Finally, I achieved what I've been struggling toward for some time; 100% wholewheat bread which is pillow soft and tasty. A big step was receiving The Bread Bible for my birthday recently - while I haven't tried any of her recipes (which all seem to use white flour, with the odd dash of wholewheat) the explanation of techniques has made a big difference.
So, the ingredients, which are similar to what I've been using to date:
- 1kg atta flour
- 730ml water
- 11g yeast
- 15g salt
I started off with adding the yeast to 300g of flour and mixing in 300ml of water, which I then left for around 1.5 hours. Everything else then got mixed in the Kenwood and once the dough was combined I let it sit for 40 minutes (I had planned on 20, but got distracted by lunch!). 7 minutes of kneading in the machine were followed by sitting for around an hour (until doubled).
Then, instead of punching down as I normally would, I took out the dough and did one stretch & fold. Back into the bowl, and then within half an hour, it had doubled again. Then, I shaped the loaves as per TBB and then placed them in the bannetons. Half an hour or so after that, it was out onto the tray, quick slash and into the oven. 10 minutes at 220°C, then down to 200°C for 20 minutes. Ice cubes in a tray on the bottom.
I took Rose LB's advice about being more confident with the slashes and got nice neat slashes with no tearing, but I probably overdid it on the depth which I think resulted in more horizontal spread than hoped for.
This was last night and I'm still over the moon with my results, but the test will come next time; if I can replicate them or not.