The Fresh Loaf

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Who has successfully turned stone ground whole wheat into a proper loaf?

jembola's picture
jembola

Who has successfully turned stone ground whole wheat into a proper loaf?

In the interest of buying and eating local food, I just bought 50 kilograms of local stone ground organic whole wheat (red fife) and "fine sifted" wheat flour, which is pretty much like whole wheat but a little lighter with less bran. I was assured it was very good quality and high in protein for bread baking. I'm keeping it refrigerated so I know it's fresh.  I thought I'd just keep experimenting till I got it working well. 

But alas, I'm having the same problems others have expressed around here with stone ground whole wheat: it just refuses to develop into a strong dough.  Today's experiment (jmonkey's buttermilk and honey whole wheat) started with a biga so some of the wheat had time to soften first.  I did everything right (I have made the same bread with different flour with great results), kneading about 40 minutes and adding some unbleached white along the way since it was extremely sticky. The dough eventually felt quite nice but would tear at the slightest stretch. (Actually, half the dough I folded to see if a different treatment would make a difference; it stayed so sticky and unmanageable, I ultimately opted not to shape it into a sandwich loaf and baked it in the scorching cast iron pot a la NYT; the texture was about the same as the loaf I baked in a pan).

I'd love to hear from anyone who has successfully turned stone-ground organic whole wheat into a great loaf.  Is it possible??  While there have been lots of suggestions about what should work, I'd specifically like to hear from someone who has solved the problems to their satisfaction.

The most important thing I've learned so far is that slices of even the most disappointing loaf taste pretty great spread with Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread).  I'm thinking of getting the large size next grocery trip.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Not only is it possible, the results are fantastic.  I grind wheat at home and regularly make bread with that flour.  I described my process here:  http://tfl.thefreshloaf.com/node/9869/100-whole-wheat-sourdougha-saga-and-question

Let me know if you have more questions.

Jeff

xaipete's picture
xaipete

The addition of a little vital gluten really helped me with my home ground whole wheat loaf. The other thing that helped was a warm, humid proof.

--Pamela

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Bill Wraith once wrote:

"I have found that my sourdough starter seems to ferment 10-20% faster in whole grain flours than in white flour, but other than that, I wouldn't think of changing the amount of yeast much for WW as opposed to white flour."

 

Fact:  It is very easy to overproof any WW bread made with a sourdough starter.

Some good tips I ran into:  Mix the salt into the flour before mixing the dough.   Let the dough rest after combining.  Gluten seems to need a longer time to develop so knead or mix longer.  Try retarding the dough in the refrigerator shortly into the bulk rise.  There seems to be a lot of enzyme activity in WW so it is beneficial not to let the rises go on too long.  The dough has to be "watched like a hawk."

After retarding, it may be benificial to create a hybrid loaf  (I'm not the first to mention this.. just to propose adding it in this way...)  by flattening out the cold retarded dough  and sprinkling with two teaspoons of instant yeast  (per 500g flour) thus adding more yeast before the developed gluten deteriorates.  (I'm thinking out loud here,  maybe enzymes are working not only to break down gluten but also somehow preventing the yeasts from thriving and therefore slowing down  CO2 production.  With the addition of fresh yeast, the CO2 production would increase, raising the dough before the gluten gives out.)

What do you think?  (Nothing like a flat loaf to get the brain cells working again...)

Mini

davec's picture
davec

In a video to which someone here posted a link, Peter Reinhart mentioned problems with stoneground whole wheat flour that is more than 36 hours old, but not properly aged.  That filled in a huge blank for me.  I keep reading posts from people who grind their own flour, about how superior it is, yet Hamelman says flour that has not been properly aged won't behave properly in baking.  According to Reinhart, the problem is enzyme activity which affects the flour between about 36 hours and two weeks after grinding.  Could that be your problem?

Dave

jembola's picture
jembola

Thanks for all the useful feedback.  I'm following up on it all. 

Can anyone lead me to Rinehart's discussion of proper aging of flour?

