The Fresh Loaf

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Fresh Milled Bake Times

TheMainGrain's picture

Fresh Milled Bake Times

Hello All, 

New Here, I tried a search first and got 2mil results so here we go. 

Just milled my first batch of flour(s) and made my first artisan loaf. Was very pleased with the crust and flavor, a little denser perhaps but I've read that is to be expected.

So I get almost to the center of the loaf and it isn't cooked through. Ugh! So, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, that sense fresh milled absorbs more water, than should I surmise that is also would need a longer bake time.

Thanx in Advance, I'm sure I'll be driving you mad with all my questions during this journey.

breadforfun's picture

Whole grains ferment faster than white flour, so if you didn’t adjust your process this could be your problem. Gummy wet crumbs, especially in the center, are a symptom. If you found the dough to be more sticky and difficult to handle during shaping you might look at this explanation more closely. 


TheMainGrain's picture

Heya Brad,

That is all true. So what you are saying is that I should of NOT let it rise as long. Kinda confused on how to fix the fermenting process.

Thanx in Advance

breadforfun's picture

Rising is a generic term, so I'm not sure what you are asking. Fermentation is associated with rising, but there is the bulk fermentation before shaping and a final proof after. Perhaps you could give the details of your process and maybe something will pop out.


TheMainGrain's picture

So I thought I'd ask ChatGPT on a whim, and received a fairly nice response. LOL I think I may of found at least part of my issue. When reading a Blog post when I started researching it said as a rule to add an extra 3Tbl water per cup of flour for fresh milled. And the recipe was already using a sticky dough. Per ChatGPT, it says start with LESS water using fresh milled and add back as needed. And then it gave me some other terms and methods I still need to learn. I've baked lots of loaves but stuck to the basics. A sandwich bread I love, and sourdough. So down the rabbit hole I go. I'll share ChatGPT response with you, case you may find it interesting.



When using fresh milled flours in your bread recipe, it's important to consider their unique characteristics to ensure your loaf cooks evenly and thoroughly without having an undercooked center. Here are some adjustments you can make to your bread recipe when using fresh milled flours:

  1. Hydration Level: Fresh milled flours tend to absorb moisture differently than store-bought flours due to variations in particle size and bran content. Start by using slightly less water than your usual recipe and gradually add more as needed until you achieve the desired dough consistency. This can help prevent overly wet dough that might result in an undercooked center.

  2. Autolyse: Incorporate an autolyse step into your bread-making process. Autolyse involves mixing the flour and water (and optionally a small amount of yeast) and allowing the mixture to rest for 20-60 minutes. This rest period hydrates the flour and develops gluten, making it easier to achieve proper gluten development later in the kneading process.

  3. Kneading and Gluten Development: Fresh milled flours might have a coarser texture due to the presence of bran and germ. Knead the dough thoroughly to develop gluten, which will help trap gas produced during fermentation and result in a better rise. A longer kneading time might be necessary compared to using store-bought flour.

  4. Fermentation Time: Fresh milled flours ferment faster due to the higher yeast content and more active enzymes. Keep a close eye on the dough during the bulk fermentation stage, as it might rise more quickly than you're accustomed to. You might need to shorten the fermentation time to avoid over-proofing.

  5. Stretch and Fold: Instead of traditional kneading, consider using the stretch-and-fold technique during bulk fermentation. This gentle technique helps develop gluten and redistribute yeast, contributing to even fermentation.

  6. Shape Carefully: When shaping the dough into a loaf, make sure it's well-tightened and has good surface tension. This will help prevent the loaf from spreading too much during baking, which can lead to an undercooked center.

  7. Oven Temperature and Steam: Preheat your oven thoroughly and consider using a baking stone or a Dutch oven for better heat distribution. Steam the oven during the initial stages of baking to promote oven spring and crust development. A well-risen loaf is more likely to have an even crumb structure.

  8. Internal Temperature: To ensure your bread is fully baked, measure its internal temperature using a digital thermometer. The center of the loaf should register between 190-205°F (88-96°C) when fully baked.

  9. Cooling: Allow your bread to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Cutting into a loaf too soon can result in a gummy texture in the center.

Remember that baking with fresh milled flours might require some experimentation and adjustment. Factors such as the type of grain, milling method, and environmental conditions can influence the outcome. Keep track of your adjustments and results to refine your technique over time.



tpassin's picture

That's mostly good advice no matter what the flour is.

A suggestion - next time, please include the prompt you used for ChatGPT.  Results can be very sensitive to the prompt.

Just for fun, I tried asking the same kind of question and got a response similar to yours.  After a few more prompts, I finally ended up with this transcript:

"now please state only the differences in the bread-making and baking process between the two kinds of flour


Differences in bread-making and baking process between home-milled and commercial flour:

  1. Fermentation and Enzymes:

    • Home-Milled Flour: Requires careful timing due to active enzymes, impacting fermentation speed and flavor development.
    • Commercial Flour: Enzymes are less active, allowing for more flexible fermentation timing.
  2. Hydration and Absorption:

    • Home-Milled Flour: Needs adjusted hydration levels due to varying absorption rates; gradual hydration prevents gumminess.
    • Commercial Flour: Has more consistent absorption rates, making hydration more straightforward.
  3. Dough Handling:

    • Home-Milled Flour: Demands gentler handling due to potentially delicate gluten structure; requires careful shaping and folding.
    • Commercial Flour: Can withstand more vigorous handling and kneading.
  4. Proofing Time:

    • Home-Milled Flour: Often requires shorter proofing due to faster enzymatic activity; overproofing risk if not closely monitored.
    • Commercial Flour: Typically involves longer proofing times.
  5. Crust and Color:

    • Home-Milled Flour: Can yield a slightly darker, more flavorful crust due to higher bran content.
    • Commercial Flour: Results in a lighter crust color with a milder flavor.
  6. Recipe Adaptation:

    • Home-Milled Flour: Demands recipe adjustments considering flour characteristics, particle size, and enzymatic effects.
    • Commercial Flour: Recipes are generally more standardized and may require fewer adaptations."