10 tips in 10 days: 5 – Whole meal flour

Using finely milled flour to create light and airy whole meal sourdough loaves.

Flour selection is of course a very vital part of getting consistent results. When it comes to the whole meal (whole grain) flour I find a great difference in the end result when it comes to the coarseness. In my opinion you still keep a lot of taste and aromas intact, even when the entire grain (with sprout, bran, kernel) is very finely milled. From what I’ve picked up from several sources (like the brilliant @ceorbread on Instagram), the flours ability to bind water is affected, thus the development of the dough, leaving you a mass with greater potential for a lighter and more open crumb.
I mill most of my whole meal flour myself, with my bench stone mill. I do two runs – first at a coarser setting, then at the finest possible. This is also, in my experience, affecting the dough development qualities in a positive way. I’m still learning the chemistry behind this, if you’re familiar with it I’d be glad if you pitched in!
I know a lot of you mill your own flour (and if you don’t you should) so keep in mind to let the flour cool before mixing. The friction of milling twice will leave it quite hot (and this can mess with the activity of the dough in a negative way).
The best type of whole meal flour I’ve baked with comes from Vortex/Whirl milling (such as from Warbro Kvarn here in Sweden). It’s whirled into a very fine dust-like powder, without increasing friction significantly.
This is in my experience also true for 100% rye bread. The finer the milling the lighter crumb loaf you’ll get.
The loaf with crumbshot featured in this post is a 50% whole meal loaf, using very finely ground whole wheat grain. Packed with taste and nutrition and a very pleasing texture, from a while back.

I’ve basically been having a dough rising every day during the last years. Most often in a bowl or a box, and if not; in my thoughts.
Along with the coming week’s posts I will share 10 of the most valuable insights I’ve had that’s lead to more consistent result in baking high quality, beautiful goods from home (in no particular order).
Would love it if you comment or DM with questions, I always do my best to answer!