fresh milled flour window pane with the GISP method
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GISP Method – The Secrets To The Best Fresh Milled Flour Bread

What exactly is The Grains In Small Places (GISP) Method? The GISP method is a series of tricks that I have developed over the years working with fresh milled flour. I went through so many tests, troubleshooting, and just straight up failures to learn all that I have learned! And, I am still learning with every bake! So, now I want to share all my secrets to getting the best fresh milled flour breads and baked goods. So, let’s dive right into it.

*pssst- If you are only interested in sourdough, scroll to the bottom, I have a Bonus GISP Sourdough Methods Section

GISP Method the secrets to the best fresh milled flour bread
GISP Method the secrets to the best fresh milled flour bread

So, as you know each person is a different baker with different experiences. I find a lot of people who are experienced with baking with white flour, will tend to bring over some of those tried and true rules they learned, but fresh milled flour is just different. So, all those rules don’t really work out the same.

Pouring the whole wheat berries into my mill to make fresh milled flour for the GISP method. You can grab your mill HERE. (coupon code: Grainy for $20 off)

GISP= Grains In Small Places

GISP New Methods (Secrets To The Perfect Fresh Milled Flour Bread)

My methods are new, and not what all the other blogs and teachers are teaching. So, it goes “against the grain” of a lot of other resources available. But, I have true trial and error testimonies from myself, and many others who have used my methods.

Unfortunately, there is outdated information out there. But, thanks to the GISP method, fresh milled flour can make soft squishy breads, just like the sandwich breads in the store. With the other methods, the bread is still wonderful, and there are times I want a slightly denser loaf. So, I will make it both ways, and there is nothing wrong with that! We all like different things.

Milling the wheat berries fresh is the only way to go! a bowl of freshly milled flour in front of a bin of wheat berries
Milling the wheat berries fresh is the only way to go! So, this is a bowl of freshly milled flour alongside my bin of wheat berries. You can grab these bins HERE.

“Mom, Will You Just Buy Bread From The Store?”

But, my passion came one day when my son said, “Mom can you just buy me a loaf of bread from the store?” …. I almost cried, I did cry inside. So, I was determined to make my bread just as delicious, or even better than store bought bread. And, you know what? I did buy him that loaf from the store, and he didn’t like it!!! Hallelujah! I had done it! So, I had to share my methods with the world!!! Or to anyone who would listen.

a sliced loaf of honey oat wheat bread made with fresh milled flour showing the soft airy crumb of the inside of the loaf. Using the GISP method
So, here is an example of my very popular Honey Oat Wheat Bread recipe, you can find that recipe HERE.

What Wheat Do I Use To Make Fresh Milled Flour Bread?

So, before we dive in to the secrets, we need to talk about what wheat varieties to use for breads. The majority of the fresh milled flour you use for bread should consist of hard white wheat or hard red wheat. This is because it has a higher protein, is strong enough to raise bread, and will develop gluten. You can add a small amount of ancient grains, or other wheats to the hard wheat for flavor, texture, etc.

beautiful fresh milled flour includes all the parts of the wheat berry, which means all the vital nutrients and fiber.
So, here it is in all it’s glory! A close up of my fresh milled flour, which includes all the parts of the wheat berry, which also includes all the vital nutrients and fiber.

GISP Method – Secrets To Fresh Milled Flour Perfection!

These are just basic steps that I have outlined that can be used with any fresh milled flour recipe! So, if you have a favorite one, try using these GISP methods with it, and see if your results improve! If so, I would love to hear about it down in the comments below!

Mix the wet ingredients together first, then add the fresh milled flour GISP method
Mix the wet ingredients together first, then add the fresh milled flour, wait to put the yeast in. This is step one for the GISP Method.

Step One – Autolyze

What do I mean by Autolyze? I have a particular method that I like to teach that may be a bit different from other autolyzing methods you have heard of. Firstly, I like to mix all of my ingredients together except the yeast. I mix them all together until incorporated, then cover and let sit.

