The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

100% Whole Grain Sourdough Help

SFbangarang's picture

100% Whole Grain Sourdough Help

Super new to baking but pretty hellbent on only using whole grains. Been using locally milled, stone ground, white Sonora flour 86% hydration.  Getting all kinds of good rise on the bulk ferment and stretch and folds but it kinda starts to go south when I pre form the loaf (pictured) and let it bench rest. I've got the technique down (I think) but the dough breaks across the top. Am I working it too much or do I need to figure out how to get a stronger gluten structure?  

Then once I put it in the banneton and do the final proofing it doesn't hold up well when dumped into the dutch oven.  If I kinda un-gracefully pour it into my clay baker I can get a decent bake out of it and the loaf looks pretty good.  But I know that there is lots to improve here.  

Would love some thoughts. Cheers! 

suminandi's picture

I think white sonora is considered a soft wheat ( not particularly high gluten), so it has to be handled to accomodate that. That dough looks over fermented. Advice-

1) make sure your starter is ‘young’ and not too acidic, meaning use before it peaks

2) much less water - 75% should work ( a few percent more if it’s hard to mix).
3) enough salt - 2%, salt strengthens dough
4) mix flour water and salt and allow to stand for 30 min to an hour to get some gluten development going before adding starter

5) bulk rise to 50% increase only. gentle folds

6) short final proof too, compared to what you’d get away with for hard wheat. 

Finally, an alternate way to deal with this grain, especially if you want a high hydration bread, is just give the dough a good initial kneading, throw it in a greased tin, and bake it when it has nearly doubled. No second rise or shaping. 

Good luck.

idaveindy's picture

Breadtopia, says it's high protein, but low gluten. (Not all protein is gluten-forming protein. Same holds for spelt and durum.)

So it will be easier to make a good loaf if you mix it with 70% or more hard whole wheat, such as hard red or hard white.  

Bon chance.