The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Was Flour Water Salt Yeast a sensible purchase to learn about 100% WW?

Robin Dobbie's picture
Robin Dobbie

Was Flour Water Salt Yeast a sensible purchase to learn about 100% WW?

I just want to know about how to make decent 100% whole wheat loaves with just those ingredients. Ordered the book on impulse, yet after looking in the index it appears 75% may be the highest Ken Forkish goes? 

 

 

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

The good news is that the book is a favorite among many of the TFL posters (me included).  You might find a recipe or two in there that you like, and you certainly can learn a great deal about the technique of making bread.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Can you return it?  If so, I would .  While some here like Forkish, most admit that his sourdough maintenance strategies are very wasteful, and his timings rarely translate well, so beginners often have trouble with over proofing

.  If you want to work primarily with whole wheat, the book most focused on that is Reinhart's Whole Grains -   https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Reinharts-Whole-Grain-Breads/dp/1580087590/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1533257007&sr=8-1&keywords=reinhart+whole...

 Some find the recipes a little fussy, and the approach is not as straight forward as others, but it is definitely focused on Whole Wheat.    I have not found much in the way of great books for sourdough whole wheat, and most of what I have learned I picked up here.   

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

That book was my introduction to artisan bread baking. I started on the first page and baked my way through the book. Then I found this place and the rest is history!

Oh a few caveats: His times only work if you have the same kitch temp, otherwise, go by the rising of the dough and not times. Feel free to cut back on water if your flour doesn’t absorb as much water as his. And for Pete’s sake, cut his Levain builds to at least 25% of what he calls for or you will be throwing away pounds and pounds of flour. 

Bake a few recipes and see for yourself. Some of the best bread ever!

Robin Dobbie's picture
Robin Dobbie

I went ahead and opened it and started reading from the beginning. It's interesting, and there's a bit of info on language and terminology I see people here use. I still don't understand most of it, but I've only read the first chapter.

 

I guess if I were to make a few recipes I'd have to buy white flour. 

 

I've seen Reinhart mentioned a lot, and YouTube even recommended a TED talk he did right after I watched a Ken Forkish video. He's got a thing for whole grain. But 100% whole grain with just salt and yeast? Some of the recipes I've seen of his from a quick internet search had ingredients that would be great ...in a cake. Maybe the books have more conservative recipes.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

THIS is one of my favorite recipes for 100% whole wheat nd it is based on Peter Reinhart's recipe. If you don't want the honey, just don't add it. Same with the fat but whole wheat can benefit from a little oil.

Here is my recipe development sheet on this recipe, so far. I am adapting it to using my starter and includes using Dabrownman's NMNF starter build.

Have fun!

 


100% WHOLE GRAIN BREAD WITH BIGA/SOAKER


 


Based on Reinhart’s master recipe in Whole Grain Breads. Originally found on Genius Kitchen website.


(   ) means to verify next bake


 


BIGA: Night or day before


Ingredients

Volume

Weight

Half-Volume

Half Weight

 

Whole wheat flour

(2 2/3 c)

425g

(    )

212g

 

Water

9 oz

255g

(    )

127g

 

Instant yeast

3/8 tsp

1.5g

(   )

1.5g

Can use IDY or starter.

Active starter

(   )

45g

(     )

45g


Mix biga ingredients in a large Ziploc bag-label it “BIGA”


Rest for 1 hour at room temp then refrigerate for 3-18 hrs.


Warm up to room temp before mixing.


 


Starter build: Day before-3 feedings 4 hrs apart-from Dabrownman’s No Muss No Fuss starter


 

 

First

First

 

2nd

2nd

 

3rd

3rd

 

Dough

 

Build

Build

 

Build

Build

 

Build

Build

 

Weight

Seed*

Flour

Water

Total

Flour

Water

Total

Flour

Water

Total

800

3

6

6

15

11

11

37

22

22

81

800

4

8

8

21

17

17

54

33

33

120

800

6

11

11

28

22

22

72

44

44

160

800

7

14

14

34

28

28

90

55

55

200

800

8

17

17

41

33

33

108

66

66

240


 


 


SOAKER: Night or day before


Ingredients

Volume

Weight

Half-Volume

Half Weight

 

Whole wheat flour

(2 2/3 c)

257g

(     )

127g

 

Water

1 ¼ c

297g

(   )

150

 

Salt

1 tsp

6g

½ tsp

3g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mix the soaker in a large Ziploc bag labeled “SOAKER”


Rest it for 4-19 hrs.


