The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to make chewy 100% whole wheat bread

Yippee's picture
Yippee

How to make chewy 100% whole wheat bread

The person who receives my whole wheat protein bread prefers a chewier crumb.  Since this bread is already made with 100% whole wheat, I cannot increase the whole wheat content any further. Do you have any suggestion on how to make it "chewier" while not comprising the relatively airy and soft chewy characteristics of my bread?

The flour I use (Giusto High Protein) already has 14.6% protein.

I'm thinking about adding gluten to my bread, but have no clue how much to use...

Thanks.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Not sure if I'm gonna help here...but airy & soft don't go with chewy. 

To me "chewy" is rustic bread with a hearty crust, like an pain au levain or sourdough, or like a Tartine basic country loaf. Naturally leavened loaves are usually a little chewier. 

Are you using a natural levain? Maybe a bolder bake to get a chewier crust?

Is the crumb not chewy enough, or the crust?

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Cranbo:

I'm trying to achieve a chewier crumb, which is against the goals I've ever tried to accomplish in a sandwich bread.  My bread is 100% whole wheat with 60% sprouted grains, 50% of the flour was leavened by whole wheat starter and yeast water. 

I know, "airy & soft don't go with chewy", and that's why I'm scratching my head...

martusia's picture
martusia

Hi Yippee

You could get angry about that advice. I'm no expert but rather than adding gluten I'd recommend adding white flour to develop some more gluten. Around 20% I'd gess?

But I'm looking for a proper explanation from a WW expert.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Try soaking 10-20% of your flour weight of cracked wheat in an equal amount of warm water overnight, then incorporate it into the final dough. The coarseness of the wheat will add a really nice rustic, chewy texture.

Stan Ginsberg
theryebaker.com

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Your suggestion is much better than adding gluten, I'll get right on it. I have a few additional questions:

1. Do I use the 'soaker water' as well or it's not necessary because the cracked wheat is already well hydrated?

2. What dough hydration should I aim for before adding the CW and the sprouted grains?

3. I have both KA grain mill and grinder attachments. I also have a Vitamix blender.  In your opinion, which one is best suited to do the job of cracking the wheat berries?

Thanks much...

Elagins's picture
Elagins

hi Yippee,

1. Use all of the soaker water; most of it should be absorbed in an overnight soak.

2. Aim for your usual hydration -- 65-70% is about where I like my sandwich breads.

3. I have the KA grain mill as well and I use at at or near the maximum setting for cracking whole grains. As a size guide, I look for each kernel to break into 3-4 pieces and the bigger the pieces, the longer the soak.

S

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

whole sprouted wheat in there rather than cracked non sprouted  wheat.  You are already sprouting berries so just do 25% more and fold them in during stretch and folds.  I just love the chew they give to bread... plus the added benefit is that I have noticed that where ever a sprouted seed is in the crumb, there is a beautiful larger air pocket around it when it is baked.  Some of the moisture in the seed vaporizes making these holes.  So the bread comes out even airier than before but more chewy.  A wonderful combination.

Happy baking Yippee

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, TBM:

The wheat berries are already in the sprouted grain mix, why haven't I thought about increasing its %?!  This is definitely an option as well.  I absolutely agree with you that the moisture in the sprouted  grains contributes to the airiness of a bread.  It's a new discovery to me as a result of making this 100 %whole wheat bread and I'm lovin' it!

I've got to try both methods suggested by you and Stan and let the picky eater decide....

pmccool's picture
pmccool

If your current process produces an airy, soft crumb, maybe there are some tweaks to suggest that would affect the outcome.

Paul

Yippee's picture
Yippee

if I tweak it the wrong way, I'll sacrifice the good characters of my bread, Paul. My process is very simple: knead until gluten is well developed, then mix in the sproupted grains.  If you have any suggestions, please share.  Thank you.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

I have found that vital wheat gluten at a level of 2% of the total flour weight yields a chewier crumb with improved loaf volume. I generally use 70% stone ground whole wheat flour with 30% bread flour in my wheat bread. For a total flour weight of 18 oz., the amount of vital wheat gluten is 18 x 0.02 = 0.36 oz. (or about 3/8 oz.).

