The Fresh Loaf

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100% Hydration Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf REDUX

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

100% Hydration Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf REDUX

Hi Everyone..

Last week I made this recipe - here's the result:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/51026/100-hydration-whole-wheat-sandwich-loaf

This week I tried again. My results are mixed and in a way worse. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

Last week I didn't use white whole wheat, this week i sifted whole wheat flour to make it "white" and took out much of the bran, etc.. i followed the ingredients by the book, it all went well and shaped well. I bulked for about 2.5 hours with four stretch and folds but then put it in my cold cellar (about 55 degrees) as I had to go to dinner and when got home last night around 10pm, I shaped it. It held well and I was happy with it. But during bulk I didn't get much of a rise. The instructions say that the bread doesn't rise much so I'm assuming that's the case and it shouldn't double during bulk (the bulk should be 4 hours at room temp)..

#1 - have never seen the blob before.. it looked like a dog's head coming out of the loaf!..  at about 25 minute, all of a sudden it began to 'volcano' out..

#2 - it's gummy and i'm not going to eat it as it's a bit too wet to enjoy..

#3 - I think this loaf requires a score (literally) from end to end of the pan.. it's also nearly impossible (I think) to score a 100% hydration loaf like this.. but did my best..

Any advice anyone can give me?  Many thanks!! Bake happy..

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

sifted out.  It is whole grain wheat that happens to be white and has all the bran in it.  What you have is a high extraction red wheat bread - with a blob that ate the mill:-)  The reason it was so wet was because the bran was gone and the loaf would have been better at 80%- 85% hydration.  That is what bread baking is all about.  Learning though experience and the errors all of us have made.

You will get there - so no worries - happt baking

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I didn't know that.. i always thought white whole wheat is simply sifting out the bran.. more evidence to not believe everything I read on the internet!! Many thanks.. I'll try again!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

You can buy white whole wheat at Bulk Barn. It works great in breads!

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

thanks~

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Dabrownman.. i just looked this up and found this explanation. I'm posting it for others like me that might not have known/know the difference.. thanks again for let me know.. http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-deal-8-12459

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Spring or Winter.  Where it is grown also makes a difference so all soft white Spring wheat will not be the same.  Hard white spring wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest is what high gluten flour is made from.  It doesn't have more protein thaan hard red wheat but is high in the two proteins that form gluten when the flour gets hydrated.  Pastry flour is usually made from white soft spring wheat since it is lower in gluten proteins and protein in general.  The great thing about bread making is that each flour brings its own set of qualities to the mix.  Learning how each performs and tastes is part of the bread baking learning curve and a good thing to know when crafting your own recipes.  it is part of the fun of bread making too.

Happy baking  

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

.. to your depth of knowledge on all things bread? I feel we should starting calling you 'norm' from Cheers.. truly impressive!

Many thanks ..

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

In my opinion, using whole wheat is enough of a challenge, better to not stack the deck against you by increasing the hydration past 70% until you get consistency that you are happy with. 

Whole wheat needs more time at lower temps in order to dry out inside the loaf, so your temps could have been too high for this size of loaf. Also it appears that the crust dried out too fast and there was a soft spot for one last hurrah to explode out of. 

My whole wheat bulk ferments need to be hot in order for complete fermentation to happen, so I BF anywhere from 80F to 86F. Anything under that and I'm looking at a 7 hour room temp fermentation. The dough should be super bubbly, pillowy and jiggily like jello before you divide/preshape. However I'm not familiar with retarding bulk amounts of dough, only cold proofing. 

I don't know much but I do know that whole wheat is a battle, only to be conquered when each step is near perfect. 

 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I didn't realize that you'd bulk ferment that long when using whole wheat.. I was doing bulk at about 74F .. do you punch down when/as you shape to loaves? Turns out I was using the wrong flour - I thought sifting whole wheat = white whole wheat.. dab, sent be straight above.. thanks ..

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

Everyone will say something slightly different, which is great and frustrating at the same time. As DA said, practice is key to know your equipment and system. 

 

I don't punch anything while baking unless the loaves turn out awful. I do the normal Ken Forkish/craft way of bulk fermenting right now. Just a system of folds every 15 to 30 minutes until sufficient strength is built, then rest for the last hour of bulk. 

