I have noticed most of the recipes call for bread flour in addition to any freshly milled whole wheat (red and/or white) to make up the flour component. It seems that using 100% freshly milled whole wheat flour is either much more difficult or I have been approaching this in the wrong way or both.
There are number of recipes on the site that use only whole grain flour (I’ll put links to some below), but you’re correct in observing that the majority are a mix of bread flour and whole grain flour.
In the recipes I’ve developed, I often do this to combine the manageability and airiness of a strong gluten dough with the amazing flavors and nutrients of a whole grain dough. This isn’t to say that bread flour is always “easy” or whole grain bread can’t be airy – just talking averages.
One thing I think I should explore more of, simply because I rarely do it, is using bolted flour or home-sifted fresh milled whole grain flour for all the flour in a dough. Adding that to my to-do list… : )
For the einkorn and amaranth recipe that was published yesterday, to make it 100% whole grain, I would suggest substituting a strongish hard red wheat for the bread flour and leaving the einkorn and amaranth at 16% each. I’d also up the hydration to at least 80% or 320g because of how much thirstier the whole grain wheat will be than the bread flour.
Let me know if there’s any other recipe you’re curious about converting to whole grain – I’d be happy to help.
Thank you Melissa.
With moving to milling my own flour I was of the understanding that artisan bread was also made from all whole grain thus 100% fresh milled flour. That is in addition to natural leavening the dough. Being unbonded, I read somewhere the bran can actually “cut” the gluten strands which keeps the dough from rising fully. This may have been my problem with the bulk rise which was not happening. It sounds like I should use bonded flour if I am using 100% fresh milled whole grain.
Or using organic I bleached bread flour as purchased ( ie King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill).
Artisan can mean many different things depending on whom you ask, but usually I take it to mean small scale production, carefully sourced ingredients, created by a person with a passion for the craft. I think Breadtopia’s bread flour meets the criteria of a carefully sourced ingredient. And I also think making 100% whole grain bread is a great craft.
My advice would be to make the bread you enjoy creating and eating. Home-milling all of the flour for your bread is very satisfying as a concept and as an end product.
Some whole wheat flours perform more or less similarly to bread flour from the standpoint of gluten development. Yes, bran interferes with gluten development but not catastrophically.
Here’s another blog post you might be interested in:
I bake primarily 100% whole grain, home milled bread. I’ve had good luck with sifting the flour and then re-milling what remains in the sieve 2 or 3 times. It only takes a couple extra minutes. I also then give the re-milled bran as long a soak as I have time for. When it’s cool in my kitchen, I try to do a final overnight starter feeding that I leave on the kitchen counter and at the same time as I do the last feeding, I mix the bran with all the water in the recipe and let it soak overnight. I find that doing these softens the bran considerably, resulting in a better texture, more spring and bloom, and a more bread-like rather than cakey texture.
Thanks to both of you. I own a sifter like the one grandma had. Will this do? I really appreciate how willing folks are to help.