Reinhart -- Alas, right about fresh flour
When I first read Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads, I discounted a passage in which he writes about home grinding. I wish I could find the exact quote, but essentially, he says that while fresh flour tastes wonderful, it needs to be used within 7 hours or so of grinding -- otherwise, one needs to wait 2 weeks because enzymatic activity will hamper performance. After two weeks, the process is finished and the flour will perform well.
I didn't believe him ... but then I made another loaf of oatmeal bread from the leftover flour I'd ground up Sunday night. Everything about the two breads is identical except that in the first photo, the flour was used 1 hour after grinding and, in the other, the flour was used 2 days after grinding.
Check out the difference:
With flour that's 1 hour old:
And two days old:
Both loaves tasted great, but I think you'll agree, the fresher flour definitely saw better oven spring and a higher rise.
Peter Reinhart, I'll not doubt you again ....