The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Remembering How To Bake & Some Experimental Stone Ground WW Flour Loaves

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Remembering How To Bake & Some Experimental Stone Ground WW Flour Loaves

This Remberance Day weekend I have reminded myself of how to bake bread.  It's been a little over a month and a half since I baked.  Having the business transferred from my parents to me takes a lot more paperwork, legal and technical work than one would imagine.  Quite draining actually.  Now that things have settled down, I decided to tackle a challenge that I have had in the recent past with whole wheat loaves.  Those of you who helped me, know of my frustrations with higher percentage whole wheat bread attempts.  Looks like I was simply over proofing and over hydrating my loaves, trying to compensate for using stone ground whole wheat flour.  Man, that type of flour sure soaks up a surprising amount of water...Anyway, here is a whole grain multigrain levain along with an experiment using a poolish/biga in a wholewheat loaf.  I have to say, the levain sure has a lot more complex flavour, especially in the crust, but the poolish whole wheat makes a nice loaf for those times I don't have time to awake my starter.  Excited about fall time, I included a few local photos I took to get me in the rural, rustic bread baking mood.

The Poolish/Biga loaf with increased stone ground whole wheat

 

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

Welcome back John.  It's great to see you back baking and hopefully your business is doing well.  Very nice crust and crumb for your return loaf and that's some beautiful looking photography.

Regards

Ian

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Ian. Good to hear from you.  I have been yearning for Fall to arrive for the photography,...about as much for baking bread!  Hope you have not been traveling too much and baking more.

John

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

By the way Ian, would you have any comments specifically about the poolish crumb?  I am very new to this type of bread preferment (other than for pizza dough).  Are the irregular (many small, few large) holes an issue?  I ask this because I did have some odd issues with the loaf...even though it did come out pretty decent.

John

isand66's picture
isand66

I think it looks just fine and wouldn't change anything.  I haven't made this style bread in a while but it looks very nice.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

What  beautiful loaves.  Both of them!  Crust colors are sooo pretty.

If you are dabbling in higher whole wheat content I suggest getting your hands on a copy of Whole Grain Breads.

If I have already suggested this to you, I apologize for the repeat.  I forget to whom I have mentioned the book and I do recommend it often.  It is full of a lot of good information that will explain how to proceed and why certain things are done the way they are.  His master loaf is great as it lends itself to just about any bread you want to morph it into.

What is also convenient is that his formulas can be baked either with a biga or a wy leaven.  The format is really easy to follow.  Each step is numbered for those of us who need numbers to keep on track : - )  He is very home baker friendly.

Another good book that is exclusively whole grain is Laurel Robertson's Bread Book.  She is probably the 'queen' of whole grain bread as she has been at it a loooong time.  Her method, though, is not as up to date as the one in WGB and most recipes are written using volume measurements though she has tossed in gram measurements too.  The other down side is that most recipes use IY BUT all do convert over to using sd quite well.  (There are a number of posts here by Khalid and Txfarmer to verify their flexibility.)  She includes all sorts of things in her doughs - beans, dairy pro cuts, seeds etc and explains well the impact each has when used in a whole grain bread.  Her book isn't quite as easy to follow when one has their hands fully immersed in a batch of fresh dough.  No numbers to follow.  Written more like a book that has to be studied before hand.

Enough said.

Thanks for the beautiful pictures.  Love the colors in your countryside.  Do you live out in a rural area?  Looks very peaceful.

Take Care,

Janet

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Damn it.  Wrote a long reply and somehow it didn't show up except for the first 5 words.

Anyhoo...you remind me of how my few frustrations in baking are somewhat self inflicted.  I have never read a page of any bread baking book.  I have wanted to pick up a few but haven't gotten around to it.  I will keep those you suggested in mind.  Thank you for that.

I live in a very unique township.  Has both city and rural rich areas.  My front windows overlook the city shopping plaza 5 block away, and my back windows overlook neighbouring acreage farm homes.  I tend to gravitate to the rural more than the city.  I drive about an avg. of 20 miles a day all over the city for work so I am not aching for the city life...

Take care and look forward to your next post.

John

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

The loaves of bread and your photography of said loaves as well as the countryside. I hope the joy of baking and remembering has soothed your soul. You certainly have succeeded with the ww loaves. If you have time I would love to see the formulas or if you could reference where you found them. Although I have baked for many decades I never make ww loaves as they always seem to come out heavy. Your pics prove it isn't necessary to have that outcome. I would love to have a go at it and see if I can improve also. Thank you . c

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks!  Indeed it felt good to measure, mix, mold, and bake again.  Yes, these loaves are far from heavy.  No heavier than a sourdough levain.  I would be more than happy to share the formulas.  I plan on entering them into my computer this evening and will send you a message with them.

Take care and thank you for the kind words.

John

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

The tactile sense one encounters with bread baking is such that one can't help but feel a deep sense of satisfaction. You have commented previously about the stress associated with your "every day job". I am glad that you were able to take a break . I appreciate you sharing the formulas. One of the many lovely things about TFL….caroline

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Formula was sent to you in a private message Caroline.

John

varda's picture
varda

I'm not sure which one is which.   Sometimes taking a break, even if it's to do a lot of paperwork and legal stuff, gives the mind a chance to figure out how to do things without your interference (hope that made sense.)   Beautiful shaping, scoring, crumb, etc.  -Varda

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Varda.  Hope you are well.  Yes, you are right on that one, although I wish I could have done both.

I appreciate your comments as usual.

John

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

I think you haven't lost your touch at all.  Your loaves look beautiful!  Your photos have captured beautiful autumn in the countryside, too.

Great to know that you are back and baking again.

Cheers,

Annie

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Annie.  Happy baking!

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

WW loaves should look like.  If they taste half as good then it must be a stellar bread and the SD one has to be way more tasty too. It seems you baking rest didn't hurt your style any.  Well done.and

Happy baking.   

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks dee-bee.

The SD one was much better.  One loaf turned out a bit on the dry side, even though it came from the same dough as the other loaf that was not dry at all.

John

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Welcome back to bread, John. Your wholewheat loaves are lovely and attractive, with a beautiful open crumb. Your photography makes everything look so beautiful! Great job!

I second janet's book suggestions. You ough it to yourself.  money is getting in the next month so ill join the duty on 06 12 . get one of them at least, even if you don't bake anything from them ,the information contained about whole grains is so precious. 

Khalid

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you so much Khalid.  I am playing catch up on past posts here>  Hope to see more of your bakes soon!

Appreciate your comments and suggestions as always.

John

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Chèvre!

Very nice looking loaves and beautiful countryside. 

I'd second Janet's recommendation of WGB. I think exposure to some of PR's techniques would give you some ideas you would like.

Happy baking!

David

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you David!...I just got my wife into loving goat cheese...she despised it before.  Started with making her roast beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese with pesto vinegarette and she was transformed.

Take care and looking forward to your next inspiring bake. 

P.S.  You were one of the original inspirations for trying these loaves.

John