Yesterday I made a new batch of Buttermilk Honey WW wheat, this time substituting half AP flour and focussing on just getting a dough that feels right.  I added quite a lot of AP flour along the way but still found the dough would tear easily despite a long knead. The bread turned out okay. My downfall was that I had to go out at a critical time and I brought the loaves downstairs to proof in a cool basement room.  I think the trip back upstairs was hard on the poor little sensitive loaves because they deflated a little.  Next time I'll just confine myself to the house for the duration (till I get it right and can start playing a little loose with the timing).

More feedback about your stoneground WW successes welcome!

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I heard him say it in response to a question he was asked at Omnivore books about a month ago. This remark is near the end; start looking at about 55 minutes.

http://www.chezus.com/video/omnivore-books/peter-reinhart/video.html

--Pamela

xaipete's picture
xaipete
clazar123's picture
clazar123

I've made bread from WW flour I've ground just before making the loaf to flour ground days before and even weeks before. I don't think that is an issue.

I would be more inclined to think it may be that particular harvest. There are differences in whet depending on all the variables the plant encountered during its growing season. The question is how to make this flour useful, with all it's idiosyncracies.

If it is an enzyme issue, then adding vit c in some form should help.It can be as simple as crushing a vit c tablet up and adding some to the dough with the other ingredients.

It may be the dough needs to rest before being stretched or shaped and handled gently when it is shaped.This may be a dough that should not be overkneaded.

It may be the dough should not rest for too long! And yet, being WW it needs time to absorb the water in the dough.

It sure sounds like it has a lot of the characteristics of rye flour-the stickiness you mention. I have never had much persistent stickiness with WW but definitely with even small amounts of rye. Perhaps handling this like a rye flour may be helpful.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

I make 100% whole wheat bread all the time with fresh ground flour.  I do mix the water and flour up until it is a shaggy mass and let it sit for an hour before I finish mixing it.  Could it be you need to let your flour hydrate fully before you develop the gluten?  Every flour is different but it might be something that you can try.  When I stretch my dough it can be stretched further than any dough that I have ever worked with, I'm really amazed at the gluten development of this flour.

jembola's picture
jembola

Thanks again for all the new comments.  As I've said, I'm following up on all of it. LeadDog do you mix only the flour and water, without yeast or salt mixed in, to start?

I'll also try adding some ascorbic acid, which I keep on hand for canning peaches in the summer.

Today I made some nice 100% whole wheat bread from other flour that came from the same mill.  I wanted to see whether my problems stem from the flour (or at least my handling of this particular flour).  Clearly the flour makes a big difference. But I've got 50 kilos of the other stuff so I'll keep experimenting.

I'll let you know what I find out...

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Yes I just mix in flour and water to start.  The bread I make is sourdough so there is no yeast added.  The salt and starter are mixed in after the hour wait.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I grow and grind my own wheat and use a stonemill for grinding. It makes great bread with a light texture. The trick is not to use too much flour. I always leave my dough a bit on the sticky side. I also use honey as a sweetener.

jembola's picture
jembola

Wow, flourgirl51, that is so far from the description of my bread with this particular flour!  Today I tried once more, on the heels of some lovely bread I made with other whole wheat flour the other day.  Same recipe today (Buttermilk and honey whole wheat), but this time using the stone ground red fife I mentioned at the beginning of this thread.  You should see the bricks I just took out of the oven.  But I wasn't surprised, given the refusal of the dough to develop any strength. I think you must know a lot about flour, since I believe you sell it, no? So what do you think this is about?  I wish I could send you photos and even today's video, but I can't seem to post them.  I know I'm not adding too much flour because I've kept the dough quite moist.  I started with a biga.  I folded every 20 minutes to a half hour for a few hours hoping this would help hydrate.  I refrigerated for the first rise, again to allow lots of time to develop and hydrate. I added about a half teaspoon ascorbic acid (Vit C) to the flour as suggested by a couple of people. But the dough didn't change; it behaves more like granular cookie dough that has too much baking soda in it. Stretching is impossible; it just breaks.  I'm ready to have a conversation with the mill who sold it to me; anything you can tell me that would shed some light would be helpful.

