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texasbakerdad's blog

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Bake #5 was better than Bake #4. But, I think skipping the shaping step isn't going to work out, at least not with this recipe.

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.
  • Don't use bran flakes as a bread topping.
  • 1.5 out of 10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale, whatever the heck that means :-)

Summary of the Bake

The Good:

  • Working the dough longer with the ankarsum produced nice results. I used the roller instead of the dough hook and after 8 minutes at medium speed the dough pulled into a nice ball. And to be honest, the dough was dry enough at that point, that in the future I might want to try to squeeze in another 5% of hydration.
  • I worked the dough with the ankarsum for 8 minutes, it stopped showing signs of strengthening at about 7 minutes. Then I let the dough rest 10 minutes, and worked the dough again, it only took 4 minutes the second time around for the dough to stop showing signs of strengthening. I am not sure the 2nd round of ankarsum kneading resulted in any improvement in dough strength.
  • I remembered to remove the baking stone from the bottom rack of the oven this time. And, probably because of that change, the crumb at the bottom of the loaf wasn't as compressed. My theory had been that the bottom of the loaf was taking longer to bake and this was causing it to struggle during oven bloom.
  • The dough was airier, but it really didn't get much oven spring, maybe none. But, at least it didn't shrink in the pan like last time. The crumb was really nice and the bread tasted great.

The Bad:

  • The crust was more dried out compared to previous bakes. I am thinking that might be due to the removal of the baking stone. I think because I hadn't given the baking stone enough time to warm up, the baking stone was acting as a heat sink and the baking stone was doing a great job interfering with the heat that was supposed to be coming up from the oven's bottom heating element. I am going to reduce my baking time for the next bake by 15 minutes.
  • In my first 3 bakes, in which I shaped my dough and had a bulk ferment, the resulting loaves had nice oven spring, a nice rounded top and as a result were less dense. These past two bakes, in which I skipped bulk ferment and shaping, have been disappointing with regards to oven spring and loaf density. I believe I was able to develop enough strength with additional time in the ankarsum, but the shaping is going to be necessary to develop that last bit of strength needed... I worry I will still have problems even after shaping, but shaping is the next logical step in the journey.

What to do Next:

  • Reduced baking time by 15 minutes
  • Shape the loaf before loading into pullman

The Final Results

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 11g (2ish%) non-iodized salt
  • 31g (6ish%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • Sifted bran and butter used to prep pullman

Process

  • 8:37a: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 8:47a: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 8:48a: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 8:58a: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use drum on Ankarsum and knead until dough stops showing improvement (8 minutes elapsed). Then wait 10 minutes for dough to relax.
  • 9:10a: Prepare pullman pan, liberally butter all sides and apply flour.
  • 9:29a: Using the roller (drum), knead with Ankarsum until dough stops showing signs of strengthening (4 minutes elapsed).
  • 9:36a: Transfer dough to pullman pan and massaged the dough into the corners of the pan. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • 4:15p: Preheat oven 375dF
  • Aliquot showed a rise of 1.7x, I decided to load at this point.
  • 5:00p: Brush top of loaf with melted butter and sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 6:30p: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 2.5 hours.
  • 9:00p: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.

 

Aliquot right before loading pan into oven.

Dough in pullman about an hour before I loaded into oven.

Dough right after loading into pullman

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Round #2 of experimenting with "Skipping the Bulk Ferment" step.

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.
  • Don't use bran flakes as a bread topping.
  • 1.5 out of 10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale, whatever the heck that means :-)

 Modification from Previous Bake

  • I am convinced that my previous bake was a brick for 2 reasons. (1) My dough didn't have enough strength because I skipped the stretch and folds, the preshape, and the shaping. (2) I let the dough proof too long relative to the wimpyness of the dough... It would have been underproofed had I s&f, and shaped. But it was overproofed and collapsed because of (1).
  • This time around, I am going to try and fix (1), by being more aggressive with my Ankarsum during the kneading step. I will knead (with the drum) until the dough stops showing fast improvement. Wait 10 minutes, repeat process, wait 10 minutes, repeat process, and basically see how strong I can get the dough... I assume after 2 or 3 sets of kneading, I won't see anymore improvement or I will think the dough shows enough good qualities to let it be.

