The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Completely new at grinding wheat

Pardon's picture

Completely new at grinding wheat

Completely new and needing lots of education. I have a grain mill and some hard white and hard red wheat berries. I tried to make a loaf of bread and it didn’t rise or take on a normal texture. The texture was very chewy-grainy and strange. I ground it on fine and kept the whole grain in. I wasn’t able to really work the dough, it never formed as a ‘dough’ at all…. Does fresh ground grain have no gluten in the flour? I had ground up the wheat over 3 days. Does the dough need to sit for a long period of time or do I need to do something different to the wheat berries or flour before I attempt to make dough? I saw a different post saying they had to buy vital wheat gluten. Do I really have to buy an additional ingredient?

What is your complete process from purchasing wheat berries to taking a bite?

Many thanks to whomever lends a hand here!

(I will say though, the flavor of that failed bread I made was such a surprise. I’ve been making low quality bread all my life and had no idea bread could taste clean like that)

happycat's picture

chewy and grainy? so you've got 100% milled whole grain? that's a lot of bran in it. bran can damage gluten and miht be chewy and grainy because it never had time to absorb water

you might want to sift out some bran. you can soak it or scald it to soften it up.

you don't mention autolyse (soak of flour and water to develop gluten before adding anything else for like 15-60mins) soaking flour (for hours before starting), or what leavening method you use.

life might be easier to start with 80% all purpose and add in 20% fresh milled subject to tips above to address bran and gluten development

charbono's picture

do you have?

justkeepswimming's picture

There are a number of people on here who mill their own wheat, bake really good bread from that flour, and who can help you out. First though, a few more details about your process would help considerably, so you don't get info that isn't useful to you. 

Some helpful info to consider letting us know.... Have you baked bread successfully before this using any sort of store bought flour? (It doesn't matter, it just let's folks know your background so they have better starting point. It's not helpful to give newbie baker info to a veteran, or vice versa.) Where are you located (country), your profile doesn't say. Not all flour or wheat behaves the same across the globe.... And TFL includes bakers from many countries that can assist with quirks related to locality.

More info to include: What is your exact process/recipe? What type of wheat? How much flour and water? Do you measure by volume or weight? Are you using yeast or sourdough? What kind of bread are you making - artisan type vs sandwich bread in a loaf pan vs ?

You get the idea. The more you include, the better others can help. This is a really awesome group who have helped me tremendously. I'm sure some others with far more experience will weigh in as well. 


barryvabeach's picture

I have never gotten the success that he has, but this post has all the details of his bake, though as Mary points out, flours and starters vary greatly, so what works for one person in one place, my not work for another.

Brotaniker's picture

Fresh grinded wheat is not very suitable for baking. It needs to rest a few weeks.

You can circumvent that by adding ascorbic acid (aka vitamin c/E300). Ratio is about 1-2g per 100Kg - so practically very little.

Kooky's picture

Fresh wheat has proven to be perfectly suitable for baking utilizing Maurizio’s recipes on ThePerfectLoaf. 

I really did make a perfect loaf utilizing flour I made 5 minutes before. Up until then it was failure after failure for a pan loaf. Fresh flour is great and easy for muffins and cookies and such. For bread I feel it goes hand in hand with sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast, just like it was back in nature and in ancient times. 

the key is a slow fermentation with little yeast or starter, and more flour. 

for instance the loaf I usually make using 500g of store flour turned out to be the same size as the 700g freshly milled loaf, even though they had the same crumb and density roughly. Depending on what I make I do sift some bran, but I didn’t for that perfect pan loaf. Today I’m making freshly milled pastries but I sifted a bit. I don’t sift for muffins, pancakes, waffles, or most things, maybe a little for pizza dough. 

next up for me is sourdough bagels with fresh flour. Sourdough everything! And I’d like to make pasta with fresh semolina.