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100% Whole Wheat By Hand: A Baker’s Workout

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GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

100% Whole Wheat By Hand: A Baker’s Workout

I was going for the “light and fluffy” 100% whole wheat bread that Brother David has blogged about, taking cues from txfarmer and Professor Reinhart (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22987/light-and-fluffy-100-whole-wheat-bread).   Having no mixer at our North Coast home, I tried to develop the dough to a windowpane by hand-kneading alone.  What I accomplished in 25 minutes of hand-kneading a dense dough (on Speed 2 as recommended) was a sore back and tendonitis in my elbow.  What I did not accomplish was a light and fluffy bread.

The formula is very nice.  The dough rose beautifully in both primary ferment and proof.  There was very little oven spring.

The bread is very delicious, and the smell was incredible.  I wouldn’t call the crumb crumbly.  It has a nice texture. But it isn’t fluffy and shreddable.  The flavor is so good, and the promise of fluffiness so compelling, that I will try it again. But next time it will be in SF, where the Bosch Universal Plus lives.

I do think I will undertake to make an exercise video someday called “The Baker’s Workout”.    It will feature this bread, along with a double batch of bagels, and a three-loaf bake of 100% hand-milled rye bread.  No grain, no pain.  Work it!

Glenn

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

While you may not have gotten the result you desired it looks like a little butter or cheese could find a nice home on a thick slice of this bread.

Next time you are without your Bosche I would suggest you go the S&F  route and let the dough bulk ferment overnight in the refrigerator.  I bet you would end up with a loaf close to what you were looking for.

Ian

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Yes, this is good bread.  We've enjoyed it for sandwiches and toast.

I may try the overnight ferment.

Glenn

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Glenn

 Nice to see you back posting!

Nice results, for 100% wholewheat. I like the crumb structure. 

As to a fluffier, higher rising whole wheat, you can achieve this easier by preparing a soaker and a biga, at least 8 hours prior to final mixing. leaving predoughs allows gluten to form and helps cut the final mixing time considerably.  On the other hand, kneading a 100% whole wheat straight dough requires a certain technique to develop. Firstly, you'll have to start with a fairly wet dough ( not less than 75% hydration). Secondly, you will have to aim at stretching away a chunk of dough at a time against the work surface, while holding the other end anchored to you, do this 3 time with each chunk. Remember, dough has to start out slack enough to be stretched easily, and can be sticky in the beginning, but will gain body and structure after few stretches down the road. Using this kneading method, a dough will take 15 minutes to fully develop and be soft and pliable.

khalid

 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

This formula does have a soaker and a poolish, and the formula has low hydration.  A different bread would, indeed, be different.

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your crumb actually looks less dense than the result you get following Reinhart's instructions. Pretty good for hand kneading!

I find that more intensive mixing, while yielding a lighter curmb, results in some decrease in flavor intensity. You may prefer that.

Khalid's kneading suggestions are interesting. When mixed by machine, I find this a rather extensible dough. I like the idea of a shorter mix with added S&F's. I hope I remember to try this next time I make this bread.

This bread usually has modest oven spring for me. My loaves have just a bit higher profile than yours.

This makes great toast. I like it untoasted with butter and jam, for tuna sandwiches, toasted for BLT's and with almond butter.

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks for the comment, David.  Despite the intensive kneading, this bread is very flavorful.  I am curious to try it with machine mixing.  I might also try 75% whole wheat and 25% white bread flour to see if it's fluffier without loss of flavor.

Glenn

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a little yeast water with the SD helps out the crumb structure a lot :-)  Still, it looks pretty good crumb wise after so much hard work.  I think Khalid might be on to something too - more water with S&F's will save the back some too.  It might have been Mini that said some sprouts or soaker will also help lift these heavier 100% whole grain breads too. 

If it tastes good then it was some nice baking.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Since Glenn is presumably nursing his sore joints, I'll point out that Reinhart's formula for this bread calls for both a soaker and a poolish. Reinhart suggests coarse WW flour for the soaker. I use bulgur. 

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

You can be my spokesbaker from now on.

I have actually been busy with work and haven't had much time for the interwebs.

Glenn