The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


flamingobabe's picture


I took a bread class and she did freeform bread on a cookine sheet but I have been doing bread pans.  She was a big bosch person but I found the prices better for the Nutrimll and I really like the options of fine to coarse.  I have been doing in the middle of fine and coarse. 

I have been having better results with the whole wheat but when I do the soft wheat it never comes out right. I just bought a 50 gal bucket of hard red and hard white wheat from Praire Hills and am going to try to make bread today.    I thought since I have better results with the hard red that the hard white might work better plus it was cheaper.  I am using commercial (red star) yeast and have never used the sour dough starter.  I didn't know that you should be using commercial white flour with my breads.  I think that could be a reason that it is so dense.  When I made bread just from bread recipes with commercial flour it used to come out fine all the time.

Please let me know of a good recipe to try and what I should be doing.



flourgirl51's picture

Hello and welcome to the world of breadmaking! The protein in the wheat determines how high the bread rises. Soft wheats are lower in protein than hard wheats. There is a lot of info on wheats and flours at that may help you.

clazar123's picture

Whole wheat is a lot different to work with than white/all purpose or bread flour.I don't agree with the idea to learn how to work with whole wheat by adding AP flour and then gradually increasing the WW. What I found happening is that the loaves got drier and denser.Wrong path to follow.

The reason WW is denser (part of the reason,at least) is that it soaks up more liquid than commercial flour but it takes longer to do that and it must be given the time to do that before you shape and bake. This is where technique is important. The best,softest whole wheat bread I make soaks for a minimum of 1-2 hrs after mixing-sometimes I do this with the leavener (I use both yeast and sourdough) in it and mix then throw it in the fridge to slow down a rise. Othertimes, I mix most of the WW flour with all the liquid and let it sit for several hours before mixing in all the other ingredients.This allows the bran to absorb the water so it doesn't eveporate in the oven out of the loaf and create a dry,dense bread. Soaking with a sourdough as leavener also improves the flavor. Of course, milk,egg,potato and oil help with the crumb texture,also.

My favorite mix of flours is either 1/3 red,spring wheat, 1/3 either white,winter or kamut, 1/3 better for bread commercial flour. (Even the fluffiest WW loaf is denser than I enjoy and my family would have ALL white, so it is a compromise.)

There are fancy terms for all this-autolyse,using a biga or poolish,pre-ferment. Look them up and see what works for you.

I have a Wondermill and grind a little finer than "bread".If the dial were a clock and pastry(finest) is at 9o'clock and "bread" at 12, I set mine at 11. You might want to experiment with grinding a touch finer and see if that changes anything. The coarser the flour, the longer it takes to absorb the water, so it can make a fine loaf of bread but it may take longer.Same with pancakes,etc.Let the batter set a little longer.