The Fresh Loaf

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Milling flour / flax seed / oat bran

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Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Milling flour / flax seed / oat bran

Well I took the plunge and bought a Nutrimill today.  It will arrive on Tuesday, along with Hamelman's "Bread" which I just couldn't resist adding to my order.  I have been reading a lot of the links here about making bread with whole grains, and am thinking of sticking to recipes that have 30% bread flour and 70% whole grain for now.  Just to get me started.  I found one that add's 5% oat bran to the recipe which sounds like a good idea (according to my husbands doc anyway).  The doc's other suggestion was adding ground flax seed to my breads, but I have heard this is hard on a mill and it might gum it up.  I have to admit I have actually never seen a recipe here that contains flax seed, so am wondering if I would do better not putting it into my bread?


I am looking for links that have good information on milling...


I am looking for information on if I will have to sift the flour, like I used to with my hand mill....


I am looking for any recipe's that might contain either oat bran or ground flax seed...


I am also hoping for a loaf of bread that doesn't resemble a brick!  Any pointers would be greatly appreciated....


Joanne

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Would oat bran be considered part of the flour content in baker's percentages?

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

IMHO, oat bran would *not* be considered "flour" in terms of baker's percentage. Your flour(s) - *excluding* the oat bran - should add up too 100% according to baker's percentage. Oat bran would be expressed as a percent of the total flour weight.


If you need help calculating baker's percentage for a recipe, you can post the ingredients to this thread as long as they are given *by weight*.

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Why do so many recipes call for a small amount of rye flour?  I find it's very hard to find here without ordering it from King Arthur, so am wondering what it really adds to the bread?

wholegrain's picture
wholegrain

I have the same mill you bought and you will love it. I mill all our flour and only bake with whole grain. You will be able to make perfect light whole grain bread, cakes, cookies even flaky pie crust with whole grain.


Rye is a low gluten flour and you will not be able to make a nice loaf with 100% rye flour. Most recipes call for about 1/3 rye and 2/3 of a hard red or hard white flour since it has the gluten. If you buy the rye berries they keep for a very long time and only mill what you need.


Tamara

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


 ...you will not be able to make a nice loaf with 100% rye flour.



Ouch!  I've made many a loaf with 100% rye.  So have others. 


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ground flax can be put into a food processor or blender or coffee grinder to break up.   Whole flax doesn't have to go thru a flour mill.   One does have to break the seed hulls in order to get any nutrients out of it.  Whole just go thru but is useful decoratively.   

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

your 70 whole grain, 30% white works well and give great results.


Oat bran would be part of the hydration calculation. add early to the soaker as it needs to hydrate several hours or ieally overnight.  If you use wheat bran instead, make sure you weigh as it is lighter than oat bran for a given volume.


If using a few ounces of flax per loaf, mix it in with the grain before you grind it - my Whisper Mill which works on the same principal as yours will grind it in and it will not be noticable in the final product.  It actually adds a slight sweetness and nutty flavor that is barely perceptable and very beneficial healthwise.  You can also add the seeds whole, adding to the soaker (like oat or wheat bran, benefits from a long soak period).


Use the mill with the setting more towards the fine setting- the finer the better although one pass at med-fine gives great results, finer is better if you have room to adjust.  You will not have to sift.  You do not have to grind the 5% wheat or oat bran addition.


Rye adds complexity and is beneficial for fermentation.  Even as little as 5% adds a nice and very subtle nuance.  You can increase over time if you wish.  Experiment it will all be good! 


Suggest using 15-20% of your recipe as an overnight sponge/soaker (along with any seeds) with the remaining ingredients added and finished as you normally would.  That, with fine setting and fresh ground will give you a nice product.  If using yeast SAF is the best.  If natural leavan, build your starter up the day prior feeding 2X per day...  Good luck, you will be happy, happy...


Cheers

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

The Nutrimill is one of the 3 grain mills I currently own and use. (See http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21679/milling-whole-wheat#comment-152813 for photos of my grain mills.)


When you get your mill, read the manual. It explicitly says you should not use it for oily seeds (such as flax seed). I use an inexpensive electric coffee bean mill (cost - about $15) to grind whole flax seed to a coarse meal.


The manual explicity says it should not be used to remill flour, as it will damage the milling mechanism. This means you cannot use the Nutrimill to regrind flour after it has been sifted to remove larger bran particles.


