The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread with home-milled flour

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread with home-milled flour

Having heard the stories home-millers tell about the superior flavor of their breads, I finally bought a Mock Mill attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. I have milled both rye and wheat flours with this mill and used them in breads with around 30% whole grain flours. The breads were very good, but I honestly couldn't say they were superior to those made with commercial flours of good quality.

For the first time today I baked a loaf that is 75% whole wheat. This is a bread from Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast. My only modification to the formula was to leave out the instant yeast.

The wheat used was a Hard Red Winter Wheat from Palouse Farms in Washington State. The mill was set to a very fine setting, and I was pleased at how fine it mills. The dough, as it bulk fermented, was surprisingly soft and extensible - much more so than the KAF and Central Milling WW flours I have used. I emailed Palouse to ask for the Protein content of this wheat, and they promptly replied that it was 11%. I was also amazed to observe that fermentation seemed to proceed much faster than with other flours. This is a bread I expect to take 4-5 hours to bulk ferment. It was fully fermented in 3 hours.

Although Forkish calls for this bread to be baked in a Dutch oven, I baked it as a hearth loaf - 15 minutes at 450 dF with steam, then 30 minutes at 435 dF convention-bake.

The crust was crunch and nutty-flavored. The crumb was moist and tender - amazing light and airy for a 75% Whole Wheat loaf. The flavor was wheaty with a bit of sweetness. It was delicious plain and also with a thin spread of sweet butter. 

I have made this bread before with Central Milling Fine Organic Whole Wheat, and it was very good. I do think it is a bit better with the fresh, home-milled flour, but not dramatically better. Again, the bread made with CM flour set a pretty high bar.

The Mock Mill is easy to use, and I am impressed with how fine it grinds. I'm looking forward to baking other breads with other home-milled grains. I have also bought a No. 40 flour sifter, and will be making some high-extraction flours. Lots of new bread baking adventures ahead!

By the way, I also make a couple loaves of San Joaquin Sourdough with home-milled rye and whole wheat. It was also maybe a bit tastier than usual, but I am not really sure.

Any comments or pointers from more experienced home millers would be very much appreciated.

Happy baking!

David

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Comments

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Such a rich dark crumb too!  Amazing!  

Mini

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Vince920's picture
Vince920

May I ask the hydration level? Everytime I try adding whole wheat flour to my bread, it always end up being gloppier than expected.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The hydration of this loaf is 82%. And note that it is totally hand mixed with no traditional "kneading," only stretch and folds.

The dough changes dramatically over the bulk fermentation. It starts very loose and ends up still soft and a bit tacky but very manageable. If you haven't tried multiple episodes of stretch and fold at intervals during bulk fermentation, you really should. You may be surprised what it accomplishes.

Happy baking!

David

Vince920's picture
Vince920

Turns out, this recipe isn't really what I was looking for. I'm looking for a recipe to be left alone for 10 hours prior to shaping, without stretch and folds.

Thanks, anyways.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Bulk fermentation was 3 hours. There was a stretch and fold at 30, 80 and 130 minutes. The dough was then shaped into a loaf and cold retarded overnight before being baked.

Sounds like you want something like Lahey's "No Knead Bread." 

David

Vince920's picture
Vince920

I already found a formula that works perfectly for me. Just mix it, leave it overnight, shape it in the morning and bake after 2 hours. Very easy. I have no more excuses for not baking sourdough bread.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I don;t think that old, stale, bagged flour can compare to fresh milled flour in any way though.  I can tell a huge difference but haven't had whole grain CM flour either for comparison.  Fresh whole grain flour has all the bran and germ in it so I find it quite different.  Your bread looks grand inside and out and has to be tasty.  That Forkish recipe is a good one for sure.

You will have all kinds of fun making breads with your home milled flour and high extraction  flour,  Well done and happy baking David. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I got a bag of Red Fife wheat. I've heard such great things about its flavor, I'm eager to try it. I'm also looking forward to a high-% rye with fresh-ground whole rye. 

David

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I think your home milling will really up your already superb baking. I wish to see one of your breads made with home milled fire baked in a wood-fired oven.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks for the compliment! 

Next WFO bake will surely include some home-milled flour loaves.

David

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

David,

The softness of your crumb is apparent, which that has been my experience with home milling.  I also find it silky smooth during folds.  The grains readily available in bulk in the SF/East Bay area are all from Giusto's.  I usually add soakers, so I'm not sure if the taste is significantly better, but I'm very pleased that I'm getting fresh germ into my breads.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Do you find any difference in staling with home-milled flour?

David

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

David,

I can't say for certain but it appears to me so far that staling has been slower.

Phil

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Beautiful loaves, David! Love the shine in the crumb. I'm becoming more and more keen on experimenting with whole grain flours, even more so with freshly milled flour. It's inevitable. One day I'll import / build my own mill here. Of course, I'd also have to procure grains as well. 

Happy baking,

Zita

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'll be following your inspiring adventures and progress!

David