Warm up to room temp before mixing.


 


DOUGH


Ingredients

Volume

Weight

Half-Volume

Half Weight

 

Whole wheat flour

(2/3 c)

85g

1/4 c

44g

 

Salt

1 ¼ tsp

7.5g

½ tsp

3g

 

Oil or soft butter

2 tbsp

21g

1 tbsp

14g oil

 

Honey

2 tbsp-1/4 c

64g

(1 tbsp)

(34g)

 

Instant yeast

1 tsp-1 tbsp

(10.5g)

¾ tbsp

 

 

Starter/natural leaven

(    )

(    )

(  )

200g

 


 


-To make the dough, mix the room temp biga and soaker in a mixer until well combined.


-Add the additional dough ingredients and mix to a windowpane. This is a wet dough that will combine well. I used a series of mixing a few minutes and resting for a few minutes to achieve windowpane.


-Put into an oiled bowl to rise to about 1 ½ times its volume but do a stretch and fold every 30 minutes  for 4 times


-Shape and pan. Let rise to about 150% of their volume.


-Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes.

 

franbaker's picture
franbaker

I'm on the same quest, only I'm also trying to use a sourdough starter/natural levain. Peter Reinhart's recipes, although with more ingredients than I'm looking for, usually do bake up nicely for me.

If you want to try sourdough, here are some good recipes:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/33735/home-bread-fighting-gravity

https://www.theperfectloaf.com/whole-grain-wheat-and-spelt-pan-bread/ you could use all wheat flour instead of part spelt

https://www.theperfectloaf.com/100-whole-wheat-sourdough/#more-1145

Of course then you would need to cultivate, or purchase and revive, a starter; but that's a lot of fun.

roberte's picture
roberte

The Tassajara Bread Book has many 100% WG recipies. Pretty simple techniques. It is more 'touchy-feely' than '1/4 gram', so results can be more variable at first.

The Laual's Kitchen Bread Book is more detailed in both recipies and description of technique.. There are some amazingly light breads there. I use the Featherpuff Bread for WW rolls at Thanksgiving and occasional cinnamon rolls. It makes a light loaf pan bread.

Pretty sure all the recipies a 100% wholegrain.

Robin Dobbie's picture
Robin Dobbie

I appreciate the recipe suggestions but I think y'all are possibly overestimating my ability to even 100% comprehend that right now. Baby steps. I don't even own or ever considered proofing baskets. That's where I am. But the more I read the book the less anxious I am about the prospect of making good bread. 

 Speaking of which, can anyone explain why proofing baskets need to have ridges when the bread crust bakes smooth, regardless? And some people even put fabric of some kind over the basket. I'm just wondering why I can't use a smooth bottomed bowl that's 9.whatever inches by 3.something deep.

A bit of the other equipment suggestions in the book are on the way. Dutch oven, thermometers, dough tub. I have a 6-quart dutch oven, but he was mentioning the steam and size situation isn't quite the same with even a 5-quart. I dropped the $30 on one of the ones he has. I'm so glad it was reasonably priced. I saw some close to $250 which I guess are the Bugatti of the dutch oven community.

 I almost didn't get the dough tub. And then I forgot to order the lid. Another $10 - $17. I'll just make something out of a scrap piece of plywood and weather stripping! lol Maybe I'll get the factory lid when I can afford the Staubugatti dutch oven. 

 

*Oh and Laual's Kitchen Bread Book is in my library's ebook collection, so I'm in line to check that out. If It's as good as FWSY I may buy it, too. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Yes, you can use a smooth bottom bowl or a colander lined with a well floured smooth tea towel. That’s what I did until I got some cheap woven plastic baskets that worked just fine if I spritzed water on them and then floured them. Dabrownman, another Fresh Loafian, uses cheap woven baskets that he gets at a goodwill store. The trick in using all of these substitutes is to use rice flour to prevent sticking. By the way, baskets do not have to be tight woven. The dough stays in there just fine if you shape it properly. 

As to the Dutch oven, I used 5 quart Dutch ovens and they worked just fine. Just use what you have. Be sure that the handle is metal though or do what I did and replace it with a metal cabinet knob. 

I still don’t have the size of dough tub he calls for because it is/was way too expensive in my book. I used a 6 quart punch bowl initially, them got the 6 quart translucent Canbro tubs which were way cheaper than the 12 quart. Storage is also easier with the 6 quart if space is an issue, which in my case, it is. 

