Converting Reinhart's WGB whole grain recipe to higher hydration stretch and fold
I'm in the middle of attempting to convert Reinhart's WGB recipe for transitional (50% whole wheat) whole grain to a higher hydration bread, using the "stretch and fold" with overnight fermentation method from his Artisan Breads Every Day book.
I have tried the ABED book's method a few times now. But I have only tried that with up to 20% whole wheat flour. This book it doesn't have much detailed advice about adapting it to whole wheat or whole grain breads. I'm trying a whole grain "struan" type hearth bread with this method and the hydration percentage (80%) he gives for the whole wheat bread in ABED.
I'm hoping some of you might have tried something like this already, and can help me avoid any pitfalls I haven't anticipated.
I have steered back from the 100% whole wheat versions (a little too dense, and not enough oven spring) to a 50% white 50% whole wheat recipe. A recipe that has worked many times for me is using the WGB method of soaking grains and whole wheat flour, using cooked Kashi grains and a little rye flour and a little cornmeal in a soaker, and using my very vigorous sourdough starter instead of a biga.
But this WGB recipe is only about 61% hydration. The whole wheat recipe he gives in ABED is 80% hydration (I wish he gave bakers percentages in that book BTW.)
I have adapted it by adding to the soaker enough extra water to make total hydration in the final dough 80%. I also added about half of the "extra whole wheat flour" he adds in WGB when combining everything, and will add the rest of it as white flour when combining. I figure that soaking all the whole wheat flour will soften the bran better.
I added the extra water to the soaker this morning. I'll put the dough together this evening. I'm worried that this method and high hydration will be extra extra sticky. I think I can handle that; use Kitchen Aid for mixing and most of the kneading; oiled counter and hands for folding).
But will the high hydration make a freestanding loaf (raised in bannetons) too weak to hold up a dough with44% white flour, 22% whole wheat flour and and 33% grains?
I'm hoping that higher hydration will improve the crumb texture and also enable a higher oven spring. But will lots of grain weight defeat that?
I could add more white flour when combining the final dough, but that might defeat the whole purpose of the higher hydration dough I'm hoping to make.
Advice from those who have attempted similar breads would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!