Fifth Attempt

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

Process

  • 0:00: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 0:10: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 0:11: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 0:21: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use drum on Ankarsum and knead until dough stops showing improvement (record time elapsed). Wait 10 minutes, try again, wait 10 minutes, try again, until satisfied.
  • 0:22: Prepare pullman pan, liberally butter all sides and apply flour.
  • 0:60: Transfer dough to pullman pan. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • 6:15: Preheat oven 375dF
  • Estimate a 6 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 2x rise.
  • 7:06: Brush top of loaf with melted butter and sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 8:36: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 2.5 hours.
  • 11:06: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.
texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

The photos of Benny's Babka had me salivating, so I had to try it out.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/66555/cranberry-orange-walnut-sourdough-babka

Most of this type of baking is new to me, I didn't know what to expect. In the end, I thought the process was very similar to sourdough cinnamon rolls, which I have only baked 2 or 3 times and I usually mess up because I make sweet breads so infrequently that I tend to forget my previous missteps and make the same mistakes each time. Hence, the value of my blog posts, I can reread how the bake went and not repeat the same mistakes again.

Anyway, back to the Babka. Lucky for me, Benny went first, I got to see his results in time to make changes to my process. I thought Benny's babka looked amazing on the exterior, the interior looked a bit wet and under baked. It was Benny's first attempt at a babka too. Also, one of the commenters on Benny's post said Babka's are supposed to have thinner layers.

So, basically I tried to follow Benny's recipe (which was inspired by Maurizio's recipe), with the following changes, regrets, notes:

  • I wanted the bake to be done in 1 day, so I skipped the overnight retard... barely pulled that off, I am 90% sure the extra day of bulk in the fridge would have benefited the dough, and I had to pay for my shortcut with dough that was extra sticky.
  • I did a 1 hour levain build instead of a 3 hour build. I ended up paying for this with a longer bulk and proof, but it was more convenient for me this way.
  • Benny used whole cranberries, I chopped mine up in a food processor. I was worried that the juices that pop/leak out of a whole cranberry might make the dough soggy, so I figured I could chop them up and ensure that didn't happen.
  • I cooked my loaf for 55min, because at 45 minutes my temp probe showed 180dF.
  • I used an aliquot jar with 20g of the dough to get a feel for how the rise was going.
  • I spreading the dough out to add the topping and roll it, I only used my hands and not a rolling pin hoping this would result in better crumb (I don't know if this helped).
  • In an effort to get thinner layers in the babka, instead of rolling the dough out to 10"x12" I stretched it as far as I could by hand and fingers, I probably ended up with 12"x18". And then, when I twisted everything together and shaped it, it was just to skinny and long for the pan, so I folded it in half end to end, made for an odd lumpy shape. I barely got thinner layers, truth is, the dough was too sticky and I really needed to stretch out the dough even more, and I probably should have rolled up the dough along the long side so I ended up with a 12" roll instead of an 18" roll.
  • My cranberry filling was too thick, made it too difficult to spread evenly and easily.
  • NOTE for the future: I didn't think the walnuts added anything positive to the flavor or texture and the cranberry filling was lacking something... maybe a more complex sugar taste... I dunno, but the filling flavor had room for improvement.
  • Probably because I didn't do an overnight retard, I think my dough would have benefitted significantly from some stretch and folds during bulk.
  • For convenience, I have been leaving my baking stone in the bottom rack of my oven instead of taking it out. I am convinced this is causing the bottom of my doughs to not cook as fast... I am kind of mad at myself for not realizing this sooner, because it impacted my last 5 bakes. This babka was no exception.
  • Benny's oven bloom was significantly more than mine. I either overproofed or the skipping of the overnight retard cost me, either way, it would have been cool to see the loaf with a more open crumb.

Recipe

  • 310g AP
  • 109g Whole Milk
  • 90g Eggs
  • 100g Sliced Butter
  • 29g Table Sugar
  • 8g Salt
  • 138g Levian

