The Fresh Loaf

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100% Stoneground Whole Wheat Hokkaido Sourdough Milk Bread

Benito's picture
Benito

100% Stoneground Whole Wheat Hokkaido Sourdough Milk Bread

Back from two weeks off without any baking. My starter was refreshed two weeks ago at 50% hydration, given 1 hour at room temperature then refrigerated. The pH had only dropped to 4.4 or so when I returned so there was plenty of food left. I discarded some, then brought the hydration up to 100% and did a small feed. He tripled in 3 hours but had not yet peaked, so I discarded and fed him again. 5 hours later he had peaked at 3.5-4x with the dome just starting to flatten. He was ready to build a levain for this bake.

You may have noticed my gradually increasing the whole wheat in my Hokkaido sourdough milk breads lately. I finally decided it was time to do 100% whole wheat and this didn’t disappoint.

For a 9” x 4” x 4” pullman pan

Sweet Stiff Starter
• 53g stoneground unsifted organic whole wheat flour
• 24g water
• 18g light brown sugar
• 18g sourdough starter ~100% hydration
1:1.33:2.9:1 starter:water:flour:sugar

Tangzhong classic 1:5 ratio
• 89g milk (adjusted down to 1:5 ratio from original)
• 18g stoneground unsifted organic whole wheat flour

Dough Dry Ingredients
• 9 g vital wheat gluten
· 424 g stoneground unsifted organic whole wheat flour
• 54g sugar 12.5%
• 7g salt 1.6%

Dough Wet Ingredients
• 180g milk (consider adding more milk 5 g next time, dough was stiff)
• 50g egg beaten (about 1 lg egg)
• 60g butter 13.9% softened but do not melt, unless you are mixing with the mixer then melt. Combine with 30 g of flour to make easier to add to dough if hand mixing.

Total flour = 431 g

Total weight 920 g

Pre-bake Wash
• 1 egg beaten
• 1 Tbsp milk

Post-bake Wash
• 1 Tbsp butter

Instructions
Starter
Mix the starter ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 50% growth.  In fact I usually get 2.5-3.5x growth.
Press down with your knuckles to create a uniform surface and to push out air.
At room temperature, it typically takes up to 10 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.
Tangzhong
In a sauce pan set on med-low heat, whisk the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl.

Dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly whisk the dry dough ingredients, and then add the sweet stiff starter, separating it into 5-6 portions as you add it to the bowl.
Now pour/scrape in all the wet ingredients (including the tangzhong), with the melted butter last. With the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for a minute, scrape down the sides, and then mix on medium speed for 15-20 minutes. The dough will seem very soft, but as you approach the 15-20 minute mark, it should not stick to your hands and should pass the windowpane test.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, form it into a ball, flip it smooth side up, cover and let rise for 6-12 hours depending on room temperature. You can place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier.
Prepare your pans by greasing them or line with parchment paper.
Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top. Lightly flour the bench. Press the dough into a rectangle and divide it into four. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using a rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.
Cover and let proof for 2-4 hours (more if you put the dough in the refrigerator). I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash. Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.

Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190F. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF. You can brush the top of the loaf with butter if you wish at this point while the bread is still hot.

Wonderful flavour, there isn’t any real sour tang and certainly no bitterness that I had always thought was characteristic of 100% whole wheat breads like this that I ate as a child. I’m not sure that the Vital Wheat Gluten was necessary, but I wanted to ensure that I was able to get the shreddable crumb that this type of bread should have.

Benny

 

 

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

Here is a quick video showing the shreddable crumb.

naturaleigh's picture
naturaleigh

Looks like you reached bread perfection here Benny!  The crumb looks incredibly uniform, the crust shiny and not too thick and the domed tops like inflated balloons.  I love that you can still see the little swirls at the outside bottom of each section.  I think you have this method down to a science!  I've got to give this a try soon...haven't delved into this just yet but definitely will give it a try, thanks to your excellent instructions.  Yum!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Leigh, I hope you do give this a try.  I am pleasantly surprised at the height I was able to get with this dough.  I’m not sure if it was the addition of the vital wheat gluten or if I could have achieved the same without it.  Either way, I wasn’t disappointed with this bake.

Benny

happycat's picture
happycat

Spectacular colour, rise and shine. The top looks stunning. 

I found fresh milled wheat kernels had a wonderful kind of creaminess plus back of the mouth wheaty aroma during eating that I'd never experienced before. How is the flavour and texture of your flour coming through? Do you get chewiness of bran? Would be interesting to see how relying on the tangzhong vs adding gluten affects texture.

Amazing 100% whole wheat accomplishment!

I'm certainly aiming for a similar shift towards whole grains... difficult to give up the security blanket of using a % of AP flour!

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks so much David, very kind of you to say.

