The Fresh Loaf

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Black Sesame 100% whole stoneground red fife sourdough

Benito's picture
Benito

Black Sesame 100% whole stoneground red fife sourdough

I actually baked this twice now because I thought I had severely overproofed my first loaf.  After shortening the bench final proof before cold retard on my second loaf to compensate the second loaf was more or less the same.  Unfortunately I believe that this flour is too soft for me to bake at 100% as a hearth loaf.  It is hard to believe the difference between this loaf and the one I very recently baked at 75% red fife.  If my belief that red fife is too lacking in gluten is incorrect please let me know, I’m interested in hearing your ideas.

During bassinage, I actually increased the hydration to 87% as the dough seemed to want more water.

Overnight saltolyse and levain build done.

In the morning add levain to saltolyse dough, mix to incorporate with Rubaud mixing.

 

Slap and fold to good gluten development. 800 done good windowpane 

Rest 30 min then bench letterfold ferment at 80ºF removing 30 g of dough for aliquot jar

Rest 30 min then lamination and add black sesame seeds

Then every 30 mins coil fold

 

End bulk when aliquot jar 60% rise

Shape then bench rest until aliquot jar 90% rise  

Next day

Preheat oven 500ºF with dutch oven inside.

Once over reaches temp, turn dough out of banneton, score and bake in dutch oven for 20 mins at 450ºF with lid on.  Drop temperature to 420ºF and bake 10 mins with lid on.

 

Remove lid and bake for 20 mins or until done with the bread out of the dutch oven on rack directly.

 

I’ll post crumb photos later today, this is hot just out of the oven.

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

Just to contrast, here was my 75% whole red fife loaf from a couple of weeks ago.

mdw's picture
mdw

I suspect it's simply too hydrated. You probably noticed our conversations about this issue on our desem threads (with headupinclouds). If I recall correctly red fife is generally what you find in commercial bread flours here in the States, so it's not likely to be a shortage of gluten. Looking forward to the crumb shot though, it still looks like a very nice bake. Hopefully you enjoy the flavor as well. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for your comments mdw, you’re right, perhaps it didn’t need as much water and it might be over hydrated, it really didn’t feel like it was though.

Red fife is a heritage grain and it don’t believe it is what is being used in commercial bakeries in the US.  From what I’ve now read after this disappointing bake, it is considered a soft wheat variety.  I’m on the fence about trying it at 100% again and with less water.  Perhaps having the 25% bread flour is an ideal way to get a good bread from this grain?

mdw's picture
mdw

I could very well be wrong, I thought I remembered seeing it printed on a bag of Bob's Red Mill a while back. In any event, the higher the hydration the more strength is required, and it sounds like the red fife really isn't strong enough without the bread flour you used last time. But I'd suggest dropping it to 75% and trying again one last time. My doughs often feel pretty stiff, I sometimes only coil fold once during bulk. 

Benito's picture
Benito

I obviously need to adjust my expectations of how a dough should feed when developing these whole grain doughs.  I am adding water during bassinage based on what I am used to doing for low whole grain breads.  Also, I expect these whole grains to need more water because of the bran.  I obviously wasn’t considering the gluten potential of the grain when thinking about hydration, lower gluten flours will need less water I guess even if they are whole grain.  Does that seem like a reasonable idea?

mdw's picture
mdw

Yes precisely. Conventional wisdom is that whole grain requires more water, but I believe that's because people usually supplement stronger flour with the whole grain, which takes the extra moisture. But without the supplementation there isn't enough strength to support the dough. It's another axis that requires balance. This is partly why you can't get crazy Tartine crumb with 100% whole grain. Most of the grains I use lose noticeable structure above 80%, of course every loaf is different. 

Benito's picture
Benito

The learning never ends.  I guess the other factor is the freshness of the flour.  Fresher requiring less water than much older.  My source of this red fife is also a small mill rather than a huge commercial mill, so I assume it is fresher, not as fresher as your homemilled of course.

mdw's picture
mdw

Sadly I'm not milling my own (probably for the best for now) but I do buy from a boutique miller that stone grinds it daily (edit: this is why I call my bread desem "inspired"). It's true, the learning never ends. It's so complicated and so simple, but we have no way to verify most of what we think. Ultimately this particular journey may not worth the trouble for you beyond the intellectual curiosity. There's no reason to fix something you already do beautifully.

Benito's picture
Benito

I can say the same for your breads as well, you’re really doing amazing things with your 100% whole grain breads and now as I’m baking more whole grains what you’re achieving is even more impressive to me.

mdw's picture
mdw

To me it feels a bit like learning a new language. It's not hard per se, but it takes a while to figure it out. In the end you end up saying the same thing, just differently. Full immersion certainly helps, and diving in with reckless abandon doesn't hurt either. I've been using whole grain for about a year and half now, and the desem concept has changed my path once again. But all it takes is practice practice practice. I've enjoyed watching you challenge yourself and am so glad you've found success.

