The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

100% whole wheat, can't get it to rise

rachmoriah's picture

100% whole wheat, can't get it to rise

Hello! I'm new to tfl forums so I hope this question is in the right place. I have been practicing making tartine style sourdough bread for about a year now and have just switched from using 100% all purpose flour from the store to 100% ww stuff that I'm milling at home. As you could guess, the ww absorbs much more water and is also much heavier and therefore is having a hard time rising. I adjusted the hydration from 80% to 90% and it seems to have helped a little. I'm not sure if putting in a higher percentage of levain would help? I know with it being all ww it's not going to rise as well as white flour but these loaves have been pretty flat and had almost no oven spring. Any advice?

DanAyo's picture

Images, especially closeups of the crumb will help

seasidejess's picture

Hi, definitely post images, and it would also help to know what kind of flour you are milling and what kind of dough development process you are using. I'd also ask specifically if you are letting the flour rest (autolyse) with just the water for at least an hour before adding salt and leavening. 

Since you are a baker already, you know how dough should feel and handle. Does it feel right? Is it extensible and supple? Good whole wheat dough is different than white flour dough but it should still feel pleasing and cohesive and elastic when you're working with it. 

louiscohen's picture

One issue with WW bread that was explained to me here was that if you use a poolish and/or an overnight bulk fermentation, you will need to reduce the yeast % (or amount of starter) more than you would for white flour.  Cutting the yeast in the final dough from 0.31% to 0.22% (that's with a 1/3 overnight poolish and an overnight bulk fermentation in the fridge) left the dough more extensible, and the rise seemed better.  

If that's relevant to your situation try reducing the starter by 1/3 or so compared with your white flour formula.