I have learned to adjust the Nutrimill settings depending on the type of grain I'm milling. I typically mill hard spring wheat, hard winter wheat, soft wheat, rye, and spelt. I have also used it to mill whole oat groats, rice, buckwheat groats and kasha (toasted, whole buckwheat groats). Different grains require adjustments to Nutrimill's settings to accomodate the hardness (and size) of the grain. In general, you want to produce a fine flour for bread baking, but you also need to adjust settings to get to this state without stressing the mill's motor.


In the past, I have posted several lengthy explanations about Nutrimill settings to TFL.  Please reply to this post if you are interested and I will give you the links.


 

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

I am definitely interested in your links, as I want my mill to last a long time.  They sound like they would be very helpful to me!  Thanks subfuscpersona! 

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

@Tamara...  Do you presoak your flour when you make cookies etc?  Or is it not so important with the quickbreads and cookies?


@NickIsaFoodie... Thanks for the pointers, I was actually reading a formula you have on another thread, in fact it's where I came up with the 5% of the total dough number for oat bran.  I use an excel worksheet that I created so baker's math formula's are something I prefer to use now.  I will make sure that I include oat bran as part of the flour percentage.  I already use malt and a little bit of lecithin in my recipes, and for the higher whole wheat formula's I use some wheat gluten.  I'm kinda nervous about a 100% whole wheat formula, due to hand milling flour and making so many bricks in the past.  Flax seeds added to my wheat berries, is there a average baker's percentage for this?  Would the flavors conflict if I add both oat bran and flax seeds to the same loaf?


@MiniOven... thanks, I have seen a few loaves on here where they have used 100% rye flour, and have been amazed since I know they are not really easy to make.  I am not likely to use whole flax seeds, since I really really really don't like getting seeds stuck between my teeth!


In general....  my question about rye is because I see so many recipe's that have a small amount of rye flour added and am wondering if it adds anything other than a slight taste difference.  I know that sourdough starters seem to like some rye flour, but I am not sure if there is a specific element in the rye flour that makes it better than others.  I have never seen a reason to add rye, since it's hard to get here in the boonies.  I have occasionally added it to a ap flour sourdough loaf and enjoy the change in flavor.


In General....  I have been doing a lot of reading and they talk about if you don't soak the flour for at least 12 hours that the phytic acid etc will be hard to digest.  In general I have always done a poolish or barm etc for my loaves, to develop flavor, but try not to use more than 40% of the recipe in this preferment.  If I am using 70% of the recipe as whole wheat, or 100% whole wheat that I have ground, then do I need to soak the entire dough overnight?  I ask this because in the past I have had problems with my stomach not feeling well after eating bread made from fresh ground flour.


In general... my sourdough starter has always done well on AP unbleached flour, will I need to gradually move it over to fresh ground flour?  Are there any suggestions for the process of changing it over?  I am assuming that it will be pretty straight forward, and I will probably keep two jars of starter till I am certain everything is going well with it.


Thanks for such good answers.....

wholegrain's picture
wholegrain

Cookies and quick breads can be adjusted for whole grain. What I usually use is soft white flour and adjust the recipe. I add 1 or 2 tablespoons per cup of flour extra to the recipe. I don't sift the flour or presoak it. Since the whole grain has the bran,  which does not absorb liquid, and it makes up about 14% of the kernel adding the extra tablespoons of flour seems to work for most recipes. Also I sometimes decrease the fat in the recipe since the whole grain has the germ which has about 2% by weight of the kernel.  This is just what I have found works for me, I'm sure there are others that do something different.


Tamara

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

@subfuscpersona...  Ok, so you think it wouldn't be part of the flour portion of baker's percentages.  Thanks for the offer of help with the formula's, it's appreciated.  I actually have an excel spreadsheet for doing it, and it makes it so much easier to adjust recipes.  I weigh everything anymore, and my breads seem to come out so much better than in years past.  It's also easier to tweak recipes. 


soooo....  now we have two differing thoughts on whether the oat bran is part of the flour portion (100%) of baker's percentages, or simply another ingredient.  What do other's think?

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Are you looking at

Nickisafoodie on February 19 wrote:
Oat bran would be part of the hydration calculation; add early to the soaker as it needs to hydrate several hours or ideally overnight.

I think Nick is saying that the water used to soak the oats should be included in the total amount of water in the final recipe. He's not saying that the oat bran itself should be included in the total amount of flour.


