The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Homemade Wheat Flour

sk8uno's picture

Homemade Wheat Flour

I'm very new to baking (in general, not just bread!).  I recently made my own flour by grinding up hard red winter wheat berries.  As far as incorporating this into recipes, should I treat it as whole wheat flour?  

Also, I assume I cannot just wholly substitute my flour into a recipe calling for all-purpose or bread flour, is that correct?  I assume that I can swap out some of the AP or bread flour and put my wheat flour in, is that also correct?



MangoChutney's picture

I use 100% home-milled whole wheat flour to make my sourdough sandwich bread.  The only thing that you have to remember is that the bran in your home-milled flour will absorb more water than does refined flour.  You need to add a little more water, and allow that to soak in for a little longer time.

barryvabeach's picture

I usually use only 100% home ground wheat.  Generally won't rise as much as the same recipe made with white flour.  There are several ways to convert recipes, one is to add a little more water, and that is what I usually do.   The better way, from what I have read, and I have followed a few times, is to make the recipe with standard bread flour  ( or AP if that was what was called for ) and then make it again with the whole wheat, adding enough water to get the same feel of dough ( after a rest of 5 or 10 minutes to let it absorb the water ) as you did with the white loaf.  The third option is to make it 100% white, then again with 25% WW, then again 50% WW , and so on until you get to 100% WW - each time learning what you have to modify in terms of time and hydration to get what you want.  In terms of taste, if you use hard winter white wheat, it will taste quite like white flour.  If you use red, it will be much earthier - for some recipes I like the earthier taste - ciabatta for one, for others like baguette, I go for 100% white whole wheat, and others, I like a mix of red and white whole wheat - it is really a personal choice. 

Janetcook's picture

I am not sure if you have access to a library but if you do Peter Reinhart's book Whole Grain Breads is full of recipes using 100% whole wheat.  In it he describes the use of pre-ferments which I found made a huge difference in my final loaves. The format is very home baker friendly and it includes a Master loaf formula that can be used for just about any type of loaf you might want to bake.

Good Luck,


hanseata's picture

I second Janet, check out "Whole Grain Breads". Reinhart also includes the formula for how much more liquid is needed if you substitute whole grain flour for white:

Substitute up to 10% of white flour with whole grain flour (any kind): no change necessary.

Substitute more than 10% of white flour: increase water by 14 g for every 56.5 g of whole grain flour added.