The Fresh Loaf

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When to score whole wheat loaf - right after shaping?

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

When to score whole wheat loaf - right after shaping?

In a previous post,  Charbono    referred to the SFBI article linked here SFBI.

 

In reading it,  I came across this tidbit that I don't think I have ever seen before.

When a high proportion of whole wheat flour is involved in the formula (60% and up) it is better to score the bread right after shaping. The cuts will keep better definition but, more importantly, the dough will be scored when it still has good strength. Scoring the loaves after the final proof could trigger a collapsing of the dough due to its fragile gluten structure  

Even though I have been baking 100% whole wheat  ( home milled ) for years,  and have read a fair amount about baking with whole wheat,  I have always scored just before putting in the even, never right after shaping.  Has anyone else tried this?  

 

 

Weizenbrot's picture
Weizenbrot

I've tried scoring 100% WW loaves immediately after shaping. The cuts in fact do keep better definition.

Give it a try next time.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Thanks,  I will try it this weekend. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

proof in a basket of the last hour and a half.  It is much netter to put it in a basket seam side down and not score at all.   In order to get a good crumb you need a high hydration for Whole grain breads and they want to spread if you don't use a basket.

If you don't care what the crumb looks like then cut the hydration, proof without a basket and slash when ever you want.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Actually, the thought of how to handle final proofing did just occur to me.  I am going to try it both ways -  one,  slash, then final proof in a banneton cut side down, and the other cut side up and see what happens.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Barry, I’ll be watching for your findings. Please post images.

Dan

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Not a success.  So i made a 100% home milled Winter White Wheat sourdough loaf,  82% hydration, preshaped after

bulk ferment, then final shaped, and scored.

 

  

So it looked fine , I then placed it seam side up in the banneton for final proof, when it came out it looked like this - most of the scoring had disappeared.

This is the shot after I finished baking

 

So from an appearance standpoint, I would not call it a success, though that may be because it was high hydration.

 

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

This was the next test,  a very similar recipe, though this one used a 8 grams of SD for a 450 gram flour loaf  and a 8 hour BF at 82 F.  This time, no scoring, just loaded into the banneton seam side down,  when it came out of the banneton, it looked like this,

 

 

This is after being baked.

 

Hard to tell from the photo, but the middle part is very rounded.  Of course, it is quite likely that the loaf was underproofed.  

So while my tests were not exhaustive,   I don't think scoring then final proofing scored side down will work very well for me. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks for posting, Barry. I’m going to pass also unless I find different results

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry, you wrote above that you did an 8hr BF @ 82F. Your flour is 100% whole grain.

I am curious to know if your dough is in danger of over fermenting and degrading. Even @ 1.8% Levain that sounds like a long time to ferment 100% whole wheat @ 82F. Is 8hr pushing the length of BF to the max?

I can get 16hr of BF @76F using 2% Levain. I use  bread flour (12.3%). If I use any amount of whole grains the dough will degrade before 16hr.

I am interested to learn more about your process.

Dan

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Dan,  I have been playing around with bf and fp, and don't know that I have any answers, since I find that I usually make only two types of bread, underproofed and overproofed.  I have done a fair number of loaves with  BF at 82 degrees,  when i started at 2.6% starter, I did end up with goo at the end of the bf.  By scaling back to 1.8,  I get an increase in volume of 2.5 to 3 times, and the dough feels pillowly and full of air, but still has some strength.  I am using 82F to get some sour, and 8 hours is just the amount of time I am asleep, so the only thing that I am really varying is the amount of starter.   My normal procedure is to refresh the starter 1:2 :2 in the morning just before I go to work, and I let that go around 10 to 11 hours at 82 F,  then that night prepare the final dough, and let it sit a room temp, till I put it in the proofer overnight.  The next morning, I preshape, then shape, then into a banneton, and into a fridge.  Actually, I found that was overproofing by the time I came home when I put it in the bar fridge, which is probably a little warmer than a typical house fridge.   If I am making bread on a weekend, I find that by 3 or 4 pm, the final proof is done.   Here is a batard I did a few weeks ago using the same recipe and process.

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry, at 1:2:2 for 10-11 hr @ 82F doesn’t your Levain get way over fermented? Sounds like a long time at such a hot temp and a small feed. I would think that at 4, maybe 6 hours the starter would begin to recede and then fall.

Are you trying to build acids?

Is the bread baked with your procedure very sour?

I really like the flavor of bread that is warm fermented for extended time, with or without a cold retard thrown in. I am always looking for methods that will enhance the sour profile of my breads.

Dan

Oh! Have you thought about retarding your final proof in the house refrigerator on the bottom shelf? If you are over proofing during a cold proof, it sounds like your bar frig may be too warm. 38F is cold enough that over proofing a properly bulked dough for 16 hr or more shouldn’t present a problem. At least, that’s been my experience.

