The Fresh Loaf

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First try with Reinhardt's Whole Grain book

Joderale's picture
Joderale

First try with Reinhardt's Whole Grain book

 This is my first attempt with fresh ground while grain bread. Its the first and most basic recipe, Whole Wheat Sandwich bread. I followed the recipe exactly except  for one thing; I baked it in a dutch oven at 475. The recipe called for 425, then turn down to 350. Lower temp because of the added honey. It did have some burnt bitterness to it. 

It sure is a different way to bake. I used a wild yeast starter. A long soaker, then add a lot of instant yeast, only a 45 minute primary ferment, make loaves, and a 45 minute proof. It did rise fast. It is odd to me that he said only to rise to 1 1/2 times. 

Although it smelled divine while baking, and the loaf looked great, I was underwhelmed by it the taste. It reminded me of sliced whole wheat bread from the bread aisle of a grocery store. It was soft inside and the holes were fine. I wouldn't call it dense, but not super light either.

Reinhardt says that the  primary ferment can be short because the long soak develops flavors,  but there's no yeast in that long soak, and I think a lot of flavor comes from the yeast fermenting. 

Any ideas to make it tastier? Less instant yeast, and a longer rise, to say double original? 

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

There are multiple possibilities to improve flavor:

- Use a poolish: take a part of the water and flour, add a pinch of yeast and let it rise overnight. Then add into the final dough.
- Less yeast = more time = more flavor
- Don't overknead your dough, especially when using a machine. Your crumb has very small holes, so it has a tight gluten network. The more you knead your dough, the more you oxidize it. Oxidation causes a lot of flavor loss, so knead only as much as necessary and add stretch & folds later if needed.

Joderale's picture
Joderale

Thanks for the reply.

Perhaps I did overknead it. I kneaded by hand for about 10 minutes, until it was smooth. Reinhardt said to knead 3-4 minutes, but it was not smooth at that point, so I continued. So that is the reason for the small holes? I didn't know that oxidation causes loss of flavor I thought incorporating air during kneading was a good thing.

I'm familiar with the stretch and fold and will try it on this bread. I would have to do it about every 10 minutes since the primary fermentation is so brief using Reinhardt's recipe.

I will try the poolish, but I did use a wild yeast starrter instead of a poolish.

So, lots to try, and I eventually will expiriment but this is only my first attempt, and I want to make sure I'm correctly applying Reinhardt's methods before doing that.

Possible modifications:

Less kneading, stretch and fold instead

Less instant yeast in final dough, for a longer primary ferment.

 

Is anyone else familiar with Reinhardt's book, Whole Grain Breads? Any comments pro or con about his techniques?

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"This is my first attempt with fresh ground while grain bread."

Congratulations!  Welcome to the home-milling club!

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When you said "first recipe", did you mean _your_ first, or the first formula in the book?  There are two whole wheat sandwich formulas in the book, page 95 and page 99.

It looks like you changed the formula/recipe more than just the baking temp, too.  But that's okay, it's your creation -- you'll just have a different result.

(For example, Fresh-milled whole grain ferments faster than store-bought whole wheat flour that has sat around in warehouses and store shelves for months.  And,...  Reinhart's formulas are based on store-bought ingredients, not home-milled. )

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Your loaf is a beautiful yellow.  What grain or type of wheat did you mill at home?  It looks like durum or Kamut/Khorasan.

Based on his pictures, I would suppose that Reinhart used hard red wheat in his formula.  "Whole wheat flour" to an average grocery store shopper in the US almost invariably means hard red wheat, unless other qualifiers/adjectives are used.

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Home-milled flour is great, but it is not a straight/exact replacement for store-bought whole grain flour. Home-milled ferments much faster, (so requires less levain/yeast/starter), has more oil, and has more widely varying moisture levels, needs autolysed (without levain, ie, soaked) longer than store-bought whole grain, and needs to turn/transform from "wet sand" to "dough" during the bulk ferment -before- you knead or stretch-and-fold it much. So, you can't reduce the bulk ferment time too much, you have to slow it down by using less levain.

SeasideJess had a good blog post on the special handling for home-milled grain. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/64101/tips-100-freshmilled-whole-wheat-baking

It's not all that complicated, and you don't need to spend $30 on one of the two commercial cookbooks centered on home-milled flour. But, there are things that are just not "intuitive" and most people new to home-milling have to have them pointed out. DanAyo mentored me very patiently, so hat-tip to him.

Home-millers to follow are: SheGar, SeasideJess, ifs201, danni3ll3, barryvabeach, MTloaf, pmmcool, DanAyo, deblacksmith, dabrownman, UpsideDan, and some others I can't think of at the moment.

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Bon appétit!

 

Joderale's picture
Joderale

Thanks for taking the time to help me. Great advice and resources. 

To answer your questions:

It was the recipe on p. 95

I used Hard White Wheat from Pleasant Hill (see photo)

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Hard white wheat is my favorite!  IMO, that's the best one to start out with.  I've gone through at least 150 pounds of it. 

The yellow hue in your photo must have been the lighting, or maybe the butter?   Mine comes out more tan.

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Nowadays, I tend to mix in a little hard red wheat, and some Kamut.  

To see my experiments, check out my blog here, http://www.thefreshloaf.com/blog/idaveindy

I've blogged 19 bakes, and only about three were good. (look for "good" or "best so far" in the title.)

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I've come up with my own list of "things" about fresh-milled/home-milled flour, along the lines of SeasideJess:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/64863/7-things-about-freshmilled-flour

Though, Reinhart's "epoxy method", with 12 hour soaker and 8 hour biga, already take into account my main concern with proper hydration and soaking of fresh-milled flour.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Whenyou said you used a wild yeast starter, did you mean you put some "in" the biga  that is made in  step 2, or did you use it "instead of" the biga in step 2, or did you still make the biga, and put the starter in the final dough?

Though the page 95  formula was not intended as a sourdough formula, you can make it into one, of course. But then it's not the same formula, it's now your invention/creation.  The 12 hour soaker, and the 8 hour biga made from commercial yeast are the main flavor-makers in it.   (Soaking without levain/yeast makes sugars, as the enzymes in the bran break down starch into malt and other sugars.)

Also, if you used 198 g buttermilk or yogurt in the soaker (as opposed to milk)  the acidity and lactobacillus of that plus the sourdough starter could also have affected the taste.

It's totally fine to change things, and be a trail-blazer/explorer/inventor, it's just that you're not going to get what the original formula intended.  

Joderale's picture
Joderale

...I just noticed it - been busy. I haven't read through it yet. Will do and get back to you...