The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% whole wheat bread

Recently JMonkey and tomsbread were discussing about whole wheat bread.

I tired to bake one loaf on Sunday with 80% hydration by using sourdough, it turned out great.

Thanks.

Jane

Comments

tomsbread's picture
Submitted by tomsbread on

Hi jane,

The crumb of your WW bread is beautiful. Great job! Would love to hear your opinion on the factors that determine such an open and holey crumb.

Tomsbread

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

My overall recipe (Inspiration from Tom and JMonkey):
Whole wheat flour 100% ,Water 80% (I actually wanted to use 70% but my dough turned out very dry and I kept adding water till I feel right which is 80% will try 85% next when I have more time) and Salt 2%

Total in g:
Whole wheat flour 1000g, Whole wheat starter (100%hydration) 400g – This is my first trial – will increase more starter next time to see what will happen, Water 760g, Salt 24g,

-Mixing and kneading (Laurel’s kneading method – I use quite high speed to knead my dough then I decided to shorten the mixing time to 12minutes)
-Bulk fermentation (I put my dough in refrigerator immediately after mixing – only 6 hours)
-I took the dough out next morning then I did a couple of stretch and folds
-Dividing/shaping
-Final fermentation
-Baking

My friends and I really love this whole wheat bread because it has great flavor, moist and not dense at all. I will bake this bread again. I like to use cold bulk fermentation because everything just fit in my schedule. Next time, I will try to use Nancy Silverton's method on page 83 for the Olive bread.

ivrib's picture
Submitted by ivrib on

That's a phenomenal looking loaf of bread.

Very nice.

What exactly is Laurel's method of kneading? And could you give up some details on how you handled the dough when folding and shaping it?

Ivri

mountaindog's picture
Submitted by mountaindog on

Your sourdough results are exquisite...amazing you got holes like that in a 100% whole wheat...I'm going to try your recipe next an compare it to the desem, and if yours tastes as good as it looks, it will be a keeper, as I'm not sure I'll have enough time to maintain the desem starter for the long haul. Great job on all your breads you have posted for us!

 

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Mountaindog,

 

You also bake really great breads (I always mouthwatering over your bread picture). Actually I want to do Desem but I don't have time for now (maybe I will try Desem later). your Desem look great. I just followed JMonkey direction to get whole wheat starter. I did fail to bake a decent whole wheat bread a while ago (very bad even the squirrel didn’t want to eat my bread). My friend also use the same recipe but she add water till 85%, so just remember to let the mixture sit awhile before kneading(you may need more water), I think it help a lot in my case. I also think what I did differently this time compare to last time is that I knead on high speed (it may help perhaps???).

 

Jane

demegrad's picture
Submitted by demegrad on

Your whole wheat bread looks amazing.  It looks so light in texture and yet dark colour from all the whole wheat is incredible.  I don't even know what to say.  You seem to also be quite a photographer.  I know you said this recipe was inspired by some other bloggers but you also said you use nancy silverton's book, is the whole wheat boule similar to this recipe?  And are you just using KA whole wheat flour?  I'm just asking because I must try this, if mine comes out quite as nice as your it'll be a staple bread.  

demegrad

http://www.demegrad.blogspot.com

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Demegrad,

 

Thanks. Yes the bread is quite light and my friends really love it. I learn a lot from all of you. I use the method describe above but I intended to try Nancy method next. I can not find Organic KA whole wheat flour in my area so I use Arrowhead Mills brand. I prefer to use organic flour when making bread (just a personal preference). Hope you will get a great result too. You may try KA white whole wheat flour first before KA whole wheat flour to see which ones will turn out the best for you.

 

Jane

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

 

 Hello,

I tried Jane's method of getting those holes in a whole-wheat bread.... with sourdough.

RESULT: Minimal success.

The first few slics in the bread made me sooo happy. (pictures below) But the rest of the bread was either dense or had giant bubbles in it :(

Also as you can see a little bit, the top (I forgot to slash it AGAIN) had big blisters on it, which (the blisters) kinda got too dark.

Oh...what went wrong??? :( :(

WWH1

WWH2

 

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Srishti,

 

Honestly, I failed quite a few times before I did get it right. You are doing really great job trying to experiment different method. I did a few changes. I use different mixer to mix my first successful whole wheat bread (I think my new mixer (DLX) help a lot). Then I tried using different speed on my mixer to figure out which was the best way to knead my whole wheat bread (I’m using pretty high speed on my mixer). I also did a couple folding during the dough came out of refrigerator in the morning before final fermentation. Dense??? Maybe not kneading enough because I also had the same problem before (I’m not quite 100% sure). Laurel also recommends “knead the dough for about 20 minutes, or 600 strokes, without adding more flour”. The other reason is your sourdough maybe isn’t active enough??? So far this is what I can think of for now. My bread is not too moist, just right (the way we like it to be). I use baking stone and BBA method to bake all my bread except soft bread, all came out the way I want to. Do you have any email that I can email you? I think Tom and JMonkey may have more ideas and solutions to 100%ww bread.

