The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Grain & Sourdough, a match made in heaven!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Whole Grain & Sourdough, a match made in heaven!

God Bless Virginia Beach Barry, aka Barryvabeach! Barry is a sold out whole wheat, home milled baker. Lately, I’ve been influenced by him to go back to basics and give 100% home milled whole grain bread a try. It has been years since a bread of that nature came out of my oven.

I expected the bread to taste “healthy”. What I didn’t anticipate was how mind blowingly great it could taste! The slice was sweet with a slight tangy taste. Sourdough and Hard Red Wheat are meant to go together. As I chewed the sliced, it became increasingly creamy in my mouth.  Toasted or just plain buttered, it is really phenomenal. 

   

   

Isn’t amazing how 3 ingredients; flour, water, & salt can produce such an endless variety of gastric treats that bless and warm our souls? I can hardly wait for lunch...

Thanks Barry, for bringing me back to my roots.

Danny

 

ifs201's picture
ifs201

So well done, Danny. I've been increasing my whole grain percentage from about 20% to 45% lately, but you're inspiring me to try a 100% whole grain loaf. What was your hydration level?

 

Ilene

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dan

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Very helpful. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Illene, you don’t have to use 20% starter in your levain. Just build up to the desired total weight for your dough. The sheet shows 1:5:5, but any ratio of starter to flour is fine.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I'll probably just follow my normal method then. 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Nice to  see your spreadsheet. I like to see that I am not the only one writing these up as a straight dough, then converting based on % pre-ferment flour. I wish more formulas were written up like that. Yours looks more colorful and makes me think I should revisit mine.

I am starting to try adding more whole wheat to my sourdoughs. I just made the Ode to Bourdon from Tartine 3. I didn't have high extraction flour, so it ended up with about 1/4 King Arthur bread flour. Waiting for it to cool down. I hope it looks as good as yours  does inside. Of course, I don't mill my own and am sure  that makes a difference. It also uses about 1/4 white whole wheat and has wheat germ added:

Whole Wheat Flour50.0%
Bread Flour26.7%
White Whole Wheat Flour23.3%
Water86%
Salt2.3%
Wheat Germ6.51%

---

% Pre-Ferment Flour7.0%

 

Edit to add: I am curious... Why 14.25% fermented flour instead of a more rounded number?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Maverick, are you asking about my prefermented flour percentage? I am very detail oriented. When a spreadsheet is setup the flour in the preferment is divided by the total flour, and the figure is what it is. Sometimes I write 8.946%. Crazy, isn’t it? My wife sure thinks so.

If you or anyone else would like a copy of my working spreadsheet, send me a PM with your email address.

Danny

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I was more curious about why that number was chosen. I understand being detailed. If a formula gives 399g or something, it feels strange to add 400g instead :) I am going to send a pm now...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

How do I send you a PM to get the spreadsheet?

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Easiest way is to click his name and scroll down on the left to "send this user a message". Or you can try this (not sure it will work):

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/messages/new/32564?destination=user/32564

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

is the message i get from the link and nothing happens when I click on the name. Perhaps my membership is lacking some of these privileges. The good news is I am not a robot

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

OK MT, I know what is going on. I’ll get with Floyd (site admin) and have him set your privileges. 

I’ll get back to you when they are set.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Floyd is “speedy Gonzales”. MT, you are set with the proper privileges.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Dan, was that Hard Red Winter or Hard Red Spring?

 I _think_ there is a difference in baking quality and taste, but I have not made enough loaves to really compare.  

Have you made loaves or posted recipes/pics of 100% Hard White Spring, such as Prairie Gold?

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m not sure Dave. I’ve had this for a while. I prefer the stronger flavor of Red to White Wheat.

A year or so back I did do a grain comparison. It I can fnd it I’ll post the link.

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo
Benito's picture
Benito

Great looking bakes Dan.  I think if I can have another successful bake of Maurizio's sourdough then I will go back to try doing increasing % whole grains again and with some luck I'll have better success with higher amounts of whole grains.

Benny 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, the main issue with whole grain is that it tends to ferment faster. Don’t let it get away from you and over proof.

Also sifting out the bran is another “secret” that will lighten your loaf. Use the siftings in the levain. The long soak with soften the large bits. I discovered a trick for sifting. I use a very strong chiropractic vibrator on the sieve. Will post video soon.

OK, one more thing. Try to use wheat with a high protein, which I think you are already doing.

Dan

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Great suggestions, I would never have thought of putting the sifted bran into the levain to give it a long soak to soften more.

Yes I do use strong white flour but with the whole red fife I cannot find the protein content of it so I'm unsure if it is a strong whole flour or not.

Benny

tarheel_loafer's picture
tarheel_loafer

I use the siftings in the banneton, helps it release and gives the crust a more interesting texture. Also, I think Hamelman recommended hard winter wheat over hard spring wheat, but I can't remember why. 

