The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole grain

Peggy Bjarno's picture

The right grain for "whole grain sourdough"

February 28, 2010 - 4:01pm -- Peggy Bjarno

I am hoping that today I have finally perfected my sourdough -- we haven't cut into it yet, but it's been a long time a-comin', having experimented with a variety of tips, hints and suggestions in the sourdough forum. Let's assume that my sourdouch has all the right features, crust, crumb and taste, and now I want to make it into a whole grain loaf. Many of the grains that are added to whole grain breads have a sweetness to them that would overwhelm the sour that I've struggled to achieve. I wouldn't mind nutty, but it can't be sweet nutty, it would have to be sour nutty.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

This is a little out of order, but it will have to do.  Here are some pics of a 100% Hydration Whole Grain Muesli Bread that I baked on 1/21/10 in response to Vincent Talleu's post here:

I will try to post the recipe when I get home tonight.  The basic proportions are 95% WW, 5% Rye, 15% Muesli, 100% hydration based on the WW and Rye flours.  Enjoy!

Recipe: 2540g total dough weight

95% WW Flour - 874g

5% Rye Flour - 46g

15% Muesli - 138g

15% Raisins - 138g

6% Agave Syrup - 54g

10% Firm Sourdough Starter - 92g (60% hydration)

2% Kosher Salt - 18g

125% Cool Water - 1150g

3/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast


0:00 - Measure out and mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, place into well oiled plastic container and cover.  Dough will look like a gloppy batter.

0:05 - Cover and let rest (autolyse) 1 hr 55 minutes.

2:00 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

2:30 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

3:00 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

3:30 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

4:00 - Turn dough out onto well floured surface, divide into 4 equal pieces (635g each), place in lined baskets well dusted with coarse wheat bran.  Proof for approx 45 minutes.  Place baking stones on 2 levels in oven (top rack should be on the 2nd space from top, and botton rack should be on bottom space), place steam pan in appropriate place in oven, preheat with convection to 550F for 45 minutes.

5:00 - Place loaves directly on baking stones using a wooden peel (2 per stone), add 1 cup of boiling water to steam pan, close door.  Turn oven down to 450F, turn off convection, bake for 18 minutes, rotate loaves between the stones, bake for another 18 minutes.  Loaves are done when internal temp reaches 210F.

Notes: I used Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour, Arrowhead Mills Organic Rye Flour, Bob's Red Mill Muesli.  Also, I think I lied a little... The hydration is actually 125%...

Good luck!  Please let me know if you have any questions...


Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I've been looking at this formula for a couple of weeks now. The mix of rye and whole wheat looks so darn inviting! Even the starter is 50/50. Finally, I get the chance to bake it!

This poor loaf was doomed from the start. I was so excited about this formula. To begin with, I had to retard the starter because I needed more than 12 hours (more like 24) between the last build and starting my final dough. So, I did as the book says and added salt, put it in a cool place. (outdoors) Ok, so it was nicely domed and looks good at this point, we're doing fine.

Next, I can't get to the final dough until 5pm rather than first thing in the morning as originally planned. So, it's actually more like 30 some odd hours for the poor starter. But, it's still looking pretty good at this point. I start final dough, look at recipe and count hours. Looks like I'll be baking at 10pm so maybe I'll just put it in the fridge or outside until morning.

Nope, last sentence in the recipe says "this dough does not lend itself to overnight retardation".

This must be the first bread I've ever made that "doesn't lend itself to overnight retardation. Oh well, 11pm is about my bedtime so that's fine. I can still do this. Onward we go. My third fold is 30 minutes late (on an every 40 minute schedule) because I have a 7pm meeting. Dough is looking really nice, goes from unbelievably extensible on 2nd fold to nice and strong but still stretchy on the third fold. Hasn't risen much though, hmmm.

9pm, still hasn't risen much and it should have already been shaped? Hmm, not too sure about this. I go ahead and give it a preshape, make it into a boule. Put upside down in a steel bowl, covered with plastic. 10pm, no rise. I'm not baking it this way! I would be baking a brick! Ok, now what? Stay up until it rises? The phrase "this does not lend itself to overnight rise" keeps going off in my head!!

Finally, at 11pm I take a "drop dead" look to make the final decision. It does not look ready. It's going to have to rise overnight. My life is not revolving around this loaf of bread! I stick it outside the door to the RV on a table. Should be about 45 degrees tonight, it will be totally "retarded" by morning.

