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Moderate preps fan
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all :)

OK, so my first 20kg sack of milling wheat, and the hand-cranked grain mill arrived today.
In the spirit of true preparedness, and under the principals of learning to use and work with what you stock, I started work on my very first loaf of bread using home-ground flour (although I did try to cheat by using a bread making machine.)


Unfortunately, it was not a very successful first attempt.
3.5 hours later, the end result was quite frankly, rubbish!
The bread had risen in the machine, but then subsequebtly flopped into a concave top, and that's how it baked off, then over-cooked and hardened.


I've decided to stop being lazy by using the bread machine, and to attempt loaf number two using just my bare hands, and a good ole conventional gas oven.


What I REALLY need right now is a simple, straight-forward recipe I can follow for making a very basic loaf of bread (nothing fancy), that is likely to yield a pleasing result using this home-milled flour.

I'd really appreciate any suggestions and your input :thumb:



For anyone interested, I used the "Milling Wheat" from these guys:
http://www.browfarm.co.uk/online_store/milling_grains.htm


Cheers :thumb:
.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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67,135 Posts
It sounds like the yeast put off more CO2 than the gluten structure of the dough could hold and it fell. I'm far from an expert on bread baking, but I can share a few of my observations.

Bread made with 100% whole wheat will never rise as high and be as light as bread made with at least some white flour added to it. I overcome some of this by buying the highest protein wheat I can find. Secondly, after milling, I sift it and dump off anything that doesn't go through the sifter. This removes some of the bran and helps the bread to rise better. Save the siftings for use in muffins and pancakes.

Sometimes I cheat and add some wheat gluten (baking section of the grocery store) and the bread comes out great. You don't need to add the gluten, but the loaf will be denser without it.

You might try cutting back slightly on the yeast and increasing the kneading to build the gluten structure more. If you're not using oil in the bread, you might try that also. It helps to lubricate the gluten and help it rise. I'll poke around my recipes later and see if I can find my original instructions for making 100% whole wheat bread.
 

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Moderate preps fan
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sure thing SSanf - I'll be sure to let you know if I manage to produce a good result.
I am just waiting for attempt number 2 to rise - just used basic ingredients - flour water salt and yeast. so far it's looking ok(ish). the proof will be in the cooking.
 

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My Temperature is Right
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5,578 Posts
You were probably a little heavy on the sugar or honey and light on the salt, that allows the yeast the get really active and produce a lot of gas.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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15,952 Posts
After a lot a flat loaf failures, I have a recipe that seems to work for me.
Start with 3 cups warm water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbs mollasus, 1 tbs yeast.
Add 4 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups fine ground flour or white AP flour.
If you have it, add 1/2 cup each rolled oats, corn meal, wheat bran, and gluten.
Punch down the dough once before putting it in the pan and bake it as soon as it rises again.

I stored 50 lbs of White AP flour. But my new K-Teck electric mill produces a better, finer flour than I can buy in the store.

ps, do not punch down the dough as much as you normally would.
 

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Moderate preps fan
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies so far.
I'm sticking to VERY basic minimal ingredients as if in a shtf scenario:
just 1 type of basic flour (self-ground), with only minimal ingredients, i.e. water, salt / sugar, yeast and oil.

I've continued experimenting through the weekend, and have made slight progress. I've found that grinding the wheat on a coarse setting, then sifting it will seperate out a lot of the bran, making the flour lighter and rise more.

The end result is still pretty dense though. is there any way to encourage better rising?

.
 

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My Temperature is Right
Joined
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5,578 Posts
Thanks for the replies so far.
I'm sticking to VERY basic minimal ingredients as if in a shtf scenario:
just 1 type of basic flour (self-ground), with only minimal ingredients, i.e. water, salt / sugar, yeast and oil.

I've continued experimenting through the weekend, and have made slight progress. I've found that grinding the wheat on a coarse setting, then sifting it will seperate out a lot of the bran, making the flour lighter and rise more.

The end result is still pretty dense though. is there any way to encourage better rising?

.
try regrinding the screened flour on the fine setting also your should be using hard wheat for bread.
 

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Moderate preps fan
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
try regrinding the screened flour on the fine setting also your should be using hard wheat for bread.

Thanks for the tip Cranky. I'll be sure to do that when I attempt my next loaf in a day or two. I'll also take your advice on the salt with less sugar.

I'm not too sure about the actual wheat I am using, it's the "Milling Wheat" from these guys: (shown on this page link)

http://www.browfarm.co.uk/online_store/milling_grains.htm

Any comments on it would be appreciated. Also, is there any other type of grain product available on this page link that might help me to produce a better loaf?

cheers for any help:thumb:

.
 

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We baked some bread this weekend using hard red wheat that we received from LDS. We ground it using our "Back to Basics" hand grinder and used the LDS recipe that was provided with the wheat. The recipe is also available on page 2 of the brochure under "Whole Wheat Bread" which is also available on their website:
http://providentliving.org/pfw/multimedia/files/pfw/pdf/104587_06600_000_RecipesBrchr_pdf.pdf

It calls for seven cups of milled flour. We substituted with five cups of milled flour and two cups of store bought white flour, but followed the rest of the recipe. We also made it into three loaves instead of two, because we were using smaller 8.5" loaf pans, coatedwith olive oil. Turned out exceptionally well, we were pleased with the reults.