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Bob:

To prepare for this 'chewier crumb' challenge, I did buy some gluten flour from the market but haven't figured out how to use it.Your information has provided an important reference on the use of VWG.  Thank you!  Is there a difference between gluten flour and VWG? How does the use of VWG affect your dough hydration? And what was the most daring % of VWG you have used with good results? Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

different percents with 55% and 65% being the most common.  The way to figure out how much to use you need to know what kind you have.  if your flour is 12% protein and you want to make it 14% high gluten here is how you do it.

for 500 g or 12% flour you will have 60 g of protein to get it to 14% you need 70 g of protein.  If using 55% VWG you divide the 10 g you need by .55 = 18.  If you add 18 g of VWG you will up the protein of your flour to about 14%.  Since VWG is wheat flour you treat it like one for hydration.  Since you added 18 g of flour in VWG and your bread is say 75% hydration you would add 18 times .75 or 13 g of water to the mix.

Happy Baking 

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

High gluten flour is simply white flour that has a high protein content (greater than 14%). Vital wheat gluten is a high protein product that is produced by washing the starch granules from wheat dough. It usually used in amounts of 1% to 3% of the total flour weight. Use of VWG will also increase absorption by about 1.0% to 1.5% for each added percent of VWG used, so more water must be added to the formula to maintain consistency.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

for the calculation walkthrough, TBM.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

for the "chewy crumb" challenge... And finally, the grain mill is being put to use.

 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Made a loaf with VWG.  Ran out of sprouted grains, need to finish the rest of the experiments next week...

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

extra support:-) That is some spectacular rise for sure.  I'm guessing that less VWG may be better and the sprouted grain in the nix will deliver better flavor too.  Can;t wait to see the next round of experiments.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hey, DBM:

I read that you use wheat bran to feed your starter, but have you used it in the dough?  Do you think it would add some chewiness to the bread, too? 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

milled flour.  I sift out the bran to feed to the levain to increase sour.  Bran has a buffering effect that allows LAB to jkeep reproducing and producing acid.Most of the phytic acid is in the bran and this will cause the vitamins and minerals in  the whole grain to be bound up in salts so that they cannot be digested adn used by the human body but the acid in Produced by LAB also break down phytic acid in the bran allowing the minerals to be absorbed i the intestine.  The acid in SD also breaks down ad softens the bran so it less likely to cut gluten strands hopefully making for a iore lofty loaf and better crumb structure.

They used to say that insoluble fiber  (bran) was good for the bowels and reduced cancer but newer studies have shown that this fiber cuts the intestine walls just like they cut gluten strands, causing the body to go into repair mode more frequently which may lead to colon and bowel cancer.  SO it is best to bran the in the levain and let the acid really break it down rather than adding it to the dough flour where it won't be broken down by the LAB nearly as much.  

People used to think that yeast WW bread was one of the best choices  one could make for bread from a health point of view.  Now many think it is worse than yeast white bread since the the vitamins and minerals are lost and the bran is bad for you too.  But WW SD bread where the bran is is in the levain where it can be broken down and the phytic acid neutralized remains the best choice health wise.

Added bran to the dough flour would certainly change the texture but making it more chewy I'm not sure of.  Maybe.  I think If I wanted chewy I would add un-dried sprouted whole grains to the to the levain.  The sprouting neutralizes phytic acid ann makes them more digestible and the acid of the SD would further soften the bran but the extra chew and flavor of the while berries would stiil come though in the crumb.

Happy Baking Yippee

Yippee's picture
Yippee

How do you use bran in your feeding? Gram for gram in place of all the flour, or just for part of it? Could you provide a link if you've already had discussion on similar topic before? Thanks.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and sub the bran gram for gram with normal flour.  If there isn't enough sifted bran from that weeks bread bake i use some of the high extraction portion to finish of the build.  The levain loves the bran and it is 20% starch so there is plenty for the wee beasties to eat and break down.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

I'd like to give your bran feeding a try...

