What can I expect when using home milled flour??
Posted: 30 June 2017 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have just purchased a flour mill and the flour it is making is a bit coarser than store bought bread flour (it has not been sifted so it contains the remnants of the entire wheat berry). I have found that the breads I am making do not rise as much and the loaf is then dense. 

I am not sure what is happening here, I am not getting enough real flour with all the rest of the berries included, I am needing it too much, too little, should I be using a different berry in the mill? 

If anyone has experience with this that would provide additional insights it would be appreciated!

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Posted: 30 June 2017 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You’re producing whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour does not rise well…it’s the nature of the beast. It’s due to the inclusion of the bran and germ.

Flour is categorized by the extraction rate. The extraction percentage refers to the percentage of bran and germ left in the flour.  Since whole wheat flour has 100% of the bran and germ, it is categorized as high extraction.  The reason flour is categorized this way is it tells the baker how the flour will perform. The gluten and starch ratios change as the bran and outer shell of the endosperm contain little protein.  The brand and germ are also very coarse. When the flour is mixed into a dough and kneaded these coarse bits rip the gluten structure preventing a good rise.

To produce a lighter loaf of bread you can mix it with commercially produced wheat bread flour or all purpose flour.  If you mix it with a flour like rye, you will not improve the rise. Some flours like rye are naturally very low in gluten so will not aid rising.

Hydration is another issue with high extraction flours. Whole wheat flour requires considerably more hydration as the absorbency rate is much higher than low extraction flour.  If you use all whole wheat flour then you’ll need 100% hydration.  If you blend whole wheat flour with lower extraction flour, adjust the hydration percentages downward.  If you do not provide sufficient hydration the flour will produce a dense thick dough. The thicker heavier the dough, the lower the rise.

You can also add vital gluten to your due to aid rising.  Bob’s red Mill produces vital gluten for the retail market. Vital gluten is routinely used in commercial baking to improve dough texture and aid rise.

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Posted: 01 July 2017 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Very nice summary NorCal. Home milled flour is best used for its fresh flavor. To get better texture you will have to supplement it with commercial. More hydration, more kneading, more proofing can all help.

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Posted: 15 July 2017 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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“Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book” has a pretty explanation and method for producing a fluffier whole wheat bread. I’m finishing up the second loaf now (the recipe for basic whole wheat bread). It’s 100% whole wheat without adding vital wheat gluten. But requires more kneading and 3 rises.

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