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WW Holes

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gumby's picture
July 16, 2007 - 12:43pm -- gumby

I want to thank Jane for her excellent instructions on making whole wheat sourdough.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2059/100-whole-wheat-bread

Up until recently, I have been cooking dense WW bread with no holes. I thought that that was about as good as it was going to get. My wife told me that she doesn't like bread. I told her that I wanted to make a bread that she would like eating.

I successfully made some holes with the Ciabatta recipe from BBA. And then tried the "No-Knead" method mentioned on this site with my cast iron pot. I got some holes, but the crumb was a mixed bag.

Last night I followed Jane's instructions relatively closely. And finished the bread today. And achieved holes that change the taste of the bread. After having my wife try some, she said that it was good! Success.

I hadn't realized the huge difference in taste having holes like this would make. I had read descriptions on this site of "creamy" texture. But didn't understand what that meant, until I ate some today with butter. The crumb was so tender, it almost melted in my mouth. The flavor was outstanding as well, very mildly sour.

I would like to encourage all who haven't tried to use Jane's method to go ahead. This is my 3rd attempt at making bread with holes. So I think it is fairly foolproof. The bread wasn't made perfectly. The bottom is burnt, and I shovelled the second loaf I was baking on top of side of the first loaf.

Also when trying to slide the bread off my makeshift peel, I found that I didn't use enough cornmeal. And the bread wasn't moving. So I had to lift the rather large piece of dough onto another peel, all the while scrunching the bread up like an accordian. I thought for sure that I was ruining the bread. But it ended up having some oven spring which made up.

The only difference in Jane's recipe was that my wheat was freshly ground. My starter was not at 100% hydration, but more like 130%. I however, used the same weight of starter that she did. I autolysed for about 25 to 30 minutes, instead of her 15.

Folded the dough about 4 or 5 times. And improperly. Since I was folding the top side. And then instead of folding the same side again, I folded the bottom. The last 3 folds however, were on the same side.

I divided the dough, and did one fold. Shaped the dough, let it rest for 10 minutes, and then put it into an inverted bowl to rise.

Either I didn't fold it enough, or the dough was too hydrated, since after putting the dough on the peel, it spread quite a bit.

Gumby

 

 

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gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Holes 2

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Holes 2

I cut into the 2nd loaf, and to my surprise, the holes were even bigger.

Jane you rock!

Gumby 

 

KipperCat's picture
Submitted by KipperCat on

Gumby, your bread looks great! And I appreciate reading your description of the crumb and flavor. I've achieved good holes in a 2/3 WW loaf, but not a 100%.

I don't have a sourdough starter yet, but I'm going to read over Jane's post again before starting my next 100% WW dough, which with any luck will be this evening.

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

The recipe worked great for me.

The only problem I had was the dough spread a lot on the peel. Either it was too hydrated, or I hadn't folded it enough. Since it lost it's shape. 

But her recipe was a great success for me. I'm sure you'll be able to duplicate her results as well.

One thing that she didn't mention was oven temperature. She just mentioned the BBA method. So I looked up some recipes in that book. And noticed that he recommends the following:

I preheated my tiles in the oven for over an hour at 500F. Once I put the bread on the tiles, I sprayed the oven with a garden pressure sprayer every 30 seconds. Probably about 5 times. (Although BBA says to do it less. I think 3 times only). 

I then reduced the heat to 450F. Let it bake for 20 minutes, and then rotated the bread, and cooked for another 10 minutes. Till the internal temp registered about 205F. 

The garden sprayer is great. They're about $6 or $7 at Walmart. You build up air pressure with a pump, and the water sprays out in a powerful stream. There is a volume indicator on the side. I'd say that it sprays out about 1/2 a cup in 10 seconds. One time I blew up my lightbulb though, so be careful not to spray water on them.

I took her recipe, and made 2 loaves over 2 lbs each. I think next time, I'll make 3 since they were quite large.

Have fun baking! 

Gumby

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

Just figured out why the loaf spread so much, despite folding 5 times.

My starter was at 150% hydration. At 400g. Which means the whole loaf was at 86% hydration!

