The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Local Fresh Milled Flours

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brewninja's picture
brewninja

Local Fresh Milled Flours

Howdy all,


I've recently been given the wonderful opportunity to experiment with a local farmer's recent wheat harvest.  He just started growing wheat, and doesn't bake much himself, so he's looking for some practical feedback.


He gave me ten pounds each of hard red spring wheat, hard white spring wheat and soft red winter wheat.


I've got some ideas of my own, but curious what yall might think


Also, I've never used fresh milled flour before; anything to keep in mind (keeping it cold, lack of enzymes, etc.)


thanks,


Gerard

jannrn's picture
jannrn

Hello Gerard!!
Sounds like a deal we ALL would LOVE to stumble on!! As far as I know, you can use fresh milled as soon as it is milled....I too plan to be trying out some fresh milled as soon as I can get my mill!! I WILL be watching to see the advice you get.....this is the PERFECT place and you are gonna be surrounded by brilliant bakers!! By the way, I don't suppose you are in south Florida huh!!! LOL
Good luck with it!!
        Jann

brewninja's picture
brewninja

naw, southeast pa :)


Got the first "experiment" rising; I love edible experiments :)

athagan's picture
athagan

If you're not going to use it within a few hours of milling then I'd refrigerate or freeze it to maintain its best quality. It handles differently than white flour and even store bought 100% whole-wheat flour. Use the hard wheat to make your yeast raised bread with.


In my house we favor a 50-50 blend of hard red and hard white wheat.  The kids aren't fond of bread made with all red wheat and I'm not fond of bread made with all white wheat.


You can make good bread without adding additional gluten or lots of refined flour.  I don't make lean doughs usually so my experience with those is limited.  I like to use both eggs and milk, or at least milk, in my breads and can get a good rise without additional gluten or refined flour.


If you're trying to use a white bread recipe to make bread with home milled whole wheat flour then allow for more liquid and some extra time for the dough to absorb it all.


Once fully mixed I never use additional dry flour to handle the dough, but prefer to use wet hands instead.  I also spritz the top of the dough with a fine mist of water before baking.  Much better oven spring than baking it dry.


.....Alan.


 


 

brewninja's picture
brewninja

So the two loaves baked were delicious :)


(I'll try to get some pics up soon)


 


Recipe was as follows:


 


4 oz starter (100% hydration)


10 oz Flour (one loaf hard spring red; one loaf hard spring white)


8 oz water (started with 6 oz, was a little dryer than I was shooting for, so I added some more)


1 t salt


1/2 t instant yeast


Mix to combine


3 stretch and folds at 45 minute intervals


2 hour bulk ferment


Refrigerate overnight


1 1/2 hour at room temp


Shape into batards


1 hour proof


Bake hearth style for 24 minutes


 


Observations:


Both loaves seemed to absorb more water than what I typically see in King Arthur whole wheat and white whole wheat (though maybe I was just more attentive/judgemental)


Neither flour was very elastic until the last stretch and fold


The crumb was about as open as I've been getting with whole wheats and my man handling shaping techniques


The flavor of both was very delicious and distinct.  "Fresher," more earthy? The white was slightly nutty while the red had a slight grassy earthiness.  I would describe both as "fuller" than what I've been buying, if that conveys anything :)


(i realize that I'm lacking the palate vocabulary I've aquired with beer flavors :)


 


I'm super psyched about having a local source of flour! Cant wait to bake some more!


Any ideas what to expect from a soft red winter wheat?


Thanks,


Gerard