The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Adapting Home Milled Rye Flour to Recipes in The Rye Baker

SoniaR's picture
SoniaR

Adapting Home Milled Rye Flour to Recipes in The Rye Baker

​I suspect the answer to my question might already be in an existing thread but I haven't found it yet. I recently acquired The Rye Baker and every single recipe is so tempting to make. However, I see almost all call for medium rye flour (among other flours). My question has to do with adapting my home milled rye flour to Ginsburg's recipes. If I use my home milled, whole grain (no sifting), finely milled rye flour instead of the medium flour that is called for, what can I expect? Will the bread be more dense? For now, my main concern is texture rather than flavor.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Hi Sonia, 

I've had Stanley's book a few years. I started milling my own rye flour a year after I got it. I think that if you don't sift the flour, your loaf will tend toward the more dense side, and the dough will be decidedly thirstier. If you do not sift, I would certainly add a few bakers-% to the water amount. Personally, I sift with #30 screen to approximate medium rye flour, and use a #45 to get a light-ish rye. Stanleys website has this picture of how he interprets rye flours grades.

One thing about the book. I have found a number of errors in the formulas. To my knowledge no errata sheet has been issued through the publisher. You would be well served by checking the formula listed in at the start of a recipe with the bakers percentages at the end of the same recipe. In some formulae the error will be easy to determine and correct, while others you will have to make an educated guess.

Best of luck,

-Brad

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Brad, 

Where can I order the sieves you mentioned? I am not certain whether the ones I found on Amazon are the correct sizes. The following are for sale on a different website. Do they look right?

 

https://shop.sciencefirst.com/wildco/fieldmaster-student-kits/5962-sieve-us-35-500m-stainless-steel-mesh.html

Thanks

Yippee

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Yippee,

I use this guide for screen size: https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=1417

If I get my orders of magnitude correct, a #30 is 0.6 mm, or 600 µm. I bought them on ebay and they came from China, but they don't seem to be available there any longer. Mine are 8" diameter, and the larger they are the faster they screen.The finer sieves especially take many minutes by hand to get through even 500g of flour. 

-Brad

SoniaR's picture
SoniaR

Hi Brad,

Thanks for your reply. The information you gave is exactly what I was looking for. I am starting to accept that I might have to start sifting if I want to achieve the breads in the book, but I'm also willing to try some of them without sifting just to see if I'm happy enough with them as is. I have a sieve that is not the large, efficient kind, but I'm going to try to measure the size according to the Azo link you gave.

Wouldn't the sifting depend on how fine the flour is ground? Do you mill yours at a Fine setting? I have a Mockmill Pro 100 and my usual way is to throw the grains in as soon as I hear the stones grinding. I believe that gives me Fine. But when sifting, is Fine what is needed? (Clearly, I've never done any sifting before!)

Also, good to know about the errors in the formulas. I will definitely be checking. Thanks again.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

For standard milling, I don't think the fineness matters too much for the sieving. Maybe the outside bran would not break up as small, but the endosprem would fit through most of the sieves we would use.

"Do you mill yours at a Fine setting?"

I keep my Mockmill at the finest setting generally. As a point of reference, with rye, using a #30 sieve I get around 92% extraction (i.e. for every 100 g of grain I start with I get 92 g sifted flour). With a #45 my extraction is around 72%. I think this is still too high for a white rye, but it works for me.

-Brad

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

For standard milling, I don't think the fineness matters too much for the sieving as long as its fine enough for a dough. Maybe the outside bran would not break up as small, but the endosprem would fit through most of the sieves we would use.

"Do you mill yours at a Fine setting?"

I keep my Mockmill at the finest setting generally. As a point of reference, with rye, using a #30 sieve I get around 92% extraction (i.e. for every 100 g of grain I start with I get 92 g sifted flour). With a #45 my extraction is around 72%. I think this is still too high for a white rye, but it works for me.

-Brad

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hi Sonia, take a look at THIS LINK. You may find some useful information. If you continue to scroll down (and even choose “more results” at the bottom you will find many links from The Fresh Loaf forum.

Danny

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

I must have missed that post when it first came up.