Amazing loafs, really inspiring. I recently made a couple loaves  that were 40% whole wheat, 60% stone ground and sifted to around 80-85% extraction. The rise was nowhere near as good as yours, but the flavor was UNBELIEVABLE, and it just got better and better over the next couple days. I can't wait to try again. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

TarHeel, good idea to use the bran in the banneton. I have been meaning to try grinding the bran using a mortar and pestle, but keep forgetting. I have used the M&P to pulverize salt into a talcum like powder. It incorporates into the dough very nicely. Heck, I even sift my flour using a large strainer before autolysing so that I don’t get those dreaded pea sized lumps in my dough. Hey! I’m retired. What’s a guy to do? :D

Dan

tarheel_loafer's picture
tarheel_loafer

Well, if you need something to do, your mention of vibration to help sifting made me think of something like this.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCM1V_CBBOI

 

I'm lazy so I'll probably just try putting a board on top of my ultrasonic cleaner though. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Just wanted to point out that Danny made a great loaf, much better than most that I have been making, and I have been on a 100% home milled wheat kick for years.  I use Winter White, which I understand is not as strong as spring wheat in terms of protein content, and it definitely more of a challenge than BF.  I do love the fact that it is 3 ingredients, and the variety of flavors you can get with just those three ingredients, in the same ratios,  depending on how long you ferment, and at what temps, is what I have been playing with for months.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry, I looked up the wheat I used. It is Hard Red Winter wheat from Pleasant Hill Grains. https://pleasanthillgrain.com/buy-hard-red-wheat-berries-for-sale-bulk

I like the stronger flavor of Red Wheat. Repeating myself, the flavor and texture of this bread is fantastic!

Spring wheat is sown in the spring and is harvested in the fall. Winter wheat is sown in the fall, lives through the winter, and is then harvested in the summer. Harder winter wheat usually contains a higher protein content than spring wheat and is suitable for making pasta and bread. Spring wheat is used for products that do not require high-protein content, such as tender pastries and cakes.

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

may I ask how long and at what temp your BF and FF went for? Also number of S/fs? These are great looking loaves Dan. I bake only 100% wholewheat (Australian flour, milled very very finely so that bran cannot be sifted out) and my crumb is not as open as yours.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks Valerie. Lately I’ve been going completely by intuition. “Watching and Giving”. Watching the dough closely and giving it what it wants, seriously. I fermented @ 78F which I consider room temp. Unfortunately, I don’t know the timing.

  • Autolysed 2 hours.
  • Did a couple of hundred slap & folds using 2 sessions. Being watchful not to harm the gluten. You may do more or less reps, watch and give.
  • Since it was extensible, it got a lamination, stretched thin. It rec’d it well.
  • Several letter folds on bench.
  • Shaped using Kristen of FullProofBaking method for batards.
  • Overnight retard, baked cold.

There are 3 things that have propelled all of my bakes in the last 3 months.

  1. Not over fermenting (in the least) - - most important - - Great bread is not possible without Oven Spring!
  2. Don’t force the dough to do anything that it doesn’t want. Trevor, the “Dough Whisperer” says, be gentle.
  3. Mega amounts of steam

The breads I am consistently baking in the last 3 months have no resemblance to the breads I have baked for the last 2 (plus) decades.

That is the very best I can describe the bake. I hope it helps. If I can help more, I will...

Danny

 

 

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Thanks , Danny for your detailed and very helpful response. TFL is such a generous collection of bakers! One question, was your overnight FF also at room temperature or in the fridge?

Although  I have been baking wholewheat bread for decades, it is only in the last couple of years that I have been bitten by the artisan bug. I have an issue with intuitive baking. Certainly, I know my dough needs 90%+ hydration but I then have an issue with a gummy residue on the knife when slicing. (!freezing after cooling and then toasting removes this problem). Going   by "feel",  though, I can tell I need a softer dough to work with. 

I have never used lamination and I imagine I would need a softer, more extensible dough to do so.

Perhaps there is a difference between Australian and American flours that affects my end result. My crumb is ok when I compare it with wholegrain loaves on various sites but it is definitely not as open as yours.

I am certainly not concerned about the flavour of my loaves and I suppose my concerns are all related to producing a consistently admirable loaf! 

I hasten to add that I am not expecting  you to wave a magic wand but rather seeking to learn everything I can from those who have found the open road! 

One thing I forgot to mention is the fact that I have to bake my loaves for 2 hours, plus 40 mins in a turned off oven.

Sorry for all these meandering  reflections. You might or might not have time to comment!

Happy baking. May you continue tomproduce such impressive and nutritious loaves. Valerie

 

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Valerie, something is Big Time wrong. Baking 2 hours plus 40 minutes with the oven off is unheard of. Something is really off.

  1. what temperature are you baking
  2. have you used a thermometer to test that your oven temp is accurate 

Please reply with your formula. I’d like to take a look.

I suggest you get in touch with Leslie Ruf. She is an excellent baker from New Zealand and may be able to suggest an excellent flour or grain. She is a home miller. Are you milling in-home?

When it comes to basic whole wheat bread, one books comes to mind, Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. I have the first edition, so I can’t give to the pages in the latest version, but there is a section called, “A Loaf for Learning”. She devotes 34 pages to that one basic loaf. It is thorough and detailed. I am reasonably sure that your bread will make a quantum leaf if you follow her instructions precisely. I am not sure if you bake with sourdough or not. She uses yeast. But it is worth baking as is with yeast first and then after you succeed we can edit the formula to include sourdough. This section changed my 100% whole grain bread baking...

Danny

 

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Thanks, Danny for your further feedback.

i know my baking times are exceptionally long but that was my intuitive response to gummy loaves when my hydration exceeded about 88%. I suppose my feeling is that if this is what the loaf takes, then this is what it takes! The reason remains a mystery to me, unless it is related to my flour. I have found this timing necessary, irrespective of the oven. (My previous oven was replaced by an expensive Italian model with identical results) I have checked its accuracy with an oven thermometer.

i have seen the book you mention recommended by others so I will check out my local library. There is always something to be learned.

i have baked with sourdough for the last thirty or so years but until joining the artisan sourdough brigade I have adopted a more precise approach, which I suppose in my case is less intuitive.