For the lid, just use what you have handy. A thick tea towel works fine. By the way, the 6 quart tubs come in sets of 2 and with the lid. Maybe you want to return that 12 quart...

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Sorry, duplicate post. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

For bakers that are new to 100% whole wheat bread her book, Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book, especially the chapter “Loaf for Learning” is a great starting place. She walks you through the entire process of baking a 100% Whole Wheat bread in it’s simplest form. Her communictaion is easily understandable and very precise. She holds the baker’s hand through the whole process.

Note - she does call for yeast. Actually, IMO, that is the best way to start. Especially if you are not experienced using levain or baking Whole Wheat. But, if you insist upon levain, we can suggest the weights and builds to replace the yeast.  Whole Wheat bread is difficult. Learn with yeast and then change over to levain once you succeed with yeast, it is an easy conversion.

Dan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

instead which is way better for baking bread.  All of the stuff you need except for possibly a scale and thermometer are available at Goodwill on dollar Thursdays foa buck each.  I got my stones, DO's, baskets, pans etc there for a grand total of about $20 and that was for several of each in various sizes.  You a making a loaf of bread that costs about buck for white bread and maybe a $1.50 for whole grain ones and $2 for fancy do fruit and nut ones.  Spending that kind of money to make it sounds a bit rich to me but to each their own:-)

Robin Dobbie's picture
Robin Dobbie

Good to know I can use a smooth bowl. The basket thing doesn't really seem ideal. Ken Forkish doesn't even wash his, which seems... It's just if you look at proofing baskets so many have ridges. Must be a tradition thing? Even plastic ones, and the plastic ones have slits in the shallow of the ridges like the wicker proofing baskets have seams. Appears pointless if they're going in a non-perforated plastic bag while proofing. 

 

Here's something else I don't understand, I'm seeing more and more things made from paper. Here's a paper one for $17+shipping. I actually saw a litter box at my local grocery store made out of this crap. They were about $4, which was more than the price for a similarly sized plastic one. Little did I know I should have bought them all up, opened a baking supply website and sold them as plus-sized proofing baskets for $30-$45 a piece! Just did a quick search, you can get 10,000 for $600 from china. Ten thousand. Attention entrepreneurs! haha!

Yeah $26 or whatever seemed a bit much for the dough container. I was thinking of getting a $3 five gallon bucket from the hardware store and cutting it down to a comfortable level and making my own lid(which I'll be doing anyway, especially after reading bad reviews of the proper lid). Ken mentioned whatever bucket needed to be poly-carbonate food-grade which at first I scoffed at. Then I remembered reading that some of these doughs can get acidic if left too long. That scene from Breaking Bad popped in to my head where Jesse didn't get the right kind of container and the acid ate through the floor. Maybe I got took for $26. Feel free to laugh. I'm already laughing! I know we're not working with the same kind of acid or in the same concentrations. In hindsight, a quick search reveals the bucket I was thinking about is made from HDPE which would have worked for Walter White and many other acidic adventures. But it's not clear, so there's that. I think I'll stick with the 12 quart dough tub. It may be easier to do the folds with the 12. For the 6-quart I have food storage containers that should work. 

As far as Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book recipes calling for yeast, I think many FWSY recipes call for yeast as well. Very small amounts are called for in the "grown-up" part of the book, like 1/8 teaspoon. 

On combo cookers vs dutch ovens: are combo cookers going to result in better bread, or is it mainly a burn-avoidance thing? The bread coming out of dutch ovens looks dang good, so considering mine's already shipped and will likely be here tomorrow, I may just use it. I was thinking if I really get into this I might get a second dutch oven, so maybe I'll get the CC for the second loaf all the FWSY recipes make.

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

is that it absorbs a bit of the moisture from the surface of the loaf and creates a skin. Lining your bowl with a tea towel will do the same thing. My plastic baskets had enough space for air to get at the dough even if it was in plastic bags. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I don’t wash mine either! 😳 I make sure they are completely dry before putting them away and every few times I use them, I put them in the oven to sit in the residual heat after baking to make sure nothing is growing. I haven’t had any issues so far. 

And why don’t I wash them? They build up a layer that becomes non stick and I need to use very little bran or rice flour at this point. If I scrubbed them out, I would lose this layer and have to use much more rice flour. 

Robin Dobbie's picture
Robin Dobbie

Does this "skin" make the crust on the baked loaf harder or softer?