-Brad

SoniaR's picture
SoniaR

Thanks, Danny, I will definitely be looking at some of those links!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

" If I use my home milled, whole grain (no sifting), finely milled rye flour instead of the medium flour that is called for, what can I expect? Will the bread be more dense? For now, my main concern is texture rather than flavor."
--

Yes, definitely: denser and darker, along with more intense flavor. Net: it won't be the loaf in the picture.

 A couple of baking principles I've learned:

1) If you change an input, you change the output. Using different flour will produce a different bread than the recipe-creator intended.  Not necessarily in a bad way -- it all depends on preference -- but different.

2)  Differing amounts of bran in a flour, even from the same species of grain, make a different flour, and that different flour is not a direct or equivalent substitute for what a recipe/formula calls for. The bran has a very noticeable effect on flour, and the loaf.  Flour with bran is just not the same flour as without bran.

Of course you can physically swap ingredient "A" for "B", but then to compensate, ingredients "C" and "D" have to be adjusted in quantity, and time "E" has to be shortened or lengthened.  And after you do all that, the loaf is no longer X-bread, but is Y-bread.

--

I'm a home-miller. And one of my goals is to get as close to 100% whole grain as possible.

But the real world of bread cookbooks and online recipes/formulas has very few formulas that go over 50% whole grain. Most "whole grain" recipes use only 20% to 40%.  (Hamelman has a few wheat-based formulas at 50%. Forkish has a 75%.)

You're lucky if you can find even one formula per book that has 75% or more whole grain.

Seriously, "most people" just don't like bread that is over 50% whole grain. And bread cookbook authors write what "most people" want to make and eat.

 Us 75%-plus whole-grain lovers are a small minority, and 95%-100% is more rare.

This even holds true, though to a lesser degree, among home-millers.

Famous TFL user danni3ll3, home mills, and bakes 12 beautiful and popular loaves per week; and uses only 30-40% home-milled flour, the rest store-bought.

--

So, what to do?  Well, you're the boss of your kitchen.  You decide.  I see three paths: 

1) You can stick to 100% whole-grain loaves. Leaving aside the lighter-colored less-dense loaves in the cookbooks. 

2) sift your home-milled flour, and hope you approximate the book-recipe's ratio of:

a) whole-grain,

b) high extraction (ie., partial bran: T85, "medium rye", etc.),

c) and "white" flours.

3) Follow the cookbooks, and just use store-bought flour for the white, light, high extraction, and medium flours that are called for.

--

From what I read on TFL,  most (not all) home-millers who try sifting, consider it too much hassle, and end up just using a portion of store-bought white flour, 

One guy wrote that even using just 25% home-milled (75% store bought) made home-milling worthwhile.

--

TLDR - Bottom line: unsifted home-milled flour can't make the kinds of breads that use less bran-y flour.  If you use 100% whole grain flour, you're going to produce 100% whole  grain bread.

 Happy baking, and bon appétit.

 

SoniaR's picture
SoniaR

​I am definitely in the 75-100% whole grain club and I hope someone will write a cookbook for us one day. I see there is a  Whole Grains forum topic that I should explore. I have a 100% dough fermenting at the moment (90% various wheats; 10% rye) and that's what we like to eat. About half of what I bake is picture-worthy, the other half, well, I probably overproofed, but it was good anyway. I've made a few 100% sourdough ryes, and when I recently bought The Rye Baker I made the assumption that most of the hearty European ryes were 100% whole grain or close to it, but as I was skimming the recipes, I saw I was wrong. I will probably go the path of using my milled rye flour, make whatever adjustments and see what I can come up with. Thanks for sharing your observations in such a clear and concise way. Happy baking!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

The home-millers I follow are: SheGar, SeasideJess, danni3ll3, ifs201, barryvabeach, DanAyo, MTloaf, dabrownman, pmccool, deblacksmith, UpsideDan, TopBun, albacore, .. with apologies to any others I missed.

Occasionally, a "short timer" pops in with a real "bloomin'" 100% WW loaf with gorgeous oven-spring.  