The recipe is very simple and basic, just what we wanted.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

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Moderate preps fan
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks very much for the link - very useful - also some other handy recepies there - I've printed it out and will be sure to give it a try!
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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67,135 Posts
Thanks for the tip Cranky. I'll be sure to do that when I attempt my next loaf in a day or two. I'll also take your advice on the salt with less sugar.

I'm not too sure about the actual wheat I am using, it's the "Milling Wheat" from these guys: (shown on this page link)

http://www.browfarm.co.uk/online_store/milling_grains.htm

Any comments on it would be appreciated. Also, is there any other type of grain product available on this page link that might help me to produce a better loaf?

cheers for any help:thumb:

.
That's a good wheat to make bread with alright. You might hit your local market for wheat gluten. It's in the baking section. It really helps pure wheat breads. You can cheat and add some white flour to the whole wheat also. That's what most bakeries do, since it's hard to bake with 100% whole wheat.
 

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Hello! Responding to the OP....


1. Wheat is measured by 'hardness' of kernel, which is a measure of protein content. The higher the protein content, the fewer the starch granules and so the more vitreous & translucent the endosperm. Hard wheat grains break up into large chunks of protein with relatively olittle free starch sot hey form a strong glueten when the flour is mixed with water. Beware though: durum wheat is too hard for bread & is used for really stiff doughs necessary for dried pastas.

One can mix the flours but there is also a way to get the best out of whatever flour you possess. Kneading stretches protein chains, which are tangled like an afro, 'combing' them out long, where they relock their bonds. You can tell when dough is well kneaded because it is reaching the end of its ability to stretch. Both stretchy and elastic.

WRT water you need a dough that has enough water in it to allow elasticity but not so much that won't hold its form and put where it is pushed.

As to flour itself - milling is basically a process of separating the endosperm from bran & germ and then grinding down the endosperm into flour sized particles. Bran & Germ are nutritionally beneficial but contain lipids so lower the shelf life of flour substantially, and dilute the gluten in dough. They also shear into the gas cells of raised breads, breaking those cells.

Aging of the flour is also important - well, ... actually yes it is. If you let flour sit one or two months it affects the bonding characteristics of the gluten proteins allowing them to form stronger, more elastic doughs. Commercially it's aged using Potassium Bromate or iodate or they can use chorine dioxide.

Okay you soooo wanted to know that.... sorry! But hey it's worth knowing.

Thing is, Kneading not only pulls out the gluten chains, it also incorporates air bubbles. Now, when yeast grows it creates co2 but that will not go into lovely even little bubbles in the bread unless those bubbles are already there. Kneading puts them in there.

Kneading: I do this for over ten minutes. (NZ flour has notoriously low gluten contents and longer kneading times helps this.) You can overknead, ie you knead, it gets harder, and harder, and harder - and then bang you can break the protein chains and be left with a goo.

However what I think is you've used flour too fresh to bake bread, you've left in too much undermining bran & germ - and possibly you've underkneaded although you already had a lot going against you so couldn't say. It has risen, but the dough was not strong enough to 'hold' the gas in little pockets, it's seeped through creating larger bubbles and they've popped.

Here's the bread recipe I usually use. I would usually go half and half white & whole flour.

400 ml / 13 fl oz cold water
200 ml / 6 1/2 fl oz boiling water
2 tbsp (30 g) surebake, (or 2 tbsp (35g) compressed yeast w/1/4 tsp ascorbic acid, or 2dssp (20g) dried yeast 2/ 1/4tsp ascorbic acid $ 1/2 tsp sugar.)
7 1/2c (950g - 2lb 2 oz) flour.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp butter.

Pour water into measuring jug to make luke-warm water. Stir in yeast and leave while preparing dry ingredients.

Measure flour, salt, sugar into bowl. Rub in butter. Pour yeast mix into dry ingreds, mix thoroughly.

Knead for ten minutes. :D: It is important to knead for this length of time.

Return to warm & greased bowl, turn over to grease top, cover with damp teatowel or gladwrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 mins.

Cut dough in half and flatten each piece into square. Roll up Place in warmed & greased tins till doubled in bulk. (can be 1/2 - 1 hr depending on warmth & humidity.)

Preheat oven to 220c, (430F) Bake 10 mins 220c (430F), then down to 180c (350F)for 30 - 35 mins.

Remove from oven, glaze top with butter if desired, turn onto rack. If the bread sticks to the tin, leave for five minutes to soften before turning out.
 