 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, DBM:

Could you elaborate how to apply the above rule in determining the amount of bran used in each build of the levain (at various hydrations)? Say, at the end I will need 400g of levain at 100% and 50% hydration respectively, could you walk me through the steps? Thanks much.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

would be 200 g each of flour and water including the levain (if you want to be perfectly exact) so if you want the starter flour weight to equal the first feeding amount of flour weight and you want to use a 3 stage build then you have 1 for starter, 1 for the first feeding, 2 for 2nd feeding and 4 for the 3rd feeding 1+1+2+4= 8  The rule of 8.  I usually just ignore the starter weight and use the rule of 7 but to make this perfect for you I will include the starter).   So 200 g of flour total divided by 8 = 25 g.  The starter amount would be 25 g each of flour and water = 50 g the first feeding of flour and water would be 25 g each.  The 2nd feeding  would be 50 g of flour and water and the 3rd feeding would be 100 g of flour and water.  Total you have 25 g each of flour and water in the starter = 50 g + 50g of flour and water for the first feeding + 100 g of flour an water for the 2nd feeding + 200 g of flour and water for the 3rd feeding = 400 g total  = 200 each of flour and water.

400 g of levain at 50% hydration is 1 for the flour (100%) and .5 for the water (50%) so 400 g /1.5 = 266.66 g of flour in the levain say 267 g and 400 - 267= 133 g of water  Using the same method as above 267 / 8= 33.375. say 33 and the water would be half of that at 50% hydration or 17 g of water (rounded up).  You get the same thing rounded for thew water by dividing 133/8).  The starter would be 33 g of flour and 17 g of water or 50 g total (you would have to have a starter built that way of just use 50 g of what you have on hand.  The first feeding would be 33 g of flour and 17 g of water = 50 grams and the 2nd feeding would be twice that or 66 g of flour and 34 g of water = 100 g and the 3 rd feeding would be 132 g of water and 68 g of water.  All total this again comes to 400 g ...... but at 50% hydration this time.

50 g of starter is a lot for me so i would probably breadk this into a 4 stage build.  1 for starter +1 for the  1st feed 2 for the 2nd feed,  4 fir the 3rd feed and 8 for the 4th feed.  So instaed of taking 12 hours it would take 16 and I would use the rule of 12 (1+1+2+4+8=12) to figure out the feeding amounts 400/12 = 33.33 g for the starter instead of 50 g.

Happy banking yippee

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

even though I used a different method. For the 100% hydration, I deducted the starter amount, divided the rest by 2 (half for the flour, half for the water) and divided that by 7 which gave me the first feed amount of flour and the same amount for the water. Then I doubled each for feed #2 and double the second amount for feed #3. 

The 50% hydration gave me more trouble until I started thinking in thirds. 1/3 is half or 50% of 2/3 so instead of dividing by 2 as I did above, I divided by 3.33 to get the total water amount. The total flour amount is double that. Then each amount, that of flour and that of water is divided by 7 to get the appropriate amounts for the first feeding. The rest is calculated as above. 

This works for 100 and 50% but would be probably next to impossible to figure out for something like 65% hydration. DBM method works a lot better than mine all said and told. 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

for taking the time to illustrate.  I really appreciate it.  

BTW, just bought a pound of wheat bran from the market, start building tonight.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

of the seed weight.  Commercial mills are very good at separating out specific parts or the grain and the bran you are buying has no other stuff on it.  When I mill and sift at home, I can't do that and just get the bran only.  So my 12-15% extraction what I call my bran is not pure bran.  It has some endosperm and germ in it.  I know that because my 85-88% extraction portion has those tell, tell signs of brown bran specs in it.

I've never tried this method of levain building using bran bought at the store and don't know if it will perform the same as my home milled and sifted version.  But you will find out.  It may be that you might have to put a bit of whole grain flour in the mix to simulate my bran.

