The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem with YW SD 100% wholewheat sandwich bread

CeciC's picture

Problem with YW SD 100% wholewheat sandwich bread

The Recipe I used is below

Liquid levain 210G (100%)
Kefir Milk 180G
Olive Oil 30G
Honey 30G
Wholewheat Bread Flour 320G

Yield 8 X 4" Pullman Loaf Pan 680G Dough

I mixed the Levain with Milk then Autolyse everything for 30minutes

knead the dough, it was so tight that it was more like a stone. I added a few splash of water, it started to have some extensbility.

I gave it 2 stretch n fold in an hour mark. total fermentation time 6 hours @ around 18C which is judged by finger poke test. 

A second proof of 2hours at around 24C 

I am not sure which causes that problem, whether the dough is too dry or the bulk fermentation timing isnt right?

Is there anyway that I can bake with sourdough and achieve a shorter bulk fermentation like 2 hours at 24C and have it second proof in the fridge for 8 hours and bake it first thing in the morning? 

Mebake's picture

Hi, Ceci

I've calculated your dough's hydration level, and it is roughly 73%, which is soft enough for whole wheat breads. You're wholewheat bread flour may have a high protein content which absorbs lots of water, but you've added more water so that makes your dough plenty soft.

Your prefermented flour is 24% which at these temperatures means longer proofing times, as you've witnessed. Try to increase the amount of levain used and use warmer water (not hot!)  for the final dough to bring the temperature of the dough up.

You may also refrigerate your dough, but at such low % of prefermented flour, the dough may take hours to be ready after it has been removed from the fridge.

Lastly, it may be that your levain isn't ripe or unhealthy, which also extends fermentation time. i don't believe that this was the cause though.

all the best,


dabrownman's picture

would be at least 90%.  For store bought WW it would be at least 80% and more likely 85%  100% whole wheat bread really soaks up the water and a 4 hour autolyse of flour and water only is a minimum, and I mean a minimum,  standard around here.  Knowing what the dough should feel like and getting comfortable with the dough is an important thing to get your hands around and why slap and folds are so important.   A couple of slap and folds will quickly tell you if the dough needs more water - or flour once you get the feel for it

I usually add missing water right away but won't add any flour until at least 4 minutes of slap and folds are done to make sure that the dough probably won't come together with the exception of some ciabatta that just won't come together at 95% hydration for white flour.

The way I found out was to take Eric Hanner's advice and use white AP flour,  hydrate it to 75 %  and let it sit for 1 hour as an autolyse.  Then start doing slap and folds for 10 minutes.  You will quickly learn what the dough should feel like.  This feel  is what you will use for other dough of various whole grain amounts to know what it should feel like at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 minutes of slaping it around.  This, and knowing when the dough is 85% proofed are the two most important things to know about bread dough as far as iIam concerned.  These feelings will come to you the more bread you make, experience you gain, the more different ones you make - at various hydration.

You make good bread, it is just a matter of getting the feel for it now to know when things aren't right and what to do to fix it as you slap it around.  .

Happy baking,

CeciC's picture

your advise is very helpful. the biggest problem I encounter is to tell how it's properly proof. 

For AP flour it's protein content should be around 11.4% right? i will have a go at yeasted white focaccia for a fusion Korean BBQ party this weekend. Hopefully I can get a touch on how white bread should feel. Coz I rarely bake bread that is under 25% whole grains. 

Is there any other way I can use to judge if it's properly proof? I've been using poking test, everytime I poke it it comes back at me fairly slowly. but when I slashed it went  flat

dabrownman's picture

is not a very good way to tell proofing.  Every time i tried it it was either no spring or slow spring back half way and both meant that the bread was over proofed.  I took before  and after pictures of the dough in the baskets and posted them on TFL.  Mini immediately told me just by looking that what I thought was 90% proofed was really way off and more  like 125-150% proofed.  It is hard to learn to look at the basket that is rounded on the bottom and know how high it has to rise in order to be 90% proofed but, it is always less than you think because the dough is rising into a portion of the basket that is not rounded like the bottom..  As a rule of thumb, if the dough is 2" off the counter when it is first placed basket, then it it will be close to being proofed and ready for the oven at the 3 inch mark.

It just takes some time to figure it out but, once you do, you won't over proof anymore unless it over proofs in the fridge while you sleep:-)  Which isn't too bad since the dough is cold and can go right into the oven and not collapse - even if you score it - which you probably don't even have to do.

CeciC's picture

Omg I can't believe u were as lost as I am now. But that measuring part should be easier to manage then eye balling them.

i will try taking pic at different stage to see how it develops

CeciC's picture

Thank you Khalid! 

actually I didn't added those splash of water after 30mins of kneading a stone @@ when I feel it's going nowhere with kneading. i started to add water, it gets softer for sure, but I was too tried to knead anymore, so I did a few s&f instead. I should be taking picture when I bake this week.