Process

  • 0:00: Mixed 70g of starter with 35g of AP and 35g of water
  • 1:00: Mixed levian, 310g AP, milk, eggs, 15g sugar, and 8g salt in ankersum to a shaggy mess, then waited 10 minutes to hydrate.
  • 1:10: At medium speed, run the ankersum for 5 minutes.
  • 1:15: With ankersum at medium speed, slowly added remaining 14g of sugar. Then added 100g of butter slices slowly waiting for the ankersum to pull each slight into the dough, until all slices added. Then mix for an additional 2-5 minutes until dough comes together.
  • 1:25: Transfer dough to a bowl and siphon off 20g into aliquot jar, cover bowl. Let dough bulk until aliquot shows 1.4x rise, that ended up being 7 hours for me.
  • 8:25: Move dough into fridge for 1 hour prior to the rolling step.
  • 9:25: Roll dough out to a 12"x18" square, spread top with cranberry topping and toasted and chopped walnuts, roll up, then stick in freezer for 15 minutes.
  • 9:40: Take out of freezer and put on well floured bench. Use dough knife to cut roll along its length. Pinch one end of dough together, use a little water on dough if they won't stick together when pinched. Then fold each end of dough on top of itself to make a twist, then pinch the other two ends together. Load loaf into pan lined with parchment, enough parchment sticking out to make handles.
  • 9:45: Cover and let proof until aliquot shows 3x rise or dough risen above bread pan by 1/2 inch. Took 4 hours for me.
  • 13:00: Preheated oven to 350dF
  • 13:45: Lightly brushed with egg wash mixture (1 egg, 1 TBS of water), loaded into oven on top of a cookie sheet in case some sugar/dough came down the sides of the pan. Baked for 55 minutes until temp probe in middle exceeded 200dF.
  • 14:40: Pull from oven, brush with copious amount of simple syrup and wait 10 minutes for it to absorb.
  • 14:50: Remove from pan and put on rack to cool, remove parchment too. Let cool until completely cooled... 2 hours? I went to sleep, so I waited about 6 hours.
  • 16:50: Loaf is ready.

Simple Syrup Recipe

In a small saucepan, mix 52g table sugar, and 59g water. Set heat to medium high or high, and stir until dissolved, then remove from heat.

Cranberry Orange Filling

  • 350g of cranberries chopped in food processor
  • 25g of water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Zest of 1 large orange

Mix ingredients in large saucepan. Cook on higher stirring frequently. Keep cooking until temp sauce gets thick but not too thick, seems to be around the time that the mixture gets to a temp of 195dF.

The aliquot jar just before loading the loaf into the oven.

The dough right after shaping and loading into pan.

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

In the immortal words of the Commodores:
"Ow, she's a brick house"

Wells fellas and gals, this bake did not go so well.

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the results of my 4th attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.
  • Don't use bran flakes as a bread topping.
  • 1.5 out of 10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale, whatever the heck that means :-)

Summary of the Bake

The Good:

  • The bake was much simpler.
  • Because the loaf shrunk in the oven, it was super easy to get out of the pan. Which isn't saying much since my loaves are usually easy to get out of the pan... but hey, I am trying to be positive :-)
  • It was cool to see how the stark difference between two bakes, one with stretch and folds and shaping and the other without.

The Bad:

  • Because I didn't have any stretch and folds, didn't have any shaping, the dough had no structure. And when I stuck the loaf in the oven, the loaf, along with my ego, deflated. The loaf was sad looking, it came out of the oven smaller than when it went in.
  • This bake could have gone better, but I would have had to proof the dough less (stick it in the oven earlier). Or found a way to build dough strength before putting the dough in the pan... Maybe I can use the Ankersum to create a lot of structure up front, enough structure to shape it immediately and then put the loaf into the pullman.

What to do Next:

  • I am going to try this again, but this time I am going to play around with building more strength and structure during kneading using my ankersum.
  • If that fails, then 2 bakes from now, I might redo this exact same bake but put the loaf in the oven earlier.

The Final Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

Process

  • 9:08a: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 9:18a: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 9:19a: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 9:29a: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • 9:34a: Let dough rest for 10 minutes before putting in pan.
  • 9:35a: Prepare pullman pan, liberally butter all sides and apply flour.
  • 9:44a: Transfer dough to pullman pan. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • 4:30p: Preheat oven 375dF
  • By 5:08p, the aliquot had risen to about 2x.
  • 5:08p: Brush top of loaf with melted butter and sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 6:38p: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 2.5 hours.
  • 9:08p: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.

The aliquot right before I loaded the loaf into the oven.

The dough loaded into pullman 10 minutes after kneading with the ankersum

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Well, I got corona tested today, I don't have coronavirus, just a cold. I plan to bake again tomorrow morning.

My wife was very pleased with my last loaf, but she had some requests that I will be adding to my requirements list.