I've truly given up on this flour and may order some of yours sometime to compare.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I soak a third of the flour with water and the yeast for 15 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. I don't refrigerate it at all. I don't use milk in the bread either. I will say again that the protein content of the wheat is important and also different wheat varieties make a difference. We grow organic wheat with very good protein. I leave the dough on the sticky side also when it is rising and I use SAF yeast. Our flour is about as fresh as it gets as I grind it to order. There is a lot of old flour on the market as there is still a glut of flours in the mills due to the high prices of grains last year. This caused everyone who grew grains to sell them so the mills are still full of grains and flours from over a year ago. You may want to try five pounds or so of our organic flour. It is .60 per pound plus the actual shipping.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It sure sounds like a rye flour or maybe a mix.It does not sound like red Fife (at least by the Wikipedia description). I would really consider having that conversation with the mill.

 

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

I followed breadtopia's instruction for a Poilane-style miche (though, I think that's a bit of a misnomer, considering the addition of rye flour). Where whole wheat was called for in the first build I used stone-ground whole wheat. Since that ferments on the counter overnight, and then again for 24 hours when the rest of the dough is made, it had more than enough time to soak and came out beautifully.

jembola's picture
jembola

Yes, I've finally talked to the mill's owner and he is puzzled. He will replace all my flour with other flour they have (I've tried it and it worked fine); the red fife was supposed to be so much better.  They were having trouble with overheating during the milling process a couple of weeks ago and he wonders if that's the problem.  I asked him for a small quantity of the red fife ground fresh so I can try it one more time, just in case the overheating was the source of the problem.  Anyway, I'll be glad to see the backside of the flour I've got right now.  Some chickens are enjoying my last attempt "Brique de Maison".  Hopefully it won't ruin the eggs!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

And did it work better?

jembola's picture
jembola

It was Red Fife that gave me all the problems. But only, as it turns out, because the milling process overheated it all.  I've asked for some more freshly milled Red Fife, but I can't get it till next week.  I'm really looking forward to trying it again, and i'm hoping all the problems stemmed from the milling and not the wheat.  I'll report back in due time!

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I am puzzled as to why your flour was overheated. If it was stone ground it shouldn't have gotten overheated.

When I grind our flours in our stone mill the flour is cool when it comes out of the mill. That is one of the points of having stone ground flour as that milling process is cooler so it doesn't destroy the nutrients.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I believe commercial mills are much more powerful than home version.  My home stone mill is only 1/4 horse power so it generates little heat during the process.  Yet, the flour comes out the stone is still warm. 

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Maybe we should take a poll to see which stone mills warm the flour up and the ones that don't.  I have felt my flour when it comes out and it is cool to the touch.  The stones on my mill do warm up.  The longest milling run that I have done is over an hour.  Most of the time now it is 20 to 30 minutes.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Running a MockMill 200 (3/4 HP) on the finest setting (stones barely ticking) with room temperature HRWW berries I have measured an exit flour temperature of > 130 F with an IR thermometer.

In Adam Leonti's book on home milling and baking, Flour Lab, he says the following:

The finer the flour, the more heat is generated through friction.  If I am milling superfine flour, I will pass wheat berries through the mill twice -- the first time on a very coarse setting and the second time on a finer setting.  Whatever the fineness of the flour I am aiming for, I always mill wheat berries straight out of the fridge.  Constantly monitor the temperature of the flour with a probe thermometer, taking care to keep it below 110 F.  If you see the temperature climb, back up the stones and mill more coarsely.

I believe 110 F is the point at which starch damage (at least) occurs.

I've adopted both coarse-to-fine milling and refrigeration of wheat berries (prior to the second milling) after reading this.   That keeps the temperature closer to 95 F or so, although I noticed the temperature climbs slowly while continuously milling a 1000 g batch of wheat berries, ending up somewhere around 104 F in my last run.  I expect the temperature of the flour may be slightly warmer at the stones than at the chute, so I might break it up in 500 g batches when milling fine flour, or stick the berries in the freezer for a lower initial temperature. 