Wake up and it looks very nice, ready to bake! Yeah!! Now, bought new pizza stone for the camper oven last week. I've had some problems with it. Burned a couple of loaves of Eric's Fav Rye but I moved the stone up to the next shelf so I think I have that solved. Last nights pizza was "so, so" but I think maybe the oven didn't preheat long enough. Now I'm going to try putting a loaf directly on the stone for the first time ever. I put the corn meal on the peel. Carefully shape my loaf into a nice "torpedo". Slash with the best slashes I've ever made. I even garnish with some poppy seeds. This is looking really good. My fanciest loaf ever. (except my braided Finnish pulla) Getting excited now!

I open oven, put peel in. Loaf sticks. Grab pastry knife. Push loaf. It squishes up. Folds over. Plops onto stone in a squished up mound. I try to unsquish the mound and push farther into the oven but it's stuck to the stone. Oh no!! Well, Maybe best thing is to leave it until it drys out and unsticks?

Mist oven for steam, close door. Open door to check. Bread has stuck to the door. Crap! Peel parts of bread off of door, try to push loaf back a little bit farther by squishing with pastry knife again.

Alright, nothing I can do now but wait and bake. 30 minutes later, I smell burned bread. I check and have a perfectly scorched loaf, insides are 170 degrees. I flip the loaf over and turn the oven off.

After about 50 minutes, bring the loaf out. Cut off the bottom with a bread knife. How sad! But, let me tell you that this bread tastes so good! The best sourdough I've ever made. I'm glad I didn't retard it any longer as it would have been too sour but as it is, perfection! Very chewy crust, dense but big holes. Complex flavor.

This will be my "go to" everday bread from now on. Eric's Fav Rye will be our sandwich bread and Hamelman's Oatmeal Cinnamon bread is the one I will make for my husband's treat. I will use this mixed flour bread to practice, work on technique. What a nice bread!

Now, about that stone. I think it's going to have to go. It's just too big for my little tiny oven. Back to the old cookie sheet solution until we're back in the house. I think I'll try pizzas on the grill this weekend sometime. For now, I'm already building starter for two more of these mixed flour miches to take to my parent's house on Saturday. Scheduling when I will build/bake these will be a challenge as I'm working a 12 hour shift tomorrow. Why does work always have to get in the way of our important hobbies?

preacher1120's picture

New Year's Day Bake

January 2, 2010 - 5:43am -- preacher1120

Here are a couple of "brag" photos of my New Year's Day bake.  I'm a graduate student at the University of Toronto, so I won't get to bake very much until the Spring term is over in April.  I received Reinhart's new book, Artisan Breads Every Day, for Christmas.  I had been a tester for a few weeks at the end of the process. So, I took a three-day tour of several recipes.  I built up starter on day 1, made final doughs on day 2, and baked on day 3.  Thanks as always to you TFLers for your inspiration, education, and general joie de vivre.

Mason's picture

Reinhart: BBA vs. Whole Grain Breads?

January 1, 2010 - 6:45pm -- Mason

Hi all,

I have been baking (mostly whole grain) breads for many many years, but need to add some variety to the repertoire.  My sourdough is almost perfect, and I can adjust timing I'm going to buy one of Peter Reinhard's excellent looking books.

I'm tempted to buy the Brea Baker's Apprentice, but Reinhart's "whole Grain Breads" is also tempting me.  Which is better for an experienced enthusiastic baker looking for a deeper understanding and more inspiration?

Is there much replication of content?  Is it worth having both?

maurdel's picture

first pics i've posted

December 29, 2009 - 5:27pm -- maurdel

Well I've been on TFL for a while, posting a few comments, asking questions, answering the very few I might know something about, but mostly I've just been enjoying all the pictures of great bread craftsmanship. So I thought it was time I learned to post images myself.... just in case I feel something fantastic pops out of the oven.

Stephanie Brim's picture

The perfect rye for bread bowls (and spinach dip)...

December 17, 2009 - 11:07am -- Stephanie Brim

I need one. Not too heavy on the rye...maybe 20% or so. I prefer using stone ground whole rye as much as possible as it is the easiest thing for me to get where I am.

Going to search the forums and blogs, but I figured I'd ask opinions about what recipes *you'd* use before I go about choosing one.

velogrrrrl's picture

Hi from MI- searching for lo tech sourdough recipe

November 25, 2009 - 11:56am -- velogrrrrl

hello! i joined this site because i recently started growing a sourdough is all wild yeast (no packaged yeast added) and was made using pineapple juice.

it took a few weeks to get going, but now it is nice and puffy! it's the day before thanksgiving and i need to find a simple 100% whole wheat sourdough recipe. i've read a few on this site but they are tooo high tech for this noob. i don't know anything about % hydration or levain or retarding the bread :-(  any suggestions?? thanks soo much! :-)




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