The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Troubleshooting 100% whole wheat/fresh milled sourdough

tara_twinkle's picture
tara_twinkle

Troubleshooting 100% whole wheat/fresh milled sourdough

Hello wise bakers! I'm looking for advice and feedback on my loaf bellow. I am determined to bake with 100% whole grains milled at home. I'm struggling to get an open crumb and good oven spring, but I know its possible from seeing loaves made by Josey; and George Q and David Snyder on this site! 

I used Joey Baker Bread's formula: 



Total Dough

1 loaf

2 loaves

4 loaves

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Whole Wheat flour

508

1016

2032

100

Water

423

846

1692

83

Salt

11

21

42

2.1

Total

942

1883

3766

185.1

 

Levain

1 loaf

2 loaves

4 loaves

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Whole Wheat flour

50

100

200

100

Water (cool)

60

120

240

120

Sourdough starter

6

12

24

12

Total

116

232

464

232

I used Anita's Hard Red Wheat kernals, homeground. My starter was a 100% rye, 100% hydration starter, quite young and very active at the time of mixing the preferment (while the original starter was all rye, my preferment used wheat). 

My preferment sat at room temp for 14.5 hours. 

I only did a 20 minute autolyse, and incorporated the starter from the beginning. I've read mixed things about autolysing with fresh milled grains. Would a longer autolyse help?

I completed 3 stretch and folds over 2.25 hours.

My final proof was for 3 hours. 

 

---

Could I have overproofed it? I find the poke test difficult with whole grain doughs. Any advice for knowing when proofing is complete? 

Do I need to increase the hydration? I tried once more with a much higher hydration (102%) and the loaf was very dense, concave, and gummy. 

Thank you! You inspire me to keep trying. 

 

 

 

dbazuin's picture
dbazuin

Looks like a perfect whole wheat to me. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Looks great to me as well.  As to working with home milled,  many suggest an hour of autolyse,  which is what I do, but I have never tested to see whether 1/2 hour is just as good.  Many say the poke test is not very helpful for whole wheat, and I definitely am in that camp. For bulk proof,  I use a straight sided container with a rubber band on the outside to mark the original volume.  For final proof, one suggestion is to take a narrow even sized container ,  like the size of a contact lens cleaning case    Not suggesting you buy one,  just an idea about size  https://www.ebay.com/i/184129905729?chn=ps&var=691842511309&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=691842511309_184129905729&targetid=886274372555&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9008533&campaignid=9418895003&mkgroupid=92907999782&rlsatarget=pla-886274372555&abcId=1141016&merchantid=118861625&gclid=CjwKCAjwlZf3BRABEiwA8Q0qq53_fe5AngRX-98gX15N8Us-Yhs6JkZBSgM0vnoyF7aom20yBMycmxoC5qkQAvD_BwE   and pinch off a small amount of dough and put it in the container and watch the container, since it will be easier to see change in volume than in a banneton.

 

Concave, especially in a pan, is a sure sign of hydration being too high.

BTW,  you didn't mention taste,  how was it?  I have been baking 100% home milled for years, and rarely get the open crumb you see in many posts, but the taste is great, and I much prefer a good taste to an open crumb. 

  

StephanieB's picture
StephanieB

Looks like a great whole wheat loaf to me! Though I'm also in awe by George Q's spelt loaves lol. I typically do a longer autolyse (4h to overnight) to really get my bran nice and soft. When you say you left your preferment out for 14.5h, what do you mean? Is that your levain or did you pre-ferment a larger portion of your final dough? 

I haven't been able to get an open crumb AND good height with whole wheat the way I used to with regular bread flour either. I usually sacrifice one for the other (I'm open to tips on how to balance this too). For example, the cross section here was a bread I made with ~87% hydration, a 4h autolyse, and a few min of kneading at the beginning, but no handling before preshape and shaping. The crumb is pretty open for a 100% whole wheat but you can see your loaf definitely wins the height contest and mine is bordering pancake. My more buoyant looking loaves had similar hydration to your formula and looked a lot like your loaf inside and out!