I have to say that I quite enjoy this bread.  It does have that wheaty flavour but without any bitterness.  I don’t really find it particularly chewy but I suppose it might be a bit more so than the 100% white flour version of this bread that I have made in the past.  I have to admit that I was a bit scared of leaving out the bread flour for this bake, but thought I’d better give it a try and find out if I could bake it, but I didn’t want to take a chance and not have decent bread on the table so went ahead and added the vital wheat gluten for the first time.

Benny 

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

Wow, Benny, that is such a lovely loaf!! Especially given all the difficulties you have had in the past using whole wheat! The amount of rise and that soft, shredable crumb are really amazing. 

Well done! (And welcome back from vacation!)

Mary

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you very much Mary.  I was really pleasantly surprised at how well this bread turned out.  I was definitely apprehensive about this bake, as you know I have had many challenges doing 100% red fife sourdough in the past.  I know that baking a panned loaf is easier than a hearth one so the big challenge will be to bake a 100% whole wheat sourdough hearth loaf in the near future.

Benny

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Congrats Benny!  Looks like a wonderful loaf and a great way to get back in the swing of baking after the time off.  I think it’s safe to say that you didn’t miss a beat!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Troy, it was nice to have a successful bake as my first bake after vacation and even nicer that it was with a 100% whole wheat loaf.

Benny

Yeast_Mode's picture
Yeast_Mode

Beautiful! Just beautiful!

How do you think this would work if you used less sugar?

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you YM!  I think it would work quite well with much less sugar, that is one of the changes I was planning to do the next time I bake this as well as adding a bit more milk to balance the bran of the whole wheat.

Benny

happycat's picture
happycat

Consider the option of using some malted grains in place of sweetener. I mashed some rye and buckwheat last week and the resulting bread is quite sweet from it along with other interesting flavours from the process. Adds an interesting dimension.

Benito's picture
Benito

Very interesting idea David!

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Wow! I can hardly wait to try this! Two people and not enough time! I am stunned at the perfection crust to crumb. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Caroline, I hope you find some time to try this as well and I hope you like it when you do.

Benny

Tortoise Blue's picture
Tortoise Blue

Hey Benny, what an outstanding loaf. Thanks for the detailed process - well done, sir.

I am curious, what is the flour that you're using? You mention unsifted SG whole wheat flour in the sweet starter and whole wheat in the main dough. Are you using the same flour? I'm planning to try your formula/method for my next bake with the last of my Red fife grains stash. 

Cheers,

Tortoise

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Tortoise, sorry if I wasn't specific enough.  All the whole wheat flour I used was organic stoneground unsifted, so all the same flour.

Benny

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Benny!

But wait…no, you can’t fool us any longer.  Only Txfarmer is capable of such consistent perfection across such a range of objectives.

Welcome back Tx.  You can take off the mask now. 

😉

Tom

Benito's picture
Benito

LOL thank you Tom, I got a great laugh out of that.  Txfarmer is a hero baker in my books and I am no where near her level of perfection.  I still have bad bakes, now I've jinxed myself and the next one will be a floppy pancake 😂

Benny

Floydm's picture
Floydm

This looks amazing, and what a fantastic write up. Would you mind if I featured it on the homepage?

Benito's picture
Benito

It would be an honor to be featured on the homepage Floyd, thank you.

Benny

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I hope you don't mind but I had to attach one of your photos to the image field so it would show up as the thumbnail. That makes it show up twice in your post too, once at the top and once in the body. It is a beautiful picture but feel free to switch which image is featured if you'd prefer another.

Benito's picture
Benito

No problem, I just deleted the duplicate photo in the body of the original post.  Thanks again Floyd, not only for this but all the things you do to help us home bakers.  I wouldn’t have been able to bake this bread without the things I’ve learned from others on this website.

Benny

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

look to your bakes.  So happy to see your perfect loaf in the "pin ups."  I knew it was yours the second I saw it.  

The background pairs up nicely too; 4 houses, 4 rolled up sections, gosh what crust colour!  The loaf glows!   

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Mini, people are probably starting to recognize that painting in the background in many of my photos.  You’re the first one to comment on the four lobes of the bread and the four houses in that painting in the background, good eye for detail.

Benny

Lee Rosenthal's picture
Lee Rosenthal

this looks wonderful.  How crusty is the crust?  

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Hi Lee, thank you for your compliment.  The crust isn’t super crusty like a lean hearth loaf at all.  It has a thin crispness to it that we enjoy.  Now if you wanted a soft crust you could brush butter on the crust and that will help keep the crust soft.  Alternatively, you could put the loaf into a breathable bag while it is still a bit warm and that would also soften the crust.  Having said that I haven’t tried the bag trick but it would make sense to me that it would work.