  • The last loaf had almost no sourness to it... I am not exactly sure, because not muched changed from loaf #2 to #3 and loaf #2 was 3/10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale, and loaf #3 was 0.5/10. I think maybe my 60g starter was a bit more fermented on loaf #2, also on loaf #2 the aliquot jar showed 2.5x when I loaded the loaf into the oven and on loaf #3 it was about 2.25x. Anyway, my wife said she preferred the dough to have some amount of sourness, I am thinking a 1.5/10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale :-)
  • She said she didn't enjoy the flavor of the bran flake topping.
  • She said I needed to bake bigger loaves, I told her I was keeping things small while I was experimenting and she said... "But, I want MORE BREAD!" (Well, too bad, I aint gonna make huge loaves while I experiment, I didn't tell her that though, hahahaha).

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the recipe for my fourth attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.
  • (New) Don't use bran flakes as a bread topping.
  • (New) 1.5 out of 10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale, whatever the heck that means :-)

Modifications from Previous Bake

  • Try out DanAyo's suggestion of dumping the dough directly into the pullman right after kneading with the ankersum, eliminating the stretch and folds, the preshape, and the shaping steps. The purpose of this change is to considerably simplify the bake process. I hope everything turns out well. I am going to be very thorough in my pan prepping, extra butter, extra flour.
  • Skip the scoring step... I really have no idea how this will play out with this recipe.
  • Since there will be no stretch and folds, no preshaping and shaping, the dough won't have as much structure, so I am not sure how far I will be able to take the rise before the dough collapses. I think I will play it safe this time around and load the loaf when the aliquot shows a 2x rise. But, I would like to do more bakes in the future where I try different rise amounts. Also, I might find that a slight overproof helps avoid the crust breaking during the oven bloom.
  • During my previous bake, the crumb was still a bit warm when I cut the loaf after letting it cool for 1.5 hours. I will up my cooling time to 2.5 hours.

Fourth Attempt

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

Process

  • 0:00: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 0:10: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 0:11: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 0:21: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 10 minutes.
  • 0:22: Prepare pullman pan, liberally butter all sides and apply flour.
  • 0:26: Transfer dough to pullman pan. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • 5:45: Preheat oven 375dF
  • Estimate a 6 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 2x rise.
  • 6:36: Brush top of loaf with melted butter and sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 8:06: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 2.5 hours.
  • 10:36: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.

I am excited about this bake, things could go surprising well or terrible, the suspense!

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Dang!!! What a bake! Great Loaf!

Weird day though... my wife is a paramedic and I woke up with a really runny nose. I figured it was allergies, but for me allergies normally just go away after about 20 minutes. Not today, stuck with me all day. Anyway, her coworker happened to be having the same symptoms as me, and work told her she had to get tested for Covid. So, we informed her work that I was having the same symptoms and now I am quarentined and am going to get tested tomorrow. I highly doubt I have covid (no fever, no headache, I just don't fit the symptoms very well), but I guess it is better to be on the safe side.

Anyway... my head is full of snot and my bread looked fabulous, but since my nose is so stopped up with goo, my taste is a bit off. I assume the loaf tastes better than it did on attempts 1 and 2, but I won't know for sure until my head clears.

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the results of my third attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.

Summary of the Bake

The Good:

  • the outer crust color was just perfect!
  • the crumb was no longer too moist!
  • the crumb was super strong! Strong enough for a thick peanut butter, I mean, it was stronger than I ever thought it could be based off of the previous 2 bakes! So happy with it!
  • I don't know, I am just so happy with this bake! The extra 30 minutes of baking really paid off.

The Bad:

  • Nothing really bad, but I guess if I were nitpicking...
  • My rise times were about 15% longer than I planned, but my kitchen was about 5 degrees cooler than normal, so I guess that was probably expected.
  • I started my recipe and then realized I hadn't milled any flour yet. I usually try to mill the day before. So... I had to take a break from making the bread and mill flour. whoops.
  • I cut into the dough after 1.5 hours out of oven... I should have probably waited 2 to 2.5 hours, the crumb was still a bit warm after 1.5 hours.

What to do Next:

  • I am on the fence. Part of me wants to bake the exact same thing one more time just to make sure the results are repeatable, but the other part of me wants to keep progressing forward.
  • Assuming I decide to progress forward... I have a few things I want to try out. I'll list them in order in the next few bullets.
  • I want to try DanAyo's suggestion of skipping the bulk ferment and just loading the dough directly into the pullman right after kneading with the ankersum.
  • I want to add some soaked seeds and other chewy bits.
  • I want to experiment with no scoring... my daughter doesn't really have the skills to score, especially dough as soft as this. I am not sure how best to not score but also make sure the top of the loaf doesn't bust open. My guess is that you have to slightly overproof so that you don't get as much oven bloom.
  • I need to increase my ingredient amounts to fully fill the 14" pullman AND then re-zero in on the ideal bake times.

