Mark and Liz at Green Acres farm have a new Moulins Alma Pro flour mill on their farm in Kemberton. Mark is learning the technicalities of milling and I am testing the flour. The first flour to be milled is the modern wheat grown on the farm in harvest 2020 Mulika. The flour tested is the white Mulika flour with an extraction rate of 75%.
You can read about my home milling test of this wheat too to compare.
The Mulika showed a Hagberg Falling Number of 343 (between 250 and 350 is most suited to bread making) and a protein content of 14.27 in the sample tests.
I baked a yeasted dough and a sourdough with the white flour for these preliminary baking tests. The white flour from this stone mill is very different from roller milled white. The grain is crushed finely between the stones and then sifted through three mesh screens. The first screen is a 750 mesh, which allows only the finest flour through.
You can see the darker colour of the white flour in the bowl above. This flour is not just the white endosperm that you would get from a roller milled flour but also contains a high percentage of the germ and some of the finer particles of bran. This makes the flour more nutritious and a lot tastier than a roller milled white flour. However, it also makes the flour stickier to work with because of the additional oils and minerals present in the flour.
This flour was especially thirsty. It is to be expected that a fresh flour and one with a high protein would need more water. In my home milling trial Mulika required 72% hydration. This flour required 76% hydration.
There are two potential reasons this flour is thirstier than my home milled. The first is the fineness of the flour. This sample is silky and very fine. The smaller particle size and greater surface area of the flour means that more water can be absorbed. The second reason for a thirsty flour is an excess of damaged starches*. This results in both a thirstier flour and an increase in amylase activity. However, increased amylase activity normally results in a more rapid fermentation and this was not noted in this test. The sourdough is a little gummy, as you can see from the picture below and this may also be an indicator of greater starch damage. The results are not conclusive one way or the other and further trials are necessary before we can conclude that the milling is causing excess damage.
The doughs produced from this flour performed well and the resulting breads were full of flavour.
*The baker requires some damaged starches as it is these that assist the enzymatic and chemical reactions in the fermentation of the dough. An excess however can result in too much enzymatic action, a flatter final loaf and a gummy interior.
The Yeasted white Mulika Loaf
500g white Mulika stoneground flour
10g fresh yeast
10g fine sea salt
380g water (76% hydration)
The dough was developed using the stretch and fold method. It showed a good balance of elasticity and extensibility on the 3rd round of stretch and fold. The flour had a really good aroma during mixing and developing. It baked into a pleasingly light and tasty loaf.
Mulika white sourdough
As you can see from the photo, the colour of the white flour is much more like a wholemeal loaf. The flour is more similar to working with a wholemeal than a roller milled white flour. The advantages are apparent in the aroma and taste of the final loaf. The loaf had a 22 hour fermentation, with an overnight retard in the fridge.
7.30am Mix levain: 30g wholemeal mother starter, 100g white mulika, 130g water (It needed the additional 30g of water to form my preferred texture for a levain, most flour requires 100g water, another indicator of the thirstiness of this flour). Left at cool room temperature (19C)
1.30pm, Add 500g white Mulika and 370g water (83% hydration)
2.00pm 1st round of stretch and fold
2.30pm 2nd round of stretch and fold
3.30pm 3rd round of stretch and fold
Left to ferment at cool room temperature (19C)
7.30pm put into fridge for overnight retard
7am out of fridge
11.30am Baked in dutch oven, 15 minutes lid on, 30 minutes lid off – total 45 minutes