The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I want it NOW

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

I want it NOW

For a long time now I have been resisting the temptation to buy a grain mill, but the child in me keeps insisting "I want it NOW". So I am finally going to give in and treat myself to one, most likely a Mockmill 100.

Home milling is a completely new craft to me so I have been searching through the seemingly vast collection of questions and answers on this site and have learned a great deal but I would like to ask a couple of questions.

To UK home millers, can you recommend any reliable and reasonably economical retailers of whole grains? I know of Bakery Bits but other sources would be useful to hear about.

More generally, do you mostly bake wholegrain bread with your milled flour or is it  more usual to mix it with a percentage of shop bought strong white flour which I imagine would help it to rise.

Any other comments on the subject would be appreciated and I will thank you in advance for your answers.

Alan

albacore's picture
albacore

I took the plunge earlier this year and bought a Mockmill 100, which I'm pretty pleased with.

Home milling is as simple or complicated as you want it to be.

I tend to mill 20 - 30% of the loaf flour, the rest being roller milled white, currently Duchy Original white organic bread flour. This is because I value loft in a loaf - I think the loaves look better and are more versatile for eating. Many on TFL prefer more home milled flour in the mix, to give more flavoursome but lower loft, denser loaves.

There is indeed a shortage of UK bread grain suppliers to the home baker. I haven't found anywhere better than BakeryBits - not that there is anything wrong with them - they are a good company, in my opinion.

At least they now have two grain suppliers, Priors and Gilchester. I would like to get hold of some white whole wheat and Kamut though and they don't carry them.

Lance

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Lance thank you for your response, that's the way I will go then. Start off with a mix and then vary it as I learn more about taste and rise.

Can't wait to get started.

Alan

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

Alan, I can't answer your first question - I live on the other side of the pond and have no idea for grain sources in the UK. When it comes to using a mix of home milled and commercial flour I started out doing that- it was sort of a 'training wheels on a bike' thing and it did help. But now I'm using home milled 100%. The big difference is the amount of hydration fresh milled needs compared to commercial flour. So yeah, if you want to mix commercial with home milled go for it - you'll get over it.  

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

justanoldguy

Thanks for that. So I will start with some degree of mix while I build some experience and then I'm sure you are right, sooner or later get over it and arrive at 100% whole grain.

Alan

jcope's picture
jcope

Not really knowing any better, I went straight to 100% home milled.  I would say it's denser by a bit, but not at all unpleasant. Not like the heavy brick loaves you might imagine.  I get the same oven spring I got with straight white flour, even blow-outs which I'd like to find a way to control.  It's, dark colored, very soft bread and has a nice flavor.  

You could experiment by going to 100% and then backing up to a mix if you feel you need to, but you actually might not.

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Thank you jcope and everyone else. Unfortunately the delivery of my  Mockmill has been delayed by a couple of weeks so I will have plenty of time to decide which way to go with my first home milled bake and meantime I can enjoy looking at the 6kg wheat grain which has arrived!