The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mini Bakes 38.1, 38.2, 38.3. Feb. 11 - 14, 2021.

idaveindy's picture

Mini Bakes 38.1, 38.2, 38.3. Feb. 11 - 14, 2021.

Feb. 14, 2021.

Woo hoo! Progress!  

This post consists of bakes # 4, 5, and 6 of the durum Community Bake. Previous bake, # 3, is at:

I finally, in bake 38.3,  made a mostly-WW durum mini-loaf (75% Fiber Wala, 25% KABF) that is worthy of sharing with others, bake 38.3.

This particular loaf was too small to share, about 220 grams dough weight, so it will be eaten up in an hour or two.

I did three things at once, so I'm not sure which were crucial/critical. 

  • two stage hydration.
  • 25% KABF.
  • 1% nutritional yeast.

First off, this Fiber Wala durum flour needs about 89% hydration. But, it you autolyse/soak it with that much, or even 85%, you get a super-sticky paste that is near impossible to work with.


Okay, backing up to the beginning of this three bake series.... 38.1

Feb. 11/12:  So in mini-bake 38.1 (100 grams flour), I hydrated it at 77%, and it was not sticky. This was with 2% salt in the soak. I soaked it over night, and it was still not sticky the next day. Then I slowly added water, 3 grams at a time, 5 times, resulting in +15% or 92% total.  Got a good crumb. Sorry, didn't take pics.


Feb. 12/13: Mini-bake 38.2, 100 grams Fiber Wala, no salt, 85% hydration up front. It was too sticky up front, so I put a little oil in the baggie that I stored it in. Next day, even stickier. Added 2% salt and still sticky, it did not firm up. Still a "paste" more than a dough.

Added 4% more water, for a total of 89%. Baked it after only a little fermentation. Sort of a decent crumb, showing that hydration was good, but poor fermentation, because I was in a hurry.


So here is my deduction/assumption:  The bran in this WW durum absorbs water faster than the endosperm of durum. And at a certain percentage, somewhere between 77 and 85%, the bran turns excessively sticky (low/no-bran durum never get this sticky) and then... it's as if the bran never releases the excess water.  As if the endosperm can never "take back" the excess water that the bran gobbled up.


Feb. 13/14: Mini-bake 38.3, pics below. This time used one of my "combo" recipes that I sometimes use for pizza dough, usually with regular WW, but now testing with durum.

75% Fiber Wala, 25% King Arthur bread flour, 2.5% whole dry chia, 2.5% ground flax, .33% instant dry yeast, 7.5% of 100% hydration starter, 1% nutritional yeast.

The procedure this time was to hydrate the Fiber Wala at 77% and after the soak, bring it up to 89%.

The soak here had everything up front, flour, water, salt, chia, flax, IDY, starter, nutritional yeast.

I think I gave it about 30 minutes rest at room temp. Then overnight in the fridge.

I assumed the KABF portion wanted 70% hydration. So keeping that fixed, the 77% to 89% hydration was calculated just on the Fiber Wala portion.  Example:

  • 120 gr FW @ 77% = 92.4 gr.
  • 40  gr KABF@ 70% = 28 gr.
  • (160 gr total flour).
  • 120 gr FW @ 12% = 14.4 gr

So for the 160 grams of flour, I used 92.4 + 28 = 120 grams water for the soak.

Then the next day, added 14.4 grams water after the soak.

The14.4 grams of water at once did make it sticky, but not as bad as when 85% or 89% had been added at once on prior bakes.

Admittedly, this assumes the KABF "stands pat" at 70%, not giving up, nor taking away water from the durum.

So, the next bake, #39, or "mini bake" 38.4, will have an overnight soak at 77%, but the added 12% will be done in two stages: +6%, an hour or so rest, then another 6%.

Whether it is absolutely needed or not, the 25% KABF and the 1% nutritional yeast will have to be played with, to determine how much they factor in.

But for 75% whole grain, this was a superb crumb. Very worthy of showing off to friends and neighbors.

My next goal, is to push/tweak this to 90% Fiber Wala. 


Submitted to the durum Community Bake here:


Note: there is another user who recently posted a bake with whole grain durum in Greece, or at least with Greek flour. They complained about the excess stickyness and paste like nature of the dough.  This two-stage (or three stage, doing two separate additions of water after the overnight soak) hydration process should be good news.




Next bake, # 7 for the durum community bake, a tortilla/chapati, is at:


headupinclouds's picture

Thanks for doing the heavy lifting on this near whole grain semolina bake.  I'm interested in your experience as I think you are the only one attempting a whole grain version.  I have some bags of durum wheat berries and have been planning to fit in semolina bake.  Last night I milled 500 g such that 400 g passes through a #50 sieve (it seems extra work for a fine grind may be beneficial here) and have reserved the remaining 100g of bran + middlings to feed a cool low hydration semolina levain which I am currently building from a whole wheat starter.  I like your idea of separate bran + flour hydration.  I'm wondering if a semolina bran levain might be similarly effective.