For me, at a usual 78% hydration dough, and using the incredibly fragile whole wheat, I slap and fold to mix the levian and salt in, then subsequent foldings are just soft and light pick ups and fold overs. There is no set amount, but anywhere from 3 to 5 is normal I would say. 

I baked 3 loaves today, 100% whole wheat with 18% levian, 78% hydration, and I folded every half hour for 5 times since it was so gentle. After about 3 folds the sides of the dough were rounded and unable to touch the sides of the bowl. The dough was strong enough to keep a shape. I knew it was done because it was all jiggly and puffy, giant gas bubbles and just so fun to hold. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

.. you know much more than you let on! Your bread sounds great! I'm a fan of forkish's methods.. once you deal with his wasteful levain ideas, and adjust his time line to suit your house temp, his recipes are pretty much fail-proof.. happy eats..

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

that the throw away levian builds/refreshes were wasteful, then I learned that it is a method to control the ph of the overall dough. 

This is especially important when using large percentages of whole wheat, and 100%ers have to remember that whole wheat has potential to be more acidic than white flour, causing faster degradation of the gluten matrix. In other words, long proofs and higher percentage of levian that is too acidic can break down your loaves and damage oven spring and crumb texture. 

 

Here are the loaves I baked today, not very happy with them. I am still learning how to use an oven inside a building without making a fire. I wanted to take a break from using our wood oven and learn this method as well. Very different animal. 

 

My scoring is rubbish and missing my older beautiful wood-oven loaves. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

You bread looks very good! PH Levels - I've never thought about the PH level of a starter or loaf. How does the PH level in my starter affect my bread development or taste? Thanks!

 

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

is quite severe, and perhaps you can understand my frustration with switching ovens by the photo below. 

 

 

I used to get these results from 100% whole wheat each and every time I baked, when I used our wood oven. Switching to an indoor Wolf Range oven that uses convection has truly taken the beauty out of our SD bread. I thought it would be easier to bake in a propane oven, but I was terribly wrong. Baking with fire is much easier for me. 

But I have corrupted this thread with my own woes enough, we had a topic of acids in dough. 

While I do not know, perhaps we can begin the conversation and see if the minds of TFL can come up with an answer that suits everyone. 

Out of all my batches, having only used whole wheat and almost exclusively using preferments instead of straight doughs, I can say that when I have used a large portion of spent levian my dough came out more dull, less open, even less structure and doneness. 

Why. My theory exists because of my knowledge of beer fermentation and the science behind Sacch. Cer. yeast, the primary yeast in almost all beers. Even sour beers start with a clean ferment most of the time. 

Now, in brewing the Sacch. Cer. quadruples in number, creating many things other than more yeast. There is yeast debris and compounds left over from fermentation, some of it cleaned up by the yeast, some of it drops out and lays dormant. Reusing Sacch. Cer. for a certain number of generations, I think 120, has been shown to damage the essence of the yeast and change its structure. Fermentations peak around 4 to 8 cycles and then begins to morph into less desirable characteristics. 

In bread we have not only Sacch. Cer. but lactic and acedic acids. Where does the debris in starters go? They can only lay dormant as the old flour, now completely devoid of nutrients, sits and grows more and more acidic since lactic and acedic acids can digest many more sugars on a deeper level then that of Sacch. Cer. can. So we have an old mixture of debris, fermentation by-products, more acids and lots of sourness. Refreshing a starter without discarding the spent portion brings all this into the next batch. 

We know our bread is more sour if we step-up a starter as opposed to making a young levian with one build, so we can taste the difference. But chances are it stays a flavor issue for most bakers. For people who use whole wheat exclusively there can be other issues with a more acidic preferment, which we can agree has been created at this point. 

So we feed and feed and feed our starter until we get to a certain amount that we need, and with all of its old flour now acidic and with lower PH, we dump into our whole wheat dough. A dough that is filled with much more material and potential than white flour to be more acidic by having a lower PH and lowering the PH even more by adding a preferment. 

Now we have worked up a situation where our whole wheat is possibly too acidic, changing the timetable of a proper ferment and proof, making our loaves come out less than expected—often with gummy or tacky closed crumbs, less oven spring and a thicker crust as if unfermented dough was being baked. 

