The Fresh Loaf

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percentage whole wheat in a white sandwich loaf formula

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littlelisa's picture
littlelisa

percentage whole wheat in a white sandwich loaf formula

In my ongoing adventures with Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb, I decided to try one of the sandwich loaves. However, PR only presents a 100% white and 100% whole wheat in this book, and I really wanted to do a half-half. So did a  biga starter today using 2 cups white and 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, figuring I'd use the white sandwich loaf recipe and adapt it using around 40% ww flour. Any advice on this?

Cheers

Lisa

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Lisa,

You are very much on the right track.  Just be aware that whole wheat flour will absorb more water than white flour and proceed accordingly.

Jeff

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Take some time to read Rinehart's "Whole Grain Breads" to advance your comfort level with whole wheat flour. I'd suggest that you try to borrow a copy from your local library first to see if you want to go even further than what you proposing for your next loaf.  If you don't buy your own copy after reading it the first time, borrow it again in about six months and you'll see how much more sense it makes.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

WW needs a little different handling. The bran bits are not sponges-they take a while to get the water absorbed so make sure you build in an autolyse or long rise,however you get it in there. Make sure your dough is actually a little sticky prior to the soak and by the end ought to be the normal tacky not sticky. If you don't give the bran time to absorb the water before the bake, it will still absorb it after the bake and that is why a lot of WW loaves get crumbly.

I often mix my dough in the evening and then put it in an oiled,covered plastic container in the refrigerator until the next AM.It is always a little sticky and can transfer to your hand as you handle it. Handle with a damp hand.By AM, it has usually doubled or nearly so. I let it set about an hour or let it finish doubling,then shape,proof and bake.Works and tastes great.

littlelisa's picture
littlelisa

Thanks for the encouragement!

Here's the update - I refrigerated the biga overnight, then made the dough yesterday.PR's recipe (100% white sandwich loaf from Crust and Crumb) calls for 16 oz flour for the dough, so I used 5.5 oz of wholewheat to 9.5 oz of white. Thing is, I was using fresh yeast and dissolved it in about 1/4 cup of water, thinking the additional water would accommodate the absorbency of the wholewheat. Ended up with a very sticky wet dough, so added another couple of handfuls of wholewheat to get the dough to a happy consistency. Not very scientific about this, me :-)

Anyway, it was all happy - see results here:

It has a lovely buttery sweet wheaty taste - soft, light crumb inside and crusty outside. Very happy :-) Yay!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Very nice Lisa.  As you go forward, do not be afraid of wet and sticky dough.  While it can be a challenge to handle it can, at the same time, be the key to another step up in bread baking.

Jeff