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

I haven’t known you long Benny, but if I had to guess, you won’t be satisfied until you make a loaf that meets your expectations at 100% or maybe even a 90:10.  😉

Looking forward to the crumb...  Might not be as bad as you think.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

My 90% WW loaves proof quickly.  They keep chugging along in my 38.8 F fridge even if you don't see a physical expansion of the dough.

I would suggest putting in fridge immediately after final shaping, or no longer than 30 min after final shaping.

Re: fresher flour.  Fresher flour also ferments faster, because the bran enzymes have not degraded.  Example:  I am down to 3.5% PFF with home milled flour and an overnight cold proof.

Benito's picture
Benito

That’s another idea Dave, thank you.  The previous two successful bakes one at 75% and the other at 80% whole grain did so well with pushing the room temperature or warmer initial final proof that I thought it would be beneficial for the 100% one again.  I don’t think that the crumb shows evidence of overproofing, do you disagree?  I am looking for ideas and opinions here so don’t hesitate, I appreciate it.

Benny

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

yes, I do have a gut feel, from the cross-section photo, that it may have benefitted from less overall fermenting -- whether bulk ferment or final proof, I can't tell.

Another idea to get a taller loaf, assuming you're baking in the oval dutch oven, is make 1000g of dough instead of 900.  WW bread is denser, so if the sides of the DO constrain the spread, the bread may go taller if the alveoli can support the weight. 

Or, you may conclude like I did, that the aesthetics are more important than being a 100% WW purist, and settle for a 90:10 loaf.

Benito's picture
Benito

I honestly don’t have any issue with eating bread that has white flour in it.  I went down this path as a challenge to see if I could bake decent whole grain bread.  I don’t necessarily need it to be 100%.  I can certainly get the flavour of red fife at 75%.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

These 3 loaves, the 75%, the 80% and this 100% WW loaf illustrate that you are a genius-level learner.   Even experienced bakers take 3 to 5 bakes to dial in a new loaf, and you did the 75 and 80% on the first try, then this on the 2nd try.  You truly are among the TFL elite.

100% WW with no white-flour blending is very unique from variety to variety, so each variety will have its own unique properties that may require a slightly different approach from another variety, in order to get the combo of lacy crumb with a nice oven bloom.

I assume it is perhaps the W (strength) number or maybe the protein percentage, that determines how much strong white bread flour the WW needs, and very few varieties of  wheat have the critical minimum that allows 0% white flour, regardless of handling (soak, french folds, etc) used.

I have yet to find the magic handling necessary to get poofy loaves from my home milled wheat.  I don't have space to do french-folds, so on my to-do list is to try using a KA mixer, and keep the dough small and wet enough to not break the mixer.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Dave I am really not a genius.  I have however, benefitted greatly from the knowledge of others both here and elsewhere who have shared their knowledge with me.  Trevor Wilson’s book also was super useful as well.  But genius I am not.  I do have a good memory though so do tend to remember things and details that I deem important pretty well and I’m sure that has helped me quite a bit.

I guess there was a reason so many years ago that these heritage grains fell out of favour, there are greater challenges baking with them at least when trying to force them to conform to our current standards of what a good looking loaf of bread is.  Had I thrown this in a loaf pan and baked it I probably would have been extremely happy with it.  But now realizing that it isn’t a strong wheat and is in fact a soft wheat I’ll have to approach t differently at least when it comprises more than 75% of the flour in a loaf.  Along the way baking with this flour I just assume it was a strong whole grain, but now my eyes are open to it not being.

Benito's picture
Benito

Fortunately this bakes tastes very good, the bit of honey and the black sesame complimenting the cinnamon notes of the red fife.  With the higher hydration the crumb is a bit more custardy as well.  But that oven spring is disappointing.  I’ll need a good bake for my next bread so might go back to something I can do better with as a reset and confidence builder again.

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

May not have had the oven spring you were looking for, but looks like a good loaf otherwise!  Glad it has good flavor.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Troy, I think I need a good bake next so I’ll take a temporary break from these whole grain bakes.  However, I am glad that the flavour of this turned out quite well and that I know that I can enjoy breads made with 100% whole grain.  

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

That looks like a very open crumb for a 100% whole grain bread, especially with a heritage wheat.  My sense is that the inherent tradeoff between oven spring and openness is more pronounced with whole grains.  I'm curious if this type of dough might benefit from eliminating the scoring altogether.  I've seen a number of posts suggesting slack high hydration whole grain dough gets more rise without the score.

mdw's picture
mdw

I've had the same thought regarding scoring, but have not pursued it yet. 