I use a rye starter which is very active and my formula is as follows: 1000g wholewheat, finely ground. I do not own a mill so purchase my flour direct from a flour mill.                              150g starter

                                                                                                              20g salt

                                                                                                               850 water

With the water in the starter total hydration is 91.7%. My feeling is that the dough needs more water but then gummiy residue on the knife becomes a problem.

Depending  on my schedule, I do an autolyse of varying lengths, 2 hrs to ON in fridge, or else I combine all ingreds from the outset. I do a long BF (usually about 21-22 hrs by which time the increase in volume is roughly 30%. FF usually about 2 hrs.

i will definitely make contact with the baker you mention. 

Thank you again for all your suggestions, Danny. I am happy with the flavour of my bread and could not imagine anything else for breakfast toast. However, the issue of knife residue does puzzle me and stops me from doing what my intuition tells me the dough needs - namely, higher hydration. Valerie

 

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Valerie, something is amiss. I’d love to see this solved!

You wrote, “I do a long BF (usually about 21-22 hrs by which time the increase in volume is roughly 30%. FF usually about 2 hrs.” To make sure I understand correctly. The dough rises at room temp for ~2hr and then is retarded in the refrigerator for 21-22hr. Is that correct?

The gummy problem puzzles me. I know exactly what that is. I have had it when using too much Diastatic Malt and also using whole Rye. I get the gummy stuff on the knife. It’s terrible. Have to tried a different flour? Could your starter be the problem?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to make a loaf under 88% hydration loaf.  Just try it and see what happens.  Maybe tell us how the starter behaves and it's maintenance.  To me 90% sounds too wet but there may be something else going on we can spot.  We might even come up with a test or experiment that can narrow down the problem.  :)

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

I have done this, Mini. Certainly, at about 80% the gumminess-on-the-knife problem disappears. However, at this hydration the dough is unworkable. A S/F would be but a dream as the dough is a very stiff lump for which any type of stretching is impossible. As i increase hydration, the dough becomes softer and more workable, though still well within my ability to manage. Hydration lower than 80% produces a very dense, heavy bread.

i keep my whole rye starter in the fridge and feed before my weekly bake of two loaves. I feed in the morning of the day before baking, return to fridge, then transfer to bench on baking day. It doubles in 5-6 hours at about 24C room temp. It is always very fluffy, light and bubbly when I add it to the autolyse.

Re the gumminess, I have had a thought. After my bread has cooled for about 6-8 hrs, I slice and freeze immediately. When removed from the freezer and toasted there is no gumminess, despite the residue on the knife when I am slicing. I have read on various sites that this is not an uncommon problem. Perhaps if the bread were to be left at room temperature, rather than freezing, the gumminess would have disappeared. This is an experiment that I have not yet tried, so perhaps I should go down that path. Your opinion would be appreciated

Thanks for your response, Mini. Words of wisdom from experienced bakers are always valuable. Valerie

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

@ValerieC: What is the internal temp of your whole wheat bread at the end of the bake? 

I bake a lot of nearly 100% whole wheat (mostly home milled, so it is 95%+ extraction after blending) loaves, and I find that I have to achieve an internal temp of 209/210 F in order to avoid the gumminess problem.  I use an instant read probe thermometer, just  a cheap digital one from Amazon.

I have a gut feel that your gumminess situation is due to the baking method. For example, what is the oven temp at the start of your bake, and what is the oven temp after one hour, and at the end?

Do you feel comfortable telling us the story behind the 2 hr 40 min bake?

Also, are you baking one big 2,000 gram loaf, or are you divvying it up, and if so, how many?

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Thanks for your response, idaveindy. Sorry my reply is belated. Life intervened! 

To answer your questions: The loaves at the end of baking register 98.9 on a probe thermometer.

My baking times are: 250C @ 10 mins, 230 @ 10 mins, 210@ 40 mins, 185@ 60 mins, turned off oven@ 40 mins. 

I have adopted this timing in increments in an attempt to solve the gumminess on the knife when slicing.

i bake two equal-size loaves from the initial 1000g flour - in D/Ovens. Valerie

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

98.9C = 210F, so that's good.   (Just converting for us North Americans... 250C = 482F, 10 min.  230C = 446F, 10 min.  210C = 410F, 40 min. 185C = 365F, 60 min. )

a) Do you preheat  the dutch oven? 

b) At what point in the bake do you take the lid off the dutch oven?  Those temperatures and times are plenty to bake a 2.2 pound (1 kg) loaf in a DO. Those temperatures might even be too high for loaves that size, if you preheat the DO. If you're keeping the lid on the dutch oven too long, you might be trapping too much moisture in the loaf. 

c) my only other guess is maybe the powerful rye starter is making too much sugar during your ferments, and the excess sugar is what is holding on to the excess moisture.

I'm just learning baking "diagnosis" skills, so please bear with me. I hope my questions are not too silly, simple or offensive.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Is it possible your oven's thermostat is off?  Have you used an oven thermometer to check it?

I checked my kitchen's electric oven, and actual temp, according to store-bought oven thermometer, is 25 degrees F below the oven setting.

