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The farmers thinking about putting in these mills want to know if you'd buy their flour.
Please consider replacing your refined white flour with directly sifted whole grain flour. If you’ve obtained some of our test flour, please do your own version of the side/by/side "bench test" like the one we obtained from a professional artisan baker below.
Use the testimonial review form and:
We'd love to quote you! Our first professional artisan review posted below requested to be anonymous for the time being and the second statement is from The Progressive Baker, which provided a more technical statement.
In artisan baking applications, higher ash often plays a positive role. First, the extra minerals may result in a stronger dough and a finished product with more nutrition and better color. Plus the ash particles feed the yeast, while acting like tiny grains of sand to gently wear down the dough's gluten structure—conditions that facilitate optimum fermentation activity and improve the dough's tolerance. Sometimes, higher ash flours may enhance flavor as well.
Directly sifted whole grain flour produced a dough unlike any other I have handled. I will describe the Sourdough Baguette process that substituted this flour for roller milled, unbleached white flour. I ran my test with this flour side-by-side with the standard formula using white flour. The mixing process was nearly identical. The test flour was able to absorb more water than the white to achieve a comparable dough feel (that's always good news to a bread baker).
The dough came to development quickly. The dough itself could be stretched into thin sheeted "baker's windows" with ease, though had the elasticity and tenacity to resist this stretching without breaking easily or simply falling apart. The ferment was 30 minutes faster than that of the white flour dough over the course of 6 hours. When fully fermented, this dough had alveoledge on par with the white dough. It was holding HUGE gas bubbles, had a great balance of elasticity and extensibility, and maintained strength through handling and shaping. The only difference noted in comparing the two doughs at shaping was the test flour felt a bit more brittle, for lack of a better term. The white flour dough was not deflating quite as much as the test flour. For me though, the test flour was remarkable in its ability to hold gas and be handled on the bench with very little deflation.
I've never experienced working with this quality of dough at the level of extraction this flour was milled and the quantity of bran it contains. The proof and bake proceeded on par with both doughs. The oven spring on the test flour was sufficient to open the ears on the scores which can be difficult with high hydration, whole flour dough. The volume of the test flour loaves was 3/4-4/5 the size of the white flour dough, with a nice open crumb structure and a uniquely soft texture for a mostly whole flour loaf. Directly sifted whole grain flour created a dough that handled like a white flour dough, had the tolerance required of long fermentations and produced stunning loaves of bread.
The opportunity to provide a more nutritious, more whole loaf of bread with the visual appearance, textures, and volumes of a standard artisan fare are appealing on many levels.