I set out to make what has become my standard 25% wholewheat rustic Italian loaf (blogged here) and discovered, well into weighing and mixing the dough, that I had run out of white flour. I had only 150 gm and the recipe called for 300 gm. But I did have plenty of wholewheat. And it was too late to stop and go get more. So I just made up the missing mass with wholewheat flour. Nothing ventured ...
The final formula was thus about 350 gm of biga at 75%, 150 gm white flour, 25 gm whole rye flour and 350 gm wholewheat flour, at a final hydration of 62.5%. So it was effectively about 40% wholewheat.
I generally knead this bread for about 6 minutes, and started doing so, and it came together just fine despite the extra wholewheat. But about 4 minutes into the kneading, the dough suddenly became quite sticky again. I don't remember that ever happening before, so I wondered, is that something that happens with high percentages of wholewheat?
Anyway, I allowed the dough to rise at room temperature for three hours then put it into the fridge overnight. Next morning I shaped a boule and put that back into the fridge for 8 hours. I brought it out while the oven was heating and baked at 220 degrees C for 10 minutes with a pan of water, then removed the water and baked for another 30 minutes at 200.
It came out far better than I expected.
I tried for the fan shaped cuts I've seen elsewhere, and they worked out well except that I think the loaf was probably underproofed, given the explosion.
The crumb was light and open and soft, and the crust not too thick, and good and chewy.
You can see that the crumb is denser near the top crust (bottom as the loaf proved) which along with the explosive opening of the crust makes me think it either needed to warm up more before going in the oven or else was just underproofed.
Anyway, overall I was very pleased and may now consider making loaves with a higher percentage of wholewheat in future.