Hamelman's book Bread calculates baker's percentage by including water used in a soaker as part of the hydration in the final dough but not including the soaker ingredients as part of the overall flour.


Let's take an example from his book. Look at his formula "Whole-wheat Bread with a Multi-grain Soaker" (pg 126). It uses both a soaker and some pate fermentee in the final dough.The baker's percent for the overall formula breaks out in part like this...


> Total flour is 50% whole wheat flour and 50% bread flour; that's the 100% total flour. In weight amounts it calls for 10 lb of whole wheat flour and 10 lb of bread flour. (The 10 pounds of bread flour is made up of 7 lb in the pate fermentee plus 3 lbs bread flour added in the final dough. All 10 lb of the whole wheat flour is added to the final dough).


> Total water is 78% or 15.6 pounds. The amount of water is the sum of the soaker water (5 lb), the water in the pate fermentee (4.55 lb) and the water in the final dough (6.05 lb).


> Soaker ingredients - there is one lb each of cracked wheat, coarse cornmeal, millet and oats. Each of them is 5% in the overall formula.


If you follow Hamelman's approach, oat bran would not be included in the calculation of the overall flour but the water used to soak the oat bran would be inclued in the calculation of the overall hydration.


Hamelman's approach to calculating the baker's percentage is not the only one, but he is a recognized authority in the field. In general, I haven't seen bran (from whatever grain) included as a part of the total amount of flour.


Hope this helps - SF

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

@subfuscpersona...  Thanks, that does make sense.  I was thinking more along the lines that whole wheat flour has bran in it when you mill at home, and oats are a grain too, and would they be considered part of the flour or a separate ingredient because they are a grain.  I ordered the Hamelman book with my mill, and it looks like it's good that I did.  I have BBA that I have been using since Christmas, but haven't reached the whole wheat recipes yet.  Using KA or Red Mill whole wheat flours I make a pretty nice loaf of 70% whole wheat/30% Bread Flour, but I know that milling your grains at home changes the consistency of the flour.  I am also looking towards making 100% whole wheat breads in the future, but will gradually work towards that.  I am glad that his book will have more about soakers, because I have a feeling I'm being dragged kicking and screaming down that path again!  I might be surprised though, since my last attempt was about 12 years ago and my bread making skills are a LOT better now.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Jo_jo, adding rye flour to a bread means a different, heartier, taste. It is a matter of preference. I often add some whole grain flour to otherwise white breads, even to my baguettes.


If you want to use flaxseeds in bread you should always soak them 12 - 24 hours before using. Not only are the seeds then digestible (and not just fiber), you also won't have any issues with seeds sticking in you teeth.


Flax isn't only very healthy, it also has a nice, nutty taste. If you want to see for yourself, give my flaxseed bread a try:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18406/leinsamenbrot-german-flaxseed-bread


Karin

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

@Karen...  That looks like a very good bread to try.  I bookmarked it so that I can try it to see what I think.  In fact your recipe and the other one presented further down in the thread both sound interesting.  My husband likes seeds and nuts in his breads, and I am the opposite, so I tend to make a few things with the seeds and nuts but not often.  I notice also that you used buttermilk in your soaker, which I have read is a good way to make the fresh ground wheat more digestible.  I was actually thinking of using goat milk kefir in my bread, so this gives me a good example of how much flax I can add if they are whole grains vs ground.  I have always hear though that flax needs to be ground for your body to be able to use it.


 


 

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

For a fine flour, I follow the manufacturer's suggestions and have the speed setting (upper dial) set to high. I do vary the setting of the lower dial (which controls the rate of the flow of grain into the milling chamber) depending on the hardness of the grain. Setting the lower dial unnecessarily fine (to the left) can stress the motor so you need to experiment with the best settings depending on what you're milling.


For details on the Nutrimill settings I use, see this TFL thread http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12705/milling-rye-berries - the thread isn't just about milling rye and it is worth it to read all the posts.


Within the thread, you may find these posts most helpful


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12705/milling-rye-berries#comment-74649


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12705/milling-rye-berries#comment-74651


You can also take a look at these posts


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7399/hard-red-winter-wheat-flour-really-bread-flour#comment-37567 and http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7399/hard-red-winter-wheat-flour-really-bread-flour#comment-37597


If we think of the lower dial as an analog clock, then fine would be about 10:00, normal would be about 12:00 and anything greater than normal would be used to adjust for the properties of the grain being milled.


