problems with high altitude bread baking with sprouted home-milled soft wheat flour
I'm new to posting on this forum but a long-time reader. Thank you to all from whose posts I have learned so much!
For the last few years, I have been using a commercially-purchased sprouted wheat flour in my bread machine and was able to produce beautiful bread that way.
I recently moved to 5300' (after living at basically sea level) and was still able to keep making that same bread in my bread machine with no adjustments to the recipe. I decided to try sprouting wheat berries and milling it into flour after being offered the use of a mill and after realizing the cost savings (not counting my labor).
Since my switch to using home-sprouted/home-milled soft wheat flour, my bread baking has been a disaster. The centers of the loaves have been very gooey and fallen, and the loaf itself barely makes it half-way up the sides of the bread machine pan. The only change to the recipe was going from the commercially-purchased sprouted flour to my own sprouted flour.
I'm now trying to learn as much as I can about high altitude baking.
I would love to hear from any high-altitude bakers who use sprouted/home-milled flour on specific successful adjustments that can be made, such as increase/decrease in ingredient amounts, proofing/rising/baking times, etc.
Here is my current recipe for the bread machine:
1-1/2 cups water
4 cups sprouted flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon yeast
The cycle I use on my bread machine is a sandwich setting that takes a total of 3 hours, 20 minutes:
20 minutes preheating, kneading, first rising, stir down, second rising, stir down, third rising, baking
I am able to program a homemade cycle that can include:
preheat (0-30 minutes in 1-minute increments)
knead (0-30 minutes in 1-minute increments)
rise 1 (0-120 minutes in 5-minute increments, dough rises about 82.4 deg F)
rise 2 (0-120 minutes in 5-minute increments, dough rises after steam is released)
rise 3 (0-120 minutes in 5-minute increments, dough rises after formed into a ball, about 100.4 deg F)
bake (0-70 minutes in 5-minute increments, about 254-290 deg F)
keep warm at about 194 deg F for 0 minutes OR 60 minutes
I am trying to understand why the recipe works at my altitude in my bread machine with the commercially-purchased sprouted flour but not with my home-milled flour. The manual says that home-milled flour is too coarse to work in this machine, but it doesn't seem any more coarse than the commercially-purchased flour. (But I haven't compared the two flours under a microscope, LOL.) Since there are only paddles that come into contact with the flour, I'm not sure what coarseness of the flour has to do with anything . . . Also, I have had friends successfully use home-milled flour in their bread machines.
BTW, I have tried baking bread with the sprouted/home-milled flour both in the bread machine and by hand/in the oven with equally disastrous results.
Thank you so much in advance for your help!
~ BakingMommy ~