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Dan, yes I am going for sour.  I want to keep going till it is as sour as I can get it, then I may back down a little on this journey.

  As for over fermented levian, some suggest a very young levian for sweetness, such as Tartine, but since I am going for sour, I want it past mature.  Since I have no problem with it giving lift to the bread ( during bulk ferment, it will triple in volume if I let it ) I don't see the downside of the levian feeding schedule.

 

I have also tried, though only on weekends,  refreshing at a 1:2 :2 and keeping it in the proofer set at 92 with refreshments around 3 1/2 to 4 hours for 3 refreshments, before adding it to the dough -  and that has helped the sour as well.  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/37061/making-starter-more-sour

As to the final proof, yes,  I am going to experiment with putting it in a cooler location

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

A higher % of a stiff levain should give more sour. And if you can build the levain then retard it in the fridge for a day then even better.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abe, I’m still enthralled with Teresa’s SFSD. I’ve probably baked 40 loaves or more of these. I can’t beat the flavor profile. And guess what, I don’t gain weight eating it. I think the long fermentation is breaking down the starches. Just a guess, but I eat 4 - 5 thin slices or so a day; every day.

I am amazed at how many different loaves you bake. When I find a favorite loaf, it’s hard to bake anything else.

Dan

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Teresa's Do Nothing Bread is one of my favourites. In fact not only is it very tasty indeed it taught me what a fully developed dough should feel like when it comes to gluten formation. Fancy that... a no knead dough recipe has helped in my learning curve when it comes to developing the gluten.

Even though it's high hydration, that's where my shaping suffers and normally oven spring does too, I'm getting some of my best crumb and oven spring from this method.

I'm like you... once I like something I can get hooked on it. Trying out different recipes and having many favourites helps. Teresa's recipe is right up there and before long it's turn comes again.

Thank you Dan.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry, my favorite bread at this time is Teresa Greenway’s SFSD. If you have a little time, inclination, and $20 I recommend her online class.

https://www.udemy.com/bake-san-francisco-style-sourdough-bread/?couponCode=NWSD19

It is my experience that a “sweet” (yeast favored) Levain is very able to produce a great tasting sourdough. The sour can be achieved through long fermentation at warm (76F) temps.

I tried hot ferments with reduced fermentation times, so as not to degrade the dough. In my experience, it didn’t produce the sour I was looking for. I went so far as to final proof a dough @ 105F, using a procedure described as Larraburu method. IMO, no near a good a flavor as Teresa’s SFSD.

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry you wrote, “Since I have no problem with it giving lift to the bread ( during bulk ferment, it will triple in volume if I let it ) I don't see the downside of the levian feeding schedule.”

Some months back I thought like you. But for the type of procedure (extended warm ferments) that I currently use, the over fermented levains bring too much acid into the final dough. If I use a Levain that favors LAB, I am unable to BF for the target time. Disclaimer - I like a bread with a smooth sour flavor, not a sharp sour flavor.

I am a believer that there are many ways to achieve sour. I also think there are more than one sour flavor profile. Dab and many others are authorities on sour and I am constantly learning from them.

Aren’t the variables in bread baking intriguing? It never ceases to amaze me, how many flavors a baker can produce from just flour, salt, and water. And a-lot-of LOVE...

Dan

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Dan,  actually, I did buy Theresa's video, unfortunately,  I did not find it very worthwhile. Of course, since I limit myself to 100% home milled whole wheat, that may be part of my evaluation.  

Abe, so what I have read from Debra Wink, the higher the percentage of starter, the less sour.  I have read her posts here in detail, this is the summary.  https://brodandtaylor.com/make-sourdough-more-or-less-sour-part-2/

I have also read that the higher the hydration, the more acidic, but did reread the Brod and Taylor site, and Wink's summary there says drier equals more sour.  What I find so confusing is that there are many conflicting suggestions. 

Dan, as to so many variations using just FWSY,  actually, I have been using the exact same ingredients, in the same proportions , for the last month or two, the only thing that I have changed in the timing and temperature for the levian, and bulk ferment, and still get different results.  I sometimes read of others swapping out different percentages of flours and think, of my, that would open up just another huge set of variables. As to the levian overfermenting,  In the brod and taylor page, Wink suggests that using the levian before peak makes it less sour, and with whole wheat, it is pretty hard to determine exact peak, so I err on the side of overfermenting.  

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sorry to hear Teresa’s SFSD didn’t work for you. But 100% whole grain will never work using her time frame. Whole grains accelerate the ferment. I’ve experimented with up to 15% whole grain and even that small amount is challenging, but doable, to BF for 16 hr @ 76-77F.  Dough degredation is the major concern when baking her method. She pushes the dough’s integrity up to it’s limits with the goal of maximizing flavor.

I also struggle with proper fermentation for 100% whole grain. Because of that I often use at least 50 flour in the mix.

Dan