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obrien1984's picture

Whole Wheat Sourdough

April 30, 2008 - 3:13am -- obrien1984

For several months now, I have been baking whole wheat breads based on recipes in Peter Reinhart's latest book. For the most part, I have met with success.

 I am now attempting to modify these recipes to accomplish two goals: to eliminate commercial yeast from my breads, and to simplify the baking schedule (which includes using less equipment, making less mess, and adjusting the rise times to occur while I'm at work).

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've been absent from TFL recently, as work and home have eaten up just about every waking minute, and there have been far too many waking minutes in the past couple of months. I could have stood for a tad more sleeping minutes.

Nevertheless, a family has to eat, so I've still been baking. One thing I learned: Don't double the amount of salt in a bread recipe. I did this by accident, doing the math for 2% in my head and adding 20 grams instead of 10 grams. Not even the birds would eat this stuff. Yuck.

I have had some nice loaves come out of the oven, however. Last week, I made the same doubling error as before, but with the starter. I used a 40% innoculation instead of 20% for this largely white flour sourdough (I added 10% whole wheat). All in all, the loaf was fine, though it wasn't as flavorful as I'd have liked. Rose quickly though, and looked beautiful.





I also revived my rye starter to make a 40-30-30 rye to whole wheat to white flour loaf. I didn't add caraway, and missed it, actually.

Starter is amazingly resiliant stuff. I'd not fed it for months (probably three at least ... maybe even four), and it had acquired a nasty black crust that could have been mold, could have been hoochy gunk (the rye is kept at 100% hydration, but it's still pretty pasty rather than liquid). In any case, it started right back up and made a wonderfully sour rye loaf. The shaped dough stuck a little bit to the baker's linen, so I had to slash it strangely to incorporate the rip and avoid a blown out side. Turned out OK, though, in the end.



And, of course, I regularly make my standby overnight whole grain sourdough hearth loaf (60% whole wheat, 30% whole spelt, 10% whole rye. The secret to getting a good "grigne" I think is not to proof it too long. Two to two-and-one-half hours seems to be just about right.





Mmmmmm. Grilled cheese sandwiches on whole grain sourdough hearth bread.

marcsababa's picture

One stage sourdough bread made the best whole wheat sourdough bread !! But how can I make it a little less sour?

April 8, 2008 - 3:24pm -- marcsababa

I found this recipe here on the boards.  It was called Sourdough Guy's one stage sourdough bread.  I used the exact quantities given with whole wheat.  It requires so little labour and it actually allows you to soak your flour for long enough that I think it must meet the requirements of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, but it produces a loaf that is incredibly light.  I am so happy because I have been trying to make the healthiest bread possible out of wheat flour and yet I wanted it to be light for sandwiches and buns. 

 

Darkstar's picture
Darkstar

I have to start off by saying that this was a very rewarding learning experience and I hope to be able to articulate some of what I learned by making this miche.

So I had a weak moment on Amazon a few weeks back and ordered Reinhart's BBA and Whole Grains books as I've been wanting them for two Christmas' and a birthday but my wife and family never seemed to get the blatant hints. I read BBA first as here at The Fresh Loaf it is considered gospel. I found it to be a well put together, well thought out, easy to read book. Peter Reinhart's teaching style comes through very well and he made concepts like bakers percentages make sense to me after I'd read and had time to digest them.

Day 1: I started out three days ago by making a hardball pre-ferment with KA Whole Wheat flour sifted through a fine mesh strainer, sourdough starter, and a little filtered water. The hardball sat covered in a lightly oiled bowl for 4-5 hours at room temperature before I put it in the refrigerator to retard for the night.

Day 2: The next afternoon I mixed up the main dough by warming my hardball, sifting TWO POUNDS of KA Whole Wheat flour, incorporating that with the hardball and some water and salt. I mixed the dough and kneaded this behemoth for 10-15 minutes the stashed it in a large covered bowl to let it rest and rise. The dough was left covered at room temperature for around 5 hours during which it doubled in size nicely. Back to the refrigerator for the dough to retard overnight.

Lesson number one was learned here. I had never tried to hand-knead that much dough. Frankly I'm a slave to my KitchenAid but this was just too much dough for it to handle. I used a technique I learned from this site. Once I found it difficult to knead anymore I let the dough rest covered for five minutes. After it rested it was very pliable and able to be kneaded again.

