The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with Wheat bread recipe

Foxmom's picture
Foxmom

Help with Wheat bread recipe

I use a very basic recipe to make sandwich bread.  When I use regular unbleached flour it always seems to turn out fine but when I try to use Whole wheat flour I have so much trouble getting it to rise properly.


3C      flour
1tsp    salt
2tsp    yeast
4tsp    gluten
1Tbsp honey
2Tbsp oil
1C     water


By adding the gluten and using half regular flour and half whole wheat I got a pretty decent rise but when I use just wheat then I just cannot get a good rise.  I made a loaf last night and when I was kneading it seemed to be doing well but then the 2nd rise just went nowhere, even when I left it overnight to see if it would eventually get there.  I'm not sure what I need to do to get it to cooperate.  Any suggestions/help would be appreciated. 

celestica's picture
celestica

Laurel's Buttermilk Honey Whole Wheat with Biga from this website.  It is a very easy recipe and when made with stretching and folding incredibly easy.  Great rise too and my kids love it.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

All purpose flour absorbs water like a sponge-quickly and easily- and then releases the starch and protein so that it forms the texture of the dough and bread. It makes a moist,soft texture.


Whole wheat flour has more than the starch/protein complex to absorb water-the bran is also present. The bran is a tough substance that takes a while to absorb water. If you don't allow whole wheat flour time to absorb water early in the dough making process, it will continue to soak it up during the rests and rises and finally in the bake it will rob the moisture from the main texture of the loaf. You end up with an essentially dry,crumbly loaf. So it requires some changes in the recipe and how it is handled but it is entirely achievable. Whole wheat is usually denser than all white flour bread-just the nature of the beast.I use about 4 c whole wheat and 3 cups all purpose or bread flour for a great sandwich bread (2 loaves).


When I look at your recipe, it is very similar in proportion to what I use. It could be you just need to use a little different technique. First off,you need to have water/flour in proportions that have you end up with a dough that is tacky-not sticky.The extra moisture will disappear/be absorbed with resting the dough and subsequent rises. At this point I rest the dough for 20 minutes,covered, to allow the gluten to relax. Then I stretch and fold-there are videos on this site that show how to do that-take a look around.I do this in place of kneading.Let it rest about 1 hr,covered and stretch and fold again.It should have risen some.Another hour-either stretch and fold again or shape into loaves,proof/rise and bake. I frequently make the dough on one day,refrigerate it and take it out the next day to warm up,rise and bake.Usually is a much better texture.


Also, make sure that your yeast is fresh and the liquids you add are slightly warm and not hot. Yeast likes a bath the same temp as humans.Have fun!

sybram's picture
sybram

 Would it help to soak the ww flour overnight?


Syb

Yippee's picture
Yippee

I have used approximately 1 TBSP of gluten to 1 cup of flour in my 100% whole wheat bread and it rises very tall.


Yippee

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

You mentioned the dough looked fine during kneading but it did nothing during second rise.  What about the first rise?  Did it rise to double in reasonable amount of time?  How long was the first rise? How old is the yeast?


I also agree with Yippe, I used 1 TBSP of vital wheat gluten for each cup of whole wheat flour.  I would also try adding salt as the last ingredent.  I don't usually put salt into my dough until everything is well mixed and the ball is formed. 


If you still have problems getting the dough to rise, try mixing half AP flour with half whole wheat flour to make a loaf.  Then gradually reduce the portion of AP flour until you are satisfied with the results.  Best of luck!



SteveB's picture
SteveB

Vital wheat gluten should not be necessary to produce a 100% whole wheat loaf with a light crumb.  See:


http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=177


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 


 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Mike Avery has also mentioned that vital wheat gluten is not needed to produce a light SD WW loaf.   I never dared to try it because I cannot bear to be stuck with a dense 'brick' for the upcoming week. 


Your double flour method must have something to do with it.  First the whisk and then the hook, could you explain the science behind it?  Thanks.


 


Yippee

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Yippee, it's no great secret.  A major factor in producing quality bread is proper dough development.  I've found the double flour addition technique to be of significant value when developing doughs in a home planetary mixer.  The thought behind devising the technique is discussed here:


http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=157


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

photojess's picture
photojess

steve, what would be done differently with just hand mixing and hand kneading?  I don't have a mixer, but would love to try your recipe.


Thanks!

SteveB's picture
SteveB

photojess, you should be able to get similar results by hand mixing using the technique shown here.  Compared to machine mixing, hand mixing might take considerably more time before the dough reaches the proper stage of development.  As in the case of machine mixing, the butter should be added only towards the end of the mix.  I should add that the dough will shred with the addition of the butter but will come together again nicely upon further mixing.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

photojess's picture
photojess

I couldn't get the video to play last night, but I did watch it today.  That's similar to others I have watched, although it's kind of weird- the slapping sound isn't in synch with the dough!  :)

SteveB's picture
SteveB

photojess, that asynchronicity is a bit weird... but then again, light does travel faster than sound!  :)


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

hullaf's picture
hullaf

I'd suggest the method in PR's book "Whole Grain Bread" by making a soaker of some of the whole wheat flour plus a biga to develop the taste, about a day or two ahead of baking. Try to get ahold of his book (library?) and take a look. It's a good way to get a feel for the hydration of whole wheat flour bread baking.   Good luck. 

AllenCohn's picture
AllenCohn

The amount of water looks low. As so many have probably mentioned, you'll get much better and more consistent results if you weigh your ingredients.


It appears you're using 15 ounces of WW flour and 8 oz. water. You'll probably want to use 10-11 ounces of water.


Allen
SHB
San Francisco

AllenCohn's picture
AllenCohn

Oops. You'll also probably want to use 1.5 teaspoons of table salt.

Foxmom's picture
Foxmom

Wow, So many helpful comments.  I haven't been baking very long so this is definitely a learning process.  I can't wait to try out some of this and see where it takes us.  Thanks so much!

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I've had a lot of success with 100% whole wheat breads using Peter Reinhart's recipes (100% whole wheat sandwich loaf) and SteveB's double flour method and SteveB's whole wheat recipe.  http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=177


I don't understand why nucleation sites remain after a homogenous dough is formed, but it does seem to work.  I even whip egg whites before adding egg to a recipe now.  I do get a light, very soft whole wheat bread.