Mix the fresh milled flour in, and let it autolyze. The dough will appear very wet, don't add more flour!
Mix the fresh milled flour in, and let it autolyze. The dough will appear very wet, don’t add more flour! This is before the yeast and before starting the kneading process, take note how wet the dough looks!

This resting period needs to be a minimum of 15 minutes, but can last longer if you need to work around your schedule. Remember, the yeast is not in the dough yet, so you don’t have to worry about rise times or over proofing if you need to run some errands, or life happens, and you just forget about it.

The rest period allows time for the freshly milled flour to start absorbing the liquids, which takes much longer than white flour does. Also, this allows the bran to start to soften. Unsoftened bran will work against you, as it’s sharp edges can tear and break apart the gluten strands you are trying to develop as you knead the dough.

Reminder to put my yeast in after this autolyze period
I leave my measuring spoon on the lid of my mixer as a reminder to put my yeast in after this autolyze period.

Don’t Forget The Yeast!

I like to leave my measuring spoon on top of the bowl to remind me to put the yeast in before I start the kneading process. So, after this autolyze period, I will then put in my yeast and start kneading. This brings us into the next step of the GISP Method, which is kneading.

Put the yeast in after the autolyse, so that your yeast doesn't exhaust itself
Now, after the fresh milled flour has had a chance to absorb the liquid, and the bran to start softening, then it is time to put the yeast in.

Step Two – Working With A Wet Dough

However, before we can talk about the kneading process, we must address the elephant in the bowl! I am sure at this point you are asking, isn’t my dough too wet? Should I add more flour? This just doesn’t seem right. Did I mess something up?

Chances are you did everything right, but you may be used to working with white flour. The older methods where you are told to keep putting flour into the bowl, until the dough pulls away from the sides, just doesn’t work great with fresh milled flour. Again, these methods will still give you decent results, but not the super soft, fluffy squishy breads. Too much flour will equal denser bread. So, fight this urge to add more flour. You need a wet and sticky dough for these methods to work.

Later, I will talk about the window pane, but if the dough is too dry, then no matter how long you knead the dough, it will never, I repeat NEVER come to a window pane. The number one reason that the window pane is not achieved, when people contact me with issues with their bread, is too much flour! I was there once, I knew how to make bread with white flour, and just assumed it was the same. But, boy was I wrong!

weighing the wheat berries will give you the same weight of flour. Going by weight will give you more accurate results.
Weighing the wheat berries will give you the same weight of flour. Going by weight will give you more accurate results.

Step Three – Kneading

How Long Do I Knead Fresh Milled Flour Bread?

There is no hard and fast rule to go by when it comes to kneading times. And, any recipe that says knead for 5-7 minutes is probably not going to give you the best results. (These shorter kneading times may work for white processed flour, but not fresh milled flour.) Again, those older kneading methods will still give you decent bread, but not the super soft, fluffy, squishy breads.

Mixer Varieties

There are many different mixer varieties out there, and I have used many. In fact, on my You Tube Channel I have reviews of a few of them. But, a good quality mixer is worth it’s weight in gold! Because there are times I have to knead in a mixer for over 20 minutes! So, you can imagine kneading by hand what a labor of love that can be!

Although this mixer has been a game changer, you can still make wonderful bread with other mixers! I did it for years before I got this one.
Although this mixer has been a game changer, you can still make wonderful bread with other mixers! I did it for years before I got this one. You can grab yours HERE.

So, rather than be concerned about the time of kneading, I really want you to start watching and feeling your dough. I know this is strange, and when you first start out, you may not understand what I mean by this. But, as you make bread with fresh milled flour over and over, you will see what I mean.

You want to look for stretchy smoother dough after kneading. Sometimes you may need to take your dough out of the mixer, scrape the sides an flip it over. Start kneading again, and it will come together before your eyes! Once you see this transformation of the dough happen, it will change your bread making skills for life!

