The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Questions about whole wheat

  • Pin It
Muskie's picture

Questions about whole wheat

So I woke up pretty ambitious this morning. I haven't baked for a few days, giving my mind a break from all the number crunching I had been foolishly attempting. I have two working starters, BF and Rye (both from New Zealand). Yesterday I bought WW (Robin Hood Best for Bread) and non-wheat Rolled Oats (Bob's), to further my attempt to make a more healthy (for me) bread. I decided that this morning I would turn my 2 starters into 4;

WW, WW+BF, Rye, and Rye+WW.

So, starting with the very small amounts of starter I had kept, I turned my pure BF starter into WW and WW+BF (I don't need a pure BF anymore, I've decided that.) I created the Rye+WW, and fed the Rye.

All doubled in 2 hours, I was very happy.

So my new approach now is to take my starter, turn it into some amount of levain (usually ~160g or a little more), fermenting it along the way. I took the starters, did 3 feeds 2 hours apart. All the time they're sitting in my smoker at 92F (please, let's not discuss that whole LAB thing again, I tried it before, I like the results, I'm doing it again end of story...;-])

Ok, so at each 2 hour interval, I check the starters. If they have at least doubled, I do the next feed. As I said, all doubled 2 hours after the initial feeding. So I fed them again. At 4 hours, all but the Rye+WW has doubled.

So, I leave the Rye+WW in the smoker with no extra food. I feed everything else again. At 6 hours, all have doubled again, but the Rye+WW is still like only 50% increased.

So, the Rye pure went back into the fridge for storage (wasn't going to make anything with it today), I split the WW and BF+WW levains in two and put half into the fridge to retard (together with an autolyse dough ball for each) till the morning. The other half I've turned into Ciabatta dough which is now waiting to triple rise in the microwave (put in a small bowl of water, on high for 2 mins, then put the levain in, makes it like 72+ np for an hour). Lots going on.

Bottom line, any idea why the Rye+WW might not have doubled? It doubled in the first 2 hours, but not after the second feeding...???


Muskie's picture

I haven't had one comment yet. I'd sure like to know why.

Meanwhile, here's what I have done.

My first 100% Whole Grain Sourdough

So I decided to try and eliminate Bread Flour (and AP) from my bread making. I really need to eat bread that has more fiber. My whole wheat is Robin Hood “Best for Bread” Whole Wheat.

 I found this recipe;

which I decided to work with. I had two starters in my fridge to use, a 50%/50% BF+WW (100% hydration), and a 100% WW (100% hydration). Both had shown activity in the last couple of days. I had 53g of starter total.

The recipe calls for 120g of starter. The total volume that recipe creates is 1348g, so I decided to cut the recipe in half. So I built a levain out of the two starters, adding 137g of WW and 118g of water, giving me levain @ ~88% hydration. I put this, now, 308g into my smoker @ 92F overnight (~14 hours). I’m trying to get a decent sourness out of this.

I substituted WW for all other flour the recipe called for. So I mixed 253g of WW with 195g water in my KA for a few minutes. Use the beater blade until there is no visible water, then use the dough hook until the sides are cleared off. Then put the mixture in the fridge to autolyse overnight (~14 hours).

The next morning I mixed the levain with the dough ball and added 7g of salt, which gives me a final hydration of ~80%. Then I did the “intensive kneading” talked about in I ran it in my KA @ 4 for 15 minutes, and then returned it to the fridge for ~ 24 hours for another autolyse.

Note I am mixing two different recipe’s instructions here. This additional autolyse may not be necessary, but I’ve also read that WW fermentation happens faster. I want the stronger gluten the autolyse promotes, but I don’t want things to ferment for the bulk rise until everything is well combined.

Tomorrow will tell the tale.


Muskie's picture

I did stretch and folds @ RT from 8:00am until nearly 2:00pm, some at 45 minute intervals, some at 30, some at 60...the first 1.5hrs it was ~70F, the rest of the time it was at least 76F. I got a rise, but the dough remained sticky. I thought I had something going at 2:00pm, so put it into a banneton to rise again. First hour @ 75F, then put it into the smoker @ 82F. Left it in there for 4 hours. The loaf looked like it had risen significantly, so turned it out. Dang thing stuck to the sides of the very well floured banneton. It was way to moist inside.

So, I put it into the KA and added 72g of WW, bringing the total hydration down to 68.35%, slightly higher than the original recipe's 66.67%. KA'd it for ~ 10 minutes till it started to firm up. Put that into an oiled glass bowl to rise ~ RT (75F).

In 30 minutes it nearly doubled, so did S&F, and put it back in the bowl.

What effect do you think the rather useless 9.5 hours of proving might have done to the loaf. I feel that since I have fed it some new flour, I should be able to salvage it, what do you think?