The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1st Home Milled Bake: 100% WW Sandwich

SeasideJess's picture

1st Home Milled Bake: 100% WW Sandwich

Hi everyone. Before I say anything else in my inaugural blog entry I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the forums and made blog posts on this site. It's been very helpful. I especially want to thank the folks who have been candid about the difficulty of working with 100% whole wheat flour.

I took up bread baking for two reasons. First, I'm not supposed to eat refined flour or sugar any more and I don't really care for the 100% whole wheat bread without sweeteners at the store. Second, things have been stressful with my twin teen boys, and baking is really helping me: it gives me something to think about and engage my mind that isn't stressful. 

I started baking with purchased sprouted flours and using Peter Reinhart's Bread Revolution book. However, these flours are not economical, and I also wanted to be able to do an overnight retard in the fridge and with these flours that seemed to cause over-proofing. So I bought a grain mill, the Mockmill 100!

This is my first bake with fresh-milled flour from the new mill. Ironically, it also overproofed in the fridge overnight. But I think they will still taste good. 

I looked long and hard for a simple, non-dairy, no sugar, 100% whole wheat loaf that uses an overnight refrigerated fermentation. I haven't found that recipe but this one comes close, even though it has sugar added. It is from Moontripper's comment at the end of this thread: 

The rest of this post is Moontripper's slightly edited words, interspersed with my comments in italics.


It's a yeasted bread, 100% whole wheat, using long fermentation, no kneading, just stretch and fold.

840 g WW flour, 630 g water (Too dry w/freshly-ground whole wheat. I added more to make 100% hydration. Dough very wet, but firms up with stretch and folds. Next time could try 750 grams total water for an 89% hydration?)
2 Tbsp instant yeast, (Used active, not instant, and it was PLENTY)
14 g salt,
2.5 Tbsp oil,
1/4 cup muscovado sugar
  1. Mix the flour with 580 g (700?) of the water and leave it to autolyse for half an hour.
  2. Whisk the yeast in the remaining 50 grams water in a separate bowl, and mix into the dough. Let rest for another half hour.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to the flour mixture and mix together. 
  4. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. Stretch and Fold twice at 1 hour intervals (dough is very wet and sticky) and place back to the fridge each time. Leave overnight.(Came out of the fridge overproofed after 18 hours. Need to either divide the dough after the 2nd stretch and fold or put it in a wide, flat tub to chill it faster so it won't overproof in the fridge.)
  6. Next morning do another stretch and fold, then put back into fridge. 
    (Skipped this step because of already overproofing. Instead, I did a final stretch and fold and went straight to preshaping to try to make sure the yeast got some new food.)
  7. At around 3 pm (about 18 hours from start of bulk ferment) take out the dough, divide, preshape, rest.
    (I'm giving it 40 minutes bench rest to allow it to come to room temp and hopefully also to do a bit of final bulk fermentation.)
  8. Shape and final rise in 2 bread pans, about 50 minutes. 
    Used the 'medium' pans and they were much too small! Use the larger loaf pans next time, or one medium and the covered 13-inch pullman pan.
  9. Spritz and slash loaves. Put into a COLD oven set to 325-350. Total bake time 40 minutes.

So, the loaves had a little bit of oven spring, but not much. We'll see when I cut into them tomorrow how the crumb is, but I'm kind of expecting dense and gummy. 


IceDemeter's picture

But - where's that crumb shot you promised?!

Seriously - kudos on getting the mill, and for hanging in there with the learning curve!  These loaves look pretty darned good for a first-time with the home-milled whole wheat, and a few more bakes will get you feeling better about hitting the fermentation right.

Thanks for sharing, and keep baking happy!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Those look pretty darn good, actually! Hopefully we get a crumb shot, regardless of outcome.

I would think 2 tbsp of yeast would be way too much for whole wheat that is going to ferment overnight. I'd try maybe a tsp per loaf and see how that goes. Or perhaps pre-fermenting some of the flour (say, up to half of it) with about 1/4 tsp of yeast, then mixing with the rest of the flour, water, salt, and another 1/4 tsp of yeast.

Fresh-milled flour is lovely, isn't it? I'm lucky in that we have a guy here on the Island who bulk-buys all kinds of organic grains from farmers in Western Canada, then distributes sacks of this grain locally. All kinds of good stuff, including spelt, Kamut, barley, soft white wheat, Red Fife, rye etc. It's a lot more expensive than your run of the mill bulk wheat, but way cheaper than buying the flours retail!

SeasideJess's picture

Crumb Shot!

SeasideJess's picture

Thanks for commenting, Ice Demeter and Lazy Loafer. As you can see, the crumb is a little tight, but not terrible. The bread tastes plain but good, the texture is moist, springy and chewy. I overbaked it after removing it from the tin, and the crust was really too hard to be pleasing. This is the second loaf, and after being stored in a plastic bag for a few days the crust softened up and became edible. The first one we ate with the crust cut off, like the rye in packages that comes from Germany. 

I got the Peter Reinhart whole grain book but then the Laurel's Kitchen book came (I love getting used books by mail!) and I think I should bake from the Laurel's Kitchen book for a while before branching out. I think I've developed a habit of over-hydrating the dough, and I need a little reset to get a feel for what the dough should be like.  It's possible that trying to learn to bake bread as a complete novice using Reinhart's sprouted flour book wasn't the best way to start...although it did give me a lot of practice handling extremely wet dough.