The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh milled flour: sifted or not?

pul's picture
pul

Fresh milled flour: sifted or not?

Hello,

Do you prefer to sift your fresh milled flour? What would be the main reasons to do so or not?

This bake is about 50% bread flour mixed with 50% non-sifted fresh milled whole wheat and rye. The hydration is 68% with 18% fermented flour. No autolyse, 5.5 hours bulk fermentation and 5 hours in the fridge after shaping. Baked out of the fridge on a cold pot and cold oven. In general I am pleased with the result and the crumb is soft and aerated. Mind you that I milled the grain in the blender, so the flour is kind of coarser than commercial.

Comments

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

I seldom sift. After all I'm going to all this 'trouble' to get peak flavor and nutrition from my bread. Occasionally, when milling corn for meal I will sift coarsely to extract the largest bits for a second trip through the stones.

pul's picture
pul

I have not sifted so far, but I just started "milling" my flour in the blender.

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

but the bran doesn’t go to waste as I use it to feed my starter, to do the first stage of a levain or to make bran muffins. Using the bran to feed the starter or Levain causes the sharp edges to soften and it helps getting that open crumb many of us strive for. 

That being said, you have a great loaf there with awesome oven spring! Well done!

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

I do the same, i.e., sift and use the bran for the levain.  I don't do it every time, but I get better results this way.  The softened bran etc. is less prone to severing the gluten strands, which makes for a better result.  Dabrownman has a post where he said consuming sharp pieces of grain is not great for your digestive tract, so softening the hard bits has multiple benefits.

pul's picture
pul

Seems to best reason for sifting and the reintegrating the bran into the dough

brec's picture
brec

...and then re-milling the bran twice. All -- the original milling and the re-mills -- at Mockmill 100's finest (calibrated) setting. I'm hoping the re-milling will get rid of those pesky sharp edges.

Edit: ...and I whisk the re-milled bran back into the flour from which it came.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

All you are doing is creating way more sharp bran to cut the gluten strands:-)  Softening the bran by having it wettest the longest by feeding it to the levain allows the acid in in the levain to attack and soften the bran even more than water alone/.  If you then retard the bran levain for a day in the fridge before using it will also give the bran more time to soften.  This is the best way Lucy has found to use the all of the sharp part of the whole grain and still get a nice open soft crumb.  The bran is where all of the great minerals, vitamins and nutrients are so you want make sure to use it in your bread.  Your levain will also be more vigorous and more sour this way as well.

Happy bread making using bran levain

brec's picture
brec

added to my prep. But a useful point nonetheless. I'm curious about the effect of re-milling, so next time I'll look at the sifted bran before and after with 60x magnification.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

smaller little knives getting ready to cut anything in their path:-)

pul's picture
pul

Very good points. Instead of retarding the bran levain, I will instead soak the bran a day before building the levain. I think it would have similar effect. I am not sure if my levain would be strong enough after being retarded for a day

pul's picture
pul

Danni, I will use the bran to feed the starter. Yes the loaf sprung quite well.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have a tamis, but I haven't used it yet. My bakes generally run 30-40% fresh-home-milled wheat, rye, spelt and kamut, in some combination. I mill at the finest setting, but don't re-mill. I haven't been unhappy with my breads' crumb. I generally make doughs between 72 and 85% hydration.

I think your bread looks great.

David

pul's picture
pul

Thanks David, it is a complement coming from you. I could not find the Tamis mill. Is it some vintage mill?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

A tamis is a very traditional flour sifting device. It's a ring usually of wood - like a tambourine - with a mesh or variable fineness.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

fantastic.  It is everything we look for in fine bread.  Well done and happy baking