The Fresh Loaf

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100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Baguette

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louie brown's picture
louie brown

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Baguette

These are part of my ongoing 100% whole wheat projects, originally inspired by a photograph I saw here quite some time ago posted by Jane. I am unable to find the link right now, but I recall being astonished with the beautiful slices and Jane's unaffected, matter-of-fact approach. 


Over time, I was unable to produce a fair approximation of Jane's loaf:





This led me in turn to think about taking another step further and trying to produce a 100% whole wheat baguette. The ones pictured below were made from a dough of about 75% hydration using Bob's Red Mill flour. The flour was hydrated with the water but without the starter for about 36 hours. The final dough was given a series of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals, then rested, shaped, proofed for about 45 minutes and baked at 500 degrees.


First time out (not pictured,) the long narrow loaves did not expand much, so I chose to call them ficelles. This time, there was a little more surface tension in theloaves and I formed them to be a little fatter, but not much. I cut one to approximate an epi.





While I may try a baguette with more volume in the future, I think the narrower profile suits this bread, which has a very intense wheaty, nutty flavor, with no hint of bitterness. The sourdough is present as a deep, mellow background, not at all tangy. This bread is excellent with cheese.


What remains is to improve the scoring. In a sense, no scoring is necessary; the loaves will come up to fine form in the oven without any. But I have seen photos ofsimilar loaves showing beautiful cuts that nicely expose the grigne. It is just showing on one of the loaves pictured. Perhaps slightly deeper cuts would have helped.



Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

That is very good Louie, for 100% ww. Lovely crumb. I Love wholegrain breads..


Mebake

arlo's picture
arlo

The baguettes by the picture look wonderful! Nice work, especially for 100% WW.

calliekoch's picture
calliekoch

Those WW baguettes look amazing! I would love to have a more detailed recipe for them to try baking myself if you wouldn't mind sharing.


 


Callie

dsoleil's picture
dsoleil

Hey Louie,


 


Thanks for the inspiration.  I just made my first set of WW baguettes.  I believe they came out similar to yours.  I used a sourdough starter and did 5 sets of stretch and fold with the dough every half hour.  It really produces great holes in the dough.  The flavor was great too.  It seems from the look of yours and mine that the crust was chewy rather than firm.  I baked mine at 450.  I'm on the quest for the extra firm crust that shatters when you bite it.  Some of my baguettes were unevenly rolled and the thinner the roll, the closer I came to having a very firm crust.  Not sure if I need to bake it longer?  Make the baguettes smaller?  Any ideas on crust?


As a side note, I did two batches.  One at 75% hydration, the other at 80% hydration.  The difference was dramatic.  Both produced great tasting bread, but the 75% hydration held its shape better.  I have a set brewing right now with 70% hydration just to see the difference.


Pictures to come...  

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Thanks for the nice comments.


dsoleil, these did have a chewy crust. A good point. There is a good deal on this site about crust quality, so I won't go into it here, but I think that a longer bake after steaming would have driven more moisture out of the loaves, leaving a crisper crust. Covering during baking does that for me as well. Some like to leave the loaves in the turned off oven for a while. Do let us know what your efforts produce.


Callie, I apologize for not having a more detailed recipe. As a home baker with no science skills, I tend to be less precise than many would like. Anyway, it's a 100% whole wheat starter, and long-hydrated whole wheat flour and water, combined (with salt) to about 75 % hydration, and stretched and folded four times at thirty minute intervals, then preshaped, rested, shaped and proofed for about 45 minutes to an hour or so, depending on your ambient temperature. Baked at 500 degrees for about 20 minutes. 


If you feel you need a detailed formula, lease let me know and I'll make an effort to put one together for you that you can follow step by step. So many people have helped me be a better baker, I'd be glad to at least try to help you out in return.

calliekoch's picture
calliekoch

Thanks Louie. I think I can work from the instructions you give. Only additional detail I would like to know is how much starter you used in relation to flour and as a percent of the overall formula. Thanks.


 


Callie

louie brown's picture
louie brown

About 20% starter as a percentage of the overall formula, Callie. Good luck! I'm sure your results will be great.

dsoleil's picture
dsoleil

I just figured out my problem.  My oven was not baking at the temp it was set for.  New results to post soon...

dsoleil's picture
dsoleil

Oven problem fixed with great results.  Firm crisp crust and a flavorful creamy crumb.  Deep colored crust with an open airy inside.  Pictures to come.


It's great to see such excellent results with whole wheat bread.  Mine were at 75% hydration with 4 sets of stretch and fold at half hour intervals.    


So, the crust was flavorful and crisp.  Really excellent but let me throw a hypothetical question out.  What are the chances of creating a crust that will shatter like a white flour baguette?


 

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Looking forward to you pictures, dsoleil.


On crisp crust, there is quite a bit of discussion on the site that a search would bring up. I doubt that a duplicate of the "shattering" crust you describe is a realistic outcome, but you never know. Personally, I'm not sure I'd want it for this bread.