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Moderate preps fan
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
1/ Possibly youre not activating the yeast enough
2/ when proving the dough how long are you allowing and how are you proving it?
3/ Are you kneading the dough enough to develop the gluten?


http://www.recipezaar.com/Basic-Whole-Wheat-Bread-25082

This recipe looks pretty good
Thanks for this info Chief :thumb:- that's definitely a good looking recipie - I will be certain to give it a try on my next attempt.

the shortest proving time I have used so far is about 3 hours, the longest was overnight - still with only minimal rising.
Kneading the dough - I usually take a max of about 6-10 minutes - do you think longer will help?


.
 

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Moderate preps fan
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
That's a good wheat to make bread with alright. You might hit your local market for wheat gluten. It's in the baking section. It really helps pure wheat breads. You can cheat and add some white flour to the whole wheat also. That's what most bakeries do, since it's hard to bake with 100% whole wheat.

Thanks for the comment on the wheat. I've been looking for wheat gluten locally - the only thing I can find is wheat gluten for fish bait! not sure that would be suitable for human consumption.
I have found it in a specialist catalogue, but there is a minimum order and it works out as ridiculously expensive. I will keep looking though.

In the meanwhile, I'll start adding white flour, although it is cheating a bit, because grain lasts for 20+ years, bags of white flour last only months, so in a real SHTF situation, this option would not be available to me after a year.
Unless i've got it completely wrong?

.
 

·
Moderate preps fan
Joined
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hello! Responding to the OP....


1. Wheat is measured by 'hardness' of kernel, which is a measure of protein content. The higher the protein content, the fewer the starch granules and so the more vitreous & translucent the endosperm. Hard wheat grains break up into large chunks of protein with relatively olittle free starch sot hey form a strong glueten when the flour is mixed with water. Beware though: durum wheat is too hard for bread & is used for really stiff doughs necessary for dried pastas.

One can mix the flours but there is also a way to get the best out of whatever flour you possess. Kneading stretches protein chains, which are tangled like an afro, 'combing' them out long, where they relock their bonds. You can tell when dough is well kneaded because it is reaching the end of its ability to stretch. Both stretchy and elastic.

WRT water you need a dough that has enough water in it to allow elasticity but not so much that won't hold its form and put where it is pushed.

As to flour itself - milling is basically a process of separating the endosperm from bran & germ and then grinding down the endosperm into flour sized particles. Bran & Germ are nutritionally beneficial but contain lipids so lower the shelf life of flour substantially, and dilute the gluten in dough. They also shear into the gas cells of raised breads, breaking those cells.

Aging of the flour is also important - well, ... actually yes it is. If you let flour sit one or two months it affects the bonding characteristics of the gluten proteins allowing them to form stronger, more elastic doughs. Commercially it's aged using Potassium Bromate or iodate or they can use chorine dioxide.

Okay you soooo wanted to know that.... sorry! But hey it's worth knowing.

Thing is, Kneading not only pulls out the gluten chains, it also incorporates air bubbles. Now, when yeast grows it creates co2 but that will not go into lovely even little bubbles in the bread unless those bubbles are already there. Kneading puts them in there.

Kneading: I do this for over ten minutes. (NZ flour has notoriously low gluten contents and longer kneading times helps this.) You can overknead, ie you knead, it gets harder, and harder, and harder - and then bang you can break the protein chains and be left with a goo.

However what I think is you've used flour too fresh to bake bread, you've left in too much undermining bran & germ - and possibly you've underkneaded although you already had a lot going against you so couldn't say. It has risen, but the dough was not strong enough to 'hold' the gas in little pockets, it's seeped through creating larger bubbles and they've popped.

Here's the bread recipe I usually use. I would usually go half and half white & whole flour.

400 ml / 13 fl oz cold water
200 ml / 6 1/2 fl oz boiling water
2 tbsp (30 g) surebake, (or 2 tbsp (35g) compressed yeast w/1/4 tsp ascorbic acid, or 2dssp (20g) dried yeast 2/ 1/4tsp ascorbic acid $ 1/2 tsp sugar.)
7 1/2c (950g - 2lb 2 oz) flour.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp butter.

Pour water into measuring jug to make luke-warm water. Stir in yeast and leave while preparing dry ingredients.

Measure flour, salt, sugar into bowl. Rub in butter. Pour yeast mix into dry ingreds, mix thoroughly.

Knead for ten minutes. :D: It is important to knead for this length of time.

Return to warm & greased bowl, turn over to grease top, cover with damp teatowel or gladwrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 mins.

Cut dough in half and flatten each piece into square. Roll up Place in warmed & greased tins till doubled in bulk. (can be 1/2 - 1 hr depending on warmth & humidity.)

Preheat oven to 220c, (430F) Bake 10 mins 220c (430F), then down to 180c (350F)for 30 - 35 mins.

Remove from oven, glaze top with butter if desired, turn onto rack. If the bread sticks to the tin, leave for five minutes to soften before turning out.

Excellent information there - thanks so much for taking the time to write such a detailed response.
With all this feedback, I am slowly starting to get a bigger and better picture of the things I should and shouldn't do in order to have success in my survival breakmaking:D:

Particularly interesting idea about turning the oven down after 10 mins - I will definitely try incorporate this into my experiments.

.
 
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