The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

80% Whole Wheat +

Bread1965's picture

80% Whole Wheat +

The quarantine bread bake diaries continue..

This loaf is an 80% whole wheat, 10% whole mystery flour, 10% AP using 20% levain and a same day bake. I had a small amount of whole flour but don't know if it was whole rye or whole spelt - probably spelt.  I fed the starter Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and mixed the dough around 2pm. I baked it around 10pm. It moved fast given the high whole wheat content. I also added 2% gluten flour and home made diastolic malt. 80% water. I kept the dough at 74 degrees during bulk and proof.

It gave off a great aroma while baking, the crumb is uniformly open and it's super soft. Total flour was only 450g but this loaf expended way more than I thought it would during proof and it almost didn't fit into my combo cooker.

I've been trying to push whole wheat to 100% gradually and will the next time I get my hands on some whole wheat flour. Sadly I'm out so I'll be baking without for a while. It's a great bread.


ifs201's picture

I've been baking hearth loaves with 50% whole grain, but I have yet to push higher than that. I love your crumb. Now I need to try 80%!

Bread1965's picture

It's worth giving it a go.  It's taken me a long time to dial it in, but I'm getting there.  Thank you ..

Benito's picture

Super crumb and ovenspring, especially for 90% whole grain.  I've only done a max of 50% and wish I could get such a perfect crumb.  Great job.

I understand that you are in Toronto from Danni.  If you can get to Kensington Market a place called 4 Life Natural Foods.  I've been able to get whole grain flour there as recently as last week.  I picked up whole spelt, whole einkorn and whole red fife.  You might want to go there.  If I'm incorrect about you being in Toronto, then sorry.


Bread1965's picture

I am and will keep that place in mind. Benny - you make great looking breads. Give a higher whole grain percentage a try - let me know how it goes! Again, thank you..

DanAyo's picture

I agree with the others. Your crumb is gorgeous!

The fermentation must have been timed perfectly.

MTloaf's picture

That you could produce such a nice crumb with that much WW is impressive. Would like to hear more about your mixing and folding procedure. I have tried VWG but it made the bread kind of rubber like and I didn't enjoy the flavor. What brand did you use? Sorry to hear that flour is in short supply. The markets around here have been getting some stuff back in stock again. 

Bread1965's picture

Thanks Meatloaf.. :)

I'm feeling good about where my baking is now.  And to be sure I've made more than my share of duds over the years!

I started my bread baking thinking very old school, using only my hands and a bowl and trying to keep it traditional. Then late last summer I was given a recipe that used a mixer but only got around to making it that way this year. What I believe is happening is that I'm more consistently feeding my starter and it's very responsive. I'm also developing a very consistent windowpane with the mixer to a level I just wasn't getting with folding over. I'm also using coil folds and I suspect the small bit of gluten flour and diastolic malt is helping too - but I haven't done a back to back with and without comparison.

Here's what I do:

- mix water and levain together well - with the mixer for about 1-2 minutes on speed 2 of my kitchenaid

- add all flours including the gluten flour and malt - with mixer  for 3 minutes on speed 2

- let sit for between 30 and 60 minutes depending on how much whole wheat is in there

- then add salt with a bit of reserved water (sea salt) - mix for 2-3 minutes on speed 4

- let sit for 10/15 minutes and then mix on speed 4 for about 5-7 minutes until i get a good windowpane and dough ball is well formed and bowl sides are clean

- if the windowpane doesn't feel right I repeat after a ten minute rest - maybe only for 3-4 minutes

- place into brod/taylor proofer at 74 - 78 depending on how much whole wheat (more whole wheat lower temp)

- i use a square glass pyrex with a shower cap overtop

- i do coil folds every 45 to 60 minutes but read the dough to know how many are needed; I'm looking to see how well the structure is held post fold

- as the dough begins to puff up then I either shape 3-4 hours latter and put in the fridge to bake the next morning but more recently I bake the same day

- if baking the same day i leave it in the proofer and wait for the dough to almost double in the basket

- I would say that from the original dough to what I put in the oven I've had easily a 3x increase in size of the dough

I've also learned that I was baking too soon. I now push fermentation to the limit. I think the bread above might have even gone well over 3x.. crazy i know. I think the key is the windowpane and good structure. I'm not sure I know why it's working so well lately, but I can read the dough better now..

That's my story.. the truth is I'm blown away by this loaf and many of the recent breads.  I guess all the lessons I've learned on this site over the years (for which I'm grateful) are somehow working their way into the dough... hope it helps! Enjoy.. frank!


MTloaf's picture

Quite the mix tape! I too have seen improvements in my breads since employing a mixer. Perhaps the well developed gluten allows for the longer fermentation. I am going to give this recipe a go. Thanks for the details. 


Bread1965's picture

.. should have also said use cold water - 60F.. good luck!