Nora BKLYN's picture
Nora BKLYN

Hi headupinclouds;

Thanks for mentioning Adam Leonti's book. I am in the midst of making his rye bread. Have you tried it? Do you think the ingredients are correct? 1,000 g rye for a 24-hour preferment and ANOTHER 1,000 for the dough, sounds like a lot. He says to put it in a Pullman pan, but doesn't say what size. On another note, I am having trouble calibrating my Mockmill 100. I've read the instructions and watched the videos, but still am not sure. Is there a way to test how fine the flour is, other than just feel?

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I haven't made his rye bread yet.  I have only made the Connecticut style apizza (which fit the red fife I had on hand) and the lasagna noodles (turkey red + rye variant).  Flour Lab is one of the few resources I've seen that specifically addresses concerns of home millers.  I find some of his notes about various wheat berry + recipe pairings (extensibility, flavor, etc) to be helpful, and have adopted his two stage coarse-to-fine milling with refrigeration after reading through it, although, the actual technical aspect of milling isn't addressed in great detail.  I now monitor exit flour temperature with a cheap IR spot sensor to ensure it is below 110 F, where starch damage and other issues seem to occur.  I may attach a thermocouple here for better monitoring.  Without refrigeration, if I mill at the finest setting on the Mockmill 200 for extended periods (1000 g of berries), the temperature climbs well above this.  At some point it would be interesting to do a baking comparison of intentionally damaged high (damaged > 130 F) vs low (< 110 F) temperature finely milled flour to see if starch damage is observable in the final bake.  Lately, I've found that attenuating the hopper feed is as effective at reducing temperature, and I'm considering retrofitting the hopper with something to help with this.

The most quantitative method I can think of for assessing the flour would be to measure the amount of flour that passes through a sieve with a known granularity in holes per inch (e.g., #40, #60, etc).  I'm not sure how universally these sieves are calibrated, but I'd be happy to share some sifting percentages for different berries at various settings on my Mockmill (I have both #40 and #60 sieves).  FWIW, bwraith has loads of extremely detailed notes from his experiments trying to reproduce commercially milled flour at home -- I'm slowly digesting these.  Most people seem to strive for the finest home milled flour possible.  I've adopted the same habit, although I'm not 100% sure this is always what I want.  It seems to be a common thread of most modern bakers, so it was interesting to me when Daniel Leader mentioned that some professional European bakers still emulate the coarser grinds used by their mentors.  Perhaps coarse grinds with a long autolyse may be preferable in some cases?  I'd like to better understand the impact of the grind setting on the final dough, and this would be another nice set of experiments to try.  Sorry to answer your question with a load of other question, but I been thinking about similar things lately.  I know with coffee burr grinders it is common to grind well beyond "just touching" for very fine grinds without much damage as long as it isn't run on empty.  I've been curious if a similar practice might produce even finer flour, or if this is advisable with the Mockmill, although the 110 F constraint is already a limiting factor at the "just ticking" setting that would have to be overcome at finer settings.  With HWWW berries the finest setting does still feel somewhat gritty to my touch, like very find sand.  Multiple rounds of milling may help, although might produce more damage.  DanAyo mentioned an experiment with 5 rounds of milling in an older post of his, where the resulting dough seemed to be unworkble -- presumably do to temperature related damage.

I'm new to rye baking and am currently participating in the CB deli rye bake, with plans to transition to some 100% rye bread later on.  This could be a nice one to practice.  My sense is the CB is as much about the experience of baking with rye itself as it is the particular deli style loaves featured in the thread, and people would be interested in your experience with this loaf over there.  If you are doing this home milled rye loaf, I'm more inclined to try it too, but I plan to do a few more rounds of David Snyder's 40% "transitional" deli rye formula first.  I'll let you know if I get to this one.

