The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Home Milled Flour for Norwich Sourdough style bread

silas_miller's picture

Home Milled Flour for Norwich Sourdough style bread

I was wondering what mix of wheat should be ground for the best gluten development for those kind of breads. I have a hard red winter wheat and a soft white spring wheat. Do they need to be sifted before use in such a airy bread? Thanks!

subfuscpersona's picture

to mill into flour for yeast/sourdough risen bread. Soft wheat cannot develop sufficient gluten. I have come to prefer hard red winter wheat for most of my breads. However, the sourdough breads I typically make are a mix of home milled whole wheat flour (from hard wheat - usually hard red winter wheat, sometimes from hard white wheat), commercial unbleached bread flour and (sometimes) a small percentage of home milled rye flour.

Flour milled from soft white wheat is better for cookies and possibly also quick breads (though I seldom make quick breads any more, so others should offer their opinion).

I'm a bit confused about the flour(s) you intend to use for Norwich Sourdough style bread. This bread is a slight tweak of a recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's book Bread and was posted on - the flours in this bread are 15% whole grain rye flour and 85% commercial unbleached bread flour. You can, of course, substitute your own home milled whole wheat flour for the rye flour in the recipe. If you intend to follow the recipe and simply substitute whole wheat flour for whole rye flour, then you shouldn't need to sift your home milled flour unless the mill can only produce a very granular flour.

On the other hand, it is possible that you intend to substitute your home milled whole wheat flour for the commercial bread flour used in the recipe. If this is your aim, you have radically transformed the recipe and you very well could have trouble producing the kind of loaf pictured on wildyeastblog (or the variations of this recipe shown on thefreshloaf).


silas_miller's picture

Thanks for the reply. I've been making the Norwich Style Sourdough thus far with home milled rye and KAF following the formula in the book. I'd like to go all home milled and am trying to figure out the best way to do that. 

I do understand the soft wheat vs hard and have used the soft wheat milled for biscuits, cookies, pancakes and the like with great success. The hard red wheat I've had a harder time getting good results with as I hoped to use it for breads, but they lack the crumb I desire. 

I've mainly been milling rye and making a type of Vollkornbrot that is fantastic. I've milled about 50 lbs of rye for that use alone. 

I really just want to be able to make a bread flour at home, and I hear people talking about barley malt and ash and other additives that make it work, but was wondering if and FL folks had a quick and dirty method of making a home milled bread flour substitute. 


Anyway thanks again for your input!