 

Jane

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

Hi Jane,

 Thanks for your detailed reply :D

I am kneading by hand. I think I should have kneaded longer. I kneaded it 12 minutes as you said you did, but by hand (I didn't realize you kneaded with the mixer!!)

So LONGER KNEADING REQUIRED

Also After getting it out of the fridge in the morning, I let it sit for a couple of hours before folding.

Maybe I SHOULN'T LET IT SIT AND FOLD IT RIGHT AWAY?

When I was folding it, the dough seemed pretty tough, like it could have used more hydration. Though last night while kneading it, it seemed pretty wet.

I think I should have increased the hydration!

My starter was definitely very active!

So maybe I'll work on the above points...

So, was that 40% of the flour weight for the starter?

Thanks a lot

Srishti

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Srishti,

I think longer kneading may required for your case.

Normally, I mix my flour and water first and then rest the whole thing for 15 minutes to get the right hydration; the whole wheat flour need more water especially people who grinding their own flour.

When I take my dough out from my fridge, I put in the warm place (on top of stove) for 30 to 45 minutes before I do folding.

You may increase your starter a bit just play with overall formula, I’m very sure you can bake really good whole wheat bread.

I hope this help.
Jane

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

Thanks a lot for your encouragement Jane!!!

When do you actually add the starter?

Thanks

Srishti

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Srishti,

I can not edit my above message because I need to add in few words plus need to do few corrections. Sorry for the confusion. I can not find edit button in my previous message???

For the whole wheat bread, I mix my flour with partially water required first then rest the whole thing for 15 minutes to get the right hydration, the reserve water (1/2 to 1/4 cups) will add to sourdough then mix with the dough and salt later (after 15 minutes); the whole wheat flour need more water especially for people who is grinding their own flour. Right now, I mix all ingredients together except salt then rest for 15 minutes before kneading(I'm super lazy), I'm more in this method because all my bread turn out find. Today, my whole wheat bread turns out just fine.

Jane

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

I have a question, Jane/JMonkey/Tom

When you try to make a high hydration whole wheat bread, hve you had any problem with too moist bread?

My crust was pretty soft by the time the bread was cooled all the way due to the high dough hydration... :(

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Thanks, Srishti

I think both of you are from India right? My grandma is from India too.

Nice to meet you all here.

Jane

 

 

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

That is cool!!! great to hear that Jane! Where do you live currently?

Thanks for everything :)

Srishti

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

I live in Madison,WI

Jane

Dutchbaker's picture
Submitted by Dutchbaker on

I started to convert my white starter to WW starter last night in hopes to bake Jane's WW bread this weekend.  Do you keep the WW starter at a cooler temperature between feedings?  I normally keep the white starter at 75 degrees between feedings.

Thanks,

Dutchbaker

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

My house temperature is around 65 F. I used JMonkey method to convert my starter. Hope you will get the result you want. Keep posting the result and see what we can do to help each others.

Jane 

zolablue's picture
Submitted by zolablue on

So do you mix up this entire batch of dough without doing a levain the night before?  Then the bulk fermentation? 

Does it take longer for WW sourdough to rise?  Anything else quirky about doing WW sourdough I need to know?  I'm serious, for some reason I must need "WW Sourdough for Dummies."  :o)

I'm trying to convert a bit of starter to WW and have fed twice at 1:2:2 per Mountaindog's recommendation.  I'm going to assume when it rises well it is ready.  (??)

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

I refresh the starter earlier during the day. By the night the starter is really active. (Since the starter is a large % of the dough, you can consider that as a preferment.)

And then I mix everything up according the discusion above and throw it in the fridge for the night.

Then the next is the bulk fermentatio, shaping, benching and baking.... :)

/it's really sinple when you do it once. Nothing quirky at all.... I am actually nervous when making the white (as I hardy ever bake with white flour).

All the best!!! 

zolablue's picture
Submitted by zolablue on

I really appreciate your reply.  I had read this thread over so many times and thought I had it figured out but you are giving me confidence!  I noticed your loaves are fantastic looking as well. 

If you can tell me, do you remember how long it took you to finish the process the next day after you removed the dough from the fridge?  Whenever I have refrigerated the bulk dough, rather than the shaped loaves, it takes FOREVER for sourdough to warm up and proof the next day.  I don't want to start in the early morning and still not be able to bake until late evening. 

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

I am glad I can be of help!