Gumby 

KipperCat's picture
Submitted by KipperCat on

That would make it difficult! The first time I made the NYT no-knead bread, I mismeasured, and wound up with 130% hydration. Good thing I was just dumping it in the pan to bake! Fortunately it still tasted great, But then the first homemade bread in the house for several years couldn't have tasted any other way. ;D

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

That's very impressive D. 130%. My dough was only 86% and it was still hard to shape. 

I was looking at the 100% hydration ciabatta pizza on this site. I think I'm going to have a try at that.  

Good to hear of your success.

Gumby 

KipperCat's picture
Submitted by KipperCat on

Well, I didn't exactly shape that one much!  The only shape it got was from the 4 quart pot it was baked in.

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

Although I told her that it was whole wheat, she thought that I'd made it with a mixture of white!

She said that it tasted good and that she didn't mind eating this kind of bread. 

That's quite a difference from her last week saying that she doesn't like bread!

Gumby 

jane's picture
Submitted by jane on

Gumby you did a good job(Thanks to everybody that started whole wheat bread topic), my BF also said the same thing "didn't mind eating this kind of bread". I just got my grain mill, do you use your whole wheat flour right away or wait for a couples days?

 

Thanks, 

Jane

 

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

Hi Jane,

It's remarkable how people can change their mind once they've tasted something good.

I usually try to approximate the amount of flour I need. And use it right away. What I don't use, I freeze. 

You need to do this, since the whole wheat turns bitter quickly. Wheat has a high oil content contained in the germ. When it is milled, the enzymes in the grain destroy the oil rather quickly. Which then makes the flour bitter tasting. I don't know how fast this occurs, but I believe at normal room temperature, it should be a matter of hours. 

Freezing the flour greatly slows enzymatic activity. So the flour keeps tasting nice for a long time. 

Freshly ground whole wheat is never bitter. It has a very pleasant complex, nutty flavor. It tastes way better than most commercial whole wheat. The majority of "whole wheat" doesn't contain the wheat germ because it makes the flour taste bitter. There are some top quality brands that keep the germ, but they need to toast it in order to deactivate the enzymes. Otherwise they too will get bitter flour. 

Freshly ground WW will win taste tests against white almost all of the time. It's the bitter, stale whole wheat flour that makes people hate whole wheat. You'll love the new taste.

All the best in your new baking experiment!

Gumby

 

 

 

 

edh's picture
Submitted by edh on

Great looking breads, both of you! I've only tried 100% whole wheat once, using a sort of BBA pain a l'ancienne approach; ice water and into the fridge overnight. It ended up taking 3 days from start to finish, what with slow rises and waiting for it to  come up to room temp (it was winter, and I have a cold house). Still, it was far nicer tasting than anything I'd made before, but nowhere near as good looking as yours.

So my question is, does this method absolutely require a mixer, or can I do it by hand? I don't have a mixer, and generally do ok without, but I'd really like to try Jane's method.

Appreciate any thoughts; the way the summer's going, it'll probably be another month before I get to try it anyway...

Thanks,

edh

gumby's picture
Submitted by gumby on

Hi Edh,

I have no experience in hand mixing. But I've read other people's experiences. There are many people that can knead the dough by hand successfully.

You'll notice in Jane's spelt bread recipe that she has a picture of the window pane test. 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3197/100-spelt-sourdough

If you have kneaded for long enough, the window pan should form fairly thin. So that you can see light coming through when you hold it up to the light.

When you do the test, first wet your hands, so the dough doesn't stick to it.  

I could never get this, even with a mixer. The problem was that I never used enough water in my recipes, so the dough was too dry. Now I get it all the time. 

The window pane test shows that the gluten is developed enough to hold air pockets, which make the bubbles.

If you get a decent window pane by hand, then you don't need a mixer. 

I just tried Jane's spelt recipe, but I used a whole wheat starter. I don't builld the starter like she does, since my starter is usually very active, since I use it every couple of days. So the dough was 85% spelt, 15% wheat. Hydration 76%.  

I got similar results like the pictures above. So the method works.

I made 100% whole wheat ciabatta before with no kneading. The air holes were pretty good as well. But not as nice as this. I made it at the same time as white flour to compare the crumb, and it was very similar. 

I think the most important thing to get holes is that the dough is wet enough. For some reason, it makes the dough really stretchy.

Gumby