The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Use whole wheat flour in preferment or final dough? Why?

venkitac's picture
venkitac

Use whole wheat flour in preferment or final dough? Why?

1. If I want to make a 50% whole wheat bread with a yeasted preferment, I'd think I should preferment all or most of the whole wheat. The reason being that the white flour is stronger, and using the white flour in the final dough gets you stronger dough and thus more volume. I could almost swear I have heard this chain of reasoning from some authority, possibly Didier Rosada, but I'm not sure:) (Most Rye breads with nontrivial percentage of Rye have Rye in the preferment, Rye has little gluten and so it makes sense that you save up as much of the white flour for the final dough to get strength). Same logic applies? Does this sound right?

2. Does sourdough change the equation? ie would you preferment white flour and use whole wheat in the final dough, if you are using an SD starter?

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

i always put wholegrains in preferment as it softens up grains and adds a great deal of flavour to it. Wholegrains also tear gluten so softening it beforehand is always good - reinhart uses an 'epoxy method where he does a wholegrain soaker and a biga/levain seperately and then brings them together in the final dough....basically you want to maximise flavour of grain by long fermentation which also softens it up and then use a poolish/biga/levain in fyour final dough... 

venkitac's picture
venkitac

I wasn't so much thinking of whole grains (soaker), asking more about whole wheat flour...

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

same difference id always put the whole wheat into preferment...really brings out thr flavour over extended period of time, softens up and can withstand gluten depreciation (within reason)

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

I only rarely bake a yeasted whole wheat bread these days, so I can't provide much input there.  But I do bake a 60% SD miche every week.  Experience has taught me that, (1) concentrating the ww flour in the levain makes for a more sour bread, which we don't like.  So our levain consists of 15% of the entire formula's 60% ww mix.  If sour is what you're after, then concentrate your whole grains in the levain.  (2) A generously long autolyse is sufficient to soften whole wheat flour.  I have not found that anything more than that (for example, sifting out and separately soaking the bigger bits) is worth the trouble.  You can extend the usual 1-2 hr autolyse by including the salt in it and/or doing some of the autolyse in the fridge, without fear of runaway proteolysis.  Our 60% ww loaves come out almost unsliceably soft and cakey with excellent keeping quality.  I don't see why these general rules wouldn't apply to a yeasted ww bread as well.

Happy baking,

Tom

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to me.  Slow fermenting and proofing are the keys to good favor in bread.  What I do is sift out the bran in the WW and put that into the preferment with enough of the left over high extraction sifted wheat to get to about 20% of the total flour in the dough. 

Then add and equal amount of water and two pinches (1/16 of a teaspoon) of instant yeast and let that ferment as a poolish for 12 hours on the counter.  Then mix in the rest of the water for the dough the rest of the high extraction flour the other white flour and then the salt and make the bred as you normally do!  You want to get the bran as wet as you can for as long as you can

Happy baking

charbono's picture
charbono

Where to put the whole grain portion of a hybrid dough has been addressed in a couple of places: (1) Didier Rosada's “How to Develop a Formula” in the San Francisco Baking Institute Newsletter Winter 2007 and (2) King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking, page 142. They came to the same conclusion: put it in the preferment. Saving the refined flour for the final dough will optimize dough strength.

venkitac's picture
venkitac

Thanks.

charbono, I don't know to mesage  in private, swear we could do that, can't find the option now. If you have said newsletter, could you please forward it to me? Thank you so much!

charbono's picture
charbono

These used to be accessible at the site.  Perhaps setting up an account will provide access to the old letters.

I found the relevant one in a google search:

http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/SFBINewsWI07.pdf

venkitac's picture
venkitac

Thanks again. Much appreciated. (I googled, did not find this one. Thanks!)