I make this recipe pretty much every weekend ( so you can call this my weekly bread :D )

I am telling you this because I like to sleep-in on weekends... So the dough comes out of the fridge 8- 8:30 -9:00 am.

I let it get warmed up for 1 -1 1/2 hours.... Then do stretch and folds every half an hour or 45 min. That halps it get warmed up as well.

So by 12 or 12:30 that is done. Then I let it sit for couple more hours. That would take it to 2:30pm.

Then I shape the loaved and let it bench for an hour. (3:30 pm)

and that's it. Pop them in the oven and they are ready to go...)

I prefer to make baguettes from this recipe. they are good :PWW BaguettesWW Baguettes

WW baguettes2WW baguettes2

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

Also this is in a cool kitchen... maybe 65-70.... I am sure now that it's getting warmer things will start accelerating...

zolablue's picture
Submitted by zolablue on

OMG - Srishti!!!  Holy moly those are gorgeous!  I'm so impressed with the WW baguettes.  Simply beautiful!

I must thank you again. You have really laid it all out very well for me to follow your instructions and timing.  I am so pumped about this now.  I was hoping to get to this today and finish tomorrow but I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon.  I wonder what would happen to retard the shaped loaves overnight as well.  I guess I'll just experiment but you have sure helped me get on my way with this.  THANKS!  (whoo hoo!)

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

I have thought about doing the whole process and shaping them etc one day and throwing the saped loaves in the fridgefor the night and just baking the next day. Never done it. But I am sure it will turn out great too. It's bread.... It will bake!!! :D

CAUTION... The baguettes can be a little tough on the teeth.... So proceed at your own risk :D

Though I prefer them chewy and crusty, but if you are not used to it.... it will be  different :)

Let me know how they turn out :)

Take Care

Srishti

zolablue's picture
Submitted by zolablue on

I didn't really care for the flavor.  Neither did my husband.  It had an overpowering flavor of sour and bitter.  Is that just the way WW sourdough tastes?  I may be one of those people who need white flour mixed with my wheat.  Also, since I've discovered the Hodgson Mill WW Graham flour I think I'm going to start using it exclusively.  It definately replaces a bitter-tasting WW with a sweet tasting one.  I didn't use it in this recipe, I used the KA organic whole wheat in the green and white package.

My bread did look beautiful however.  I put it in 3 brotforms; 2 oval and 2 round.  They did not spring very much in the oven either.  They were from 2 1/4" to 2 3/4" at the highest part.  No large holes either - more dense crumb but not bricks either.  I'm sure I would need more practice but perhaps this is not the flavor for me...?  I probably proofed them too long because I left for an appointment and didn't return quite when I thought I would.

Is this just the way to expect WW sourdough flavor?  What did I do wrong?  Yours and others WW sourdough looks so delicious.  Mine was not so much.  (boo hoo...but the birds LOVED it!)

bwraith's picture
Submitted by bwraith on

Zolablue,

I tried a WW sandwich loaf recently, and you know I do those miche recipes. I've found that you have to be careful with WW not to overproof if you want to avoid stronger sour flavors. I've found it works better to stop a little early, like when the starters and doughs have just doubled or a little less. Also, I agree with Srishti about spelt. I would also add that white whole wheat, at least to me, has a more bland flavor. I like mixing red whole wheat, spelt, and white whole wheat. You'll see that I did something like that with a recent blog entry on a WW sandwich bread I tried.

Bill

Srishti's picture
Submitted by Srishti on

I am sorry to hear that!!!!

many people really don't like the taste of whole wheat!!! (Maybe because they are not used to it?) Have you had any other 100%WW breads before?

I personally do prefer the strong wheat flavor! and I don't find it bitter but that's just probably personal preference :)

Before you give up I'd recommend you try a couple more things.

Try fresh ground WW flour. Do you have this available where u live? The health food store in my area carries bags of fresh flour. Also many Health food stores and some big grocery stores carry fresh flour in bulk bins. Give that a try. I have never baked with pakaged WW flour... Ummm... maye once or twice (for making chapattis or tortillas) and the taste was bad..... Whole grains have to be super fresh as they start going rancid within hours of grinding! Lately I have started grinding my own grains and though I haven't noticed a huge difference in taste (as probably the health food store flour is quite fresh, )it still gives me a lot of satisfaction to grind my own wheat, etc as I know it the best I can get.

Secondly, try Whole Spelt flour. The flavor is so nutty. and not bitter (keep fresh gound in mind). And Spelt doesn't need much kneading, woo hoo :D. The gluten in spelt is different and it breaks easily if you overknead it. So only a little kneading required. The other good point abput spelt is that, to me it seems, it is much more fluffier... spongier... It should give you bigger holes. and bigger rise.