Nora BKLYN's picture
Nora BKLYN

Hi headupinclouds -- thanks for this detailed response. Gives me hope. I tried grinding the rye coarsely first, as Leonti suggests, letting it cool, then grinding it at a finer setting. Unfortunately, it gummed up and I had to take it apart again. The stones were hot and had some yellow residue. I let them cool, brushed off as much as I could, but the yellow residue remained. I ground the coarse rye again, a bit at a time. It didn't bum up this time, but the temperature of the flour was above 130. Leonti says to back off when it gets to that level, but wasn't sure how to do that while it was running. -- Back to the rye recipe. It calls for 900 g water for the final dough. I added just 300 g and it was super wet, so didn't add any more and went ahead and put the dough into a Pullman pan, plus two regular loaf pans. Will let you know how it comes out. FLOUR LAB does seem to be one of the few resources on home milling. Hope Leonti does a follow up book.

albacore's picture
albacore

I too am starting to wonder about overheating in my Mockmill 100 - and I'm sure the same will apply to other stone mills of a similar size.

I'm sure commercial mills whether with stones or rollers will heat the flour far less than these small motorised mills.

I might try and put a bead thermocouple at the exit of the stone housing to get a truer temperature.

I did wonder if it would be possible to slow the stones down to reduce overheating, but this might reduce torque and I don't know what sort of motor is inside. Headupinclouds idea of infeed restriction sounds like a more realistic solution.

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance have you tried freezing the berries before grinding?

albacore's picture
albacore

I guess that's an option Danny, but yet more thinking ahead required! Not enough room in our freezer for routine grain storage.

Also I did wonder whether frozen grain would shatter more, making true bran separation less effective if sifting.

Lance

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I've been experimenting with cooling in-between my coarse and fine milling stages -- the coarse stage milling seems to run well below the threshold temperature, so I do all cooling prior to the fine milling.  Recently I was milling 1000 g of HRWW continuously at the "finest" setting -- I just dumped everything in the hopper and let it run until empty.  Even with cooling, I noticed the exit temperature at the chute (as measured by an IR gun) was slowly creeping up from about 100 F at the start to just below 110 F at the end.  I'm guessing the temperature at the stones is a fair amount warmer, which was what lead me to try reducing the input.  I used one hand to pour the coarse cracked berries from a bowl and another hand to control the IR gun, so it wasn't the most accurate process, but it was enough to observe that flow was proportional to temperature.  I'm currently trying the freezer for a lower initial starting point, which should buy a little more time, but if the flow restriction can be used to achieve the same result, it would reduce yet another step in the the growing pre-bake whole grain best practice list: multi-step milling, extended autolyse, multiple stage levain builds, retarded BF and/or proof, etc.  All of this has me questioning my "more is better" tendency to mill as fine as possible. 

As is often the case, I typed in the related "coarse vs fine flour" keywords in the TFL search, which led me to this TFL fine-vs-coarse-ground-flour discussion from 2018 on the exact same topic.  Interestingly, this is the exact discussion I recalled reading several months back and was unable to find via search terms recently when thinking about a related thought (size of other additives: sprouted dal, nuts, etc).  I'll not repeat the whole thing, but dabrowman has some interesting comments about orthogonal milling goals for wheat vs rye (which is topical for the current CB) and barryvabeach posts a link to a somewhat counterintuitive academic article, which he paraphrases: "loaf volume decreases, the finer the bran is ground".   As usual, there are competing factors, but this exacerbated bran gluten damage could very well explain the over extensibility in your 5x milled flour experiments.  All of this suggests coarser milling has the potential to help solve at least two problems: (1) temperature related starch damage; and (2) bran related gluten damage (in addition to eliminating additional pre-bake cooling steps.)

