The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Bread..P. Reinhart, BBA-p.271

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Whole Wheat Bread..P. Reinhart, BBA-p.271

How does one strengthen the crumb on a bread recipe?  I always thought that the kneading phase of the recipe was where that happened.  Is that correct?  The following recipe is fine but my bread crumb keeps coming out without enough backbone or strength.  Can you advise?

Soaker (note: he also does it as biga)

Single

 

 

 

1 Cup

Course whole-wheat flour

 

 

¾ Cup

Water, at room temp

 

  

Whole-Wheat Poolish of a thick paste consistency. (note: he also does it as biga)

Single

 

 

 

1 ½ Cup

High Protein whole-wheat flour

 

 

¼  tsp

Instant Yeast

 

 

¾  Cup

Water, at room temp

 

 

Dough

Single

 

 

 

2 Cups

High Protein whole-wheat flour

 

 

1 1/3 tsps

Salt

 

 

1 tsp

Instant Yeast

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 T

Vegetable oil-optional

 

 

1 Large

Egg, slightly beaten (optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

CB

I haven't baked this recipe yet but had tabbed it for baking in the near future.  You're right about the gluten development during the kneading process.  Did you use high protein flour?  Can you describe how you did your kneading; by hand, stand mixer, stretch and fold, etc.  If I'm reading this recipe correctly there's a minute of quick mix and about 15 minutes of hand kneading or somewhat less if your using a mixer.  How was your dough texture?  He calls for tacky, not sticky.

One thing I noticed (don't know if you just missed putting it into your post) is the 2 Tbs of honey Reinhart calls for is missing from your post.  Seems like the honey would be used to get the yeast fired up. 

Anyway, I've never baked a recipe using only whole wheat but I recently purchased a few bags of whole grain from King Arthur and when I read this recipe I tabbed it, thinking it would be a good one for using my whole grain.

I'll be interested to hear what some of the other bakers on TFL will have to say about your problem.    

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Most grateful for your thoughtful response. My answers to your questions are:

  1. Did you use high protein flour?  I used KA whole wheat
  2. Can you describe how you did your kneading-I folded it
  3. Everything was done by hand

I did not add honey in this recipe but possibly that omission made for a difference. Thanks for the observation; most astute.

holds99's picture
holds99

CB,

Thank for your kind words.  Sounds like you did it by the book.  Since I was planning on baking this bread, you have really gotten me interested in this problem.  So, I looked in my King Arthur Baker's companion at the description given for the KA Traditional Whole Wheat Flour.  It is rated at 15% protein.  However, the Baker's Companion has this caveat: "The protein level here is misleading, as a percentage of it is located in the germ and bran and is not gluten.  In extrapolating (for practical baking purposes) the amount of gluten-producing protein in whole grain flours, take about 75% of the amount [protein] given.  This brings the level of gluten-producing protein to about 11.25%, an appropriate amount for yeast baking and kneading by hand." (emphasis added)

If anyone understands the 25% differential between the protein level and the gluten level, in whole wheat flour, it has to be Reinhart.  So, I'm thinking you're fine with your flour choice.  Only way I know how to boost the gluten level higher, and stay with all whole wheat flour, would be to add vital gluten and since Reinhart doesn't call for it, it shouldn't be necessary. 

Anyway, let's stand here beside the road and see if somebody comes along :-)

Howard

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, CountryBoy.

I've made this bread a couple of times and have also made the first recipe in Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads," which is very similar.

I'm not clear regarding the fault you found with the crumb. This bread, like most all whole wheat breads, has a rather dense, homogeneous crumb. You don't get a crumb with big holes of varying sizes as with a mostly-white flour sourdough. Maybe a photo of your crumb would help.

You can knead it to where you get window paning, which indicates good gluten development.

I have found this formula makes a delicious tasting bread with a tender crumb. It has a subtle sweetness, but that's using honey.


David

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Yes I agree totally it has "has a rather dense, homogeneous crumb."  But should the crumb be so limp and weak as to require toasting before being able to use for a sandwich?  Should there not be just a little bit of back bone to it?

You are also correct to say it has no 'crumb with big holes.'  Thanks.......

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

is another man's soft and tender.

When I've made this bread, it has had a moist, tender crumb. I think if you want a tougher bread, you might have to either make it with lower hydration or use some bread flour instead of 100% whole wheat.

The truth is, now that I think of it, I do toast this bread when I use it for sandwiches. It makes wonderful toast with almond butter and jam and a great base for a BLT. I can't recall trying it untoasted for a sandwich, actually.

I don't eat a lot of sandwiches, and the only ones I prefer on this type of whole wheat bread are BLT's.


David

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

I checked this recipe in the book, and note that Reinhart says, in the margin notes, "The use of oil and/or egg is offered as an option to tenderize the bread...."

The way I read the above, is that the "if" says you can do the recipe without either and it will be ok. Since he says they are there for the purpose of tenderizing the crumb, maybe a trial without either oil or egg will give you the crumb you are looking for? It's what I would suggest as a first try.

I haven't baked the recipe either, but next time I need to bake a loaf for my husband's lunch sandwiches, I will do so. I have baked several of the other recipes from the book, including the introductory one, and haven't had the problem you note. On the other hand, as David implies, some of it may be a matter of definition. What is acceptably tender to me may be too crumbly for you.

At any rate -- give it a try again without the oil and egg and see what happens.

Mary 

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Thanks Mary.  I did not add any oil but did use the one egg.  I will try without that as well but it seems that one egg should not cause that much tenderizing....Whatever,...I will however do without the next time.  Many thanks.

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

One egg shouldn't make that much difference, no.

I will be baking the bread tomorrow (starting tonight) and will do it with both oil and egg and see how it strikes us. My husbandwill use it for sandwiches, so it will be a good test.

Just out of curiosity, what brand of flour did you use? I may not be able to duplicate it, but if I have it, I will.

Mary 

 

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

I used King Arthur WW Flour..........but I used half of the KA WW flour white and half of the regular KA WW flour.  Should that make a difference?  However the crumb was nice a dense without lots of holes which is the way I like it....but just no back bone to the bread.

Will await your results.....and thanks

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

and my better half needs sandwhich bread. I'll start it tonight and have it baked by tomorrow afternoon. Then we'll await his verdict. I have used more or less the same ratio of those two flours and have had no problems. We'll see with this recipe. Then next time around I will bake it without the egg and oil. I love experiments, as you can tell.

Mary

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Will await your verdict.