The Fresh Loaf

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Problems with Whole Wheat sandwich Bread

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Alvaremj's picture
Alvaremj

Problems with Whole Wheat sandwich Bread

Hello TFL

 

I am trying to make a sourdough Whole Wheat loaf. My problem is I can not get a good rise out of the dough and it is shrinking in the oven. Help!! So here are some details

White Whole Wheat 80%

Rye 20%

Water 80%

Honey 3%

Salt 2%

Dry Milk Powder 2%

oil 2%

I tried using my regular starter (half bread flour, half rye at 75% hydration) in a one step build and a 3 step build with very similar outcomes. Flat dense bricks. bulk fermentation was 2hrs and proof was 1.5 hrs (fully proofed almost over) baked at 450 for 30min. The dough is very slack and listless. It reminds me of when my starter wasn't ready to bake with.

Solutions??

I think my starter may be the issue. I may try and start from scratch with a 100% white whole wheat starter or try spiking the dough with commercial yeast although  am trying to keep costs down. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks

J

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clazar123's picture
clazar123

Giving the baker's percentages is helpful but not very. I can tell you the percentages of steel and plastic that make a car but it doesn't tell you how to make one. I hear your frustration but more info is needed for anyone to help you.

How active is your starter? What percentage of starter is in your formula?

At 80%, that is a pretty hydrated dough. It should also be rather sticky due to the rye. Are you working to develop this dough?In order to develop a good rise, this dough needs to develop the gluten well!

 Do you use any autolyse? Preferment? Retard? All these would help the whoile grain and bran bits hydrate and the rye to starch out-all good things in a 100% whole grain loaf.

Bulk fermentation was 2 hours but was the dough about doubled? Less? More?

Final proof 1.5 hours and it was "fully and almost overproofed". How do you tell when it is fully proofed?Did you do a finger-poke test or just go on appearance?  If it is shrinking in the oven, it is probably overproofed.

450 for 30 minutes is a very hot,short bake for a whole grain bread. It usually does better with a slightly longer bake at a lower temp.Start at 450 if you want with a little moisture but turn it down to 350-375 for about 45 minutes. Do you take an internal temp reading? It should be about 190-200.

So please give us a little more info to work with.

Alvaremj's picture
Alvaremj

Thanks For the reply. My starter was a 3 stage build with about 12hrs between each stage. My house is about 65 degrees F and starter was active but not as active as my usual builds. (half rye half bread flour at 75% hydration)

I did an autolyse for an hour, mixed 2-3 minutes on 3 in a kitchen-aid mixer and finished the dough 10-15 minutes by hand.

I bulk fermented under a light (about 75 deg f) for about 2 hours, shaped and put into a loaf pan.

the final proof went for about an hour until it looked and felt proofed. The gluten looked like is was ready to break down on the top.

 

I was reading Hammelmans book and now think I should use a mix of the Hard White Winter wheat (white WW in the recipe) and Hard red WW.

 

What do you think??

hanseata's picture
hanseata

If the proofed loaf looked as if it was about to cave in, and then the flat dense bricks as outcome - you definitely overproofed. Did you go by the elapsed time? By the look? What do you mean by "felt proofed" - did you poke it?

What recipe did you use? If you are just starting out, I do recommend working with proven recipes to learn the methods. Then it is much easier to figure out what went wrong, if the result is not satisfying.

Karin

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

I use a 100% rye starter (100% hydration) and it peaks in 4-5 hours at 72° so as stated above, you are overproofing at 12 hours.  Build your starter twice before using it and only after building it over 10-14 days.  Feed weekly and store in refrigerator when not using.  Give ample time to rebuild the day before baking. 

The three stage process will really get them going if you do not let it go past peak.  My loaves almost double within 90 minutes for the final rise.  Thus a healthy starter will rock...

Also suggest typing in "starter" in the search box in the upper left corner and you will see tons of posts on how to best manage.  Perhaps try making this recipe with yeast and if you get good results, you will get great results once you master the starter.  If you get poor results with yeast, then its the technique.  Are you saying you use 80% hydration?  Use the search box to find "whole wheat loaf" and  perhaps follow a recipe that someone else posted...

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The only real difference is the color and taste. It is a matter of personal preference. Both have great gluten potential.

After the autolyse and mix, how did the dough feel on kneading? Was it firm? Wet?Sticky? Did it rebound?

How much or how little bench flour did you use? That can make a significant impact on the final dough.

When you did the bulk fermentationfor 2 hours, how did the dough behave? Did it rise to double? More? Less? How did it feel after that? Tacky? Sticky? Did you de-gas gently or knead a few times? Stretch and fold?

When you say it looked like the gluten was ready to break down at the end of the final proof-was the dough starting to tear in spots? Did you indent it with a finger? Did it rebound and almost fill back in or did it stay indented?

You'll get there.