I have ordered a FireBoard with 6 probes after reading some of your oven temperature and proofing experiments using the same device.  I picked this up for our NYC rental special oven, which lacks a temperature display, and has a single knob with worn off text that seems to be almost 50 F off the actual temperature.  Continuously opening the door and checking with the IR gun doesn't seem practical, so I'm hoping that and the stone I picked up will help me reign things in.  I can dedicate one or two probes to the mill that sits on the counter next to it and can post the results here for discussion.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I will be interested to see you results of the temperature probe.   I haven't read any scholarly articles on temperature lately, but much have what I have read on the internet on temperature is conflicting, some say above 130 F  is bad, others use lower temperatures, though of course, no one is measuring the temp when it is being milled.  You can mill on the output, but recognize that some mills use air to expel the flour ( Lee Household Mill and All Grain, for example), so I assume they would be cooled much more as the exit the mill than ones that use gravity - like the Komo and Mockmill.  As to slowing the rpm, it can be done electronically several ways - variac being one, a cheap speed controller being the other, but consensus is that will shorten the life of the motor since the fan that cools the motor is usually mounted to the shaft of the motor, thus slowing the motor will decrease the cooling, and heat kills motors, especially universal motors.  The best way to do it is using a reducing gear, like the Retsel, though many have complained about their customer service. The Mill Master, which I have , turns the stones at 90 rpm, and the Mill Rite, which I bought used and sold a few weeks later, turns at 60 rpm. ( what should have been clear to me when I bought it is that is has the same sized stones as the Mill Master, and the Mill Master turns 50% faster, so since I was used to the speed of the Mill Master, the Mill Rite seemed painfully slow to me, though it may be fine for other users.    Other factors impacting temp of the flour, as you point out, relate to how coarse it is set, which is extremely hard for us home bakers to measure, so it is hard to compare between different mills.  

albacore's picture
albacore

I have read that larger bran particles are better for bread volume than small ones. On the other hand, I have read that large bran particles are not good for the human gut, with the sharp bran flakes irritating the wall of the intestine.

You just can't win, can you? Whether this effect is mitigated by sourdough fermentations or hot soakers, I don't know.

BTW, if you want really fine bran, you need a Zentrofan mill - large and commercial. In the UK, I think "Scotland the Bread" in the UK use one and sell the flour. I keep meaning to buy a small bag just to try it. I don't know if anyone in the US has one.

Lance

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Oh please share if you try Scotland the Bread flour, I've been meaning to try it, but still haven't. Their whole project is very interesting, I got some of my equipment from them (banettons, loaf tins) and it's really good quality, I love the tins (not that I have much to compare to). Ah, even the sourdough starter I ended up using was theirs (originally brought from a Russian bakery, I couldn't resist), and dried and stored our homemade one.

albacore's picture
albacore

Ilya, the only problem is that I already have loads of flour and grain and it's so tempting to buy another bag of something new and then you think well I better buy two bags to make the postage more realistic!

And then a year later you realise you have a load of OOD part bags. So sometimes I try and be strong - it doesn't always work!

Lance

albacore's picture
albacore

I bet you know this one Ilya. A kitchen favourite for me - like Maldon salt, but 1/4 the price!

Lance

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Haha yeah, rock salt, grind #1, where'd you get that stuff? Such an old fashioned box! Do you buy it in the UK?

albacore's picture
albacore

I got it in a local Polish shop. I like the bear logo!

Lance

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Nice! I'll have a look if they sell something like that in any Polish shops around here, thanks!

The logo is cute :)

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I haven't encountered the yellow residue you mentioned.   That seems curious.  I presume you are calibrated just at the threshold of the stones audibly skimming, then back a step.  You can mill white rice to help clean the stones (you may have read this already).  That might help with the residue.  I use the flour for dusting bannetons, etc.  Dabrowman mentioned using coarser rye flour to help with body, so perhaps you can afford to back off without any sacrifice.  I assume you are not tempering or milling anything oily that would contribute to this. 

I'm a couple bakes away from trying the 100% rye.  I'm curious to hear how that evolves for you.

Nora BKLYN's picture
Nora BKLYN

Hi headupinclouds;

Thanks for the advice. Will try the rice if this happens again. I took the mill apart, reassembled and calibrate it again and it worked fine. I think I've got it just at the threshold of the stones coming together, but will be vigilant about that. Can you back it off while you are grinding, or do you have to stop and empty the hopper? -- The rye recipe, as I read it, calls for 900 g water for the final dough. That was way too much, it would have made a very loose soup. I used about 300 g. Still loose but like some Nordic bread recipes I've made successfully. Ended up with a LOT of dough, enough for a 16 inch long Pullman pan. Would have filled two if I'd had another. It rose very well in the pan, from 2/3 full to the top. Looked good after it was baked, but wasn't sure what temperature to bake it to. It was barely above 200 after an hour. Baked it a little longer, but it still w as fairly damp after sitting at room temp overnight. The taste is terrible, but I blame that on my sesame seeds, which may have gone off. Let me know how it goes for you.

bribera's picture
bribera

Hey Nora BKLYN & headupinclouds,

I'm curious if either of you ever got a good result out of Leonti's Rye recipe, and if you have other advice about it.

