Oh, the flour that is...As promised, I have let my home milled high extraction flour age for the 2 months as recommended by a number of texts.Once again, I made this loaf "by the numbers" - dough temperature, strokes, folds, ferment times and temperatures, etc.This time, I did feel a need to adjust - the dough seemed to "come together" a bit faster than my earlier home milled trials - but I soldiered on with the test method.
Once baked, this was the result: http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii183/proth5/HomeMilledAged2MonthsCrumb.jpg
It really did seem a bit more open in the crumb than earlier attempts which is consistent with the theories that aging is required for the best gluten development. Although the loaf was pretty tasty and showed no signs of the flour having become rancid with the long storage, it did lack that “fresh from the berry” taste of truly fresh milled flour.
So, what to do? Two months of flour is quite an inventory for flour storage if you are baking on a regular basis. Although the results of this loaf (in terms of lightness of crumb) were better – the freshly ground wasn’t bad. So, as usual, it’s all a matter of personal preference. But as earlier experiments seem to show – if you are going to age the flour, it should be quite a long aging – a few days or a couple weeks does not suffice.