The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slashing WW vs White flour based loaves

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rideold's picture
rideold

Slashing WW vs White flour based loaves

I've been trying to figure out something for a bit now....  When I slash my WW loaves the slashes don't spread out like they do on a white flour or ww/white mixed loaf.  I've tried slasing shallower and deeper, finer grind flour vs coarser, etc. but it seems to always be the same (except when I go too deep and get cracked canyons in the top:) ).  Has anybody else had this experience.  I love the texture and look of how the slashes come out on my white and all those loaves at the bakery down the street but how can I get my WW to do the same?  The regular loaf I make is wild yeast leavened, 76% hydration with two builds.  Ideas?

Ramona's picture
Ramona

I use active dry yeast and whole grains to make bread.  I do slash before putting them into a cold oven start.  I use a sharp knife and slash gently and only go through about 1/4 inch.  I get good results.  I like the appearance of what ends up looking like birds feet ran across the bread.  I have read that if rye is used, that either the dough needs to be slashed right after forming for the last fermentation, or no slashing at all.  The one thing that I have been doing is that I put water on my hands and pat it all over the top of the dough, after I put it into the pans, and then I put some poppy or caraway seeds on it.  I slash them before I turn the oven on.   Don't know if this was any help.  But it works for me.

browndog's picture
browndog

Rideold, a whole wheat loaf isn't going to perform on the same level as a white/white mix bread. You can get ovenspring but it won't have the same high drama.

Ramona has a good suggestion in slashing loaves with a higher rye content soon after shaping. With whole grain breads you will get more spring if the loaf is a touch 'young'--if you slash and bake when it is well-proofed, the bread will not gain much if any height in the oven. You want the dough nicely risen but still with strength to take the cuts and grow some in the oven. Kind of a tricky window there.

That being said, here is a 100% whole wheat that I am perfectly satisfied with, but might have been a trifle disappointing if it were a white flour loaf.100% whole wheat

The slashes were made almost but not quite too late, after a forty minute proof in a 70 degree kitchen with the bread rising determinedly. The cuts were about a quarter inch deep.