The Fresh Loaf

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I've tweaked a recipe. Tell me what you think.

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AbeNW11's picture

I've tweaked a recipe. Tell me what you think.

Bold = what I've tweaked it too. To the right is old recipe i'm correcting for someone. I think they got a few things incorrect though, they got mixed up between tablespoons and teaspoons. And I don't know where they got that amount of yeast from. Any advice would be great!


1360 grams wholegrain wheat flour : Same

897 mls water = 897 grams : instead of 840 mls

4 teaspoons dried yeast : instead of 20 (how many packets is that?)

5 tablespoons oil : instead of 9

13g of salt : instead of 68.25g

Sugar won't inhibit or make much difference. It's yeast food and according to taste.

Method :

Split flour into two equal parts. 680 grams each.

Mix salt in one half and put to one side.

In a bowl add rest of flour, yeast, sugar and all of water. Mix into paste. Cover and leave to rise for about 40min ish. Remember to use a big enough bowl. It will bubble and rise.

After about 40 min add the rest of flour with salt and oil. Knead into dough, shape (remember it will be higher hydration so different texture), and leave to rise.


WoodenSpoon's picture

if you are switching some of the ingredients to grams you may as well switch em all. also ringing in right around 61% hydration with a pretty thirsty flour is going to yield some crazy stiff dough. Also at .9% the salt seems a little lighter then standard. when/if you convert those volumes to weight you might want to double check them as well, maybe also think about hydrating all the flour, let it rest for an hour then add the yeast, salt, oil and sugar (consider omitting the oil and sugar?) then bulk ferment divide shape and proof. finally if you are developing this for someone else its a great idea to try it yourself before passing it along.

AbeNW11's picture

...66% hydration? .66 x 1360 = 897g of water. Then 5 tablespoons of oil on top of that. 1g of salt for every 100g of flour seemed to work very well for me so I said 13g of salt. This was a challah recipe she was following (without eggs). If you know of a tried and tested challah recipe then let me know.

WoodenSpoon's picture

I did my math wrong, that is totally 66% I didn't know this was anything but a general bread recipe, I sort of think that with no eggs its gonna be tough to get something challah like, especially with 100% whole grains. I'm sure it will be a tasty braid though.

AbeNW11's picture

...bit of a story behind it. But I do agree with you. It's ok to give advice from a far but unless tried and tested not a good idea. So I've sent them a link to this: 


Good idea! Thank you.

clazar123's picture

The proof is in the pudding, after all. Did you like it? Have you made this before?

Being whole meal, I would expect it to be a higher hydration so more water may be called for. The branny bits (even if finally ground) take a lot more time to absorb water than the pasty, starchy germ of the wheat kernel. I like that you made a sponge of half the flour-that should help a lot. But that means the rest of the flour is at a much lower hydration and with no time to absorb moisture into ITS branny bits. What will happen is that after the bake, these dry branny bits may absorb moisture from the well-hydrated part of the loaf and you will have a crumbly crumb. So you are part of the way there. For this issue, I would probably increase the overall water so that when you mix the dough it is actually sticky. Then I would give the newly mixed in dry wholemeal flour time to hydrate by letting it rest  in the refrigerator overnight. The next Am it will be the necessary tacky and not sticky. Shape, proof (a bit longer as it has to warm up to rise) and bake.

For that amount of flour, I may have added a bit more salt but that is purely personal preference. However, I suspect you have a concept behind deciding not to add the salt to the sponge. Is your reason for not adding the salt to the sponge as to not inhibit the yeast or even to keep the dough loose?  It is also easier to elicit the starches in a dough if you add the salt as a last step. The trick is to REMEMBER to add it!

I totally concur about that amount of yeast. I add 1/2 to  tsp of yeast to almost any amount of flour (my biggest batch was10 cups) . It takes longer to rise but the bread tastes much better. I would add mega amounts of yeast if I had to donate a loaf to a bake sale-in 5 hours. It wouldn't taste the best but it would be fresh and homemade. 

I prefer a small amount of sweetness in my WW to counteract any bitterness. Very little.

The last trick to a soft wholemeal loaf is to knead,knead,knead to windowpane. This develops the starch in the dough and is helped by the higher hydration mentioned.

The best person to evaluate your loaf is you. Bake this over and over until you get what you want. Along the way you will learn all kinds of things about your ingredients, technique and equipment. Keep a noteboot and just change 1 thing per bake. It takes a while (probably 30-40 loaves) but bread baking is never about being in a hurry.


AbeNW11's picture

This is purely me advising on a recipe I thought was a bit off. Drawing ideas from past experience and methods I like to use.

This is supposed to be a challah recipe but without the eggs. I find the method of splitting the flour in two halves and adding the yeast to one etc is a fail safe method and gets good results.

I've actually just emailed to say here's a tried and tested one and gave her a link to a challah recipe on this site.

I might try this myself and see what happens.

Thank you for your help and advice.