The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home milled flour dough is different consistency, why and how do I fix it?

zuze's picture
zuze

Home milled flour dough is different consistency, why and how do I fix it?

Hi! I just got my new Blendtec mill and milled flour last night. I milled 3 cups of red wheat, 2 cups of white wheat, and 1 cup of mix of oats, rye and spelt berries. I made bread using this mix , and making another one this morning. I noticed that dough is more liquidy, then when I used store bought flour.


Bread came out ok last nigh, except crust was very hard, and loaf size smaller the with store brought flour.


This morning I added additional 1/4 cup of flour, because dough was too liquidy. The bread came out with top caved in and middle little damp. I baked it on fruit and nuts setting.


 


Are there any rules for baking with home milled flour vs. store bought?

Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

Home ground flours can be a bit coarser than commercially milled flour, and therefore they need more time to absorb the liquid.


Try letting the dough rest an hour before kneading it to allow the flour to absorb the water better, before determining whether or not to add more water or flour.  (Make it easy on yourself by weighing the ingredients and writing down what you did, so you can confidently tweak or repeat a recipe.) Some advocate omitting the yeast and salt until the 'resting' period is over, and the kneading begins.  My current favorite way is mixing like this:


white wheat flour, home ground (about 80% of the total flour), yeast, dry milk powder, and water


After resting an hour, I add the 20% bread flour, some potato flour, butter, lecithin, egg, honey, and salt.   Rest again about 10  minutes, and knead for five minutes on my Kitchen Aid.


I let it ferment an hour, shape, proof, and bake.  You can certainly use 100% home-milled flour here without the bread flour, but I find I do like a wee bit of bread flour in the mix.


Happy Baking!


Mary Clare in MO


 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

After purchasing 10# of some home milled hard red winter wheat, I found that an autolyse of at least 20-30 minutes was a good idea for dough handling characteristics. Using a sourdough starter rather than yeast and a long retarded proofing in the refrigerator makes a difference for the better in the flavor. Most of my breads with the home milled flour have been lean doughs so YMMV if you enrich your dough with oils and sugars.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Home milled whole grain flours do perform differently in bread baking than the equivalent commercial ones.


If you only pose general questions, you'll only get general advice. If you want more specific help and take the time to provide ample information, I'm confident that TFL members will be able to help you. It just takes a little more effort on your part.


I can't tell from your post whether you're baking in loaf tins or attempting an artisan style bread. I also can't tell whether you're using commercial yeast or a sourdough starter.


Can you post the recipe that you are using? Include not only the ingredients, but the procedure you use for your loaves. If possible, give the ingredients by weight.


Without more detail, the previous recommendation by Postal Grunt to do an autolyse is your best bet.


Also, your Blendtec mill has a reputation of milling a slightly coarser flour than equivalent (but slightly more expensive) electric micronizer mills. How would you compare the fineness of the flours produced by your Blendtec mill to the same flours you've previously purchased for this particular bread recipe?


 

zuze's picture
zuze

Thank you for great advice and information. I was reading through the boards and concluded that I will need to weigh the flour, not measure it by volume.


I checked how coarse the flour is, and it's almost the same as stor bought wheat flour. maube a little coarser. i can mill on finest setting next time, and see if that changes anyhing. Instructin manual said that the finest setting is for pastry, and I did not use it.


Bread that I made last night was Honey Wheat, and I posted picture, description and ingredients in my bread blog http://healthylifebread.blogspot.com/2010/12/honey-wheat-from-fresh-milled-flour.html


Here are ingredients, bread machine settings were for wheat bread:


Honey Wheat Bread (makes 1.5 lb loaf for bread machine)



  • 3/4 cups milk

  • 6 tbsp water

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 3 tbsp honey

  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 1/4 whole-wheat flour

  • 3/4 cups bread flour

  • 1 tbsp yeast


The Cranberry Wheat bread that I made this morning, top caved in and middle is little damp. I did add 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp flour to dough. This is my everyday bread I make, I love it.


I got the recipe from here, http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cranberry-Wheat-Bread/Detail.aspx but I add 1 tbsp apple souce, and instead of butter I add olive oil.



This picture is of Crannbery bread that's made of store bought flour.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

...I will need to weigh the flour, not measure it by volume...


Yes, most definitely. Here on TFL you'll find a gazillion reasons to measure everything by weight  ...and home-milled flour just adds yet another reason to measure by weight. My suggestion is to get a scale and retire your measuring cups.


(Another suggestion: bake with regular storebought flour enough times you can consistently make the bread come out the way you want it. Only then, after you're quite familiar with the recipe and your other ingredients and hydration level and the feel of the dough and your equipment and your oven and timing and doneness, introduce the home-milled flour.)