The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New to grinding flour

electronrider's picture

New to grinding flour

Hello; I'm new to grinding wheat to make my own flour. I've tried to make a couple different types of bread (dinner roll and loaf bread) and have had no success in the dough rising. The first time I used the amount of yeast the recipe called for and the second time I used slightly more - still it doesn't rise. I proofed the yeast to test it and it passed. So I'm not sure if it's the freshly ground flour that requires more yeast or there's a missing ingredient.


Thanks!   =)

Janetcook's picture


Unfortunately a number of things could be taking place but I bake with freshly milled grains every day and have no problem with the rising etc which is due, in part, to the book Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart.  If you have a library you might like to borrow a copy and try out his recipes.  They are all winners and are all baked with ww flours.  He explains what has to be done differently when baking with whole grains.  You might find out what you are doing wrong by reading what he has to say.  

Quick summary of 3 basic things I learned reading his book.

Whole grains need:

  • More water
  • Longer soaking time before kneading
  • More kneading

Of course there is lots more in the book...

I personally find that I need a lot less yeast or sourdough starter when baking with my grains as they are loaded with enzymes that make fermenting happen really fast.

Good Luck,


Nickisafoodie's picture

As Janet says, its the method as she outlines.  Even though your yeast test passed, suggest trying SAF yeast which can be found at Whole Foods and other store- among the best out there.  Try incorporating a sponge that makes up 30-40% of the dough, let it rest a few hours to allow the yeast to build, then finish the recipe.  once you mix all ingredients and mix for a minute or two, let the dough rest for 30 minutes then proceed to mix and develop the gluten.  The once we dough may now feel more dry so adjust according then finish the kneading.   The final dough should pull from the sides of your mixing bowl, while the bottom is sticky, a way to ensure enough moisture.  A rather tacky dough should be the aim and is indicative of more moisture being better than dry.

I also find that my fresh ground flour reacts better than store bought and tastes much better so stay with it and continue to learn from proven recipes.

Good luck


Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

...and have not noticed a significant difference in yeast ratios compared to other whole wheat flours. 

It doesn't sound like the problem is the type of flour or the freshness of the yeast, so it may be temperature related.  Is the flour cool when you make bread with it?  What is the temperature of the water or other liquid you are using?  What's the temperature of the area the dough is rising in?


electronrider's picture

The flour was chilled when I used it, and that could be half the problem there. As for the liquids I used, they were luke warm. I'll have to try using more water next time for kneading.


Janet: thanks for the suggestion, I'll see if the library has it.




flourgirl51's picture

It could be that your wheat is low protein wheat. You will need a higher protein wheat - around 14% protein in order to have your bread rise well. You may also be adding too much flour as whole grain flours absorb liquids more slowly. Try soaking a portion of your flour with the liquids and then add the rest of the ingredients and continue from there. I always let my dough be a bit on the sticky side and it makes wonderful loaves.

electronrider's picture

The wheat is actually high in protein (14%) & is hard white winter wheat - if that helps any. The place we bought it offers some recipes online, so I'll have to check them out.



barryvabeach's picture

Becky, since you are using the right wheat, and the yeast works, it sounds like it is a temperature issue.  Yeast has a temperature curve - IIRC - it is most active in the 80 to 90 degree range, and as it gets cooler its activity slows way down.  So a loaf of dough at 75 degrees will rise much quicker than one at 65 degrees.  I am on a no knead kick lately, which in general uses less yeast, but since the ferment times are 18 to 24 hours, a little variation in temp is okay.  You might want to try the recipe here     I used 474 grams of water( the recipe calls for 2 cups water - I make that out to be 474 grams, not the 422 grams listed, though not sure which one is wrong) , 521 grams of wheat flour, 1/2 tsp yeast, and 10 grams ( 2 tsp ) salt, fermented at room temp.  If you don't see any rise in 18 hours, there is definitely something wrong, or your room temp is 50 or below.  Do a search on stretch and fold if you aren't familiar with the term, it is a very easy thing to do.  I have baked it in a dutch oven, and also did one in a standard loaf tonight, so you don't need to use the dutch oven.