The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour 6-2-14

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour 6-2-14

Today's bake was Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour. This is one of a series of versions of Pain au Levain in Bread. I have baked all of them - several, like this one, many times. My favorite is whichever one just cooled enough to eat. This one was pretty yummy. Crunchy crust, chewy crumb. Complex wheaty flavor.

Pretty loaves, too, if I do say so myself.

 

I've quite a bit of discard starter accumulated, so, tomorrow, it will be pizza with dough made with the sourdough starter you are supposed to throw out when you refresh your starter. Poo Bah!  I say, "Let them eat pizza!"

Happy baking!

David

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Amazing Pain au levain David! Bloom, crust, crumb.. perfect.

The crumb looks dark for only 20%? whole wheat and 5-10% rye n the formula. I don't recall it being as dark. Maybe your rye is dark pumpernickel?

Khalid

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I usually use medium rye for this bread. This time, I used Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye, which is whole grain.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

baked too.  Love the cracked crust.Has to be tasty .  Well done and

Happy Bakling David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

Never fail to impress me. I'm teeming with envy over the consistent quality of your blooms. Is it really all in the scoring?

Beautiful loaves, David. Keep 'em coming !

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks!

A lot is in the scoring, but there is also good gluten development, shaping and proofing. And then there is a hot oven, baking stone and good oven steaming.

David

isand66's picture
isand66

Those are some beauties David.  Doesn't get much better.

Ian

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

golgi70's picture
golgi70

As usual.  Some serious spring you got there taboot.  mmmm pizza .  thats a good idea.  

Cheers

Josh

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Baking up a storm I see!  Lovely loaves again David.

 Love the scoring, color and shaping of your batards which brings up a question…How did you shape these loaves?  I am still experimenting around with a method for shaping batards but have not firmly settled on one technique yet.  Your loaves have a shape I am aiming for so any pointers are appreciated.

Thanks,

Janet

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For bâtards, I use Hamelman's shaping techniques. See pp. 62-65 of Bread (2nd edition). But a lot of the shape is a reflection of the brotform. I use a coiled reed brotform with a cotton liner. They are big enough to hold a 1kg loaf. These are 850g each.

If I remember correctly, the ones I have are these: 10.5'' Oval kasskonnen Brotform and Liner Combo

Happy baking!

David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thanks for the quick response.  You are the second person today pointing me to JH's method which I was about to try and now I have a good idea of how the end results will look. 

I use the same brotforms which does help shape but initial shaping does make a difference in getting an even oven spring and rise.  One of the techniques I tried resulted in very uneven spring - all in the shaping and how the air expands the dough - where the strength lies - even a good basket can not correct a lousy shaping technique.  One of the many lessons I have learned *^)  

Again, thanks for the quick response!

Janet

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Mindblowing loaves!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It's great to see you on TFL. You have been missed!

 

David

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Looking forward to the day when I can turn out loaves like this.

violetap's picture
violetap

It looks great!!! Can you share the recipe?

Thank you!

Violeta

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't have the formula typed out. You can find it in other baker's blogs by searching. However, this is from a book I highly recommend any serious bread baker have in her/his library.  An excellent investment in your breaducation.

David

violetap's picture
violetap

The Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The title is Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes.  Note that it is in a second edition.

David

Syd's picture
Syd

Beautiful bread David!

All the best,

Syd

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

v's sis's picture
v's sis

Your loaves are gorgeous!  I am wondering how you manage to get such a beautiful bold bake without burning the loaves.

Leah 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Leah. 

Thanks for the kind words.

How I get a "bold bake without burning?" 

Let's think about this systematically.

1. A hotter oven will result in a darker crust, if bake time is constant.

2. Increased bake time will result in a darker crust, but only if the oven is hot enough. The Maillard reaction which produces browning and yumminess is said to "begin" at 285dF, but it is inhibited by acid (Think sourdough bread) and by water (Think high hydration dough.). So, in my experience, to get a darker crust, as I prefer, the baking temperature needs to be over 450 dF. (Note that caramelization, which also contributes to browning, is a different chemical process.)

3. The trick is to get the degree of browning you want at the exact time that the interior of the loaf is also ideally cooked. I suppose the worst possible outcome would be a burned crust and a raw interior. Yuck! Let's call that outcome "awfulness."

Now avoidance of burning is just a matter of not baking too long at too high a temperature.

So, based on those principles, here are some "rules:"

1. In general, the bigger the loaf, the longer it has to bake. So, to prevent awfulness, you should bake a bigger loaf at a lower temperature than you would bake a smaller loaf. (But then you have to bake it longer to get the crust color you want.)

2. The thinner the loaf (Think baguettes.), the shorter the bake time. So, to keep browning constant, bake them at a higher temperature.  Baguettes and ficelles are one extreme, but this principle holds even for boules vs. bâtards of the same weight.

3. Wetter doughs need a longer bake, if you want the interior to be cooked and the crust to have any semblance of crispiness. So. you would bake them longer at a lower temperature than a lower-hydration loaf of the same size, so the crust doesn't burn. You might also want to let them dry out in a turned off oven for a while after they are fully baked.

4. Enriched doughs (with sugar, milk, eggs, fat, etc.) are a whole other discussion.

In the last analysis, there are lots of dough variables that require adjustments in time and temperature.  So, the above rules are a starting point. You have to approach any shortcomings with the principles in mind and make adjustments accordingly. 

For example, your bread looks beautiful, but the interior is gummy. Maybe you need to bake longer at a slightly lower temperature. (Actually, the causes of gumminess are many, especially with rye breads, but let's pretend ...)

For example, the classic French baguette is rather paler than I like and too long for my baking stone. They are typically scaled to 350g and baked at 450-60dF for 22-26 minutes. So, my baguettes are scaled to 250g. I bake them at 480dF for about 20 minutes, usually. I used to bake them at 460dF for 22 minutes but decided I preferred a darker crust. 

I hope this hasn't been TMI, but I want to assure you that the answer to your question is not "I'm magic." It's just understanding the baking process and applying that knowledge to get the outcome you want.

Happy baking!

David

v's sis's picture
v's sis

This is great information.  Thank you.  When you make a loaf like the pain au levain with whole wheat (or any bread, for that matter), do you begin with your oven hotter?  For example, I usually preheat to 500, load the loaves, add boiling water to lava rocks, and then lower the oven temp to the planned baking temp.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I do as you describe. My only twist is that I switch to convection bake and lower the temp 25dF when I am finished steaming the oven. Convection dries out the crust better, I think.

David