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Gluten Development in 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough

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parousia's picture
parousia

Gluten Development in 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough

Having aquired a Hobart A200, I set out to make some 100% whole wheat bread.

Specifically attempting this recipe of txfarmer with no success in a variety of ways.

After about 20 iterations, it was discovered that at least one factor in the preceding failures was not enough dough was being used(given  the 20qt capacity of the mixer) to achieve proper gluten development. The dough, if not large enough, merely gets rotated around the bowl.

Last night an attempt was made to achieve proper gluten development in a simple 71.5% hydration dough:

  • 2097g Whole Wheat(Wheat Montana - Hard White Spring Wheat)
  • 1500g Water
  • 150g    70% Hyd Whole Wheat Starter
  • 1 Tsp SAF yeast
  • 40g Salt(initially)
  • Mixed on speed 2 for 8 minutes
  • Fermented over night

Observations:

  • When the dough was mixed initially, it would provide a window pane like I have never seen before. I noticed that initially the gluten would not allow for a window pane, and when I would try to produce one, the dough would break off in clumps. When the salt was added the dough came together and provided an exeedingly stretchy dough that would stretch like silly putty.
  • After leaving overnight, and overproofing, the dough was mixed again but would tear apart until I added more salt. Then it came together again and would provide for a similar window pane as the night before. However, after resting for 15 minutes it would tear apart.
  • Having filled 2 pullmans with this dough, I took one emptied it and mixed it again, adding more salt. The behavior was the same. the dough then provided a window pane, but after 15 minutes it would tear and not allow a window pane.

Questions:

  • Could anyone shed light on the observations above?
  • Does warmer dough temperature impare gluten development/strength?
  • Why would the gluten give a window pane after mixing but fail after resting 15 min?

Thanks for ideas.

Crider's picture
Crider

Every flour is different, but when I do whole wheat, I mill it myself and have settled on about 80% hydration as the ideal. Perhaps your dough is too dry?

parousia's picture
parousia

When going any higher than 73% hydration, the does not hold together period though. 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

What stood out for me was  "broke off in clumps" and "stretchy dough like silly putty" . That tells me that there is breakdown of one of the gluten components (always get the glutenin and gliadin mixed up), leaving the really stretchy one intact. Salt helps strengthen these bonds but there is a point of diminishing return. Did the dough seem soupier when it got stretchy? Water is released from the gluten bond when this happens. I have had this happen occasionally when my starter (esp a WW starter) was not strong enough/fed enough or when the dough was proofed in too warm an environment for too long.

Developing the gluten in a WW dough (esp with grains like oats  in the dough) is very important but I also wonder if the large mixer is overmixing the dough? I do not have experience with big mixers but I have read that on this site as a consideration for the industrial size mixing of dough.

Also, WW does not take well to overproofing. It will deteriorate quicker than a dough made with AP flour, in my experience. I often do  mix my dough and then put it immediately in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight for panning and baking the next day. It helps the flour and bran hydrate but  it is kept at 40F. It usually rises almost double by the next morning as it takes a while for the dough to cool down.

Good luck.

parousia's picture
parousia

What stood out for me was  "broke off in clumps" and "stretchy dough like silly putty" . That tells me that there is breakdown of one of the gluten components (always get the glutenin and gliadin mixed up), leaving the really stretchy one intact. Salt helps strengthen these bonds but there is a point of diminishing return. Did the dough seem soupier when it got stretchy?

Leaving the stretchy intact...   good to know. This sounds exactly like what is happening.

Water is released from the gluten bond when this happens. I have had this happen occasionally when my starter (esp a WW starter) was not strong enough/fed enough or when the dough was proofed in too warm an environment for too long.

While my house was 70 degrees, it was proofed overnight for 10hrs...   and my starter may not have been strong enough.