My cheapy toaster oven has an actual temp, according to store-bought thermometer, 50 degrees F hotter than the toaster oven's dial setting. 

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Thanks, idaveindy, for further thoughts on my problem. There is absolutely no way that I could find your questions offensive. I am intensely grateful that you and others would take the time and effort to offer valuable insights. 

Because I have burned myself seriously on very hot DOs, i now do not preheat. I bake the two loaves in 18cm springform pans inside the DOs, which are too large for the amount of dough. Lids are removed after 30 mins, at which stage there is only minimal oven spring. All the oven spring occurs after the lids are removed. I then cover loaves with a sheet of foil to prevent excessive browning. Next bake, I will bake one loaf out of the DO. I began using the DO to create steam. I do not own a stone.

A kitchen store oven thermometer does not reveal any inaccuracy but the oven does take a long time to reach the maximum heat of 250C

i found your comment about the starter most interesting. I had not been aware of this possibility.

There is considerable irony here. For decades I made bread intuitively, self-taught, using an overnight sponge with half the flour and all the water and then a bulk ferment next morning with the other half of the total flour. I measured nothing, used my wholewheat starter straight from the fridge, scored BEFORE the start of the single ferment after shaping the loaves. When the score line opened, that was my sign that the loaves were ready for the oven!  Still needed the same length of time to bake,  as currently. Now, with a library of bread books, accurate scales, a head full of theory and a desire to produce loaves that could justifiably  be called "artisan" loaves, I am beset by problems!

Never mind, persistence wins the day, they say.

 Thenk you again for your suggestions, all very gratefully received and acted upon.Valerie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I (think I) see the situation now, it's a cold DO, and the dough-mass is "double-wall insulated" (the DO and the spring form, and I assume the pan/bottom of the springform) from the heat of the oven.  The dough is essentially sitting "cool" and getting another 20-25, maybe 30, minutes of ferment time before the internal temp kills off the yeast.

Your current set-up makes it so that oven heat reaches the dough way too slowly. it's extremely delayed.  The air between the DO and the springform is like insulation between two walls.  Then as more CO2 air pockets form against the inside wall of the springform, due to the 20-30 minute additional ferment, those pockets are even more insulation between the dough and the outer heat source.  (Ever ferment/rise in a glass bowl or plastic tub and see pockets form against the wall?)

I totally understand not wanting to preheat the DO due to injury.

I'll suggest several solutions -- first one is spending some money, but the next ones will be work-arounds with your current equipment.  I assume your current DO is a pot type, with a traditional lid with a handle on top, and is not a "combo cooker".

...

The first or "ideal" solution would be to get a correct size "combo cooker" (such as the Lodge 3.2 quart model) where the "lid" is actually a skillet.  The Lodge 3.2 quart model has a long handle and a short handle on -both- the pot and also on lid.  See:  https://www.amzn.com/s?k=lodge+combo+cooker

You then invert it, so that the lid becomes like a skillet, and is now the bottom, and thereby you can pre-heat it and won't burn yourself putting the dough on the "skillet" or while scoring. The pot then becomes the "lid" or cover. It's no worse than using a hot skillet on the stove-top. 

But, assuming you don't want to, or can't get a new baking vessel, I'll suggest another work around.

However, to do a work-around with your current equipment, I need a better picture, so some more questions. Actually, now I see several possible work-arounds if you have some other equipment available.

workaround questions, or questions to help me draft possible work-around solutuons.  (Sorry this is getting so detailed.)

1) how tall are the sides of the springform? And when the dough finally springs, does it overflow the springform and spread sideways, or does it only expand  upwards?     

18cm (7 inches) is a pretty narrow diameter for a  1 kg dough boule. so it must be going tall or wide.

2) are you using the springform side piece and the springform bottom piece, or just the side piece?

3) questions about the DO, if you have others, give me a brief overview, at least qt/liter capacity.

  a) Is it bare cast iron or enameled cast iron?  If enameled, is it enameled both inside and out?

   b) What is the volume capacity? (quarts or liters)

   c) What is the inside diameter dimension of the DO pot at the top/lip? Or inside length/width if oval, measured at top/lip?

    d) what is the inside diameter (or length/width if oval) towards the bottom, measured about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the bottom?  (I assume bottom is curved, so 1 inch up gives a better picture.

Other equipment you might have:

1) Do you have any regular metalic loaf pans? Using just aluminum foil as a cover might be "good enough".  Thinner walled than a DO, so heat will transfer quicker and no need to pre-heat the pan, just the oven. You might have to adjust loaf size. 3 loaves out of 2 kg instead of 2, or make a smaller batch up front.  Aluminum foil does not have to fit tightly, as you can afford to lose a little moisture with all that water in it.

2) do you have any rectangular or circular cast iron griddles/skillets, or oven-safe steel or copper skillets? (That is, no coatings, and no plastic parts.) They can be bread baking vessels, and can be pre-heated.  An inverted steel mixing bowl could be the cover. It doesn't have to be a "tight" fit because your dough is so hydrated, and you can afford to lose a little steam.  I've baked mini boules on a 9" diameter cast iron griddle covered with a 7" diameter steel bowl.

