). The bread almost tastes like it has cornmeal in it to me, and doesn't need any butter at all. I'm going to try this again in a couple of weeks, but this time make a spelt sourdough starter to use instead of the poolish, and then spike it with yeast in the final dough. I'll also add more water...



bryoria's picture
bryoria

Thanks to the advice I received on my last post, I thought I'd try the Buttermilk Bread from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  What a difference from the oatmeal bread of the other day!

I made the dough exactly to formula, using the larger amount of butter (50 grams) and my own home-milled whole wheat flour which had been aged and stored in the freezer for the past 2 months.  The buttermilk was store-bought, whole buttermilk (3.25% fat).  I didn't amend any of the liquid or flour amounts.  The dough was beautifully soft and pliable, as-is. 

Instead of kneading for 20 minutes by hand (!), I mixed the dough in my stand mixer for about 8 minutes, give or take.  There was a short break in the middle where I had to help one of my kids tend to an injury, but it was only a few minutes.  I then kneaded the dough for another minute or so by hand, just because it was so lovely to work with and I had to get my hands into it.

After that, let it rise for about 2.5 hours in the oven with the lights on to make it warm, giving it a stretch and fold twice in that time. 

I decided to make dinner rolls instead of loaves, so divided the dough into two portions.  One of the portions I made into 12 rolls, and the other into 15 rolls.  I put the rolls into two 9x13 metal pans that I had greased lightly with solid butter.  I let the rolls rise for about 40 minutes in the microwave (trying to keep them out of drafts - we have a bit of a blizzard happening outside) until they were all touching nicely. 

I baked them for 15 minutes in a 400F oven.  I pulled the pan of 15 out right away, and let the pan of 12 bake for another 2 minutes.  The centre of the centre roll measured about 195 F when they came out and they were all beautifully browned: 

I brushed them with melted butter, just because the book suggested it and I'd never tried that before.  It made the rolls shiny and softened the tops:

I confess I didn't wait for full cooling to tear one open.  It was incredibly soft and tender.  This recipe was a huge difference from the previous Oatmeal Bread.  Can't wait until supper!

patman23's picture

help with home milled flour baking

February 25, 2012 - 10:24am -- patman23
Forums: 

I have begun a new saga in my life that involves home milling my own flour.  I have had exceptional results when using a 2/3 home milled flour to 1/3 KA white bread flour.  I want to eliminate the KA flour but when I do I get almost no oven spring and sometimes the great ends up falling.  I believe that I may be doing a few things wrong.  

 

1.  The wheat is very cold when I mill it. It May be shattering bran instead of crushing it, maybe this is causing a problem?

 

loydb's picture
loydb

It's week 8 in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. This week is Onion Rolls. Sadly, I'll be sitting out the next few dessert-heavy weeks.

Once my confusion over how to deal with the onion mix was clarified (thanks all) this proved to be an easy, fast bake (in terms of actual prep). My notes follow:

  • I used 1 oz of the onion water and 9 oz plain water
  • My egg was almost a full ounce heavier than called for
  • I used 100% milled wheat, a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white.
  • My cooking time ended up being around 25 minutes.

These are tasty and the outside is crunchy. They aren't overpoweringly onion-y, which I'd been concerned about. I think the flavor would be improved if I make a soaker with the whole wheat next time and let it sit in the fridge overnight prior to adding yeast. I'll make them again for sure.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder



A couple days ago, I tested my new KitchenAid Grain Mill's output with a formula calling for about 30% whole grain flour. It was very good. In fact, the flavor of that bread has improved over two days. Even as I dipped my toe in the home-milled flour waters, I knew that the real test, for me, would be how the flour performed in a 100% whole wheat bread.


Most of my breads are made with levain, but my favorite whole wheat bread has remained the “Whole Wheat Bread” from BBA. This is made with a soaker of coarse ground whole grains and a “poolish” made with whole wheat flour. I have used bulgur for the soaker in the past. Today, I used coarsely ground fresh-ground hard red winter wheat, the same wheat was used finely ground for the poolish and final dough. The formula can be made as a lean dough (plus honey) or can be enriched with oil and/or egg. I used both.


The KitchenAid Grain Mill does a great job with coarse grinding. I found that, with the first pass, the particle size is rather variable. It seems to even out by putting the flour through the mill again at the same setting.


I ground the rest of the grain at the next to finest setting. I put it through 3 passes of increasing fineness, actually. The flour ends up somewhere between semolina and AP flour fineness, at least by feel. This slightly coarse flour, fresh-ground, seems to absorb a bit less water than the KAF WW flour I usually use. I ended up adding about an extra tablespoon of flour to adjust dough consistency during mixing.


Bulk fermentation, dividing, shaping and proofing showed no differences I noticed from the behavior of this bread made with KAF WW flour. However, there was a remarkable difference in the aroma of the bread during baking and cooling. It filled the kitchen with a wheaty smell that both my wife and I found absolutely lovely. (As I write this, the bread is cooling. I hope it tastes as good as it smells!)


Another remarkable difference is that the color of the loaves is quite a bit lighter than loaves made with KAF WW flour and exactly the same other ingredients and the same baking time and temperature. I thought this might be because the KAF WW has malt added, but it is “100% hard red whole wheat,” according to the ingredient list on the bag.





The flavor of the bread is just perfect, to my taste. It has a wonderful whole wheat flavor with not a bit of grassiness. It is very slightly sweet. I used a very mild-flavored clover honey, and I cannot find any distinct honey taste in the bread. The flavor is bolder and more complex than this same bread made with KAF WW flour. I'm sold!


As I've written, above, Reinhart's whole wheat bread from BBA has been my favorite. I've made other whole wheat breads from formulas in Hamelman's “Bread” and Suas' “Advanced Bread & Pastry” that I found less tasty. I am now wondering how they would be if made with fresh-ground flour. Hmmmm …. This is shaping up to be a project.


David


subfuscpersona's picture

FREE home milled flour for bakers in NYC area

September 23, 2009 - 4:00pm -- subfuscpersona
Forums: 

If you want to explore *fresh* home-milled flour from whole grain but don't own a grain mill, I am willing to mill your grain for you.


I own a Nutrimill grain mill which can mill wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, rice (brown or white) and other grains of similar size.


You must have purchased the grain and be willing (and able) to come to a location in upper Manhattan. I will mill your grain for you on the spot at no charge. This offer is only for TFL members and is primarily for home bakers who wish to have from 1 to 5 lb of freshly milled flour for home use.

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