I have also used my Nutrimill to mill buckwheat groats into flour. I found that setting the lower dial to about "1:00pm" (as if the lower dial was an analog clock) produced a very fine flour with an almost powdery feel. Setting the lower dial more to the left didn't produce a better flour and definitely stressed the motor.


Hope this helps - SF

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Bread recipe using commercial yeast and a preferment which contains some flax seed. It was found in a search of Dan Lepard's site. Posted to his forum by a baker from Cork, Ireland


Looks promising though I haven't made it myself...


Posted by Brandy on Sun Nov 30, 2008


Makes one medium loaf.
Measure all the ingredients properly, especially flour and water.
Don't put in too much yeast.


Preferment


100g strong white flour (equivalent to USA bread flour)
50g strong wholemeal flour
150g lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast


Dough


All of the preferment
150g strong white flour
200g strong wholemeal flour
175g lukewarm water
10g salt, 2%
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4-5 tablespoons flaxmeal, or 2-3 tablespoons flaxseed
4-5 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon liquid barley malt extract
or brown sugar or molasses or honey to taste


Evening before baking:


Prepare preferment by mixing all ingredients until evenly incorporated and let sit covered overnight at room temperature 20-22°C


Morning the baking day:


Ground the flaxseed into meal if you will, or use them as they are. Also ground the sunflower seeds coarsely, or mash them in a mortar.


Dissolve the malt extract or whatever sweetener is being used (malt flavor goes very well with flaxseed) in a small amount of water (part of prepared one). Mix the instant yeast in the flour. Mix the preferment, sweetener, water and flour with yeast in it in a mixing bowl thoroughly until homogenous mass is formed. Let soak for 30 minutes or so.


Sprinkle salt over the thing, add the seeds and mix or knead until incorporated. It may look like it won't work but it will eventually.
Let sit for 15 minutes and knead or mix for a while, 15-30 seconds or so.
Let sit for 15 minutes and knead or mix for a while, 15-30 seconds or so.
Let sit for 15 minutes and knead or mix for a while, 15-30 seconds or so.
(Instead of this you can just knead the dough for 10-20 minutes.)


Form the ball, put in the bowl, cover the dough and let it ferment for a few hours at room temperature, or until doubled or more then doubled in size. When ready, lightly flour your work surface, take the dough out of the bowl, flatten it to remove the gass, shape the ball and let sit covered on work surface for 15 minutes..
Then flatten it again and shape a loaf to desired form.


Put the loaf in a lined floured proving basket seam side up, if you have any, otherwise just sit the loaf on a floured baking sheet seam side down. Cover and let proof for 30-60 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Don't let it overproof.


In the meantime, preheat the oven to cca 230°C or even more. When the loaf is ready, gently move it from the basket on to the sheet ( http://danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2157 ), score it, put it in the oven, steam the oven, lower the thermostat to 200°C (180-185°C for fan assisted oven) and bake for 35-40 minutes.


========


I'll be posting links to other bread recipes using flax seed soon. Stay tuned.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Jo_Jo, I'm sure goat milk yogurt will work in "Leinsamenbrot" very well, too. Milk, buttermilk, soymilk or yogurt are interchangeable in bread recipes, anyway.


If you soak the flax seeds for 12 - 24 hours you will see that they are swelled and have absorbed a lot of liquid. In this condition they are accessible for the digestive enzymes and you get all the health benefits they supply (omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E etc.).


Karin

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

@Karin...  Thanks!  I was just researching that and have found several posts and websites referring to that.  I also found a very interesting site called http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2008/04/whole-grains-grinding-soaking.html which talks about soaking all the flour in a recipe for 12 to 24 hours in kefir to make it more digestible by the body.  It's really an interesting thought, since I have had problems in the past with fresh ground flour making my stomach upset. 


 


There are so many new things to learn, glad I have so many people here to guide me!~


Joanne

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Here are links to bread recipes with flax seed that I've collected in the past.


http://tfl.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/flaxseedwheatbread - this was posted to TFL and was taken from Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf. However, if you read some of the replies, a number of bakers who tried it found it made a heavy loaf.


http://modern-baking.com/bread_pastry/flax-seed-rye-0309/ - sourdough bread with 10% flaxseed (soaked) & "old bread"; rye levain @ 83% hydration - Hamelman


http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=1011 - sourdough with whole wheat and flax meal (optional seed coating)