The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Pain Au Levain with Wholewheat

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hamelman's Pain Au Levain with Wholewheat

This is yesterday's bake: Hamelman's Pain Au levain With Wholewheat. I adhered to the recipe, save for the levain which was pre-maturely mixed, Ripe but not sufficiently so. This lead to extended final fermentation. Dough was mixed at 7:00 p.m. and the dough was in the oven at 2:00 a.m!! I feel you, Tim (breadbakingbassplayer). i've also increased the hydration to 75% from 68%.


The flavor is nothing much to talk about, just an ordinary pain au levain, with a wholewheat twist to it, certainly not worth all the time spent in preparation and baking.


I stretched and folded in the bowl (a la Shiao-Ping) in hope of obtaining the open crumb i desire in this type of bread, but this dough was dertermined to defeat me all the way to the end.


I wonder whether (20% baker's)Wholewheat addition to the diet of a Rye-bread flour - fed starter and levain, caused a stagnation in the fermentation speed of the dough! Any ideas?


The Wholewheat is from freshly milled Pakistani (Chapati Type) flour. Rye was doverfarm's and rest is a mixture of bread flour, and AP.


One final thing, though, this is the recipe for two large Loaves. I decided to bake one boule out of it, so the resultant weight of the dough was 1.8 Kg, Technically a Miche.




Khalid


 

Comments

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

but still a very nice bread to watch. Yet I know what it means having great expectations on a bread and being disappointed by the taste. This is because you joined the bright side! :)


I wouldn't change the nature of a starter. Keep it constant and it won't disappoint you.

Syd's picture
Syd

The latest I have ever baked is at about 11p.m.  2a.m.! Did you go to bed and set your alarm? :)


I doubt the whole wheat would have slowed down the fermentation.,  If anything, in my experience, it speeds it up.  Unless of course you took your wholewheat out of the freezer (which is where I keep mine - prevents it from going rancid)  and miixed it straight in without first letting it warm to room temp. 


Perhaps you would have got a more open crumb if you had let it prove more.  Judging from the openess of the scoring (i.e. the amount of oven spring), it could have risen a bit more before baking.  Still, I think a nice result and although it could have been more open there is a pleasing regularity to the crumb i.e. there are no dense areas.


All the best,


Syd

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks Nico for the reassurance! I think it is mainly due to the fact that i bake high percentage wholegrain breads, that i find low percentage ones bland in comparision. i'll stick to my feeding for this starter, no changes.


Thanks Syd. Yes! i did go to bed at 11:30 and set the alarm for 1:00 for oven preheat! I won't do it again, though, i'd better bulk retard the dough and bake it 18-20 hrs later. Wholewheat was at room temp. Apparently, I'am not patient enough for sourdough fermentation. I can't comprehend having to wait 3 days for a bread to be crafted, it too much!


Khalid


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Khalid,


I'm joining up with Nico: "Welcome to the Bright Side!"


If you are in this predicament in future, facing a slightly green leaven, then you could increase the amount in your formula.   If the leaven is still in good condition, then increasing the amount of pre-fermented flour in the formula will improve dough performance, and give you increased flavour too.   Hopefully, you won't have to stay up so late, and you'll have more of a loaf that your taste buds appreciate fully.


All good wishes


Andy

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Andy! I will adapt by following your advice. I was curious whether i could use a stiff Rye stater instead of My White one to leaven my dough. Would it work? I've come across Hans Post here where he uses a Rye starter instead of his regular white one, and he got great results.


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Khalid,


Yes a Rye starter works wonderfully, although you are probably aware that I use a liquid rye sour, whereas I maintain my wheat levain stiff.


Just look at any of the posts on my blog for more on Pain de Siegle; it's been our bread of choice for some months now!


Alternatively, what you could do is use a combination of rye and wheat levains.   I've also posted on this.   Hamelman has a good formula too....of course!


Best wishes


Andy

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks for the advice, Andy! I shall try leavening pain au levain with increased wholewheat with a Stiff Rye.


Thanks

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Wow, You were like an owl who baked the bread at the time! 


I guess  fermenting the dough at cooler temperature may have more holes in the crumb.  I like preferment the levain in the refrigerator for 24 hours when I make multi-build levain with yeast water. I think the taste is good and more holes in the crumb. Although it will take more time to ferment it.....  


Thank you for sharing your experience, Khalid.


Akiko


 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Akiko!


Fermentig the levain or the dough? levain will become acidic when retarded, which i find detractes from the bread flavor.


 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I make Pain au levain starting with 16g raisin yeast water/16g KA AP and ferment it at room temperature until doubled. Then add 16g KA AP / 13g water in the dough, I put the dough in a refrigerator for 24 hours until doubled after mixing. Next day, I add 280g KA AP /180g water and mix and put it back in the refrigerator for 3 days until doubled. I don't put the final dough in a refrigerator. It comes out sweet bread with aroma of a little pinch of sourness. 


I saw one of  Japanese home bakers who use sourdough ( she made the sourdough using white flour and water only), She also put the levain in a refrigerator and make non sour bread, too.


Best wishes,


Akiko


 

wally's picture
wally

Maybe the starter wasn't up to snuff, but the boule looks just beautiful.  I've tinkered with Hamelman's different pain au levain recipes and I think the differences in flavor are really subtle.  They're there, but not something that jumps out.  Strikes me as if he played around with a good recipe and came up with some alternatives.


Nice bake,


Larry

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Akiko! Is that True? Could a levain left to ferment in a refrigerator make a low sour bread? I learned that Bacteria (which outnumbers Yeast in sourdough cultures by 1000:1) will also thrive more efficiently in colder temperatures than wild yeast. The result? sour levain, and ultimately a sourer bread.


Have i been misinformed? Anyone??? 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Yes, It is true. But I only use white flour though and I put it in a refrigerator after mixing the first levain that is fully fermented at room temperature and some flour and water to feed. If I use whole wheat or rye flour, It would be sourer.     I am making the sour dough? ( Japanese call it flour yeast) using only white flour and water. I fermented the flour yeast in a refrigerator after mixing everytime I feed again. It will take a month to complete the flour yeast. I am not sure if it will be non sour bread. One of Japanese bakers said that it was sweet bread from the flour and water.  She also said that she doesn't need to discard some flour yeast to refresh it.  My flour yeast is 15th day since I started it.  I smell lactic acid and flour when I got close to the flour yeast's surface.  I am just playing with the dough. I am not sure if I can make bread LOL
I better order the book to make it perfectly though. I have to ask my family who lives in Japan to get the book that will be inappropriate to them right now.   They are still in a bad condition.   I will post it when I get the book.


Cheers,


Akiko


 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you ,Larry. Do i have to refresh the starter at peak for the last 3 feedings prior to the levain stage? My starter peaks every 3 hours at 26c. It was a starter fed with the same flour mixture the recipe calls for.


 

wally's picture
wally

I would say yes, its probably best to refresh at it's peak. But if it's that active you could refrigerate it between feedings to slow things down a bit.
Larry