The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for a tangy whole wheat sandwich loaf

GaryBishop's picture

Looking for a tangy whole wheat sandwich loaf

I enjoy baking sourdough bread in my pullman pan. It works great for toast at breakfast and sandwiches at lunch. The flavor and texture are just right. 

But I long for tangy. I'd like to figure out how to get to too sour so I could backoff to just the right level of tang. 

I often bake a minor variation on this formula by txfarmer and I've tried several others. I use Carl's 1847 starter and have tried others. I've retarded in the fridge, etc. I've even tried adding various acids with mostly unsatisfactory results.

I'm beginning to experiment with low inoculation long ferment. I just made a pretty sour white loaf using this approach. Today I'm going to attempt a sandwich formula. 

Any guidance on really sour, soft, whole-wheat sandwich bread?


barryvabeach's picture

Can't help much on the sour part,  but have you looked into 

Tangzhong  for making it soft.
GaryBishop's picture

I haven't but I read about it recently on the KAF site. Thanks for the link.

doughooker's picture

There's King Arthur's "instant sourdough flavor". I've never used it but it might be worth a try for your experimentation.

dabrownman's picture

rye starter to build a wheat bran levain and retard the levain for 48 hours before using.  Make sure the levain is not more than 7%  pre-fermented flour.  Do all counter top work like, bran levain making,  gluten development and bulk ferment at at least 88 F,  90 - 92 F would be better, and then retard the dough till it is 75% proofed.  Then let it final proof on the counter to 85% at 91 F and then bake it off.  That will give you the most sour WW bread possible with your starter.  I don't think you can make a whole wheat bread too sour.  The extra sour just balances the powerful flavor of the whole wheat.

Happy whole wheat baking!

ian SW3's picture
ian SW3

i've had great (if a bit chewy) results with a very high gluten white bread flour, low inoculation (2% of flour weight) and 16 hour bulk ferment in the oven with the light on, but as soon as I add a little WW flour (I've tried 20% and 10%) the gluten structure fell apart. I suspect the bulk ferment needs to be shorter, which I fear will reduce the tanginess, but perhaps the WW will compensate. I'd be interested to hear how you got along. 

GaryBishop's picture

I've got a formula that is mostly working for me. I say mostly because I had to change my schedule last weekend and it crossed some boundary resulting in a mess.

You can see my notes here:

I create a new sheet each time I try it. My note taking isn't the best.

This formula fits my 4x4x9 pullman pan. I bake with the lid off. 

I use the Tangzhong roux. I mix everything except the yeast and let it ferment over night. The next morning I add the yeast and knead it for 10 minutes. I like it rise doing a couple of stretch and folds depending on what else I'm doing. Then I shape it and put it in the pan. I try to keep track of the times for reproducibility and diagnosing what went wrong.

Most weekends it works great and produces a nicely sour loaf with small holes and soft texture.