The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

is stone-ground flour good for all breads or not?

Kroha's picture
Kroha

is stone-ground flour good for all breads or not?

Hello TFL members,


I am wondering if there are only certain types of breads that benefit from stone-ground flour.  I have been baking whole-grain breads for a few months now, and recently started using stone-ground organic whole-wheat bread flour.  I noticed that since I started using it, two of my most favorite breads -- Peter Reinhardt's multigrain struan and multigrain hearth bread do not have much oven spring.  Especially the struan I baked lots of time before and have had very consistent results, including great oven spring.  I am wondering if it is the flour that might be making the difference?  I have not changed anything else,  neither in the process nor in the ingredients, except that every time I slightly change the type (but not the weight) of whole grains I put in.  Another one of Reinhardt's delicous breads, the power bread, which only has some seeds but no whole grains, had great oven spring, but I cannot compare its performance to that with regular flour because I only baked it with stone-ground.  Thank you so much for your advice.


Best wishes,


Kroha

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Let me guess ...Stone Buhr Whole Wheat stone-ground whole wheat flour?  I suspect that some "stone ground" flours aren't ground finely enough or something ...Stone Buhr in particular has been problematic for me and bread made with it (even though it says "Great for Bread!" on the label) just don't rise as nicely.  I think the bran is not ground finely enough.  I hope that they, or others, aren't bulking up their 'whole wheat' flours with bran removed from their white flour products ...that would have the same detrimental effect.  I stopped buying Stone Buhr loooong ago, and I'm a bit skeptical about anything advertised as "stone ground."  In reality, true stone ground flour should be finer ...not coarser ...than regular flour.  I suspect the term is used for marketing flour that is not as fine...  I would suggest trying different brands until you find the one (or ones) that work well across the board, and then stick with those.


Brian


 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Stone ground flour leaves the bran intact and this bran then interferes with the rising of the dough. It is perfectly normal for the dough not to rise as it does when flour from a roller mill or a home impact mill is used.


From a health standpoint many argue that there is nothing better than stone ground whole grain flour and I agree with that idea.


Jeff

Kroha's picture
Kroha

Thank you for your responses.  Brian, I use flour from Country Creations in Minnesota (http://www.organicwheatproducts.com).  I do not doubt their integrity.  It involves paying shipping charges, but I have to buy special anyway for allergy reasons, and their service and quality are great.


Jeff, that is what I suspected. If you know of resource(s) to refer me to on health benefits of stone ground flour vs. regular flour, I would greatly appreciate it.  I am curious about the reasons for the difference -- is it because stone ground flour is less processed?


Next timeI bake the bread, which will be in a few days, I will try to sift out the bran from all the flour that goes into the dough and add it to the soaker.  I wonder if it will make a difference as the bran will soften and not interefere as much with gluten development.  I can report back on the results if it is of interest to someone. 


Thanks again !


Yulika

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Yulika,


The articles that I have read have cited the elements of the wheat kernel staying intact, and the proper balance of bran, germ, and endosperm as the health benefits of stone grinding and use of the whole grain.  If I can find any of the articles I will send them your way.


Jeff