100% WholeWheat with Branny Levain
I bake 100% whole wheat pan loaves every week for my wife's lunchtime sandwiches. The initial formula and process came from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. But the good Br. Juniper's cumbersome "epoxy" method and profligate CY habit begs for simplification. My current alternative is soft, tasty, simple and seasonally robust enough to share with fellow Loafers. My wife loves it.
The principal departure from PR's process is the use of a single preferment that doubles as both levain and soaker. The entire formula's [One Degree Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat] flour is 55# sieved. Then all of and only the retained fraction goes into a day-long RYW levain. A pinch of CY is added to the evening's final dough. The pass-through fraction of the sieved flour is not prefermented. Sieving only takes a few minutes.
The active preferment may soften the crumb more than a salted soaker does. Addition of a tsp/loaf of diastatic malt darkens and enhances the flavor of the crust. We prefer White Gold Honey from WFM or Teavana -- highly recommended if you find most honeys too strong. RYW improves keeping quality as well. Minimal gluten development in the branny levain makes dispersing it into the final dough's milk a snap. Achtung: this loaf's extravagant bloom necessitates scoring, which was never needed with PR's original formula.
I now use this 55# retentate levain method for our 40% fresh-milled sourdough as well. Nihil sub sole novum and indeed, a certain Arizona Sorcerer has been known to ferment his branny sieved fractions. Not surprisingly, a middling/branny fraction is a very active fermentation substrate, especially when sourced from freshly milled flour.
Formula (5" x 9" pan) (click for working Google xls.):
1. ~24h before dough mix (night before), combine equal parts RYW and WW flour to build starter. Incubate overnight @ ~27˚C (80˚F).
2. ~12h before dough mix (morning of) : 55# sieve all flour and use all retentate for levain. Storebought WW flours yield 20-30+% retained 55# sieve fractions. ODO Sprouted Wheat consistently yields 31%, hence the formula above. Adjust accordingly for your WW flour.
3. Incubate levain @ ~27˚C (80˚F) all day.
4. Disperse levain into final (25˚C/77˚F) milk, then mix in oil and honey.
5. Distribute yeast through pass-through flour (optional: add 1 tsp diastatic malt).
6. Mix flour, salt and remaining water into levain-milk mixture. Pince, squeeze, knead, slap and fold until gluten development begins.
7. Bulk ferment ~60 min @ ~25˚C (77˚F) with a letter fold at 30 minutes. Should see some expansion (25-50%) by end.
8. Shape and pan (margarine-coat to prevent sticking).
9. Proof 40-60 min @ 25˚C (77˚F) until ~3/4" above pan edge.
10. Score and bake 20 min with steam @ 190˚C (375˚F), then ~30 min without steam at 175˚C (350˚F) until internal temp = 90˚C (195˚F).