Happy baking Yippee

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, DBM:

I do use WW flour as well in building my bran levain.  I'm very excited about this experiment, and I think you're a genius in coming up with this idea.  Thank you again.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

sour but couldn't prove it scientifically.  Doc,.Dough saw my posts and had the equipment to test the theory with his acid meter.  I think we were both shocked to see how much more acid was produced in the levain  and resulting finished bread due to the buffering effect of the bran and increased temperature.  He did all kinds if experiments and sent me a nice graph to show how  they came out.  I asked him when he was going to publish them here and he was going to run even more experiments first  So look for them in future.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

That's all I have to say!  As long as your method gives me tangier breads, I can't care less whether it is scientifically proven.  

 

A big thank you, a big hug, and a big kiss  to you!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

sourdough not sour is sort of counter productive fior me since I love the sour.  Sourdough bread should be sour and encouraging that is a positive thing in my book.  I am always a bit amused when posters here say their white starter, kept on the counter and fed twice a day has somehow lost its sour.  The answer to their plight is always the same - stop doing that and do everything the opposite and the sour will return!  90-92 F is the 2nd most important way to get more sour after whole grains and a bran buffer.  LAB love the heat and reproduce much more rapidly and yeast reproduction is restricted at higher temperatures -  so it takes longer for yeast to make the dough rise.... giving the LAB even more time to make acid. Thank goodness there is YW for baking where sour is not needed or wanted:-)  I know most folks don't like sour bread though, especially kids and yeast water is the perfect fit for them instead of SD and why the Japanese love YW - they love sweet bread. and it fits their tastes

Since amylase and the acid in SD make for the best whole rye and pumpernickel bread crumbs, you will really notice the difference using a bran levain for them too!

Happy baking Yippee.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hey, DBM:

Could you explain one more time how the bran works as a buffer? Thanks.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

commonality.  The LAB in your SD may be different than the ones ion mine.  There are many LAB and yeast and various combinations of them that can live together in a SD culture but generally speaking as the acid builds up as the LAB reproduce and do their thing in  the culture, the pH drops.  When it gets too low the LAB stop doing their thing and quit making acid.  So you reach a limit as to how much acid and how many LAB you can have in the culture.  What the bran does is act as an acid buffering agent, or neutralizer, for the LAB shielding them from the effects of acid and allowing them continue to reproduce more and make more acid than they could in a white flour culture.   So the LAB to yeast ratio, instead fo being the normal 10 to 1 goes higher in favor of the LAB.  So more LAB in the starter, levain  and dough to yeast means more acid, and more sour, in the final bread. 

In conjunction with higher temperatures for levain builds, fermenting and proofing can make for a sour bread that you still taste over the strong flavors of the whole graias themsleves.  Here is Ganzel's data on how temperature can affect the LAB to yeast ratio and their reproduction rates.  Low temps for a very long time, like how I store my rye starter for 24 weeks and higher temperatures for everything else done out of the fridge, is where the sour is to be found.  Below 46 F and above 90 F are the cats meow when it comes to sour.

Hope this helps

 LAB  
TempSF 1SF 2YeastLAB / Y
     360.0190.0160.0053.787
     460.0470.0430.0212.222
     610.1440.1500.1141.265
     640.1870.1980.1631.145
     680.2390.2590.2251.064
     720.3010.3320.2951.021
     750.3740.4160.3651.024
     790.4530.5080.4141.094
     820.5350.5980.4171.284
     860.6090.6720.3461.760
     900.6580.7060.2023.255
     930.6570.6710.05013.127
Yippee's picture
Yippee

It's crystal clear now! Thank you!  Who's Ganzel, BTW?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Debra Wink of course.  Here is the paper I was quoting from and much of the basis for what i do with bread along with DW and the other folks here.  Wish we had more scientific data to go on though.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC106434/

Yippee's picture
Yippee

26 pages!!!

 

DBM:

I'm so glad you had it all figured out for us!  Thanks for the math and science lessons on bread making!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

next weekend:-)