The Fresh Loaf

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Multigrain sourdough issues

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ernieS's picture
ernieS

Multigrain sourdough issues

I am using a sourdough recipe from a book called "Crust" that seems to be a good basic recipe that I have modified. 200g white flour, 600 g whole wheat, it calls for 680 g water, 20 g salt. I like a European style multigrain bread and I add a cup of rye berries (boiled to soften, then cooled) and about a cup of a combination of toasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Use a 12-16 hour rise, depending on the temp of the rise environment.

This makes a VERY wet dough that is difficult to work, but the worst thing is is spreads out and I get pancake-like loaves. If I try making the dough drier and back off the water, the crumb is not as nice and full of holes. I know this amount of seeds is working against a light loaf (which I don't mind!), but I would like to have a loaf that is taller.

Any suggestions? Spring form? Go back to less water?

Also, I have read that adding malt to the mixture help the last rise. Any suggestions there? (Have used this in making a "fuldkorn" rye sourdough loaf but not tried it with this recipe).

cranbo's picture
cranbo

How are you shaping? Are the loaves freeformed or panned? I have had better success panning these kinds of loaves in a standard loaf pan and baking them that way. 

85% hydration is high but not that high, especially when you have so much whole wheat. Sourdoughs naturally get wetter/more slack with extended fermentation; not much can be done about this, except for developing the dough strength sufficiently. Speaking of which...

How are you kneading? Machine or by hand? Stretch and fold? If you want your loaf to flatten less, consider kneading more intensively. Of course this will impact your dough texture and the openness of your crumb somewhat. 

No harm in adding malt, give it a shot. In addition to extra energy for the fermentation, it adds a nice earthy undertone.

ernieS's picture
ernieS

Loaves are free formed. With the wet dough, they collapse.

I am machine kneading, and I try to follow up with some kneading by hand, but the dough is so sticky and it is such a mess it's no fun to work it by hand.

The pictures in the book of the dough that I am making is a lot dryer, but from what I read in several sources, wetter dough makes for better open crumb. Also, I like the whole wheat and the taste of the other grains in the bread. BTW, I have a steam oven and bake at 400 deg ... maybe too low, but that's what the stove recommends. 30 min.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Try machine kneading for a long time. On a KA mixer, this means medium speed (speed #4) for 10 minues or more. 

Or as others have suggested, try stretch and fold.

Also consider panning that wet loaf, just to try it out. 

BreadBro's picture
BreadBro

Machine kneading a dough of that much hydration will take a long, long time to produce a good gluten network. With my high-hydration sourdough I use the stretch and fold method which produces a firm, tight dough after about 45 minutes.

ernieS's picture
ernieS

Bread Bro, are you using manual kneading, or machine? I think I am going to reduce the hydration a bit down to 75% or so. I was also thinking of going to manual kneading using the stretch and fold method. Do you think that will take 45 min?

BreadBro's picture
BreadBro

The stretch and fold method is actually the easiest and least work-intense way of kneading. Basically it goes like this:

1.) Mix your dough until it forms a rough, sticky ball.

2.) Fold the dough over itself four times (once from each corner). Form it into a ball, cover with a cloth and let sit for 10 minutes.

Repeat step 2 three more times, waiting ten minutes inbetween each set of stretch and folds. By the fourth fold, your dough should be coming together - smooth and taught. It will still be somewhat sticky, but definitely manageable.

 

Here's a good video from Peter Reinhart showing how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1timJlCT3PM

 

Good luck! Let us know how it goes. :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

at 85% it is either a ciabatta or it belongs in a loaf tin,  You still have to develop the gluten to handle the rise and proof but you will get bigger holes, a nicely risen loaf in a tin.  A loaf perfect for sandwiches.  What I usually do is develop the gluten with 15 minutes of slap and folds. a short rest then incorporate the seeds and nuts as you do the stretch and folds.  while developing the gluten further.  then into a loaf tin if you want big holes with this hydration.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

shapes hi hydration dough for bennetons in his last post, actually in the comment section,  He pre-shapes them taunt then lets them rest for 30 minutes and lets them spread and fall.  Then he shapes them very taunt for the benetton and refrigerates them 15 hours,  He bakes  them off, if they have risen properly in the fridge, 30 minutes after they leave the cold in the morning,  I do that too but mine don't look like his and he is using 100% hydration or more for his 100% whole grain breads and I am at 90 %,

 

Good luck and happy baking

ernieS's picture
ernieS

Thanks to all for the suggestions and comments. I have adjusted my recipe slightly and have learned quite a bit about handling wet dough. I'm going to try the slap and folds. Phil, the method you describes sounds too easy! :-) I will post new resuts when I bake next week. Still have a loaf to eat this week.