The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Freshly milled flour

anthony's picture

Freshly milled flour

HiJust windering if anyone can help me out.  I have had very little experience with baking, but have been playing around with freshly milled whole wheat.  My problem is that the loaves always come out qite hard, and loose about 1/3 of their size in the last 15 minutes of baking.  I have tried the same methods using whole meal flour from the supermarket and there were no problems at all...  i've been told that commercial flours have had the oils removed and that the wheat germ in my flour may be causing the problem.  Any advice would be appreciated.Thanks


littledave's picture

Try aging your flour about two weeks before using. You may have noticed that many flours are bleached - this is not to make them white, it's to age them quickly - something necessary to high-volume production. My guess is your problem will go away with a couple of week's age on the flour before using. Give it a shot.

andrew_l's picture

I've not heard of this at all! I always mill my own flour and use it immediately - it tastes great like that. But never had it shrink. What ratio of water to flour are you using? How long is your total fermentation time?

In fact - what is the reipe you are following? If we can see the recipe, I'm sure someone on this forum will have an answer that will help you. There are a lot of excellent bakers on here....

susanB's picture

Hi Anthony,

How fine/coarse is your flour after grinding? If it's terribly coarse that may be your problem. Also, are you using Soft rather than Hard wheat? Soft wheat won't develop the gluten necessary for a good rise. As with Andrew, I always use my flour as soon as I've finished grinding, and have not had a problem.


andrew_l's picture

I agree with SusanB - a coarse grind does tend to inhibit rising. I find a fine grind, but retaining all bran etc, works very well.

JMonkey's picture

Shrinking could come from overproofing. If you let the loaf rise too long, it will collapse in the oven. You can tell when it's done by wetting your finger and poking about 1/2 inch into the loaf. If it starts to fill in immediately, give it some more time. If it stays or comes back very slowly, it's ready. If you feel the loaf collapse with little popping sensations as you push in, it's overproofed.