This bread is inspired by the 'Golspie loaf' recipe by Dan Leppard in 'The handmade loaf'. I always wanted to do a 100% whole wheat bread but they have a pronounced taste and I thought my main customer -wife- wouldn't be a big fan. Imagine my surprise when I asked her to pick any type of bread she'd like to have and she settled on this recipe. I modified it somewhat so I guess it's ok to post the full recipe which I followed:
- 50 gr. Sourdough rye starter at 100% hydration
- 100 gr. whole wheat bread flour
- 100 gr water at 21 centigrade
Combine, mix with a spoon and let ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours (I gave mine 14 hours at about 20 centigrade)
- All of the preferment
- 400 gr. wholewheat flour (I used a mix of 300 gr. fine flour and 100 gr. coarsely ground)
- 8 gr salt*
- 240 gr water, room temperature
- 50 gr (3 heaped table spoons) of cracked wheat berries, not soaked**
- 10 gr neutral oil for the baking tin
* Adjust salt to taste
** The broken wheat provides some crunch/extra texture. Pre-soaking is not required as it won't be integrated in the dough anyway, it just covers the surface. Make sure the fragments are quite small, though.
- Combine preferment, wheat flour and water in a bowl. Mix until fluid is absorbed.
- Autolyse for 30 minutes
- Add salt
- Mix at speed 1 for 5 minutes, then 5 minutes at speed 3, the goal is to give the dough an energetic kneading. The end result will be a soft dough that remains a bit sticky.
- Bulk fermentation 2 hours at 24 centigrade or until doubled, times will vary depending on the strength of your preferment.
- Take a cake form or a cake tin (diameter about 20-25 cm) , oil well, sprinkle in half of the cracked wheat and make sure the bottom and sides are well covered. You don't need a fancy tin, mine is just el cheapo aluminium.
- After bulk fermentation, give the dough a gentle fold, pat down and shape into a round form. Place into the tin and press down so it fits well and is of equal height. You may have to wait 15 minutes for the gluten to relax while doing this.
- Spray water on top, sprinkle over the remaining broken wheat
- Proof for about 1.5 hours or until doubled, if you use a 20 cm diameter round cake form the dough should come to about half when just placed in it and after proofing it'll be about level with the top.
- After proofing, take a sharp knife and divide the dough, cutting all the way to the bottom. These cuts will allow you to cleanly break off chunks after baking.
- Bake in a 215 centigrade oven for about 40-45 minutes (with steam for the first 20 minutes) or until top is well browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped (obviously only tapping the top is possible here).
- Remove from oven, unmould immediately (it should drop right out) and place on a rack. Allow to cool and rest for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
The taste will be that of a full whole wheat bread: a bit earthy/herbal/sweet. No bitterness at all and the sourdough comes through but in a subtle way. The crumb will be a bit denser than with a regular flour loaf, soft and quite moist. If you cut it the right way before baking it's easy to break of a chunk, slice that one open and slap on some cheese/vegetables/cured meat or fish, makes for a quick and very tasty sandwich. Despite the lack of any fat or sugar it retains moisture well and is ideal for carrying to work etc. First remark of my wife: 'This is good! Write down what you did right now (I often bake stuff that she likes but improvise with the recipe and can't recall exactly what I did a couple of weeks later) because I want this to return regularly.'
If you don't want to make a sourdough version or use a straight dough method I thin you can just drop the preferment and use regular yeast, adjusting hydration. Hydration should be about 68-70%
Shot of the crumb, taken with my phone: