For Christmas, Santa brought me a grain mill to grind my own flour. It became a necessity when I accidentally purchased a 50 lb bag of wheat instead of a 50 lb bag of flour. Oops!!!
Since I received the grain mill, I’ve been trying to figure out how to bake with freshly ground wheat. Yes folks, there is a difference.
My first goal was to successfully bake a loaf of bread. I use my bread machine to do all the mixing, kneading and rising then remove it from the machine and place the dough in a bread pan for the last rise before baking. Now I could certainly do it all by hand, but let’s face facts . . . . . it is a lot less time-consuming to put all the ingredients into the bread machine and let it do the bulk of the work. That gives me more time for other things, like writing blog posts.
My first attempt was utter failure. Okay, not failure because I learned that too much liquid and not enough flour means you won’t get a loaf of bread. My second attempt was too much flour and not enough liquid. By the third loaf I managed to bake something edible, but I still needed a better balance of water to flour so I increased the amount of flour. It was a little too much flour, although still edible.
A couple of days ago, I made another loaf of bread and I’m getting closer. It had a nice texture, especially for toasting and it was quite tasty.
In the future, I need to leave the measuring cups in the drawer and experiment with the scale. Freshly ground flour is much lighter than the store-bought stuff and I need to find that perfect combination of water to flour. I think a scale is the best way to accomplish that goal. At least I hope so.
I am so impressed that you are using wheat to make bread! I do actually do all my kneading/mixing by hand; it is a good way to relieve stress. And lately I have a lot of that. :
I used to make all my bread by hand, now I do it the lazy way to free up a little time for other things. Kneading bread can certainly be a de-stressor though.
Ah all my own trails and concerns as well, bread baking is quite the Science and the Art.
It certainly is.
Ah yes. The infamous 50 lb bag of wheat. Sounds like about 1 lb down, only 49 lbs to go. I expect to see a lot of bread in the freezer when I get there in May!
I’ll do my best to get thru as much of the wheat before May, but can’t promise a freezer full of bread.