3) Do you have any  2 to 3  liter Pyrex, or other brand borosilicate (ie, oven safe) measuring bowls or mixng bowls? They can be used as baking vessles with aluminum foil covers.  I've done this several times.  My 2 liter measuring bowls have another 1.5 inches above the 2 liter mark, and have flat bottoms. There  is a small danger of cracking the glass, whether you pre-heat the glass or not.  If you do not pre-heat the glass , you're putting a cold glass bowl in a hot oven.  If you  do preheat the glass, you're putting "cold" dough in a hot glass container.  

When oven baking with borosilicate/Pyrex vessels, I put the vessel directly on the 2nd or 3rd rack from the bottom, and put a large  cookie sheet or roasting pan or baking stone on the bottom rack to block the direct radiant heat of the heating element. that "blocking" pan or sheet or stone is there both during the pre-heat of the baking vessel, and during the bake.  I use the "blocking" trick when preheating and baking with my Lodge cast iron combo cooker too.

After pre-heating, I spray a little cooking spray oil in my Pyrex/borosilicate bowl and wipe it around with a paper towel to help prevent sticking. I put a little oil on my cast iron and wipe it thin too, after pre-heating, and before loading the dough in it.

 I  always preheat my baking vessel, whether Pyrex/borosilicate glass, cast iron combo cooker, or cast iron griddle/skillet. Have not cracked anything yet.

I look forward to your reply.

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Wow! How lucky am I to have all these leads to a potential solution! I am writing briefly to alert you to the fact that within an hour I will be travelling to the city for appointments and will be absent for a few days. Please don't think that I am ignoring your very detailed suggestions. As soon as I return home I shall read your questions carefully and forward the details for which you ask. Thank you for the very considerable amount of thought that you have devoted to this issue. Valerie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is double walls.  I propose another solution....

Put the dough into the cold Dutch Ovent about 30 minutes before it would be ready to bake, then into 230° C preheated oven and wait about 30 minutes with the lid on until the pot is hot.  No spring form.

Start counting off your baking time with the lid still in place.  

After 30 minutes (or you start to smell toast) remove lid and turn down the heat to finish the bake.  Major Spring should have taken place when lifting the lid.

       You can also get the pot hotter sooner with the upper/lower/fan heat blowing on the Dutch Oven.  I've done that baking inside two woks, one inverted over the other.   What you are dealing with is lag time until the dough starts to bake.  I would also not score or with very shallow cuts that should open more as the heat builds inside the pot.  

With the dough (no banneton)  free standing dough, make sure you have folded the dough often to build strength and have the end timing down to folding--short rest--shaping--short final proof to happen directly inside the DO pot.  Try the method after trying to get the proofed loaf 30 minutes early into the pot. 

No extra equipment required.

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

I have made a note in my book of useful tips, Mini. Many thanks for your help. Valerie

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

@Mini, Val said the DO was too big for the loaf, which is why she used the springform,  so I assume that means the bread would be too wide and short baked directly in the DO.  but it seems to me a 1 kg risen dough mass would be too big for a 7" (18cm) dia by 1" to 1.5" tall springform.  So maybe she's using a tallish, what, maybe 3" tall springform?  So I asked how it spreads.  Is it coming out like a mushroom, spreading out over the sides of a short springform?  Or is it a tall springform and the bread expands just vertically?

If the latter (the springform is tall and contains all the dough/loaf) I was going to suggest she just bake it in the springform alone, with a loose aluminum foil cover, and a cookie sheet or roasting pan on the rack below the rack where the spring form is, so that the lower heating element does not overheat the bottom of the loaf (due to direct radiation) making a too dark and thick crust on the bottom.  This  would likely require a lower baking temp, but still need much less time than the 2 hour 40 minute bake.

Or, if the rising loaf overflows the sides of the springform, put the springform directly on a cookie sheet/roasting pan, and aluminum foil just barely covering the dough/springform.

If the object is to get rid of the excess moisture (gumminess) in the dough, I'm thinking a DO is not really needed, and just go with a lower bake temperature.

Also, if the DO is enameled inside and out, those take longer to heat up from room temp, compared to a bare cast iron one, due to the insulating properties of the enamel/ceramic.  

If her DOs are enameled, at least some of the same problem is going to arise, even without the springform, as long as the bake starts  in a cold enameled DO, and it's a hot but "slow" oven.

@Val: One other question for when you get back: Are you putting two 1 kg loaves in two DOs and baking them at the same time?  That's what one comment sounded like, but I just want to make sure I understood it correctly.

Because if your oven is "slow to pre-heat", as mentioned in one comment, it is also going to be slow in bringing all that cold mass of the two oversized DOs up to temp.  Yes, it can get to 250 C like you said, but if the oven is _slow_ in getting up to 250C, and you're using two massive and  cold and "insulated/heat-resistant" (enameled) DOs at once, that _is_ a factor.  You just put a "heavy mass of cold" in a hot oven, which makes it have to almost "start over again" in the slow process of getting up to temp, again.

So... those particular details, dimensions and nature of the DO(s), and dimensions of the springform, are going to be the key factors for designing a work-around. 

I see the goals here as: 1) not have to buy more equipment, 2) get a loaf shaped close to what you want, 3) for safety: never have to put a hot DO back in the oven, or have to score a loaf while it's inside a hot DO.

 Sorry this (and previous) got so wordy.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Sorry, Dan. I seem to have taken over your thread with my verbosity.   In my defense, I'm a "compulsive helper" with Asperger's, retired from a career in computer/IT consulting.  

Feel free to send me a private message if/when I get too involved, overbearing, pushy, verbose, anal-retentive, etc. 