I am probably going to work on DanAyo's suggestion next. I'll sleep on it before I decide.

The Final Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

Process

  • 8:13a: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 8:15a: Started milling some hard white wheat.
  • 8:23a: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 9:15a: Finished milling, then sifted some of the bran, no fancy sifting equipment, just the normal kitchen sifting stuff.
  • 9:34a: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 9:44a: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • 9:49a: Transfer dough to proofing container with lid. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • 10:19a, 12:30a, 1:06p: Stretch and fold in bowl 4x times.
  • Aliquot jar showed a 1.8x rise at 4:57a.
  • 4:57p: Preshape dough into ball, let sit for 10 min.
  • 5:07p: Shape dough into log and place into prepared pullpan pan, cover with plastic wrap.
  • 5:15p: Preheat oven to 375dF
  • Aliquot showed a 2.25x rise after 45 minutes proofing
  • 5:52p: sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 7:22p: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 1.5 hours.
  • 9:00p: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft. (crumb was still slightly warm, should have waited another 30 min to 1 hour before cutting.

Here is a aliquot jar a few seconds before I loaded the loaf into the oven.

I am telling ya'll, this dough felt awesome during preshape. It felt like a cloud. It was wet, which might be hard to handle if you haven't practiced.

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the recipe for my third attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.

Modifications from Previous Bake

  • I overproofed my dough just a bit last bake when I pushed the proof to maximum rise. I waited until the aliquot hit 250% before loading the loaf into the oven. This next bake, I am going to load the loaf when the aliquot is at 200%.
  • The crumb on the loaf was slightly too open last bake. This was due to the loaf being untouched too long during proofing, letting the air bubbles get too big and less evenly distributed... open crumb is normally preferred by me, but not for sandwich bread. For this next bake, I am going to only proof for 1 hour.
  • The dough was still to moist, I am going to increase my bake time to 1 hour 30 minutes. I am intentionally trying to overdo the bake time and see what happens... hoping to learn something from the change. I think 1 hour 15 minutes is probably more correct, but I'd rather overdo things and then back off versus, hitting the bake time just right and never knowing if a few more minutes would have been better, if that makes any sense.

Third Attempt

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

Process

  • 0:00: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 0:10: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 0:11: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 0:21: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 10 minutes.
  • 0:26: Transfer dough to proofing container with lid. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • Estimate a 5 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 2x rise.
  • 5:26: Preshape dough into ball, let sit for 10 min.
  • 5:36: Shape dough into log and place into prepared pullpan pan, cover with plastic wrap.
  • Estimate a 1 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 2.25x rise.
  • 6:00: Preheat oven 375dF
  • 6:36: sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 8:06: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 1.5 hours.
  • 9:36: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.
texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

These are the results of my 2nd attempt. See the (2-recipe) blog post to see what the plan was.

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the results of my second attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.

Summary of Results

The Good:

  • I solved multiple problems from the previous bake. The rise time was acceptable. The sourness was perfect (just a hint, subtle enough to enable a slice of the bread to be used on a PB&J).
  • The 15 minute longer bake did indeed cook out more of the moisture and there were no slightly undercooked parts of the dough.
  • The hydration level was perfect! At least when it comes to the feel of the dough. Very very nice dough. But, this is a big deal, because I think I am going to stick with this hydration level and these ingredient percentages for a while, which means I can focus more on the process, which means less variables and clearer results.

The Bad:

