The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Grains and the Windowpane Test

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Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Whole Grains and the Windowpane Test

Does the windowpane test work differently with whole grains?

Rosalie

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Windowpane test can work differently for whole grains.

See this forum post re. alternative windowpane test

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Here are some quotes from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, 2003 edition. This book deals exclusively with whole grain breads.

"Halfway through kneading you can gently tug and pull the dough out flabby thin. The surface will be plenty rough, with little craters all over; the dough will tear easily." pg 44

"When the dough is fully developed, it will pull into a paper thin sheet, smooth and bright. When you hold it to the light, you can see the webbing of the gluten strands in the sheet." pg 45

"...if your flour is coarser, brown flecks of bran will be imbedded in a bright, white sheet of gluten, looking like freckles on fair skin." pg 45

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Does this sound different than what you would expect with white flour dough? 

 

 

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I've never had much success with the windowpane test, and that may explain the questionable crumb on most of my breads.  I'd forgotten about those passages in Laurel's book.  Thanks.

Rosalie

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I've been wondering if really high hydration doughs should windowpane the same as a more traditional dough. (Traditional to me is like my Grandma's white sandwich loaf - others' traditions may vary!)

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

has been something I have had good luck with, whether it be whole grain or white. I have just recently started baking Thom Leonards French boule, which I find fairly slack and used the window pane with that. Managing a very small piece of slack dough is much easier than the whole batch! As for whole wheat, the pane is not as thin, but still translucent and pebbled with flecks of bran, coarse in appearance.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Thanks Paddyscake.  I'll give it a try the next time I have some slack dough.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

You don't need much, just a pinch off the  kneaded dough ball..