I look forward to a greater mind knowing much more than myself to change the outcome to a better answer, but that is where I have come in my whole wheat experience using levian. Less levian at a higher rate of new flour will produce a better, more desirable loaf compared to more old acidic levian at a higher inoculation rate in the finished dough. Other than flavor, I think that is why we hear of bakers discarding "spent" flour at the time of feeding their culture. They certainly don't do it to save money because they would save more money if they used a smaller build and keeping more of the total culture. My theory says that the have less desirable outcomes and less consistent product and so they use fresher levians knowing the bread will come out more or less how they expect. 

 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Yogi..

There's a lot going on in your note. Lets first get the obvious thing out of the way.. if I lived in place where I could photograph my loaves with tall bamboo in the background, I too would lament things other than the weather - like spent levain! As I write this, we're getting a dusting of snow before the real stuff is to hit in the morning!

Ok. .. a few thoughts come to mind from your note:

- I feed my active starter to create a leavin for my bread so I can add the levain to the bread once it has doubled in size from my last feeding; so i feed around 8am and within 4-6 hours depending on the temperature in my room (given the time of year) I get to double in size (this is when the yeast is at it's peak in my levain), then add to the final dough which will typically not be baked until the next morning.. I feed small quantities and build up and have no waste (or very little) by calculating how much starter I use and how often I'm feeding to get to my final starter size..

- the temperature I feed my starter at will impact how sour it is (which I'm going to use as a proxy for higher ph levels as you discuss); so if I want a sweeter tasting loaf I'll be sure to feed the starter around mid 70s or up to 80 degrees F; lower will give me a more sour bread; and if i've been abusive to my starter and not fed it well in the day or two prior then it will be more sour from that too

- i only keep about 80 grams of starter (aka Charlie) in a small jar in my fridge; i feed him with a ratio of 1:5:4 using a blend of unbleached white and whole wheat flour (50/50)... I've tried dabrownman's no-fuss no-muss starter but this one works better for me as I don't end up with as sour a starter over time.. often I only bake on weekends (and not always every) and so this is enough for me; if I know i want to bake on the weekend I'll take some out on thursday night (maybe as little as 5/10 grams and feed it 1:2:2 and keep feeding it (without throwing anything away) so that each build gets bigger in size until I get what I need for that final dough by Saturday afternoon; eventually I only have about 5/10 grams in the jar and I rebuild it with a 1:5:4 flour/water feed, let it sit out until it starts to rise a little, and I'm good to go again so Charlie heads back to his shelf in the fridge

- given my feeding and maintenance routine, and given how little i keep around, i'm constantly replenishing and can't imagine any byproduct that is developing in my starter is going to overwhelm the taste and result as you describe.. could it be the flour you use that is impacting your flavour?

- forkish talks/writes about developing a lot of starter and discarding much of it as "spent fuel".. i think it's just wasteful and not practical for a home baker.. and i've baked his entire book and don't think that it makes a difference.. the bread tastes great without throwing away any starter/spent-fuel along the way..

- if you're implying you use the convection setting when baking bread then I'd encourage you to not have the convection fan on when baking bread.. maybe people do that, but intuitively it seems to me that that would make things go too fast and dry out the crust too much.. but maybe someone else can chime in on that..

Hopefully that helps? If not, at least 'bake happy' as you look out the window at the bamboo trees in the distance!!

Rajan Shankara's picture
Rajan Shankara

It took me about ten loaves of bread to realize the convection air was drying out the tops of the loaves and causing side-burst. Unfortunately our Range doesn't have an off/on switch for the fan. The only way to use the oven is if you flip the oven fan on. We recently asked an oven tech to rewire it and he acted like that would be an act of God to make that possible. I'm tempted to just go back to the wood oven and make awesome fiery bread again, but some days the propane oven is the only choice. So, I've managed to use stainless steel pots as dutch ovens and purchased some real ones from Amazon, should arrive in the mail soon. 

 

I forgot why we were talking about PH of whole wheat! Ah, yes, the bamboo is lovely, unless you have to rake the leaves up. I count my Hawaii blessings each day.