Migrating to whole grains - Tartine Whole Wheat
My Tartine loaves made with 70% home-milled flour came out excellent. I have one in the freezer to bring to the in-laws next weekend, and brought one to my parents for dinner last night. My dad re-heated it in the toaster oven and it was a little difficult to cut -- the bread tore a bit and I don't know if that was the knife's fault (a very sharp "bow" knife) or if the crumb was just too soft. I don't think it would have worked for a sandwich bread, but maybe once it cools off it will be easier to slice.
The taste was excellent. The crust was of the shattering variety and just so pleasing to bite into. With or without butter, this bread was a hit.
The levain was "old" because I had made it on Wednesday, used half on Thursday, and then used the remaining half on Saturday. I believe the levain was made with 100% ground wheat, but I don't recall for certain.
I added 700 grams of wheat berries to the mill, put a large wooden salad bowl underneath, and ground away. While it was grinding, I added warm water to my levain and dispersed. Once the flour was done being milled, I poured the water/levain mixture into the bowl and mixed it up. Autolyzed for an hour, added the salt and rather than adding the 50 grams of water as I usually do, I just dipped my fingers in the the 50 grams and kneaded the salt into the dough, and kept dipping my fingers to avoid sticking.
In the end, the dough was less "pasty" then it has been in the past, due to the fact that I used to just dump the 50 grams of water in, and that was too much.
I also used a shallow rectangular piece of Tupperware rather than the taller, smaller piece of snapware I had been using for the bulk rise. This made it easier to get a good stretch for each of the stretch and folds, and I wonder if that helped the dough develop better than previous attempts. Being able to slip two hands under the dough and lift it, definitely works more of the dough than putting one hand under and lifting. Plus with more room to work I can make a longer fold.
I did not take a picture of the crumb. But, as I indicated, it was soft. It was also moist. It had a wonderful chew. But, I did not get much in the way of holes, at least not that I remember. I will ask my folks to snap a photo and send. That shouldn't make me sound too crazy.