High Hydration - No-Knead in Disguise?
I am trying to make mostly whole wheat high hydration breads, say at least 2/3's whole wheat and appropriate hydration, which is usually 75-85%. I watched several videos on mixing wet doughs - my dough never seemed to look or behave like the ones in the videos.
So I tried the KAF No-Knead whole wheat bread https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2016/09/27/whole-wheat-no-knead-bread/, baked it in a dutch oven, and finally got some oven spring and a nice open crumb, pretty consistent from top to bottom with a nice wheaty flavor after 3 days bulk fermentation in the fridge. It is a mixed blessing to find out that not kneading yields a better result than mixing and stretching-and-folding by yourself.
So I took a break from whole wheat and am making some pizza dough http://theartisan.net/pizzabas.htm (Note that The Artisan web site is great for Italian breads). KAF sent me some of their Italian Style flour in place of the High Gluten I had ordered, so why not pizza.
The pizza dough formula has a range of hydration from 67 - 88%. I went for the full wet, and mirabile dictu, the dough looked just like the doughs in those high hydration mixing videos. After 2 10 minutes intervals of Rubaud's method https://youtu.be/27y9XQ9JJmE the dough looked just like the dough in the video.
After an hour of bulk fermentation at room temp, I put it in the fridge, where it has doubled in size. It greatly resembles the No-Knead Whole Wheat dough, which was a 90% hydration.
I am starting to think that whether mixed by hand or machine, the very high hydration doughs make most of their gluten while fermenting and not during the actual mixing.
When my next bag of WW flour arrives, I may try a high WW percentage and high hydration, mix by hand, and go for a 1-2 day retarded fermentation to get the structure.