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Slow rise at room temperature - recipe adaptation

Kooky's picture

Slow rise at room temperature - recipe adaptation

Update: I just did some sifting utilizing 2 sieves that just arrived. Best case I was getting about 70% by weight after the sift, I mean these flours have A LOT of bran. This seems to be about double I'd expect, perhaps this high bran flour is the cause of my baking demise? 


Hello all, still struggling on my whole grains quest. So far I've found out that you simply need to utilize more flour...

Next I will be tackling slow rises at room temperature with bolted flour to see if this provides the results I desire. This is my first time ever trying this so I'd prefer to not waste ingredients if I'm doing something glaringly wrong.

I'd like to make half of this recipe which will make 2 po'boy rolls : 

I baked half this recipe TWICE last night and the result was an extremely flat, yet tasty, long log of bread. I mean 0% oven spring, and 10% rise during second rise after forming. I didn't even punch the flour down aggressively. I picked the divided flour up and let it elongate by hand with gravity to form a 16" log.

Here's my adaptation of it for freshly milled whole grains...

  • 325g room temperature water (1 hour autolyse with 90% of water)
  • 12.5g sugar (perhaps omit this sugar?)
  • 1/2 tsp yeast (~2.5g)
  • 7.5g olive oil
  • 405g blend of freshly milled, bolted, hard white/red berries (I will be adding some bran back but not much to see if this helps size and structure)
  • 8g salt

Autolyse for 1 hour, knead in yeast and sugar for 2 minutes, knead in salt for 2 minutes, then put in my stand mixer for about 4-6 minutes on high speed.

My main questions is, does the poke test still apply all the way through this recipe? Also, what kind of time frame am I looking at by utilizing 1/2 tsp yeast? I imagine it is about 2-3g but I haven't weighed it yet.

I think I've proven to myself by failing over and over I can't make 100% freshly milled whole wheat (which contains a boatload of bran) have the same oven spring or size as white flour, no matter what I do. I've tried using more yeast than a recipe asks for, I've tried using half, and everything in between.


happycat's picture

You can gelatinize a portion to make up for lost gluten by scalding.

You can also specifically scald the bran.

A yudane is a Japanese scald (20% flour + equal weight of boiling water, mixed, left overnight, then added in after the autolyse). See my blog on yudane fresh milled wheat baguette

You don't mention when you add the oil... you might want to delay it to the end so it doesn't interfere with gluten development.

Kooky's picture

Sorry, I add the oil with the salt after I knead the yeast in for however long.

Today I messed up because I cut the recipe in 1/4 and still used the prescribed yeast... Tomorrow I will be trying with 1/10th the yeast and seeing how long it takes to overproof.

happycat's picture

I think you may need to age your milled wheat esp if you use a lot of it as a %.

Aging improves elasticity, trapping gasses.

Soaked, scalded or porridged bran would reduce damages to gluten from the particles, especially if you are beating the crap out of the dough with a power mixer.

Kooky's picture

The Ankarsrum is pretty gentle overall I've found... Are you saying that 4-6 minutes is too much for kneading this kind of dough?

happycat's picture

The issue is sharp bran ripping up gluten structure. You said high speed, so just guessing that is more potential damage than low speed. Whole wheat may have less gluten to begin with. Bran takes time to absorb water and soften... hence the reason for scalding or soaking bran or flour to protect gluten during mixing,

I suggest looking at bread making as a system of influences... how do ingredients, temperature, manipulation, process etc interact.

naturaleigh's picture

Greetings K!  I popped over to the KA site to find the recipe (the link in your post wouldn't work for me).  Here's the one I used, which I think is correct:

Anyway, if I understand you correctly, you were trying to halve this recipe?  If so, then your adapted recipe numbers don't align with those on the original recipe (adjusting to half).  The original recipe calls for 454 g of water--half would be 227 g, but you are using 325.  I understand you would need to increase the water amount for whole wheat, but that is a large increase, by nearly 100 g.  The amount of yeast you are using, 2.5 g, is nearly a quarter of what is called for in the original recipe (18g) so there just might not be enough yeast in your version.  Also, you are trying to convert a 100% white flour recipe to 100% whole wheat.  Even though you are sifting your freshly milled wheat berries, you are still basically making a 100% whole wheat loaf, which, by nature, will be more dense and have less 'lift'.

Couple of thoughts: 1) you might think about adjusting your WW percentage down to no more than 25% to see how that works--stick with the original recipe on the web site, but use about 20-25% WW flour.  I have found over the years it is best to find a recipe that I can get good results from before I start tinkering with it.  If you are expecting a 100% WW loaf to give you the same oven spring and crumb as a 100% white loaf, you will be disappointed.  I think you will be happier with a mix of White and WW flours.  There are excellent links on this site for just those types of loaves.  2) as HC suggested, soaking any bran you want to add back in, or using the yudane method, will only help to improve the challenges bran can pose as far as rise and density.  3) the 'poke test' usually only comes into play during the final rise, to gauge when it is time to bake or use a cold retard.

I hope you will find something useful ^^.  Good luck and happy baking!

happycat's picture

Nice detective work!

Yippee's picture

If you are open-minded and willing to learn, I can assure you that there is a very simple solution. Take a moment to see how CLAS (Concentrated Lactic Acid Sourdough) can significantly improve your baking, especially whole-grain bread. Once you master this technique, you can bake any 100% whole-grain bread with confidence and achieve excellent results.


P.S. I hope this video will show you how simple and effective CLAS is in making WW bread.  You may apply this technique to any whole-grain recipe. 

DoughKnob's picture

1/2 tsp of yeast is more like 1.5 g, which is about 1/4 of what would generally be used to leaven the amount of flour you used.