  • The dough was still more moist than I want. BUT, the 15 minute increase in bake time made a big difference and I feel pretty confident that another 15 to 30 minutes of baking will get me to where I want to be.
  • Due to the higher moisture of the bread, the crumb is too fragile for spreading jams and peanut butter, but I think a longer bake will fix this.
  • I barely barely overproofed the loaf this time. How do I know... there was very little oven spring but there was zero collapse AND when I scored the dough it ripped right open. If I had waited any longer, I am pretty sure the loaf would have collapsed in the oven. The aliquot jar was between 250% and 300% (closer to 250%) when I finally loaded the loaf into the oven. I think for my next bake I will make sure to load the loaf into the oven at 200%.
  • The crumb was slightly too open this time... I know why... it was because I shaped the dough earlier in the rise. In the first loaf, I shaped the dough late in the rise and the shaping process pushed down the air pockets in the dough. I am going to shoot for a 1 hour proof for the next bake, hopefully that will result in a more closed crumb.
  • Dough was difficult to shape... not really because it was too wet, but because it is such a long loaf, that even though the dough was beautiful and fun to work with, it was hard to lift it with 2 hands and get it into the pan. My thought was... if it is hard for me, it will be impossible for my Daughter. DanAyo suggested loading the loaf into the pan right after kneading... I think I am going to try that. Probably not on the next bake, since I want to spend one or more bakes getting the bake time figured out, but soon.

The Final Recipe:

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 51g rolled outs
  • 31g (6%) honey
  • 12g (2%ish) non-iodized salt (Accidentally added to much salt)
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g home milled hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

The Bake:

  • 9:00a: mixed 475g boiling water (all of the water), honey, oats, and salt until evenly combined. let it sit for 10 min to soften the oats.
  • 9:10a: mixed in olive oil.
  • 9:11a: added all flour, used ankersum to mix long enough to make shaggy mess.
  • 9:21a: smeared 60g of starter over the top of the dough mixture, then used ankersum to knead using dough hook for 5 minutes.
  • 9:26a: transferred as much dough as possible to clean bowl and covered. Took 20g of dough and put into aliquot.
  • 10:30a, 11:30a: Stretch and fold.
  • 4:20p: aliquot doubled. turned dough onto counter a preshaped. Prepped pullman pan, brushed butter on all sides of pan, sprinkled bran flakes on butter.
  • 4:30p: Shaped loaf into log and put in pan and covered.
  • 5:30p: Preheated oven to 375dF
  • 6:00p: Aliquot was at 250% to 300%. Brushed top of loaf with melted butter, sprinkled bran flakes on top, and scored. Loaded loaf into oven and baked for 1 hour covered (note: I have misplaced my pullman loaf lid, I used an inverted cookie sheet to get by, the cookie sheet was in the warming oven, so it was already hot.)
  • 7:00p: Put dough on a rack to cool. Took about 1.5 hours to cool.
  • 8:30p: Sliced dough and enjoyed!

Much improved crumb, kind of lacy, but with a closed crumb.

I don't know why I didn't take a picture of the loaf out of the pan. Here it is right after I pulled the loaf out of the oven.

This is right before I sprinkled bran on top, scored, and loaded into the oven.

This is the aliquot right before I loaded the loaf into the oven. The lower black line is where the dough was right after kneading. The upper black line is where the dough was right before preshaping.

The dough after shaping and placing in pan. I am not happy with how I non-uniform my shaping was, it was a real struggle getting that 14" loaf into the pan without stretching it the wrong way.

This is the preshaped dough. Ohhhh, it was luxurious! I don't think I have ever had 100% WW feel that way before. Lovely!

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

These are the results of my first attempt. See the (1-recipe) blog post to see what the plan was.

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the recipe for my second attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.

Summary of Results

The Good:

  • The bread tasted amazing and was quite sour. After toasting the bread and adding a bit of butter, I think this might have been the best sour tasting bread I have ever eaten.
  • Including the oven bloom, I'd guess the there was a total volume gain of 3x-4x.
  • The crust was nice and soft.

The Bad:

  • The bread was too sour for an everyday sandwich loaf. My sourdough starter isn't typically this sour, the increased sourness was most definitely the result of the long long rise time (20 hours at an average of 76dF). This should be easy to fix by taking steps to significantly increase the rise rate. I took those steps in (2-recipe).
  • The cooked bread was too heavy (by weight, not by texture/taste/fullfilligness). Me thinks this is due to too much water being retained in the dough after the bake and if I were to have cooked the dough significantly longer, the loaf would have been lighter.
  • The bread was undercooked, there was dense very slightly uncooked dough at the very bottom of the loaf. I will increase the bake time from 45 min to 1 hour to hopefully remedy this problem.
  • The bread broke too easily when being handled. I think this too is due to the bread being undercooked.

