The Fresh Loaf

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Graham Flour Levain

jsk's picture

Graham Flour Levain

About two months ago I was in a trip to the US. During my staying there I've bought some flours I can't get my hands on here in Israel. One of them was Graham flour. I read quite a bit about it and I've found that a lot of people said it made a hard and unpleasant crust and the coarse pieces of bran and germ made it difficult to develop the gluten.
In that in mind I've decided to scald the Graham flour and make a mash, as I read someone here did successfully. So I started reading about scalding flours (WGB is a great source of info about that). I wanted to make a mash using 2:1 water to flour ration. The process was basicly bringing the water in a pot to about 150F, adding the flour and leaving it coverd for 1.5 hours to gelatinize some of the starches and to start the enzyme activity. After the hour and a half I adedd about 2% salt to inhibit the enzyme activity (a little like in a grain soaker). From ther it went to the fridge overnight.
I've worked up a formula for some sort of a Pain au Levain using 28% Graham, 5% rye and 67% AP flour. The intended hydration was 75% but I needed to add 2% more water as the dough was a little dry (probably because of the mash). I used a white stiff starter (65% hydration). I autolysed for 30 minutes and the kneaded in my KitchenAid for about 8 minutes. Fermentation was 2.5 hours with 2 folds. I then shaped the dough into two 1.75 lb batards and proofed the in a couche for 1.5 hours.
Here are some pics:

And the crumb:

I was very happy with the results. The crust was chewy and delicious and the crumb was open and light. The flavor was very good, slightly tangy and wheaty. If anyone has any questions or want the recipe, please comment.
Happy baking!


reyesron's picture

thats some beautiful bread and I suspect you could make great bread out of sand.  very impressive!

LindyD's picture

Lovely crust and crumb.

dmsnyder's picture

Did the Graham flour change the dough or the flavor of the bread compared to any other whole wheat flour in any way you could identify?

I've never used Graham flour.


arlo's picture

Oh, that looks very nice. And I am curious to about the flavor, was it more flavorful than whole wheat?

jsk's picture

Thanks you all.

The flavor is different from regular WW. It is more full if that is the word and it has a very nice aroma. It all so adds a somewhat sweet wheaty flavor but that may be because of the scalding.

This bread is a great fun to make!

SylviaH's picture

  You did a great job using the graham flour!  The loaves sound very delicious and look so gorgeous!


jsk's picture

Thanks Sylvia!

I dare you all to try it.