Developing the gluten in a WW dough (esp with grains like oats  in the dough) is very important but I also wonder if the large mixer is overmixing the dough? I do not have experience with big mixers but I have read that on this site as a consideration for the industrial size mixing of dough.

I would not expect that it has been mixed to much as I had to mix it this much to get the glutent developed.

Also, WW does not take well to overproofing. It will deteriorate quicker than a dough made with AP flour, in my experience. I often do  mix my dough and then put it immediately in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight for panning and baking the next day. It helps the flour and bran hydrate but  it is kept at 40F. It usually rises almost double by the next morning as it takes a while for the dough to cool down.

The overproofing has been suspected and I will next try your mention of mixing the dough then letting it rise in the refrigerator overnight. I did measure the dough temperature after mixing and it was at 80 degrees, so I suspect that I will find similar results to yours.

Do you find that after leaving in the fridge and then shaping(do you completely degass the dough?) that you get a full double rise during the course of proofing and baking the next day?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It depends on where the dough is at when I take it out of the refrig the next day. If it looks like it didn't rise much, I will let it continues to rise for a while to get to double/almost double and then  pan/proof/bake. Usually happens when my kitchen is colder (winter) when I mixed it up or I used colder ingredients. If it looks like it got a nice overnight rise, I might just pan/proof (longer time) and bake. It never seems to require much de-gassing as my breads are denser and it usually degases nicely when I shape and pan. This is not like a ciabatta dough! Proofing can take a bit longer depending on dough temp and kitchen temp. If I'm in a hurry, I'll rig a cooler as a  "proofing  box" with a pan of hot water and the pans of dough.

10 hours in 70F with a possibly weak starter may be the problem. The yeasts aren't strong enough/plentiful enough to properly ferment the dough before the enzymes deteriorate the gluten. So,decrease the temp OR decrease the time but with WW you need a good, long soak to improve the bran hydration, so somewhere in there is a balance. It is always good to increase the strength of the natural levain.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Parousa,

You mentioned having trouble with txfarmers formula and I am thinking that you might try sending her a message and see what she has to say.  

I say this because I know she works very hard at getting her formulas 'just right' before blogging about them and maybe she had the same problem you are having when she first began experimenting with a 100% ww sd loaf.

I have baked all of her 100% ww sd formulas and they are favorites here and, because of that, I make them a lot.

One thing that I will mention that did stick out to me is your starter.  You are only using 7% prefermented flour if you are using a 170g - 70%HL starter.  She uses 15% prefermented flour which is double your amount and she keeps hers around 50 -55%HL.

Hope you figure this out.  I know it really bugs me when I can't figure something out but this site has really helped me out due to all of the info. here.

Janet

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

1) Try 67% hydration ration.  A wet dough will not have the structure needed for a high volume loaf.

2)  Extend the kneading time to 10-12 minutes or so.   The extra few minutes makes a big difference in development.

I also have a 20 qt mixer, and make 11.25 pounds of dough for 5 loaves at a time using 5 loaf pans, the max that will fit in my oven.  My recipe is largely whole grain - usually 75% whole wheat (and at times up to 30% rye which would be 30 rye% and 45% whole wheat), 25% white.  I grind myself and use all parts, so I have more fiber in that store bought flour which in theory should give me heavier loaves.  And I get good results which I ascribe to the few extra minutes of mixing as below.  

I notice three phases of gluten development (after 40 minute autolyze rest perior) : the first four minutes things mix will and gluten is beginning to form nicely and the dough has come together will.  Second phase looks finished, about 8 minutes total.  I used to take the dough out at this point.  Instead, I like the third phase: the dough gets lighter in color and the way it spins around the dough hook changes.  Hard to describe, but you will see a shift in the way it looks as it is going around.  The dough almost becomes silky and lighter in color due to oxidatinon by the mixing process which will give a lighter loaf.

Experiment, it will come.

parousia's picture
parousia

have you observed a maximum amount of time that your dough can remain in the refrigerator before breaking down?