Talking about the holes.... Don't expect those giant holes in whole wheat as you can get in white... When I make boules etc out of this recipe I really barely get any holes...The bran in WW cuts the gluten. The baguettes give me better luck with holes as it is so much less mass of dough (maybe). But I haven't yet achieved those big holes in Jane's pictures yet. :-(

But hey, It's not all about holes..... I love the taste and I know it's the best bread (a sourdough whole wheat!)

But, if you can't stand the taste, that's OK... :)

But before you give up... I highly recommend the dinkelbrot and Kartoffelbrot (search for these on this website) by bwraith. They are sooooo good and flavourful.... U would be a fan of spelt!!!!!

Keep me posted

Srishti

JMonkey's picture
Submitted by JMonkey on

Contrary to what I said in my ancient sourdough lesson, I'm now pretty sure that you'll get a less sour flavor if you use a stiffer starter (about 60% hydration) and let it rise at a fairly cool temperature -- between 60-70 degrees F.

The flavor of the Desem bread I make is neither bitter, nor especially sour, though there's certainly a lot of flavor.

I also second what Srishti said about the freshness of the flour. With bagged flour, I've had the best luck with KAF whole wheat, myself.

bwraith's picture
Submitted by bwraith on

Hi JMonkey,

I think I've had more sour results from running the fermentations at warm temperatures above 80F and from running them a little too long. Given the research that's been done on activity levels (been reading some papers lately) as a function of temperature, I think there's a good argument that you could get more sour results from running fermentations at temperatures below 65F or above 80F, and less sour results by using fermentations around 70F.

Bill

zolablue's picture
Submitted by zolablue on

If I understand you to say the batter starter may be more sour.  I have just created this and used it to make the WW starter.  And I also used it, in white form, to bake some Columbia loaves.  I swear all of that bread had a more sour flavor than my normal stiff-starter breads.  Maybe you just mean for this WW sourdough stuff.  I did ferment all this in about 70 degree temps.

Bill, my doughs were not quite doubled.  So maybe it was not overproofing at all.  I tell ya, I'm so stumped on proofing issues.  @%$@%$#@!!!  ....;^D

Srishti - I will not give up so easily although it was discouraging.  I have been told I need to be able to have more failures and not expect everything must turn out perfect.  And, for sure, it does not but I really wanted this to be right. 

I have not checked into freshly ground flour but will see if I can find it here.  I did use freshly purchased organic WW flour and I always store them in my freezer so they don't get bad.  Still, I'm sure you have a good point about that from what I read here. 

Oh, Bill, I forgot to mention, I tried making a sandwich loaf using white whole wheat and I thought that stuff tasted nasty!  LOL.  Seriously, I was expecting something else entirely but it sure didn't seem to have much good flavor so I will not buy that again and may just toss the bag.

I need to order spelt and a few others.  Still, I think next time I try the 100% WW it will be with my favorite graham flour.  That should prove to be really good I'll bet!

bwraith's picture
Submitted by bwraith on

Hi Zolablue,

I think a lot of the sour flavor issues revolve around how ripe the "recipe starter" and then the dough is. Basically, in various whole wheat recipes I've done, I've used firm starters that I built by allowing a fairly firm unsalted dough to rise by double. I think a firm dough is less fermented when it rises by double than a 100% starter would be when it has risen by double, especially if it's whole grain. So, for the same amount of flour contributed by the starter, it would be less sour for that reason. Also, running all the fermentations at 70-75F or so, means that the gas production from the yeast is maximized relative to the sour flavors coming from the Lactobacillus, since those are temperatures where the ratio of yeast activity to Lactobacillus activity is higher. I had good flavor results also from a long fermentation starting at a very low amount of starter percentage.

White whole wheat tastes bland all by itself to me. However, if you mix it with red whole wheat and spelt, I think the flavor that results is good. For whatever reason, I prefer an equal mixture of white WW, red WW, and spelt.

I also find that the sour flavors are less intense when the firm starters are built with mostly spelt or white whole wheat and less red whole wheat.

Bill

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

Hi Jane,

Thanks for the instructions. Finally I was able to make a loaf of bread that tasted good!

I took pictures of my loafs made using your instructions.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3719/ww-holes

I really appreciate you taking the time to explain how to make your bread. Since I've been trying for months to make a good tasting 100% whole wheat sourdough. So that my wife and baby can enjoy good bread. 

It was very frustrating. So now I am happy. 

thanks,

Gumby 

davec's picture
Submitted by davec on

I am still frustrated at my attempts to make real whole wheat bread using a sourdough starter.  This thread is a sample of what frustrates me.  The first post says Jane made a bread, the replies say, thanks for posting your instructions.  Nowhere can I find the instructions, and Jane does not appear to have a blog.

Can someone post a link to Jane's recipe and instructions?

Thanks,

Dave