The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

The Approachable Loaf-pt 2

Sugarowl's picture

The Approachable Loaf-pt 2

I am once again trying The Approachable Loaf from the 2020 Community Bake

Link here:

This time I am replacing some of the Whole Wheat with Bread Flour and am adding the Honey back in. Total Amounts are still the same for a 1,000g loaf.


Total DoughGramsPercent
Whole Wheat Flour35268.00%
Bread Flour16832.00%
Total Flour518100.00%
Instant Yeast50.80%
Olive Oil275.25%
Hold Water53 



WW Flour352
Yeast (pinch)0.25


I saw someone did a 100% poolish on another post with whole wheat bread so I thought I would just do all my whole wheat as a poolish. I have a bad habit of experimenting before I even get the basics down so if this doesn't work out I'll just go make some muffins and do some cake planning (my son's birthday coming up).

I also read that Hamelman mixes his yeast with the water before adding in the flour (poolish), so I think I'll do that too. He also mixes a little water at a time in the center of the dough when using a dough hook for kneading. He pulls out the hook then puts a little water in that empty space in the middle and then continues mixing. Water, mix, water, mix. I may use my mixer, but it's a good mental note for the next time I do.

The poolish will be started as soon as my littlest one goes to bed.

(I also have no idea why my spreadsheet looks like that.)



I let the poolish go for 16 hours. I saw short gluten strands when I pulled it back. I'm guessing those strands are gluten, they look kind of gross, like melting skin from a horror movie or the wrinkles on your fingers after a long bath. Sorry for the visual. That's the best way I can think of to describe it. I'm not sure it was done yet, but it did smell wheaty with a hint of changing to alcohol.

I did score it before baking. I thought it was too deep and too much, but you can barely tell I did any scoring. I scored two long ones on the side (about 3/4"-1" deep) and several small /short ones down the middle. So I guess it's a good thing I did. I also thought it had bulk fermented too long, but it rose just fine in the oven.

I ran into a two problems but I did what I could.

Problem 1: I accidentally added an extra 100grams of water (in addition to the hold out water, for a grand total of 152g extra). I forgot that I had added all the water into the poolish and was only going to add the 52grams. It was a very slack dough, so I added 76grams of whole wheat plus a little extra for dusting. I did 3 stretch and folds with 30 minutes in between each one. After the last stretch and fold I shaped it and put it into a dark loaf pan.

Problem two: I baked it for 45 minutes, in a dark loaf pan, at.... 425F the whole time. I was meaning to turn it down after I put it in, but I was still mad at myself for the extra water so I forgot to do so. Top was a little singed in places.

Well, it turned out fine, except for the slightly burnt top (which I cut off later so it would fit in the container). The loaf rose higher this time and even though I was afraid there was not enough gluten development, it did not seem fragile this time. I like the addition of the bread flour, it mellowed out the wheat taste for my kids and probably added more gluten since I do not keep vital wheat gluten on hand. It was better with the honey this time around. For a different flavor, I wonder if a different type of wheat could be used.

I think I will stick with Floyd's Honey Whole Wheat under Favorite Recipes but I might revisit this again. I enjoy reading everyone's posts on the Community Bakes, even when the science bread geeks get technical.

Here's the loaf. First one is on the left, current one on the right.