Stone-ground Wheat Bread
Posted in Baking
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:38 am)

Last night I used my new birthday present (a hand-powered wheat grinder) to grind flour. Three cups took me around 10 minutes. I made a biga (small amount of flour, water, and yeast) and a soaker (the remainder of the flour and some milk) last night, and mixed up the dough earlier this morning.

I've been making my own bread for a long time now, but wheat bread has been a difficult one to tackle. Most homemade wheat breads come out too dense. I have a recipe I've adapted a little that I'm mostly happy with, but last night I decided to make another change and introduce the soaker, which I learned in a different recipe that didn't turn out the way I wanted but I think has something to contribute to this recipe. So my changes include: less white flour (original recipe was about half wheat and half white), non-fat milk instead of water, a little more honey (to sweeten the deal), and wheat germ added to the flour and milk soaker.

The idea with the soaker is that the wheat flour absorbs moisture overnight and softens up more than it would normally. I think this will be important because the hand-ground flour texture isn't commercial-fine. Depending on how things work out (I'll know later today) I'll upload a picture or two. When I'm happy with the recipe I'll add it to my cookbook.

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