The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Peter Reinhart's whole wheat hearth bread

Rach_S's picture

Peter Reinhart's whole wheat hearth bread

I recently tried Reinhart's whole wheat hearth bread. In the final rise period the dough seemed to really spread, as if it was too moist, even though I put it in a lined basket for shape. When I slashed the dough it deflated a little, and came out quite flat.


kmp's picture

I've been experimenting with Reinhart's whole grain breads for a while now, and I've had the same problem with the hearth breads.  One thing that helps is really keeping an eye on the final rise; it should be 1 and 1/2 times in bulk, not the traditional doubled-in-bulk.  If the dough over-rises, the yeast seems to be exhausted and I don't get much oven spring and end up with a dense loaf.

Of course, I can't seem to get this (or the multi-grain hearth bread) recipe to perform consistently, so I could be completely clueless.

gnowetan's picture

I've tried maybe 3 or 4 of Reinhart's recipies and all the loaves have ended up rather flat.  I've been replacing the Biga with a sourdough starter and was wondering if you had done the same.  Does it adversely affect the rise to replace the instant yeast with starter?

I'm just worried that my starter has lost its "punch". 

The breads TASTE great, though.

ahhoefel's picture

When I first tried Reinharts whole wheat hearth breads, I too let the loaves rise too long. They sank when slashed and got little oven spring.

When I give them a shorter rise, the loaves improve greatly. I found it helpful to time the whole process from the start of the bulk fermentation to the time I put them in the oven. This ensures that time I waste shaping and getting the oven ready is included in the total rise time.

Rach_S's picture

I think you may be right. Also, it was very warm in my kitchen. Most likely, I could have shortened the rise time. So with a shorter rise time your Reinhart breads have held shape?