Benito's picture
Benito

That is another interesting thought, never considered that.  Looking at the lack of ear from the score, it is something also to consider.

mdw's picture
mdw

The crumb is gorgeous! Fermentation looks spot on.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you, yes I think that it was well fermented and the flavour was great as well, not too sour at all so I pretty happy it didn’t go too far.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

BTW, that is excellent crumb for 100% WW.   I've never come close to crumb that good with my 90% WW bread.

--

With 100% WW, your levain is supercharged compared to white flour levain.

So, I'd also suggest going down to 7% PFF, and terminating bulk at 40-50%
aliquot rise.

The jiggle test also needs adjusted compared to dough with less % WW.  It will be stiffer.

Third time's the charm.

Benito's picture
Benito

Surprisingly despite the 10% prefermented flour, the dough didn’t ferment that quickly, it was slower than I expected.  To reach 60% rise in the aliquot jar at 80ºF  it took over 6 hours I think it was around 6.5 hours, but I wasn’t watching the clock.

I do worry about the crumb not being as nice if I reduce the BF and proof of this dough, but you’re right, that is another avenue worth considering.

 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

And it looks absolutely delicious. An idea just occured to me. Well a few actually but we'll concentrate on this one. How about pushing the bulk ferment, doing a gentle shaping keeping as much of the gas bubbles as possible and baking immediately or with a very short final proof? Perhaps this flour needs to be treated more like spelt. Not much point in over working it. Perhaps a lower inoculation and a longer ferment, skipping a saltolyse getting the starter in from the beginning, and allowing time to develop the gluten. Some flours just don't like to be worked too hard. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for the suggestions Abe, they are always helpful.

I did shorten the final proof from the first iteration that I didn’t post, but essentially it looked almost identical to this one.  But, I didn’t eliminate the final proof completely.  So I could shape and place into banneton and go directly to cold proof just to firm it up and then bake.

Now your second idea is changing a lot all at once, but is also worth considering maybe at another point if I cannot get this improved with stepwise single changes. 

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Delicious. Your fighting gravity with whole wheat as someone here once said (I think it was Pips). Maybe a shorter proof and keeping tension in the dough would help some. You can get a taller loaf with a lateral fold as it goes into the basket as we discussed the other day. Don't be too hard on yourself it's a very nice hundo (100%) loaf.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Don, I appreciate your comments.  I’m pretty happy to have achieved a good crumb on my first 100% wholegrain loaf.  Another idea about achieving something taller that you bring up is that lateral fold, interesting.  Also along those lines, I could do a pre-shape which I almost never do, but a pre-shape to increase the surface tension might also help.  I didn’t think of that after the first bake because I just assumed I had overproofed it so for this bake concentrated on adjusting proof.

Benny

mariana's picture
mariana

Hi Benny, 

when I first bought RedFife to bake with it, it was specifically because I read that it had low fermentation tolerance. It's a strong flour, one of the best in the world, and it is very tasty, but it has very low tolerance to mistakes in fermentation. A bit too much and it does what it did to you: it goes flat, loses strength. 

So, the solution is either to blend it with a bit of regular whole wheat APF of Best for bread flours to make it more tolerant and still be mostly RedFife in taste, or learn to watch it like a hawk in order to not let it reach the limit of its tolerance to the gas as it ferments. With ancient grains lowering the total fermentation time before baking is always the safest choice as we explore their limits, or else we end up with flat loaves. 

Fermentation tolerance

Andrew Ross, professor of Crop and Food Science at Oregon State University, experimented a lot with low fermentation tolerance flours such as barley or RedFife in his bread lab and this is his solution for RedFife:

Benito's picture
Benito

Hi Marianna, I guess I got lucky when I baked my 75% whole red fife sourdough a couple of weeks ago.  It had just enough strong bread flour to allow me to push fermentation quite far along.  I’m so happy that you’re commenting here today.  Your knowledge and information is so useful.  I never really thought that a strong flour would be intolerant to fermentation.  So if I were to have another go at a 100% whole red fife loaf I might go with lower hydration and end bulk and proof earlier.

This 100% red fife loaf was also from a new bag of flour, so that may also have contributed to it behaving differently from the 75% red fife loaf.  

Another odd thing I noticed as well that I don’t recall noticing before.  As some here might know, I used to keep a red fife starter and since the late fall switched to rye with great results.  The levain for this loaf was 100% hydration red fife of course.  I noticed at peak that it had a particularly sharp highly acidic smell to it, one that I don’t recall ever smelling from my previous levains or when my starter was fed red fife.  I don’t know why it had such a sharp odor.  I really should have measured its pH but didn’t and now regret it.  

Thanks again for your very useful insights, much appreciated.

Benny

mariana's picture
mariana

I wish you the best of success with your further bakes, Benny. I will cheer you up! 