Day 3: I hurried home from work to warm the dough enough so I could shape and bake it. I shaped the miche (large ball/boule) and let it rise on a bed of corn meal on my counter. Once it rose sufficiently I slashed it then used my SuperPeel to scoop it up off the counter and deposit it in my preheated, 500 degree oven on my baking stone. Two temperature changes, one 180 degree rotation and 70 minutes later I removed my first miche from the oven. Internal temp reached 208 degrees F and it thumped nice and hollow.

Lesson number two was that the SuperPeel did a good job picking up this large ball however it stretched it lengthwise a bit more than I'd have liked it to. It may be that I'm just new to the way it works and once I develop better technique I'll not have the same issue. Not a horrible thing but I think I'll stick to parchment and a regular peel for freeform loaves and leave the SuperPeel for pizzas.

This morning I could hardly wait to slice into it and examine the crumb and taste the bread. I thumped it again and it had resonance like a drum. I cut the loaf in half and inhaled deeply. I'd love to hear from others about this but it had the aroma of unsweetened cocoa powder! Two friends that received 1/4 of the loaf both smelled it too. It didn't taste like cocoa and I guarantee there was none in there. It was very strange indeed. While I'm sure this doesn't rival anything coming out of the Poilâne bakery in France it is my most successful whole wheat loaf to date, not to mention the largest. The crumb was tight but not dense, and creamy in consistency. The crust was thick and crisp and wonderful. I'm not sure I'd make this as a miche again but I can see myself making a 2 or 3 boule run of this bread. It was a lot of work to be sure but it was worth it.

Now, here come the pictures.

Miche on peel

4 lbs 6 ounces

Cut in half

Mmmmm...crust

Crumb

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey



Sourdough chocolate cherry bread has become a Valentine's Day tradition around our house. This time around, I reduced the chocolate a bit to make it a bit more manageable to toast (molten chocolate all over the toaster oven is a real pain in the neck) and used some of Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail Starter that Leemid was nice enough to pass along at the Oregon Fresh Loafers' Meet-up back in September.



Awfully tasty stuff.

For the President's Day weekend, I did a bit of baking, but was most satisfied with the whole grain sourdough hearth bread that I set up Monday night and baked this morning, which went very well with some chicken soup and a salad this evening. This time around, however, I forgot about folding the dough and so, just before I went to sleep, I remembered that I'd not done a thing with the bread, beyond hydrating it. Out of necessity, I jumped out of the sheets and did the "French Fold." It turned out very well indeed, flavor-wise, at least.



OFF TOPIC NON-BREAD PHOTOS AND CONTENT FOLLOW

Not that anyone cares about that, of course, but this is a bread forum, after all. Anyway, on Monday, I had the day off while my poor academic wife had to teach class. My daughter was taken care of at her school, so I had ... gasp ... a day to myself!

From my house ... well, actually, from down the street, you can see Dimple Hill towering over the valley, a bald hill that stands just five feet shy of 1,500 feet tall. It's probably not a mile from my house as the crow files, but if you have to hoof it like most mortals, it's nearly a 4 mile hike. And it's lovely. Until today, we had 5 or 6 straight days of clear skies and brilliant sun, which soaked all the way down to my bones. On Monday, I was itching to hit the trail.

I walked through the Timberhill Open Space, into Chip Ross Park, and then took Dan's Trail to the top. It's a lovely walk through meadows, old orchards and managed forest. It's not old growth by any stretch as it's smack in the middle of the Oregon State McDonald Research Forest, but it does pass by at least one old growth stand.

The scenery is nice.


But the view from the top is a real treat. Here's a view to the east of the snow-capped Cascades and the Three Sisters. Snow pack in the Cascades is about 190% of normal, so the sisters are all decked out in wedding attire.



To the West a view of Marys Peak, which, at 4,097 feet, is the tallest mountain in the Oregon Coast Range.



And right before me, Corvallis' little corner of the southern Willamette Valley.



The rain does get to me a bit when it goes on, uninterrupted, for weeks on end. But it sure is fun discovering what a beautiful part of the country I now live in.

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