The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rescuing old wholemeal flour

MrBreadman's picture
MrBreadman

Rescuing old wholemeal flour

I have been using the blechedre strong wholemeal flour in my bread machine and recently it's stopped rising properly and very dense. I tried all the tricks with no luck. I eventually tried a different flour with the same recipe and it came out perfectly. the old glory came from a 25kg bag and I think it might be out of date

Two questions;

what makes strong wholemeal go 'bad'?

Is there any way of using that flour again? What if i add vital wheat gluten? (Already tried adding 1tbsp to 500g)

 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

...adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to your recipe. This will activate the gluten and help it to rise (should that be the problem).

MrBreadman's picture
MrBreadman

I actually tried adding ¼ teaspoon vit c powder (as per a recipe I have) but that didn't help. I did add 1 full tsp to the new flour and worked brilliant. I think I tried a full tsp on the old flour but might try again 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Here is a method which might be good....

 

Divide the flour into two.

Add salt to one half, mix, and put to one side.

Add sugar and yeast to other half, pour in water, cover with cling film and place in warm area.

After 45min or so the mixture should have bubbled and risen.

Then add in the remaining flour and salt, oil and teaspoon of lemon or vit c.

Knead into dough.

Cover with damp towel and leave in warm place to rise.

Shape into loaves then bake.

Good luck and let me know how you go.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

*Flour, Yeast, Sugar and Water into paste before you cover with cling film and leave to bubble

MrBreadman's picture
MrBreadman

Thanks I'll give that a go. Might be a chance to brush up on my hand baking skills

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

I like this method for two reasons...

1. You really cultivate the yeast

2. That plus the lemon juice works wonders

Good idea to follow advice of mixing some other flour in. Spelt would be my idea as that is easy rise. 

Forgot one last thing. Don't forget a second rise after shaping, or plaiting, into loaves. You can then coat with egg, sprinkle some seeds on top (if you wish) and bake.

Good luck.

 

 

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

While I don't think this really impacts the gluten, how are you storing your flour? Whole gain flour can go rancid; when I'm not going through mine quickly, I'll keep it in the freezer to prevent this. If it's being kept in a particularly warm area, that can also cause some starch damage.

I'm afraid I don't have much advice on how to help it now, but perhaps looking at this aspect can prevent future unhappy flour.

Perhaps you can still use it for pastry? Or use a blend of that and newer flour for bread?

MrBreadman's picture
MrBreadman

I store it in a large plastic air tight container. It's actually stored next to our washing machine and dryer so it can be quite hot in there some times. So that could be the issue

30 Chickens's picture
30 Chickens

If it is out of date I wouldn't use it. In fact, I put all my whole wheat flour in the freezer just after I mill it. It goes bad quickly and effects the flavor and nutrition. Fresh whole wheat flour taste complex and nutty, old flour looses these nuances, resulting in a loaf that can be flat in flavor.