From my experience, Red Fife is strong, meaning it absorbs plenty of water and the bread is tall and majestic, but it has low stress tolerance: when it rises high as it ferments, it doesn't stay at peak volume for a long time, like our other Canadian flours would, it collapses immediately. My first experience with it: 

  

You can't knead it 'too much', or ferment it or proof it for too long, because it suddenly, like Very Suddenly, becomes soupy and slimy (releases water that it absorbed before), its gluten breaks down and you get the crumb just like in your pictures or mine above. The worst is when it happens in the oven, when it reaches its tolerance limit as it goes through oven spring. Obviously, gluten breakdown has consequences for the taste of bread as well. Athough RedFife is so delicious, it is difficult to spoil it. 

For some reason that I can't explain I have the best results when I knead Red Fife in food processor. It develops gluten very well in seconds, under one minute, but at the same time it sort of augments RedFife's tolerance.  

I use RedFife in yeasted breads and in soda breads. When it's sourdough with RedFife, it is either 100% RedFife sourdough starter (not bread, not levain or other preferment, but starter - mother culture), or when RedFife is blended with other flours, like rye or wheat, which are super-tolerant to fermentation and acidity. Then that tolerant portion is subjected to sourdough fermentation as in Andrew Ross's example, and the RedFife portion ferments barely for an hour or two later on. 

The RedFife sourdough starter is the best among whole grain wheat starters, except perhaps desem which is great with any whole wheat.  I kept mine at room temp (around 25-26C in my kitchen) in a very stiff form, feeding it 1:20 (5%inoculation ratio) once a day. 

Your rye starter microflora since then has adjusted to rye flour, so when you inoculate RedFife with it now you notice the difference. Suddenly, RedFife sourdough doesn't smell like it smelled before, last summer, etc. Before, when it was RefFife starter, it smelled differently when ripe, right? It's because its microflora was different. Your starter today might have the same species of bacteria or yeast as before, but their strains would be different, more adjusted to rye flour. And different strains mean different acidity and different flavor. 

Benny, is your RedFife 100% extraction (whole grain)? I noticed that they sell 80% extraction RedFife now. What a surprise! I want that flour!!! I don't think I have ever seen sifted RedFife in Toronto stores. 

https://flourist.com/products/organic-sifted-red-fife-wheat-flour

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow lots to process Mariana, thanks so much.  My Red Fife I believe is whole red fife.  I have looked at flourist.com in the past and noticed their sifted red fife.  I haven’t purchased from them because I am able to get red fife in Kensington Market so can save on the shipping.

I was so surprised at the change in smell of the red fife levain built with the rye starter inoculation.  The odd thing is that it isn’t the first time I have built a red fife levain from my rye starter and I really don’t really it having such a sharp acidic odor before, it was quite a shock.  I totally makes sense that the microbes may have shifted having been fed whole rye for so long now.  I am still quite happy using my rye starter my levains are so much more active than they were in the past.

Benny

headupinclouds's picture
headupinclouds

Can you please share the source of this figure?  Thanks!

mariana's picture
mariana

Hi, 

the picture's electronic address itself was its source; once you open image in a new tab you would see it. Sorry, I didn't report it in writing. Here you are:

Flour Quality and Artisan Bread

by Andrew S. Ross, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, U.S.A.

in Cereal Foods World, Vol. 63, No. 2, March-April issue, 2018

Benito's picture
Benito

Interesting read Mariana, thanks for sharing this.

Benny

JonJ's picture
JonJ

What an interesting read. There is so much knowledge to be gained from reading about your red fife journey and this latest installment has shed so much light on the fickleness / low-tolerance to going over long with the fermentation of this flour. Although I'm not so sure it was exactly that - your comment about the pH of the levain might be closer to the core of the matter, and I wonder if you were to use either a younger levain, or a rye levain what the outcome would have been. So interesting... looking forward to the next chapter in the saga.

Curious about when you did the bassinage - was it after the slap and folds? And there was that thing Don said the other day about adding salt later that also really stuck with me, think he was quoting Jennifer Lathams Intagram about the Tartine bakery, "It no longer includes the leaven in the autolyse and salt is not added until enough water has been incorporated to make a very extensible dough."

Jon.

Benito's picture
Benito

Although the levain smelled more acidic than I normally expect, it was used at peak.  I really should have taken a pH reading on it so I’d know compared to other levains if it was in fact more acidic at that point or if it was just a shift to producing more acetic acid rather than lactic acid.

The bassinage when I added more water was done when adding levain.  That is typically when I assess the hydration based on how the dough feels.  I seldom include levain during Autolyse (fermentolyse) and especially with whole grain bread never do.  I would only do that for mostly or all white flour doughs.  I include the salt when I’m doing an overnight levain build and want to be able to an autolyse without having to wake up in the middle of the night 3 hours before the levain is ready to start an autolyse.  The saltolyse in my experience does a great job at allowing the flour and bran to fully hydrate without excessive amylase activity since the salt slows the amylase.

Benny