Grinding Our Own Wheat – Part 4: Baking with Fresh Ground Flour
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I have been baking with our fresh ground whole wheat flour now for quite a while now and thought I’d do a quick post about my experiences so far.
* Since most of the time I use fresh ground flour (and it is so light and fluffy), I am finding that I have to pack the flour into my measuring cups a bit. If I don’t, I almost always have to add more flour. Even with packing the flour, I sometimes still need to add just a bit more flour to my recipes.
* I am using the hard red winter wheat for all our bread and LOVE it! I am my 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe using the 2-Stage Process and the bread is turning out great! I am hoping to get a video tutorial up on my blog soon showing how I make my bread.
* I use this recipe for all our bread, rolls, hamburger buns. All I do is after I have divided my lump of dough into 5 lumps, I decide how many loaves of bread I need and if I need to make any hamburger buns or rolls as well. Most of the time I make 4 loaves of bread and 1 pan of hamburger buns or rolls. To make hamburger buns: divide one of the lumps of dough into 8 pieces. Form into balls and place on buttered cookie sheet. Flatten balls with palm of hand. Let the dough rise as normal and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. For rolls, divide one lump of dough into 12 pieces. Form into balls and place in buttered muffin pans. Let them rise and bake as you would the hamburger buns. How I coordinate all this is I form my 4 loaves of bread and put the dough into the pans. These 4 pans go on the top rack of my warm oven to rise with a clean dish towel over the top of it. The pan of hamburger buns or rolls go on the second rack in my oven with a clean dish towel over top to rise. When the loaves of bread are ready to bake, I take the pan of buns/rolls out of the oven and let them sit on top of the stove, covered, while the bread bakes. I take the towel off of the loaves of bread, turn the oven on to 350 degrees and set the timer for 30 minutes. I usually bake the bread a bit longer than that, but that is what I start with. Once the bread is done, I uncover the buns/rolls, put them in the oven (top rack) and bake them for 20 minutes. I made our rolls for dinner last night in muffin tins and I really liked them that way!
* I have been using the hard white wheat for biscuits, cookies, zucchini bread, muffins, etc. I think the white wheat gives a little lighter texture and milder taste to these quick bread recipes.
I will probably have more to share in this series as the weeks go by. I have really enjoyed learning new things. My next experiment is to sprout some wheat, dry it, then grind up the sprouts so that I have sprouted flour to use for my quick breads. Some of the quick bread recipes are hard to convert into using a 2-stage process of soaking the flour. By sprouting the wheat first, then grinding it, I will not have to soak the flour! I’ll keep you updated on that as I experiment in the weeks ahead.