I respect your (and Mini's!) expertise and friendly online mannerisms.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The importantly thing is that Valerie gets an exceptional loaf of bread.

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Well, idaveindy, danny and mini, now that I have returned home I can begin to respond to your posts and provide some additional information.

first, though, I must ask for your patience. I am an ancient person with extremely limited computer skills and with no grandchildren nearby to set me wise. I realise that an image of a typical loaf would be invaluable but for the life of me, I cannot work out how to do so.

* I bake my initial 1000g flour in two boules at the same time. Baked weight @ 850-890 depending on hydration.

# I put a trivet in the base of the DO to prevent excessive burning and thickness of base crust.

DOs are not preheated. Lids are removed at 30 mins, at which stage boules are pale and slightly rounded. Oven spring seems to occur after lids are removed. I then cover boules with a loose layer of foil for the rest of the bake to prevent excessive browning. 

Spingform pans are 19 not 18 cm as previously stated. Sorry, my error.

My DOs are traditional camping style black cast iron, with no enamel surfaces and with a top lid and handle. They are 4.5 qt capacity. Inside diameter at lip is 23.5cm. Inside diameter 1" above bottom is 21.5 cm.

Sides of springform = 6cm. I use both base and sides of springform. When dough is placed in s/form pan,  it does not reach the side walls. During proofing it spreads sideways to meet walls,  which makes it hard for me to judge degree of readiness. I think I probably underproof because of this. During baking it springs upwards.

i have three solid, mild steel rectangular loaf  pans that my husbandyh made. The base is 12cm wide x 22.5 cm long. The sloping .walls are 8 cm . At the lip of the pan the width is 14cm and the length 24.25 cm

i also have two circular cast iron skillets with a base of 21.5 cm diameter and sloping sides of 4 cm.

I feel very wary about baking with pyrex even though I know others do so successfully. I still don't feel completely at home with my new oven. (90cm Bertazzoni)

I hope I have answered all your questions. I am intensely grateful for all the time and effort that everyone is devoting to find a solution. Valerie

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Valerie, welcome back.  Thanks for the detailed reply, I think I have a good picture now.   Again, I'm pontificating remotely, so these are just suppositions on my part. But here goes...

Your dutch oven is just too big for the physical dimension size of loaf. (It's heavy, but not big size-wise, so fermenting more and getting it poofed up is another discussion.) 

And, secondly, perhaps a better reason, there is so much moisture in your loaf, you do not even need a dutch oven to keep moisture in. What you want to do in your case, is get _rid_ of more moisture, so that it's not so gummy.

Hence.... I suggest using the loaf pans.

And... since you want to slice and toast this bread anyway, the rectangular loaf shape will give you a consistent size of slices for your toaster, as opposed to the round boule style.

I would lightly/thinly but completely oil or butter the inside bottom and sides of your loaf pans, and coat/dust with corn-meal to help keep from making too dark a crust.  And also use the cookie sheet or roasting pan trick on a lower shelf to block direct radiant heat from the lower oven element.

Keep your same batch size and divide into the 3 loaf pans. If this works, then try it with dividing into just 2 pans, but that will require slightly lower temps and longer bake times.

The density of these loaves is going to suggest a low and slow bake. Probably still 60 to 75 minutes.

Still use the foil covers for the first 25 to 35 minutes, but don't seal them tightly, maybe a loose upside down spread-out V, like a roof or hat.

Suggested temps/times:  

(these are guesses for starting out, and will need to be adjusted.  I too make very wet loaves of nearly 100% whole wheat/whole grain, so I'm basing these guesses on my experience.)

1. preheat oven to 450F / 232C. Do not preheat pans. final proof can still be in pans.  Score the loaves right before putting them in oven.

2. Load oven and immediately turn heat setting down to 425F / 218C.

3. bake covered at 425F / 218C for 10 minutes.

4. bake covered at 400F / 204C for 20 minutes.

5. Remove foil and bake uncovered at 380F / 193C for 15 minutes.

6. Bake uncovered at 350F / 177C for 15 minutes.

7. check internal temp, and keep baking at 350F / 177C until internal temp is 210F / 98.9C. 

8. if internal temp is not 210F / 98.9C by 70 minutes, then next time adjust above temps upward, or extend  the time of step 4, documenting the changes, so you remember what eventually works.

9. if top crust starts to look too dark in step 5 or 6, put foil back on.

Keeping the uncovered bake temps under 400F / 204C will help avoid making crust too dark. Part of getting the moisture out is to not sear or seal the crust too soon. A hard crust forming too soon on top holds moisture in.  

After baking, remove from pans, turn loaves upside down, and let them sit out (not in a bag)  at least one hour before slicing.

Good luck, and happy baking.

I'll let Dan and Mini address the issue of getting more rise out of your dough before baking.  But one of your comments above made me think you enjoy the dense style loaf once it is toasted.

i'm pretty confident you can still get your bake time down from 2 hr 40 minutes, to 70 minutes or 90 minutes at most, even without adjusting the make-up and proof/rise procedure of your dough.  It was the springforms inside of the huge cold  dutch ovens.

