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Hand-made, Naturally Leavened, Oven-Fired Bread


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The Second Step to a Perfect Loaf of Bread: Milling Grain!

      This is the second post in our series of steps toward a perfect loaf of bread! The bread begins with freshly milled flour…

      Each week, I begin the bake by milling grain, and this is one of the most unique facets of our bakery. To produce bread using the highest quality flour has always been one of our fundamental beliefs, and I believe that we do that at our bakery.

      Anyone who has tried to use quality flour in their home-baking knows the challenge of finding “real” whole-grain flour, or fresh whole-grain flour, stone-milled whole-grain flour, etc. When I began learning about bread in 2013, I realized that the only way to do this would be to use flour we milled ourselves. We began with a little countertop NutriMill, and now we are using this big guy…

      Why is fresh flour important? Well, most importantly, the oils in the bran begin to go rancid after milling. This results in a bitter flavor in the bread (anyone ever had bitter whole-wheat bread?) and the nutrient value deteriorates with the oil as the flour oxidizes. So, our fresh flour is used at its peak quality. And, if the flour doesn’t get used up, we put it in the fridge where the oxidation process drastically slows down. (Store your whole-wheat flour in the fridge or freezer!)

     You can actually see the thermostat in the video if you are curious about our average milling temperature. To be honest with you, I have looked high and low to find numbers on how high the temperature can be while you are milling before the flour is damaged, and I have yet to find something satisfactory. Let me know if you have a source for any studies on this! Regardless of knowing why, we do try to keep our temperatures as low as possible, and this stone mill is very capable of doing the job well.

     I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit more about our flour and why it contributes so much to final result in our bread! Keep your eye out for upcoming posts on the next steps in the bakery…

Published: September 12, 2016

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