The Final Recipe:

  • 30g (6%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 12g (2%ish) non-iodized salt (Accidentally added to much salt)
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 450g (90% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 60g home milled hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • 390g home milled hard red wheat (sifted to remove bran) (I ran out of hard white, had to use hard red for the rest)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

The Bake:

  • 2:00p: mixed 450g boiling water (all of the water), honey, oats, and salt until evenly combined. let it sit for 10 min to soften the oats.
  • 2:10p: mixed in olive oil.
  • 2:11p: added all flour, used ankersum to mix long enough to make shaggy mess.
  • 2:21p: smeared 30g of starter over the top of the dough mixture, then used ankersum to knead using dough hook for 5 minutes.
  • 2:26p: transferred as much dough as possible to clean bowl and covered. Took 20g of dough and put into aliquot.
  • 2:30p, 5:30p, 9:30p: Stretch and fold, the entire time, there was no sign of sourdough activity.
  • 11:00p: first obvious signs of sourdough activity in the aliquot, no visible increase in dough bulk.
  • 7:00a: Dough in aliquot had risen 2.5x. Preheated the oven to 375dF. Turned dough out onto counter and preshaped into ball.
  • 7:00a: Prepped pullman pan, brushed butter on all sides of pan, sprinkled bran flakes on butter.
  • 7:10a: Shaped loaf into log and put in pan and covered.
  • 7:40a: Brushed top of loaf with melted butter, sprinkled bran flakes on top, and scored. Loaded loaf into oven and baked for 45 min covered (note: I have misplaced my pullman loaf lid, I used an inverted cookie sheet to get by, the cookie sheet was in the warming oven, so it was already hot.)
  • 8:25a: Put dough on a rack to cool. Took about 1.5 hours to cool.
  • 10a: Sliced dough and enjoyed!

Side Note: As I type (it is currently 11:55a) the dough in the aliquot is STILL RISING! See photos.

I took the photo above before I brushed with butter, added bran flakes to the top, and scored.

You can see in the photo above the dense crumb at the bottom of the loaf. I assume this is the pure result of being slightly undercooked and the weight of the dough pushing down on itself after I took it out of the oven and set it on the rack to cool.

On the left is the aliquot for today and represents the level that the aliquot on the right was at originally. This photo was taken at 11:20a on bake day. So, that would be 21 hours AFTER kneading the starter into the dough.

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

Recap:

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.

This post is for the recipe for my second attempt to make the perfect loaf.

Requirements

  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
    (https://shop.kingarthurbaking.com/items/pain-de-mie-pan-pullman-loaf-pan-13)
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor.

Modifications from Previous Bake

The last bake's rise took too long (20 hours). I need to get that down to something less than 10 hours. I am going to double my starter from 6% to 12%. And, I am going to make sure I use my starter at a more optimal time (in the morning or evening, versus what I did last bake which was to use it at 2pm). My guess is the rise will get end up somewhere between 4 and 8 hours depending on the temperature.

Last bake's dough was too dry for my liking. I am going to increase the hydration just a little bit, I want to increase it more, but I don't want to change too much too fast, especially since I am also doubling my starter. Old hydration 90% of wheat and oats (not including 50:50 starter), new hydration, 95% of wheat and oats (not including 50:50 starter).

5 minute knead using my ankersum with the dough hook attachment was not long enough, last bake I ended up doing a 10 minute mix. I updated my process to reflect that change.

I originally stated 50g of dough for the aliquot jar, but 20g is what I ended up using and was the perfect amount for the size jar I am using. I updated the recipe to reflect this fact.

The bread was slightly undercooked, increasing the bake time from 45min to 1hour.

FYI: My loaf size, about 1kg is a bit small for my huge pullman pans, I am OK with this for now, because I think a 1.5kg loaf is closer to the right size for these 14" pullmans. But, since I am experimenting at this point, I don't want to be making loafs that big just yet. I am fine with undersized loaves temporarily while I work out perfecting my rise. I think that I will leave honing in on the perfect loaf size for the pan as one of the last steps of my experimentation.

Second Attempt

Ingredients

  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping

Process

  • 0:00: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 0:10: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 0:11: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 0:21: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 10 minutes.
  • 0:26: Transfer dough to proofing container with lid. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • Estimate a 2 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 2x rise.
  • 2:26: Preshape dough into ball, let sit for 10 min.
  • 2:36: Shape dough into log and place into prepared pullpan pan, cover with plastic wrap.
  • Estimate a 1.5 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 3.5x rise.
  • 3:36: Preheat oven 375dF
  • 4:06: Assuming aliquot jar shows 3.5x rise, sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour.
  • 4:56: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 1 hour.
  • 5:56: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.

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