Kneading For The Window Pane Test & What Is A Window Pane? GISP Method

I don’t want you to get too focused on the window pane, this is just a little test we can do to make sure the dough is nice and stretchy, and that the gluten strands have been formed and are strong. It is ok to continue on without a window pane. But, when you do achieve that beautifully stretchy dough it gives you a sense of satisfaction like never before in bread making!

fresh milled flour window pane with the GISP method
This is a beautiful example of a window pane test with 100% fresh milled flour without even sifting! With the GISP Methods, these secrets can give you these results!

Can I Hand Knead Fresh Milled Flour Bread?

I do offer a few recipes that are made for hand kneading, but my most popular recipe for people that don’t own a mixer yet is my No Knead Bread, you can find that recipe HERE. This is a denser heartier boule type loaf.

no knead bread loaf made from fresh milled flour sitting on a wooden table with a kitchen towel under it.
So, here is a picture of that No Knead Yeast boule bread.

So, now that we covered some of the important tips for yeast bread, if you are interested in sourdough, I have a GISP Method for it too!

Fresh milled flour sourdough starter
Fresh Milled Flour Sourdough Starter. Let me show you how HERE.

Bonus Section – Sourdough Secrets – GISP Method

This post is just loaded with all my secrets! Heck, it’s after 1 am, so I must just be tired. Maybe I will regret telling everyone! LOL.

Step One (Sourdough)- Higher Hydration

I have found working with sourdough and fresh milled flour, that I need higher hydration levels. Fresh Milled Flour is just so thirsty! (with the exception of soft white wheat, which we don’t use much in bread baking, so that is a whole other post) So, I have increased the hydration in my sourdough boule loaf recipe HERE to account for that.

sourdough sandwich bread with fresh milled flour sliced on a cutting board with a jar of sourdough starter behind it
This is my sourdough sandwich bread, it is soft and airy, light and fluffy. But, the best part is, it is made with 100% fresh milled flour, and my family loves it! You can find the recipe HERE.

Step Two (Sourdough)- Fermentation Times

Also, it is important to note that Sourdough made with fresh milled flour ferments faster, there is just no way around that. Because it ferments much quicker, this makes an overnight ferment very difficult with fresh milled flour sourdough breads. I have found that it just gets too acidic.

So, I recommend either a very short time in the fridge, or not in the fridge at all (This is what my family prefers.) I just start making it in the morning, then play with it all day doing stretch and folds, whenever I can work it into my schedule. I will bake it in the evening. Then, the hardest part… Let it sit… All night long… This allows the loaf to cool completely before cutting into the loaf. I just plan on eating it the day after I make it.

sourdough bread made with fresh milled flour sliced showing the inside crumb
My fresh milled flour sourdough Boule recipe “goes against the grain” and these GISP methods are different from most traditional sourdough bread recipes. HERE is that recipe.

Making Your Own Sourdough Starter With Fresh Milled Flour- GISP Method

I have some resources to make your very own sourdough starter using 100% fresh milled flour. I show you step by step in my video HERE, and I make one right along side of you! If you prefer to read the info, I have a post on how to make your own sourdough starter from scratch with freshly milled flour HERE.

So, I hope this information was helpful to you! Please feel free to share the link to your friends and family, or whenever you hear someone that is struggling with fresh milled flour bread. Help me get the message out, the GISP Method is new and here to stay! I want to be a resource of help and encouragement, please spread the word!

Sincerely,

Kara

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Ankarsrum Mixer

Nutrimill Harvest Grain Mill – Use Coupon Code: Grainy for $20 Off yours

Every Day Grain Bins

Digital Kitchen Scale

Azure Standard has some great deals on grains

Checkout Some Of My Fresh Milled Flour Recipes Using The GISP Method

Honey Oat Wheat Bread

Every Day Sandwich Bread

Vegan Sandwich Bread

Peaches & Cream Bread

Focaccia

4 Ingredient Bread

Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns

Sub Buns

Dinner Rolls

No Knead Bread

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Sourdough Boule Loaf

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter From Scratch

All Purpose Flour Blend With Fresh Milled Flour

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. But, I will only suggest items I actually Love and Have Used!

