The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First whole wheat loaf!

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

First whole wheat loaf!

It's only about 25% whole wheat flour, but I'm still kinda proud of it. I overhydrated the dough terribly as I usually do. One of these days, I'll manage to, y'know, NOT do that. :(

Crumb shot:

So this time, as I promised in my newbie post, I actually wrote down the recipe!

3c Unbleached AP Flour (Gold Medal)
1c Whole Wheat Flour (Gold Medal)
1/4c Vital Wheat Gluten (Bob's Red Mill)
2 1/2c Water
2tsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2tsp Salt
1 stick butter

I tried my best to knead it properly this time - I really did. I just really suck at kneading and I have sticky hands. :P  So I ended up kinda patting the dough out (because it was REALLY slack...) and folding it over with my bench knife (best thing I ever bought.) I'd let it rest 15-20 minutes between stretches and folds, which I think is what I was essentially doing.

After about 6 iterations of stretching and folding, I tossed it into an oiled bowl to proof. It was really warm in the kitchen, so it nearly doubled within about an hour. I took it out, tried kneading it some more (with a bit more success this time,) and then attempted to shape it. It... didn't work very well - I couldn't get anywhere near the desired gluten sheath. I figure I either didn't develop the gluten well enough (quite possible, given how quickly I went through the entire process) or it's just the "problems" of dealing with whole wheat flour (which I've read gives you trouble when shaping.)

Either way, I got it into a vaguely loaf-like shape, and tossed it in my cheap new basket with a piece of linen in it (hardly worthy of being called a banneton, but it works.) Let it rise for another hour or so (again, it was close to doubling at that point,) and then poured it (yes, poured - bloody slack doughs...) into the pan for baking. I glazed it with a beaten egg and a bit of water, and then sprinkled it with "Italian Seasoning" (probably an oregano/basil mixture - I buy it in bulk.)

I stuck it in the oven which was pre-heated to 550F and added steam. I kinda forgot to turn the oven down from 550F until about 25 minutes into the bake time... and I don't regret it! After 25 minutes, I bumped it down to 400F, and let it cook for another 20 minutes. Pulled it out, let it cool, and you can see the results above.

The loaf probably needed a bit more salt. I usually make a batch with 3c flour total, so I think I could've done with another 1/4tsp of salt or so. Lesson learned - I just wasn't paying attention. With that said, the high-heat cooking seemed to produce a VERY tasty crust on it - it was an accident this time, but I think I'm going to try a high heat for longer on other loaves. The crust itself is just a tiny bit crunchy - just enough to let you know it's actually crust.

Considering how slack the dough was and how I basically poured it into the pan, I'm shocked at how open the crumb is - I expected it to be flat and degassed from the pouring. I guess I got some spring out of it, but it's hard to tell because of how flat it was. I'm just glad I had a bigger pan with high sides prepared, or I'd have a mess in my oven instead of bread.

Next time, I might try using another quarter-cup of vital wheat gluten - and definitely less hydration (or the same amount of water after the extra quarter-cup of gluten.)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Got a smaller, narrower bread tin?    

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

Bearing in mind what I said below, this is actually a really good idea. There isn't anything really wrong with the loaf other than that it's fairly thin. It seems to have the structure to rise (based on the crumb) - just not enough structure (or too much water) to generate a good enough sheath of gluten to keep it in one piece when I've taken it out of the final proofing container. I might have to revisit this recipe if I ever actually acquire a bread tin, because the bread itself is fluffy, moist, and tasty.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

got this recipe but it has a few problems if you are making 25% WW bread and not laminated pastry dough.  The isn't any butter in WW bread and that much butter isn't good for you any more than brioche or croissants are.   Also, 1 T of VWG is plenty for each cup of whole wheat flour - none is needed for white flour.   I calculated with WW at 160 g  per cup and white flour at 142.5 G per cup, the VWG at 37 g per 1/4 cup you have 625 g of flours.  Calculating the butter at 20% hydration, (pretty much the American standard now a days) you have 24 g of water and the 2.5 c of water weighs in at 588 g.   You have a total of 612 g of water and a hydration of 98%.  Mini must have not included any weight in the flours for the VWG to get her 107%.  Hydration is still way too high even for ciabatta.

If you dump the butter entirely and cut back the VWG to 1 T = 12 g plus your 3 C of flours flour at 588 grams you would have a total of 600 grams of flour with the VWG.  Using a more typical 25% WW bread hydration of say 75% you would need 450 g of water or 1.92 C of water to make a nice loaf of bread with the salt that should weigh 2% of the dough flours, or in your case, 2 tsp of salt.

I think you will like the results better and if you want to add a T ea of butter and honey - no worries.  Your slack dough and flat loaf should go away - your problems you note will have vanished and you bread will be way healthier too!  If you have a tin you can use it if you want or you can shape it into a boule and place it in a basket after proper S&F's and fermentation before shaping.