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Idaveindy, mini and danny, thank you for your posts. I was certainly wide of the mark in terms of calculating the hydration of a starter. Your very detailed explanation has clarified that issue for me, mini.

sorry for my delay in responding but I wanted to do my usual weekend bake so that I could report back. I baked one loaf in the springform pan and the other in the loaf pan. Oven spring was not spectacular but they were nicely rounded loaves. I extended the baking times you suggested as a starting point, Dave, and next bake, I think I will need to go a bit further. Total bake was 90'mins and internal temp reached 99.4. I think you were right about the premature formation of a dry skin with my previous higher temps. The moistness is the same, with so much knife residue that I had to wash the knife after every few slices. I will try again with using only 800g water and hope that, having more experience than previously,  I will somehow manage to work/knead that very stiff lump of dough. Oven spring is greater when I use a DO as opposed to tins only. I suppose the imoistness ssue is not of huge importance in that I use the bread for toast. However, I would also like to be able to use it as fresh bread with a meal, as my partner prefers. Surprisingly, the boule had a much more open crumb than the loaf tin bread - in fact, probably the most open I have ever produced.

Even though there is still work to do on my part, I feel that I have learned a lot in the process of absorbing your suggestions and putting them into practice. 

Again my thanks to all three for your encouragement. I am sure that one day I will manage to produce a truly lovely loaf. Valerie

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

1. So, it looks like the springforms work out better than the loaf pans.  We got that out of the way.

2. Could you please comfirm whether you are or are not adding diastatic malt powder to the dough?  Whole wheat flour does not need it, but apparently, Australian white flour does, because Australian millers don't add malted barley flour to white flour like American millers do. I picked that up on another thread.  I know you said you use 100% whole wheat flour.  I'm just wondering if you forgot to mention diastatic malt in your formula.

3. About your all rye starter with whole wheat.  This is a guess, but maybe a rye starter/levain is too powerful, in terms of enzymes, for whole wheat with a 22 hour bulk ferment.  my guess is that it is making too much sugar, and the sugar is holding on to the mositure.  I suggest an experiment. Next time you bake, take just 40 to 50 gr of your rye starter, and build it up to 150 gr of starter using the same whole wheat flour as your dough.  it will still have some rye, but will be mostly whole wheat. Just an experiment, to see if my too-much-sugar guess holds.  

Don't throw out your rye starter, I'm just suggesting building another sub-batch of starter just for one test bake.

4. When your bread comes out gummy, is it sweeter than when it was not gummy?  Can you taste that, or is it just a matter of wetter?  This is also to try to see if too much sugar could be the cultprit.

5. Fermenting a very wet dough, a long time, using a rye starter, can cause excess sugar, so much that it might  not get all eaten by the yeast.   As I understand it  Rye flour has more of those enzymes that convert starch to sugar. And all that moisture is allowing the rye's enzymes to work extra hard.

6. Are you letting your baked loaves cool in open air (not bagged) at least an hour after baking, and before slicing?

 

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Danny, the BF is 21-22 hrs at RT (my kitchen is still cold at 15-17C / 59-63F.) The FF is done in the B&T @25C//78F.

Your reply has highlighted a fly in the ointment. Obviously, I am unaware of the formula for calculating hydration level. How would I adjust for my starter, which is more than 100% given that rye sarters are so much thicker than others? When I feed my starter I use 50:100:130. Thanks for detecting this inaccuracy.

regarding my flour, I have limited choice as I live in the country and shipping online is beyond my budget.

Again my thanks. I am indebted to you. Valerie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

starter ratios can be written starter/water/flour  or  starter/flour/water.  I think you are telling us there is more water weight than flour weight   So the starter feeding of 130g water with 100g flour  hydration is  130%.

The formula for calculating is.....  water weight divided by flour weight times ten to give the percentage of hydration.

so it looks like this.... 130 / 100 = 1.30    1.30 x 100= 130%.    

So what does mean?   50g of starter is also 130% hydration  

To figure the total flour and water one sometimes needs to figure out how much flour and water is in any given amount of starter. That is when you take the ratio (50;100;130) (s;f;w) and do some simple figuring.

(This is a rather practical mix as it also shows the flour at 100% and water at 130% with the starter inoculate at 50% of the flour.)   (The ratio can also be reduced to 1;2;2.6 by dividing the starter amount into the other numbers.)

Add up the flour and water fed to the starter.... 130 + 100 = 230  now plug into a formula read the following out loud slowly if you have to.  I do.

Now let's say the recipe asks for 200g starter.  How much of my 130% hydration starter is flour?  How much is water? We only need to figure either flour or water and substact to get the other or we can do both and add up the amounts to check our maths.

    to figure flour.   Multiply the weight of fed flour times weight of starter in question and divide by the total of flour and water fed.   Looks like this:  (100 x 200)/ 230 = 86.9 blah blah blah or round up to 87grams, that's the flour.

    To figure water.  Multiply the weight of fed water times weight of the starter in question and divide by total of flour and water fed.   Looks like this:  (130 x 200)/230 = 113 g water.  

Check the maths...  87 + 113 = 200  (smiling face). Now these amounts can be added to the recipe flour and water separately and then the total flour and water figures can be used to figure recipe hydration. 

For 200g starter: 1000 + 87 = 1087 flour - 850 + 113 = 963 water     963/ 1087 = 0.8859 x 100 =  89% hydration

I have to apologize, I couldn't find the starter amount earlier.  For 150g starter at 130% hydration:

100 x 150/ 230 = 65g flour.   130 x 150/ 230 = 85g water.     65g + 85g = 150g 

1000 + 65 = 1065.   850 + 85 = 935.   935/1065 = 0.8779  x 100 =  88%    

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

hydration, have you tried just baking without the Dutch ovens?  Spring forms directly onto the rack in your electric oven?  Top of the springform leveling dead center of the oven with upper and lower heat?  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Valerie your actual hydration including the starter (assuming 100% hydration) is 86%.