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12 Comments

  1. I noticed for your sourdough recipes you add the levain right away and then autolyse but with yeast you hold the yeast back until the autolyse is complete. Would you explain the reasoning behind that?

    1. I do this so that the sourdough starter has a chance to start working right away. It takes much longer to ferment than yeast. I wait for the yeast dough, because I don’t want the yeast to exhaust itself before baking, causing the loaf to fall or deflate. With sourdough, I know there is more time needed for the rise/ferment, so I put it in right away. I hope this makes sense!

  2. Thank you soooooo much for sharing your hard earned information with us! It is so helpful and a huge blessing! we are a one income family and finding free secrets to making healthy foods at home is not always easy, thank you thank you thank you for helping us out!!
    Do you by any chance have a secret to knowing when your sourdough is properly proofed? In Florida I expect my doughs to ferment more quickly than in most of the US, and as you have shared fresh-milled doughs ferment more quickly in general. Other than just baking it and seeing what happens, how can I know that the dough is ready to be shaped?

    1. You are very welcome! I am so happy to hear it is helpful to you! Thank you! The way I check to see if my sourdough had proofed is check and make sure it appears to have doubled, but also it should seem more smooth and soft (almost pillowy) But, most of all, I wet my finger, and gently poke the dough. If the dough springs back quickly, then it still needs rising time. (even if the indent doesn’t fill back in all the way.) If the indent comes back slowly, it is ready! If the indent stays and doesn’t fill back in at all, then it is likely over proofed. I hope that helps! Happy Baking!

  3. Kara I can honestly say that I was not successful In a super soft squishy loaf of bread EVER (even with dead flour) until I used your recipe for the everyday loaf and your methods. It was a complete game changer for me. All the things I’d read said to find 1 recipe and master that before making other bread recipes and I’ve only
    Been milling 3-4 months- and I have not made any other regular everyday bread yet. I really like this one and how it turns out- time after time after time- thanks to YOU and your methods!! Especially to add all the flour to soak for a few. I could never understand other recipes are only soaking 2/3 of the flour. But thank you Kara! I’ve made so many of your recipes! Graham crackers just last night. I really want to try focaccia bread and brioche buns but they are still a little intimidating yet. 😁
    MILL ON EVERYONE!!

    1. I am so happy my methods have been helpful! Yay! Nice job! You got this! I have videos for the focaccia that is super informative! And I have a video for the buns too! We can make it together, and just pause me while you are making it! Happy Baking!

  4. Hi Kara. I milled back when my kids were small.. they are now grown and I have been remiss in mailing for the last several years. My husband and I decided we wanted to start back and I am researching all of your videos! It is definitely a learning curve for me, but I do believe old dogs can learn new tricks! would you please do a video or post a blog about yeast? I have the mail I have the berries and I bought a jar of active yeast. Can you please describe the process of activating the yeast or do you just put the dry active yeast in after flour has autolysed? I’m in WA state – the wet & cold west side!! I’m sure that makes a difference!! Thank you for ALL the info and sharing your knowledge!
    Dawn

    1. Hi! I am so happy to hear my videos are helpful! For active dry yeast, you just need to hold out some of the water in a small bowl from the recipe, and a pinch of sugar. Place the yeast in that water, let it sit room temperature for 10-15 minutes. It should get nice and foamy. Then you can put it in the recipe when the yeast is called for. I often use instant yeast, and just put it in the mixture dry. I hope this helps! Happy Baking!

  5. So happy to find this site!! I’ve used milled flour for years…off and on. The only 1 I found was the Bread Becker method. It’s good but not completely what I wanted. Your method makes more sense. I sadly found that that I’m allergic to sourdough but looking forward to using your other recipes! Thanks!!!

    1. I am so happy to hear my methods are helpful! I’m sorry to hear you are allergic to sourdough, but the great news is that I have tons of non sourdough recipes! I also have a Youtube channel for most my recipes as well. Thanks so much! Happy Baking!

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