The Fresh Loaf

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Problem with a crumb

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doronin's picture
doronin

Problem with a crumb

Hi everyone
I'm trying to make a 100% whole wheat bread, my problem is that while it looks nice, the crumb is too dense inside, especially in the center of the loaf. Nice medium sized holes appear closer to the crust, but none of them are in the center.
I use 13.5% protein whole wheat flour, yeast, 65-70% water, preferment (biga) is 50%. Turn twice in 50 min interval (temperature in the room is too high - hot weather), then, shape, proof 1.5h, and bake on stone ~50min on 220C.

What's wrong?

sonofYah's picture
sonofYah

Couple of questions.

Do you hand knead or machine knead?

Do you do the pane test with the dough during/after kneading?

Do you completely punch down the dough after the first rise?

Gordon

doronin's picture
doronin

Do you hand knead or machine knead?
- Kitchen Aid standing mixer, knead about 3 minutes in first speed while adding preferment in chunks, and then 5-8 minutes on a second. Sometimes I play with autolize, the dough getting ready faster, but it doesn't resolve the problem

Do you do the pane test with the dough during/after kneading?
- I don't succeed in that - I use fine ground 100% whole wheat (13.8% proteins). When I make it with 75-80% of water it's terribly sticky, and feels heavy, not soft at all, kinda heavy thick clay.

Do you completely punch down the dough after the first rise?
- I "turn" it twice, after 50-60 minutes, letter like, as described in many books, trying not to degass it too much (I want the holes), so the prinary fermentation takes, in total, about 3 hours.

sonofYah's picture
sonofYah

Doronin,

Sorry for the delay in answering. Just started a second job (part-time) at a local grocery store bakery. Unfortunately we don't mix any dough there. We use the bake-off method. Which is the next best method. But I get the experience of proofing and baking the loaves.

The only difference I see right off the bat from my process is I mix mine a little longer. But I am no expert yet. I also use a KitchenAid mixer now. Just picked one up at Wally World (Wal-Mart). A 4-1/2 quart Classic model.

When you mix your dough in the mixer, does it form a ball and start to roll around in the bowl? I learned this from going to a local artisan bakery and watching them mix up dough in a big Hobart. Same principle at home. Only on a smaller scale. You don't want to let it continue this for very long. But it seems to help me stretch-fold and shape the dough easier, even if it is a wet dough.

One sign that you have overmixed the dough is that it gets sticky and you can't add enough flour to overcome it from what I have heard. You just have to start over.

One thing you can try when you do the pane test is to wet or flour your fingers before stretching/testing the dough for gluten development.

Hope this helps.

Gordon