But I imagine I would need a mixer, or a lot more hand kneading to achieve one of those.  Whole grain ferments so fast that my loaves over-ferment before the gluten develops on its own in no-knead fashion.

No-knead, High % WW, Oven spring....  Choose two. ;-)

pmccool's picture
pmccool

rye, I use whole rye that I mill.  My breads tend to be heftier than the author intends but I find the results to be acceptable.  Note that I mill the flour as fine as possible with my mill in such instances. 

If I were trying to achieve either a light or medium rye as economically as possible, I’d probably buy white rye and blend it with my whole rye.  That would limit me to just one additional flour to buy, ship, and store.  And it would eliminate the need for more hardware (screens).

But, I’m content to sub the whole rye flour that I mill, which is even easier.  

Paul

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Paul,

I read that medium rye's extraction rate is about 80 to 85%. Do you happen to know the extraction rate of light and white rye?

Thanks,

Yippee

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Rye labeling here in the US is pretty much a roll-your-own proposition for millers.  So, one miller's light rye might well be another's medium rye.  

In The Rye Baker, page 28, Norm Ginsberg lists ash percentages as follows:

  • White rye, 0.65-0.70
  • Medium rye, 1.25-1.45
  • Whole rye, 1.35-1.65

How those correspond to extraction rates, I don’t know.  Note that there is no listing for light rye.  

Sorry that I don’t have a better answer for you. 

Paul

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Yippee,  I  concur with Paul.  There seems to be little agreement between millers on things that are not directly regulated by law or govt agencies.

I found a web page that attempts to make sense of flour specifications.  Some things (labels) are regulated by country. Other things are given in tables of ranges of values.

Table III on this page includes rye: http://www.theartisan.net/Flours_One.htm

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Thanks, Dave!

The web page that you referenced has prompted me to check the content in the book "Baking Science and Technology", Vol. 1. I found the following information about rye:

"...Flour grades of the white type possess as light a color as possible and correspond most closely to the patent flour of wheat...

...Medium rye flour is considerably darker in color than white rye flour and corresponds approximately to 80%-extraction wheat flour.” 

The 80% extraction rate is quite close to both percentages that I read and Table III shows about medium rye.

If we can find out what wheat patent flour's extraction rate is, then we will an idea about light rye's extraction rate.

Yippee 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"If we can find out what wheat patent flour's extraction rate is, then we will an idea about light rye's extraction rate."

Cross-checking it with tables II and V, you can deduce or infer a range for it.

But, as Brad said below, a home mill/sift operation is nowhere near as efficient as a multi-million dollar commercial mill. Too much of our bran is small enough to pass through the sieve, and too much of our white stuff is big enough to be removed by the sieve.

Commercial mills do special things like temper/hydrate the bran so it smooshes off easily.  And they pre-sort the kernals/grains by size so they go through the correctly spaced rollers.

 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

per Mike's post. Then, in my simple mind🤔🤔🤔, so is light rye's.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

I agree with all the above, there is no consistency in labeling for rye flours. Stan makes a point of it in his book and on his website. I posted my extraction %-ages just as a data point for reference. 

I also suspect (maybe someone can be more definitive on this) that a stone mill, especially a small home mill, will generally give a higher ash content than a commercial flour (of the same extraction) that is produced by a roller mill. As I understand it a roller mill can keep the bran mostly intact so that it can more easily be removed, while a stone mill will cause some grinding to always occur and increase the ash number. It may not be much because the bran is a small percentage of the grain, but maybe it applies similarly to the germ as well. 

just a thought

-Brad

SoniaR's picture
SoniaR

Thanks for your reply. This is very encouraging! Acceptable is fine with me so I'm definitely going to stick with my plan of milling and not sifting. And I like your idea of having a small amount of white rye around if I occasionally want to add some. After all, I always have some bread flour in the house, so why not the rye equivalent. I'm going to start the Franconia Crusty Boule today and we'll see how it goes!

Happy baking!

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1
ifs201's picture
ifs201

I tend to be a little more loose with my process than others on this site (probably to my detriment), but I also mill my own rye and don't bother sifting. If the recipe calls for medium rye then I might just toss in a bit of white flour to try and offset my use of home milled rye.