The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh Milled Bread Flour

rimbaudcafe's picture

Fresh Milled Bread Flour

I have been recently experimenting with using freshly milled flour.

The more I learn and read the more confused I become.

A lot of recipes that I read call for mixing fresh milled flour with bread or AP flour. While the fresh milled flour may contribute flavor to the bread, to me, mixing it with a commercial product is against the ethos of using fresh milled flour in the first place.

Can anyone offer tips/resources on baking a country loaf with all freshly milled flour that will have the rise of using bread flour.

I would imagine sifting is involved. Would it just be a heavily sifted (low-extraction?) flour? What type of wheat would be recommended?

Thank you!

Justanoldguy's picture

Well I can't comment of country loaves 'cause I do sandwich loaves. I eat far more sandwiches than countries but they gotta rise too, the loaves not the countries, and when I use fresh milled flour exclusively I have to add VWG or ascorbic acid. I believe the bran and some compounds, thiols, released by the milling process affect gluten formation. I can generally get a satisfactory result by including around 40% bread flour. As to the ethos, sifting will remove a certain portion of the good things you've milled your flour to obtain. So I figure 3/5 of a fresh milled loaf is better than none especially when the 'purest' loaves are more akin to bricks.  

barryvabeach's picture

Mostly I bake with 100% home milled wheat flour, and don't do any sifting.  Ascorbic acid helps, and my results are good. Though i don't ever get the same rise that I would from bread flour, they are definitely acceptable to most, and I think the health benefits outweigh the extra rise.  

JoWillow's picture

We use the fermenting method from Peter Reinhard's book -- "Whole Grain Breads" -- using a biga and soaka. It gets a great rise, and is so light it's hard to believe it's 100 whole grain. It has worked well with hard white and hard red for us -- not so well with spelt.  His 100% whole wheat sandwich bread is a great place to start, and all his recipes are whole grain. We use yoghurt instead of milk.  Looks like others on the forum make it too!

For fresh ground spelt, and if you don't want to wait a day to ferment Reinhart's great recipes, our go-to, grinder to table in 2 hours, bread is this recipe.  We it rise in the pan for 20-30 minutes before puttInge in oven.


IceDemeter's picture

I think your confusion arises from the fact that different people choose to use freshly milled flour for different reasons, and so aren't necessarily creating formulae that will agree with your personal ethos.

That said, there are most certainly a lot of individuals who choose to bake purely with whole grains, others who choose to bake purely with flours that they have milled (and sifted or not) themselves, others who bake purely with sprouted grains, and others who have the priority of a specific flavour or shape of bread and will use whatever is available that will most easily get the result.  The wonderful thing about it is that you have the whole myriad of their contributions to consider and then to build off of to create breads that match your own personal priorities.

I personally use a lot of home milled flours because I prefer whole grains for the flavour and nutrition, I need to limit the amount of added vitamins / minerals (which are almost impossible to avoid in commercial flours thanks to government intervention), and I actually prefer bread with a tighter crumb (country hearth style - and not fluffy but airy and light but able to hold condiments without me wearing them).  I'm not looking for the rise of bread flour so haven't bothered with VWG or ascorbic acid, but have certainly gotten the results that I want with unsifted freshly milled whole grain wheat and / or mixed grains (durum, hard red wheat, soft white wheat, spelt, rye, corn, barley, and red fife recently), and the loaves are a long, long way from being bricks.  I also use some commercial all purpose flour (which happens to be from a local mill) as part of some of my loaves, because I personally need to limit the amount of fibre in the breads and it's faster and easier for me to just buy some "de-fibred" all purpose rather than trying to get all of the bran and germ out myself.

If you are looking for some great 100% whole grain recipes and results, you can actually just do a search on here for 100% whole wheat.  One baker here, Yogi, does only 100% whole grain bakes (although not freshly milled) so you can check out his blogs from here:   Another baker who doesn't seem to post here anymore but has some wonderful whole grain recipes (including some most definitely not brick sandwich breads) is txfarmer and here is a fine example:

I would also suggest that you check out a dabrownman's blogs and look in to sprouting your own grains for home-milling, too. 

Just look around a bit and you'll find lots of formulae that use entirely whole grains, and surely will find some that will get you the results that you personally want.  Have fun!