 

I was in a situation today where I needed a loaf in a few hours and didn't have time for anything other than a quick bread. I made this, which of course was not good. I did use a little knowledge I've gained in the last few days. I made sure the water wasn't warmer than 110f, and I used the dutch oven with Ken's baking times and temperatures. 475 for 55 minutes, taking the lid off at the 30-minute mark. The crust was tasty, but I was having a difficult time cutting it. I made a joke about having to get out the chainsaw. The people I feed have different levels of being able to handle tough crusts like that. So I'll have to experiment with not taking the lid off as quickly or at all, and/or putting the loaf in a plastic bag soon after baking. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Robin, 475 for 55 minutes sounds too long. The author of the recipe says, “Put it into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. And bingo you have freshly baked bread!”

Softer crust and more tender crumb is produced by using lower heat and not over baking. At least that is my experience.

Dan

Robin Dobbie's picture
Robin Dobbie

The two Ken Forkish recipes that have significant amounts of whole wheat in them are 80 and 82% hydration, so I figured with 92% hydration there'd be no problem using the same temps and times as Ken. 

It was by no means burned. The outside wasn't even as dark as I thought it might be.

 

Tomorrow I'll pick up more flour, start a levain, and wait until next week for good bread. Although I think I'll pick up some white flour and do some recipes as close to the book as possible. I'm the only one in the house who might eat them, but that might not be a problem. :-)

 

zhitomir's picture
zhitomir

I started baking with this book, and I think for baking good artisan bread you could hardly do better for a beginner. It's still my go-to when I want to make bread that I know will turn out fantastic, with the caveats that everyone else mentioned. I'd say, keep the book if you want to (A) gain a good understanding of the effects of different techniques and variables on the final product and (B) bake partial whole grain breads that people will go crazy for. You'll end up with high fiber hearth breads that are healthy and your guests will love.

That said, 100% whole grain breads, especially hearth breads, are another story. My suggestion if you're new to baking would be to start with high fiber, high hydration breads a la FWSY, and then try a few of the enriched breads in Reinhart’s Whole Grain Bread. I bought the book after baking a few whole rye loaves and jumped straight into the whole wheat hearth bread, and ended up with an inedible brick. I've since made many breads from the book that have turned out great, while usually reducing the sugar and yeast content considerably. Lots of his recipes allow for using sourdough, and you can nix the yeast if you have time to wait for the rise. I don't find the book fussy at all, in fact it's my favorite for weeknight bread - mix the pre doughs before bed, the next day, mix them together with final ingredients when you get home from work, and the bread comes out the oven at around 10pm.

Another suggestion if you like rye would be Stanley Ginsberg's blog, "The Rye Baker", which includes tons of pictures to guide you through the strange process of working with pure rye, often without yeast also, with schedules that are fine-tuned for weekday baking. I've yet to have one of his breads turn out bad. 

roberte's picture
roberte

Several 100% WW recipies.

Also, excellent explanation of the why certain techniques work better.

 

 

DoughKnob's picture
DoughKnob

I haven't been able to find any books dealing specifically 100% whole grain sourdough, but for a thorough understanding of bread making, I would highly recommend listening to the podcast series on Chef Jacob's website Stellacullinary.com .  Here is a link to the first in a series of 5. To find the others scroll down to the "Related" window and click on podcasts. The last two deal with sourdough in particular, but he suggests listening to all in sequence, as each new one assumes that you have understood what came before. It's not strictly focused on any one type of bread making, but covers the basics very well, which once understood, give you the foundation on which  to improvise and adapt other recipes to your liking.   

For specific recipes and techniques for 100% wholegrain sourdough, check out Breadtopia's easy bake video series episode 1 and it's supplement just below it.   It is short on specific amounts of flour, as he wants you to learn by feel how much flour the dough can take. I found this frustrating, so using the knowledge I had gained from Chef Jacob, and with the help of my math wiz nephew, reverse engineered the recipe based on the given amount for salt and water, and came up with about 600 grams of flour for a 79% hydration level, which I think is pretty close to what he used in the first segment of the supplement video. There are a lot of other videos and recipes on the site, which will probably be helpful for you as well, and once you have the basics from Chef Jacob down, things will make a lot more sense.

Though not a purist, Reinhart has some really tasty recipes in his Whole Grains book. 

Dan

DoughKnob's picture
DoughKnob

My link for Stella Culinary didn't come through in the last post, I'll try again here. SCS 018| Four Pillars Of Bread | Stella Culinary

Dan