The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie Milling Question

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Newbie Milling Question

I am an experienced bread baker, but I’m very new to milling my own flour.  And I have a basic question about protein content. When buying wheat berries I know hard wheat is higher in protein, but how do I know which berries to buy if I want to mill white bread flour?  Or white AP flour?  I know I’ll have to bolt/seive the flour yo get white flours, but I can’t figure out which wheat berries to start with depending on what I want to produce. Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Thanks. 

Howard Wong's picture
Howard Wong

Hard red spring would be the most commonly used. But feel free to experiment with hard white too for a different taste.

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

For an AP equivalent flour you'd use soft white wheat. It's my experience that there  are fewer sources for soft white than the hard red or white wheat. In addition to bolting you'd need to be able to bleach your flour to get a whiteness equal to store bought flour. 

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

Central Milling's Artisan Baker's Craft (their organic AP flour), is made from a mix of hard red winter wheat...which is generally what AP flour designed for artisan breads come from.  And it is unbleached.  Protein is about 11.5%.

I don't think you'll get the same thing as factory milled white flours, but with finer mesh sieves, you will get closer (and that is a bit more work).

For home milled white bread flour (following general store bought flour labeling terms) hard spring wheat is more appropriate (red or white), due to the generally higher protein content.  If you are getting your berries from a miller, or an established grain supplier, you could ask them about the likely protein content of a bolted version of different milled berries.

 

 

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Thank you all for your input. This is really very helpful.   I‘m ready for a bit of experimentation!

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

There are a number of very good threads on home milling to be found on TFL...and I know proth5 contributed a lot in the past on this topic...doing some searching through those threads should be helpful

albacore's picture
albacore

You're going to need some pretty fine sieves! I have a #50 and I consider the sifted flour as high extraction. To approach white flour you will need a finer sieve, maybe #70?

Also expect a pretty low yield of white flour, as home mills don't grind that fine.

You certainly won't need any bleach - NO flour in Europe is bleached and it still looks pretty white!

But have fun in the strange world of tempering and bolting - and let us know how you get on!

Lance

emmsf's picture
emmsf

 You are right – it will be hard to get a pure white flour. For bread baking, it’s OK with me if it’s still high extraction. That’s nice in hearth breads, and un rye breads, which I make often. And no bleaching here - wouldn’t even know how to begin! :-)