The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Sourdough - Finally!

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Whole Wheat Sourdough - Finally!

These loaves may not look like much but they are my first successful whole wheat sourdough loaves.  Apart from the starter they are 100% whole wheat.  I knew that something was going right when I noticed that they were rising vertically rather than spreading horizontally in a sticky mess during proofing.  I want to thank everyone at TFL for all of the great tips: rice flour in the brotforms (lots of posts about this), use of vital wheat gluten with whole wheat (Thanks mainly to xaipete), and use of parchment paper under the loaves on the baking stone (Thanks mainly to SylviaH).



This was also the first use of my new brotforms and I used too much flour.  At least they didn't stick!



I caught the lame a little on one of the cuts, but better dough = better scoring so overall I was happy with the slashes.



Dense but yummy.



I just had to include a picture of my second to last attempt at whole wheat sourdough for all of you out there who are still frustrated by it.  Pretty nice UFO's huh?  Just keep trying!


What made all of the difference for my baking was making sure that my starter was strong.  I fed it regularly over a period of about four days in advance of baking.  By the way I used the Simple Sourdough recipe from Reinhart's TBBA with whole wheat instead of white flour.  The only thing that I had to change was the water content.  The whole wheat flour required more.


Thank you everyone, it has been a wonderful adventure!


Summer

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Summer,


I worked on whole grain sourdough for close to two years baking about twice every three days and I fully appreciate your achievements in whole grain baking.  My two cents worth of advice is that you keep close track of every little thing you do and write down what works.  I found that over time I would get careless and skip or abbreviate a step that I had previously learned and as you undoubtedly know by now, whole grain breads are not forgiving if you get sloppy or careless. 


Nice loaves, (nice frisbees, too)


Jeff

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Wow, "twice every three days!"  I can see myself going down that path, actually.  Good point about the note taking.  I started a document for keeping track when I read your comment.  It is funny how you think you'll remember the catastrophic mistakes that you have made because they were such a downer at the time, but like so many other of life's disappointments they fade with time...


Summer

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Thank you!  I was so excited that I was trying to think of people to call, but posted on TFL instead where I can be sure that there are people who appreciate the rewards of a successful SD making process.


Summer

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Whole wheat and I do not get along!!! I am struggling with it now..dense loaves, but tasty! Very nice oven spring.


Betty

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

If your posts are any indication, you are a really good baker so your version of "struggling" is probably my version of success.  Anyhow, I kind of like the dense texture with the flavor of whole wheat.  It tends to be very satisfying to bite into.


Summer