My first one went much like Nora described, only I didn't have the good sense to adjust the water and avoid the "very loose soup" -- I had a very sticky end product (which became some excellent meatloaf).

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

When I ran out of rye berries in the last CB I lost some steam on this.  I have since restocked with a new bag of rye berries, but haven't picked up on rye baking again.  I did make a 100% rye Volkornbrot from Denise Polzelbauer's recipe in Daniel Leaders Living Bread, which I posted here.   Full disclosure: That was my first ever 100% rye bread.  I believe it was slightly over-proofed, but I was fairly happy with it, so it should give me some basis for comparison.  There are many experienced rye bakers on this site, but I suspect few of them have a copy of Flour Lab.  I've typed in the ingredients for each in links below so others can share their expertise.

It looks like the main issue with the Adam Leonti's recipe is that the hydration is very ambiguous, as it involves soaking and straining and there doesn't seem to be any target bakers percentage hydration to guide this.  Since there is relatively no gluten to work with in rye bakes, we have to rely on the right batter consistency and texture to support the loaf, so both the hydration and a coarse grind are important to achieve this, and it may be beneficial to err on the side of a coarser grind for the rye flour since we are home milling.  One thing I noticed when setting my Mockmill to make cracked rye chops, was that it produced a mix of coarse rye and finer rye flour.  I did a fair amount of sifting to reserve the cracked rye, followed by re-milling of the finer parts to contribute to the rye flour portion.  In other words, you might have to mill 750 g of rye berries to produce 500 g of cracked rye, with 250 g of rye flour of various consistencies.

I have been focused on whole grain wheat, but would eventually like to make a Volkornbrot, or something like it, semi-regularly to complement the more regular whole wheat bakes.  A good starting point to address hydration issues would be to find a target bakers percentage for the Volkornbrot recipe (no straining involved) which could be used to adjust the water inclusion for the Leonti recipe to achieve something similar.

I typed in the ingredients from the naturally leavened rye sour Volkornbrot recipe I followed HERE, to estimate a total hydration of 90.4% (seeds included as flour).  For comparison, the Vollkornbrot (double LL) in Hamelman's Bread, which is a yeasted version, has a hydration of 82.1%.  I typed in the ingredients from Adam Leonti's recipe HERE.  I guesstimated a hydration of 100% for the cracked rye (you can adjust the values for "absorbed cracked rye soaker water" on the page), which produces a total hydration of 120%.  That seems very high and is consistent with your observations.  You could use this page to aim for a total hydration of something like 80% by reducing the main water inclusion from both the preferement and bread dough, and then increase it as needed by feel.

Related discussion: https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/52763/trying-figure-hydration-soaker

I will try to make it this weekend.

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I wanted to follow up with something somewhat quantitative, so, for what it is worth, I sifted 478 g of frozen and cracked HWWW for my current bake at the finest setting on my Mockmill 200.  The #40 sieve caught 13 g of bran, and my #60 caught an additional 145 g.  So the net extraction at #40 is 97.3% and at #60 it is 67%.  (Sifting manually with #60 by hand is impractical for regular baking and I should probably get a #50.)  This is with Montanan Wheat Prairie Gold.  I recall the extraction being much lower (more bran) with smaller heritage wheat berries.  I also sifted 360 g of rye, which I milled at a slightly coarser setting, and the #40 sieve caught 20 g of bran for an extraction of 94.4%.

This search will turn up some other numbers for comparison:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/search/node/mockmill%20extraction

Comparing your extraction with a specific grain and sieve combination would give you a very rough way to see if you are at least in the same ballpark.  In this post, breadforfun provides another data point for rye:

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.

albacore's picture
albacore

I agree with your comment regarding heritage grains. I ground some English Red Lammas grain in the Mockmill at finest and sifted  through #50. Bran content was a massive 26%!