Benny

Isand66's picture
Isand66

Well deserved on the cover page!  I don’t think you can get any better with a whole-wheat bread than this.  You should be able to eliminate the vital wheat gluten I would think.  
Happy baking Benny!

Ian

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you very much Ian.  I really wasn’t sure if I needed the VWG or not but didn’t think it would hurt.  At some point in the future I might try without to find out.

Benny

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Great job Benny. The 100% whole-wheat make a fabulously soft sandwich bread when treated well. Did you use the Pearson's Square to calculate the amount of VWG?

Cheers,

Gavin.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Gavin, I thought of your posts baking 100% whole wheat sandwich bread when I made this.  I remembered your comment on adding VWG and thought to use it for the first time.  I used an online calculator which must be based on Pearson’s square.  However, not really knowing the protein content of my flour, our labeling is extremely inaccurate here, I just decided that I’d increase the protein by 1% and hope for the best.  Fortunately it worked out well.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

and you seem to up the ante every time.  The top down and ant's-eye view of the crumb are something to behold.  I think I could devour a few slices from the pull apart chiffon pieces.

Haven't lost a beat, like riding a bicycle.  But tastier!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Alan, I appreciate your comments as always.  You can be assured that I ate those pulled off bits after I stopped the video.  The crumb doesn't quite have the softness of a fully white flour version of this bread but it more than makes up for that in the added flavour.  I don't think I'll be making the white version again any time soon.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Instagram postings.  He goes by the moniker "breadwright".  And although we can't hold a candle to him, his experience nor his skill I think am convinced that a lot of what you post on TFL could give him a darned fair run for the money.  At least looks-wise.

https://www.instagram.com/breadwright/

Benito's picture
Benito

I follow Martin on IG and yes there is no way that we can match what he does given his years of baking experience.  But it is nice to think that some of what we bake around here at can least look as good at what professionals do.  I can say though, having seen and tasted your baking that what comes out of your oven does look and taste as good if not better than what I’ve had from artisan bakeries.

JonJ's picture
JonJ

And straight from vacation to the starter! As it should be, I guess 

Lovely bread and such pretty uniform crumb. Did end up watching your video more than once.

Looks like a neat way to get healthy bread. I did wonder if you were going to put some red fife in next.

-Jon

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you, and you’re right Jon, one of the first things I did when I got home and open the fridge ad smelled my starter.  LOL.

I don’t currently have any red fife in the house, I want to see how this whole wheat flour is at 100% for a hearth loaf.  With some VWG I’m hoping that I’ll be able to bake a good loaf with it, stay tuned.

Benny

JonJ's picture
JonJ

This is a useful online VWG calculator https://foodgeek.dk/en/vital-wheat-gluten-calculator/

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes that is the one I used again not really knowing what my flour’s protein was I just chose  12% and said I wanted the final protein to be 13%.

Kooky's picture
Kooky

Looks great.

I am waiting for the food pickup I do to get bulk organic gluten flour. I think if I were to start a micro-bakery I would specialize in freshly milled flours supplemented with the gluten flour. I have yet to try it since I ran out, but I think it's the combination I was looking for, alongside tangzhong. Freshly milled is too finicky. Great for muffins, or non-yeasted breads, but those bran bits are a real pain for holding CO2 and also having to cut yeast so it doesn't overproof in 30 minutes.

Today was the first majority-store bought flour bread I've made in a while. It is extremely easy after dabbling in 100% freshly milled breads for a few months.

Benito's picture
Benito

I haven’t dabbled in freshly milled flour as I do not have a mill and wasn’t planning on getting one yet.  But from everything that I’ve read it is much more challenging to work with than store bought whole grain.

Benny

Kooky's picture
Kooky

Thanks, I guess I jumped to conclusions and got giddy when I saw stone ground. I was in shock generally but very motivated. Now I have to temper my expectations for when I get my gluten flour...

Benito's picture
Benito

Sorry to get your hopes up but this flour is from a local small mill that does stoneground flours.

Benny

happycat's picture
happycat

sift out and soak that bran... and/or scald it. problem solved ;)

If you malt or mash your scalded bran... so much deliciousness on top of the softening 

Benito's picture
Benito

Speaking of sifting David, what sifters do you own?  40, 50, 60?  One, two or all three of them?  I’m thinking I need to get a sifter at some point.

Benny

Isand66's picture
Isand66

I use the 30 first and if I want a higher extraction I’ll then use the 40.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Ian.  I’m only thinking about trying to sift out the bran possibly to soak separately from the autolysed flour and then adding it later on.  So you think that a 30 or 40 would work for that purpose?

Benny

Isand66's picture
Isand66

That should work just fine

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks again Ian.

happycat's picture
happycat

I just have a big sized one from the dollar store. It's more coarse than the smaller one I have. Not helpful, I know :p but it works well for bran.

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