The Fresh Loaf

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Need Help with this recipe...please.

cooltubnoac's picture

Need Help with this recipe...please.

HI All!

I've been making all of my family's bread for years and I'm still a rank amateur. I started with Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes then moved on to Floyd's Honey Whole Wheat bread and now am using a mix of recipes. Bottom line bread just isn't rising that much. I end up with a very tasty but very dense loaf and I'm not sure where I'm going wrong. I am trying to make a very high protein bread using heirloom wheat.

3 cups whole wheat (fresh milled eikhorn) flour - I used to use Turkey Red but they won't sell the berries and I like to grind my own

2.5 c water

1.5 c hemp seed

5 TBSP chia seed

Combine in mixing bowl and cover with damp towel for at least an hour then add in the rest below

3 TBSP melted butter

1/4 c honey

1 TBSP salt

1TBSP yeast in 1/4 c warm water with a dash of honey - once it has bloomed up to the top of the cup it is ready to be added

2 cups chopped walnuts

4-6 cups of whole wheat flour until dough isn't crazy sticky (I used to use weights but the recipe I found didn't and I just got away from it so now it's mostly just a "feel")

I use my DLX Electolux assistent to knead it for 5-10 minutes

form into a ball and place in a warmed clay bowl greased with coconut oil and covered with clingwrap until it rises ~ 2x initial size

Then turn out dough and cut dough in half and knead it once on each side to form into a loaf

Put into 2 greased loaf pans and cover with clingwrap. Wait 1-2 hours - it rises some but not a whole lot.

Poke holes in loaves with toothpick and put in 360 oven for 30 minutes


Any advice will be appreciated. I make this recipe every week to every other week so can fiddle with it over time.


Floydm's picture

If you aren't adverse to it, I would consider adding some vital wheat gluten.  It is tough to get 100% whole wheat loaves to rise well without it, doubly so when you are adding almost four cups of of nuts and seeds to it. 

Good luck!

bpezzell's picture

Einkorn has weak gluten, and you're adding a lot of weight to it with all those nuts and seeds. It also loses it's elasticity if it rises too much, so maybe don't go for a doubling in the clay bowl. I'd suggest treating it more like a 100% rye or spelt bread, or try Reinhart's methods for whole grain breads in his book 'Whole Grain Breads'. 

carefreebaker's picture

Chia seed when mixed with liquid turns into a gelatin like substance. Could that have an effect? 

clazar123's picture

So are you saying that you are using a TOTAL of 7-9 cups of whole wheat flour (3 cups in the soaker and then 4-6 cups) along with almost 1/2 c chia seeds and 1 1/2 c hemp seed and only adding 2 3/4 c water? I have never worked with hemp seeds but WW flour and chia seeds are VERY thirsty flours.There is not nearly enough water in this recipe.  The stickiness you are experiencing are probably from the chia seeds soaking up all the water and no amount of flour will make that stickiness go away but will just make the bread dense and dry. I think you would  find that adding a lot more water and learning how to deal with sticky dough (like a rye  handling techniques) would give you a bit fluffier bread, esp if kneaded well in the stand mixer. I have also never worked with einkorn but if it has a weaker gluten molecule, as posted by bpezzell, then that may not be the right flour to use with all these additions without added help from some vital wheat gluten or other stronger flour.

Flour,water,yeast and salt will always make bread-but is it the bread you want? Work with the characteristic of the ingredients to get the loaf you want from them. Sounds like some further experimentation is on the agenda!

DoubleMerlin's picture

Einkorn is never going to give you the rise you want, it's no replacement for something like Turkey Red. And clazar is right, chia seeds and hemp seeds are going to make it overly sticky, hiding the true amount of liquid. I would suggest doing some sort of sourdough and doing a different blend of wheats. Keep in mind that high protein does not equal high gluten. Whatever your soaker is, with whole grains you'll get better gluten endurance if you have do it sourdough style. If you're going to use those seeds, experiment with adding them at different steps in the recipe. Also try an autolyze - once everything is mixed, let it sit 10-20 minutes before kneading.

As always, if your recipe isn't working and you haven't measured your weights, go back to the scale and do some hydration calculations. 8 cups of whole wheat and 2 cups seeds to 3 cups of water seems a bit off.

If you can get this lighter and to rise better, let me know - this sounds like a dang good recipe.

golgi70's picture

Your hydration is very low and that's only considering the wheat and water.  Add the seeds and its bone dry. I suggest making a grain soaker of chia and hemp (chia can soak up to 12x it's weight in water). Then hydrate wheat via autolyse. Mix in yeast and salt to develop then add soaker. i have no experience with that flour so I am not sure what proper hydration. Maybe look into some einkorn wheat loaves online to get an idea. 

Good luck


Breadbabe's picture

I'm a little late to the game here, can you stand another detail?  (Totally agree with not enough liquid.). Do I see that you are using only 1T of yeast to rise 9 cups flour? Maybe consider 2 or 2.5 T.

Since its been awhile, have you tried some of these changes? I'm curious how its working out.