The Fresh Loaf

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baking and feeding!

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lithmick's picture
lithmick

baking and feeding!

Hi All,

I m from Dublin Ireland I have baked years ago but am just starting back, I'm  interested in baking sourdough bread/ boule style and pullman loaves. I had lovely all wholemeal sourdough bread bought in a supermarket in Lyon last summer and thought I would love to bake bread like this really tangy and chewy. I have had not great success with all wholemeal loaves. I have a very active starter which i got and have been feeding for the last week I guess this leads to my first question as it was a small amount of starter i got i planned on buliding it up in bulk i have been feeding every day but not discarding any this may seem like a stupid question but can you overfeed?

And next any tips for getting a nice rise on all wholemeal bread? I have had great reults with 50/50 and similar ratios of white to wholemeal but wanted to see if i could get similar results with all wholemeal flour

Cheers

Mick

Ford's picture
Ford

Feeding once per day at a ratio, by weight, of starter:flour:water = 1:1:1 or 1:2:2, will not be too much.

Ford

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Yes, you do need to discard some, otherwise you will overfeed quickly. 

I usually maintain a very small amount of firm wholemeal starter, fed once per day, as follows:

  • 5g leftover starter
  • 32g water
  • 50g flour

It's the most sour starter I've ever had, tons of flavor. 

Search these forums for txfarmer's posts on wholemeal (whole wheat) sandwich loaves. Sufficient hydration and dough development are key for good wholemeal texture and volume. 

lithmick's picture
lithmick

HI Cranbo,

Cheers for the advice i will take heed and also will look up the posts, i baked some bread the other night the loaves didnt rise at all there was a reasonable sour tang to the bread but i m gonna get into a regime of dumping and feeding for a few days before i bake again

 

Mick

lithmick's picture
lithmick

Hi Cranbo,

I just wanted to ask about your starter so each day you throw away most of the starter keeping 5g and then adding  32 and 50 flour i'm just abit confused about what you written in your first mail.

 

Mick

cranbo's picture
cranbo

That's exactly right. Discard all but 5g of starter, add 32g water and 50g wholemeal flour, and stir till all ingredients are incorporated. (This means you're discarding around 80g of starter per day). Do this 1x per day. Store it out of the sun and at warm room temp (70-80F / 21-27C). Do not store your starter in a refrigerator. 

Repeat this with your current starter for about 7-10 days. In that time you should have a nicely sour, very active starter. 

lithmick's picture
lithmick

Hi Cranbo,

Thanks I just wanted to clarify that I ll keep on keeping on!

I ll be in touch thanks for your help

Mick

lithmick's picture
lithmick

Hi so i followed your instructions and baked yesterday, the bread turned out ok it felt quite heavy but looked ok when i cut into it the other thing was it wasn't very sour which is what i'm trying to acheive I followed your basic sourdough recipe.

I dumped the starter as you suggested and fed as per ratio, I then added the starter to some of the water and then the flour adn salt then mixed and kneaded and followed the folding routine I then put it in the fridge tuesday eve 10pm it was then taken out of the fridge at 1130am wednesday. I got to it at around 2pm and put it out and turned it a bit and formed into nice tight round and placed on a floured tray and left till around 530pm it had spread quite a bit by the time i got home I m not sure why but felt it would be too difficult to get into dutch oven so put it into oiled bowl and covered with flour I turned oven on full/235fan assisted let it get hot and then dumped bread carefully and slashed the top baked for 30 mins with lid on and then took off lid for 15 mins to brown loaf then took and placed on wire rack.

Any ideas on why it didnt end up sour and why it did end up a little dense?

Mick

I will try to post pictures when i figure it out!

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Hi Mick,

A few notes, first the denseness:

If you're using my "sourdough for beginners" recipe, it was originally designed for:

  • All-purpose or bread flour (not wholemeal)
  • Use of a 100% hydration starter (not the 64% hydration starter listed in my instructions above). 

Wholemeal flour absorbs more water than all-purpose wheat flour or bread flour, so you need to add more water to compensate. 

In addition, if you're using the 64% hydration starter that I mentioned earlier in this thread, this means you are using even less water in the dough.

The combination of factors will make your dough dry and dense. To adjust for both, you need to add more water to your final dough. 

I would recommend that you try the recipe as written before making modifications, especially when you're starting out, it introduces too many variables that you may not be thinking about. 

Second, as to the sourness, you may need to continue to feed your starter as I listed earlier in this thread for a few more days. Are you measuring the feed quantities exactly using a scale? This does make a significant difference. 

 

 

lithmick's picture
lithmick

Hi Cranbo i put some pics up on my blog the loaf looks quite good really but i m obviously doing something wrong

Any advice

 

M

lithmick's picture
lithmick

Hi Cranbo,

Its weird my starter is a wholemeal flour starter the loaf contained 90%bread flour ie strong white, i didnt take out the weighed amount of starter and add 100g water and 100g flour maybe this has ahd an effect. the loaf itself does look quite brown but maybe it needed more water as you say i have the starter in the fridge just to have a break! will take it out in a day or so and start feeding and dumping and will use only white bread flour in the recipe and ww to feed.

I have a digital scales so I have been weighing my feedings pretty exactly, the starter became quite stiff and dry but smelled nice and sour  and am sure was nice and active.What is the optimum ph for a ready to bake starter? but maybe it needed a few more days feeding

 

Mick

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Hi Mick,

Thanks for clarifying. 

You can try converting the stiff wholemeal starter I spoke about earlier in this thread to the original recipe proportions. Just save 10g of your wholemeal starter, add 50g flour, 50g water and you will have the 110g required for the recipe.

As far as the pH level, I've never measured mine myself, but a pH of between 3.5-4.0 for a healthy sourdough is listed in several references, including others' experience (see this pH of sourdough thread). 

The bread flour in your recipe should be fine. If you're looking for a more open crumb, try adding additional water. Generally the biggest downsides of having too much water in dough is that you'll get a flatter loaf, but the crumb will almost certainly be more open.