Cut the water to 1.91 C, cut the VWG t 1 T and up the salt to 2 tsp use 1 T of butter and 1 T of honey with your yeast and flours and you will make a fine loaf of bread.

You only need to pre-heat to 500 F , say 45 minutes or 20 minutes after your oven says it has hit 500 F and bake at 450 F until the inside temperature is 205 F.  Instant read thermometers cost about $10 at BB and Beyond.  Use steam the first 12 minutes of baking then remove it. We use 2 of Sylvia's steamers which are loaf pans 1/2 full of water with a dish towel rolled up in them.  Bake the dough on parchment on a stone if you have one otherwise bake on parchment on two overturned jelly roll pans. 

Bake on my friend

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

with a finger method - with no aeration of the flour.  If I sift it or whisk it the numbers drop to 142 g for WW.   You know me. I'm a rather wild and no holds barred baker who doesn't much follow the conventional ingredient list but if you want to make some 25% WW bread you have to follow some basic hydration, salt and fat rules to get a loaf that looks like one and tastes like one.    After you get a decent loaf and and want to to mess with it, not that I do or would mind you, then I say be  happy and feel good about doing it . If you want to fix a slack, flat  greasy dough and get better at bread making then you have start somewhere and dumping a stick of butter sure seems like the place to start :-)

I'm going to do a 100% hydration 100% home ground kamut loaf pretty soon just to see if my KA will break after an hour or three of mixing it :-)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the water came out to 235 g the same as the other cup.  My scale may be weighing heavy though.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I even caught myself this time messing up.  My instinct says a fluid cup of water at room temp is 237g  (my converter was telling me 8oz is 227g which doesn't seem right) and a cup of flour is between 125g and 140g  so...

There are enough TFL threads with discussion over measurements and differences.  Most comparison problems involve volume measurements.  I prefer metric weights.  There are enough variables in ingredients without the added complication of cups but converting into weight is one way to trouble shoot.  The relationships become obvious.  This dough whether using light or heavy cups is hydration.  Too much but doable as seen in the photo.  So if you were baking and suddenly found yourself out of flour before the end of mixing, it would work.  It might be wise to play with the dough more, working in more structure with folds thru the bulk rise if you stick to this high hydration dough. 

If the flour weight and the water weight are close to the same weight, then it will start out as a batter.  The lowest one can go with the water would be half the weight of the flour (50%) which is a little bit dry for whole wheat and then add splashes until you like the consistancy.  So without a scales, that would mean use about two containers full of flour for every container of water and then add a splash water.  You would have to taste the dough to get the proper amount of salt.  

Whole wheats with little flecks of bran work better as "soakers" first, letting the bran soften for hours in the liquids with salt before adding yeast and other ingredients.  Then the bran is less apt to tear up the hard worked for gluten structure.  Try it and see how it goes for you. 

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

I'll admit, I'm making these recipes up as I go along. I usually look up a recipe for a starting point and to get an idea of how the things go together, and then kinda run off on a tangent from there.

I've mostly figured out the concepts behind hydration, the assorted flour types, what adding parmesan to a bread does, etc. (although obviously not -that- well...) and I'm just writing down what I recipe up to get a sense of how tweaking various things affects the flavor, crumb, etc. For instance, butter = tasty bread and really soft crumb, but you've gotta beat up the crust pretty badly to get it as crunchy as I like it. I just have this bad tendency to overhydrate when I'm estimating, and I'm starting to wonder if it's because I'm overestimating the weight of the flour (since I don't have a kitchen scale) - I've been using 6oz weight for a cup of flour, 8oz weight for a cup of water. By my (probably bad) calculations, that's 83% hydration.

And if you think a stick of butter is bad, look at my first loaf - I used 2 cups of heavy cream in lieu of the water on that loaf. ;)

All that said, thanks for the insight into how the bits and pieces work - I'll keep 'em in mind next time I start throwing ingredients together (and tweak the calculations I use to estimate hydration)!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but having a scale is really a great thing if only for calculating salt (by weighing the flour)  With a scale all kinds of relationships make themselves known to you.  Oh, not having a scale is fun, but it does help narrow the trial and error part when you can duplicate everything except one variable.  With cups, that is difficult.  A cup of water is 8 oz but a cup of flour is about half that at 4.4 oz - 4.7 oz

Cream makes great bread!

Epsilon's picture
Epsilon

A friend and I were talking about something similar (in an entirely different context) a few days ago. Basically, "If you don't know what's impossible, you can do anything."

I know "conventional wisdom" is "conventional" for a reason - I still like playing around with it, though. *grin*

I'll probably get a scale one of these days, but I tend to be lazy and not like measuring my ingredients too closely. Yeah, I'm a bad cook like that. :)

And the cream bread was amazing. It was like eating a biscuit made out of bread. I'll definitely want to try it again.

Thanks for the insight!