It must be the surface area to volume ratio of smaller grains. The trouble is that although the grain has a good flavour, the bread goes dry and stales quickly. So now if I'm using more than 10% I will sieve out the larger bran particles in a fine kitchen sieve - not calibrated, but maybe a #20?

I have a #40 and a #50; I don't want a #60 because, as you say, it takes too long and you lose massive amounts. Better to find a different way to do things.

Lance

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

I started milling and baking at the same time, and picked up a few bags of Turkey Red for my first bakes.  While things improved with experience, I was never quite able to reproduce the beautiful online WW pictures I saw.  The same things was true with Red Fife.  When I first picked up a small bag of HWWW I saw a huge difference -- it felt like a revelation.  I was aware they were slightly lower in protein than many bread flours, but it didn't seem to be enough to explain the difference.  When I saw the heritage and modern berries side-by-side on the table, the size difference (and surface area (bran) to volume (endosperm) ratio you suggest) became apparent.  The modern HWWW was much larger, of course.  I hadn't come across anything that called that issue out in particular, so it does seem to be worth emphasizing for home millers.

On the subject of dry bread:

The trouble is that although the grain has a good flavour, the bread goes dry and stales quickly

I think I have experienced the same thing, although we tend to go through the bread fairly quickly once it is baked.  Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any nearby bakeries making whole grain sourdough bread, so I don't have a good gold standard for this type of bread (especially the aspects that a photo doesn't cover).

In this hand milling fine flour post, Another Girl mentions the following:

Also, a thought on particle size: I learned from Trevor J Wilson's ebook that the finest particle sizes absorb water the fastest, but you might also want to mix in some larger particle sizes because they retain water longer. This improves texture and keeping quality. I'm still experimenting to determine what size and percentage work best for me.

I picked up the ebook after stumbling on this reference.  This is another hint to me that finer flour may not always be what I want.  I plan to experiment with this after my CB rye focus.  Perhaps you have tried this already, but it seemed worth a mention.

 

albacore's picture
albacore

I probably didn't explain it very well, but I was referring specifically to heritage varieties with large amounts of bran because of small grains and whether that high bran content caused rapid staling. At least that's what I have found.

Lance

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

We have a small commercial mill. Even with constant grinding the flour stays cool. You have to make sure that the stones are adjusted properly as if they get too close together they can heat and even crack. I also have a Nutrimill which is the first mill I had. The flour came out way warmer when I was using that one, but it is not a stone mill.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog

Flour Girl I think you are right about the adjustment. When I first started milling I was trying to get the finest flour possible. The mill would seem to warm up and the stones would bind with one another. I have backed off of the adjustment a bit and haven't had a problem since. I have not checked the temperature of the stones or the flour since doing that but would think that it would go down in both cases.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

You can touch test the flour. It should be cool when it comes out of the grinder. At least that is how mine is.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

Have you tried making Desem, tricky at first but well worth it if you ALL whole wheat,,,,,,, No yeast in it......If you google desem bread there are recipes and methods......

 Picturerye002.jpg image by qahtan This was my first Desem loaf,,,,,,,,,,,,

 qahtan

taylork's picture
taylork

i have been milling my own wheat for about 2 years now. It took me a while to read a lot and mess up a lot, but now it is a breeze. The one technique that i use everytime i use whole wheat flour is to ALWAYS let the flour soak for some time in whatever liquid the recipe calls for. I always let this soak overnight. This makes all the difference in the world. I stone grind my flour by hand. It is about as fine as most of the store bought whole wheat flours.

joe_n's picture
joe_n

see below

loydb's picture
loydb

I just made my first loaf with a soaker from Reinhart's WW book. It came out soooo much lighter than the loaf I made conventionally.

loyd

 

joe_n's picture
joe_n

Try watching this youtube video.  The method really worked for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd_r69WauPk

HansB's picture
HansB

Did you notice that this thread is 11 years old?

loydb's picture
loydb

I didn't even realize I'd been a member of this forum in 2009, but there I am, a couple of messages up.

I'm still milling all my own grain, and have no problem with my dough.