1000 + 75 = 1075 flour - 850 + 75 = 925 water - 925/1075=86% hydration

Have you tried feeding your starter with white flour to see how that would work? It’s a long shot.

Please clarify this. “Depending  on my schedule, I do an autolyse of varying lengths, 2 hrs to ON in fridge, or else I combine all ingreds from the outset. I do a long BF (usually about 21-22 hrs by which time the increase in volume is roughly 30%. FF usually about 2 hrs.” Is the 21-22 BF in the fridge? What is the temp of your frigde? Is any portion of the BF does at room temp? If so, what is your estimated R/T?

Why not try white flour in place of Whole Wheat and see how that comes out?

Please send us images of the baked bread and also a crumb shot.

This is a mystery that begs to be solved...

Dan

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

PS. Computer literacy is not my forte, unfortunately. As soon as I can work out how to send an image I will forward one. BTW I bake in a DO. Fridge temp is 4C. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when you wrote about the last bake..."Surprisingly, the boule had a much more open crumb than the loaf tin bread - in fact, probably the most open I have ever produced."

That made me think of dough mass, and often a boule has more mass than the longer, thinner loaf pan shape.  More dough mass means the internal temp of the dough could be slightly warmer and ferment a little bit faster during the final proof, more than the loaf pan dough.  Perhaps a slightly longer FF (final ferment) is needed before baking.  At the cool temps and initial 15% small amount of starter to flour in the dough formula, you might want to try upping the starter amount to eventually get more volume on the final proof.  Something to think about.

Something else you can check on... the bulk ferment and how far along did it actually get?  When you think it is done, take a sharp knife and cut the dough after flipping it out onto the work surface. Cut right through the middle as you divide the dough and get a good look at the internal gas pockets forming in the dough.  Don't look at just the big bubbles but the entire dough area to see how well gas has formed and collected throughout the dough. What do you see? Take notes. Look carefully at the edges as well as the center.  If you can't see a lot of gas cells forming and it looks rather dense, slap the cut edges back together and give the dough more bulk time.  Often warming up the dough with your hands and a short time in the proofer may help.  

Small changes in the beginning of the process can result in big changes toward the end as the dough ferments.   You will still have the long bulk ferment but the final dough may contain more gas for more spring. Try 200g starter with one of the bakes  and if it is too much fermentation back it down to 175g of starter.  If it helps to use 200g (20%) starter, try 250g (25%) and make a little bit more starter ahead of time for the bake keeping the same maintenance feeding ratios.  

Mini

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Thanks, Dave , for further comments.

I have never used diastatic malt.

i will try the starter experiment you suggest for my next bake to see if it makes a difference.

i have never noticed any difference in the sweetness of gummy loaves and non-gummy loaves. Both loaves have the degree of tanginess that we enjoy.

i leave the loaves to cool uncovered on a rack, usually O/N or for a minimum of 6-8 hours.

i will not be able to bake this weekend as I have appointments in the city again but I will try the modified starter for the following weekend. 

I think, too, that I will try to make another 80% hydration dough and knead it in the old-fashioned way on the bench, rather than in the bowl with S/Fs. What do you think? One change at a time, though! 

Thsnks, again, for your help. Valerie 

ValerieC's picture
ValerieC

Mini. Sorry I neglected to reply to your detailed suggestion for other trails to follow. I must admit that at the time of reading the description of cutting the dough and joining it up again made my hair stand on end! However, I am madly experimenting and in the process gaining much more confidence. I have even mastered the maths involved in the calculation of hydration levels for both levain and total dough. I feel I am making progress. 

Once again, my deepest gratitude for all the assistance I have received from so many experienced bakers and in particular from you, Dave and Danny. I am only too well aware of how time-consuming it is to compose such detailed responses. I have two boules in the oven at the moment and, dare I say so, they are looking pretty good! Valerie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That's what we like to hear!    ....that the bread is looking pretty good!    ....and tasting good too!

Makes it all worth it to help out.  Often our combined efforts spur creativity and thoughts in many directions and not at the same moment in time.  We are all individuals and have our own pace, that's also a good thing.

I remember the dough, the first time I chopped into my dough to look at it.  You can easily combine it with dividing the dough but when mixing and baking one loaf, you just have to think of the valuable learning experience and cut. Let curiosity take control for a moment.   Take a good look and take a picture if it helps. I find pictures great as I can zoom in much closer than with my own eyes.  When you are satisfied with the dough after cutting, take up another lesson from the dough by putting on a blindfold or close your eyes for a few minutes and touch the dough again.  Smell it, gently squeeze it, hold it in both hands.  Then remove the blindfold and slap it back together.  Slapping is great fun.  :)

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

When it's done and cut open, please wite a forum or blog post with your formula and procedures.

We kind of hijacked DanAyo's post, so that's why I suggest doing your own blog post, or a forum post.  

Just a suggestion, the whole grains category might be good fit:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/forums/general-discussion-and-recipe-exchange/whole-grains

My 4th TFL bake is in the oven right now.  I had good rise in the final ferment, maybe too long, but very little oven rise.  Gonna blog it now.