100% Wholewheat question

Colc's picture
Colc

I have been grinding my own wheat and baking 100% wholewheat bread for a while now. My main aim is to bake a loaf with a nice holey crumb, but so far have been unable to achieve that goal.

I have just stumbled on this website which shows exactly what I am trying to achieve; has anybody been able to have similar success with 100% Wholewheat?

http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=4315

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farinam's picture
farinam 2015 September 15

Hello Colc,

I don't have much experience with whole wheat but I guess one possibility is to do with the type and quality of the grain that you are using for your milling.  The gluten content might not be high enough.  One other is the fineness of grind.  Have you tried making bread with a commercial wholegrain flour just to see if you get a different result more akin to the ideal that you desire.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

Colc's picture
Colc 2015 September 15

Thanks Farinam,  I started off with commercial wholewheat flour before graduating  to home milling.I have experimented with different grades of grind, different hydration, currently at 80%, this week I will be trying 100%. Also I have tried Freeform, loaf tins and Romertopf. I was considering abandoning the project until I came across the crumb illustrated in the link I provided, now I know it can be done my interest has been rejuvenated.

farinam's picture
farinam 2015 September 16

Hello Colc,

You certainly need higher hydration.  I spent a day with a baker some time back working with integrale (wholemeal) and we were certainly pushing the 90% area as I recall.  The link that you sent was working at 100%.  The bran and germ certainly makes a difference to the dough characteristics as regards hydration and also makes it more difficult to get the rise due to the interference of said bran and germ with the gluten structure.  My other recollection was that the message was not to over-work the dough - that is less kneading than for a white flour based dough.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

Colc's picture
Colc 2015 September 17

Farinam, here is an update; I baked a 100% whole-wheat, 100% hydration yesterday, which has encouraged me, but I still have a long way to go, hopefully there are some suggestions.

I cut a couple of slices off the ends after about an hour, and discovered a holy crumb almost as good as that shown on the link I provided, however my joy was short lived, the rest of the loaf was similar in density to my previous attempts.

The procedure was as follows, 800g Fresh ground flour, 800g water, ¼ tsp yeast, 2tsp salt, autolysed for two hours, then  overnight in frige, about 12 hours, an hour bench rest, and baked in Romertopf for 50 minutes @ 250c

 Next time I will divide into two loaves, I think that volume could have been baked a little longer.

So it looks like I might be on the right track, but need more experimentation

farinam's picture
farinam 2015 September 17

Hello Colc,

The two loaf idea sounds a good one for that amount of flour.  Or reduce the recipe size.

The other thing to keep in mind is that 100% wholemeal baking is not 'easy' and, as with all baking, practice is a repairer of many faults, not recipe changes (unless of course you go away from 100% wholemeal).  So I would repeat the exercise with minor tweaks as indicated from your results and you could easily find that, after a few more goes, you will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

Good luck with your projects,

Farinam

Colc's picture
Colc 2015 September 29

Getting there, For some reason I am unable to upload photos, (under 70kb jpeg) which is unfortunate.

I have just finished baking  a 100% wholewheat (freshly ground) at 110% hydration. It has a holey very soft crumb but not as good as the one in my earlier link.

The hardest thing I found was gauging whether it was proofed enough, there is no way I could have done a finger poke test, let alone shape with such a slack dough.

I would have liked to be able to show a picture, the oven spring was fantastic, better than any 100% whole wheat I have baked.

Very encouraging, cant wait until next time.

Anonymous 2015 September 30

Atta flour works well for wholegrain bread. 

It is appropriately ground and high protien. From what I understand the wholemeal flour needs to be very finely ground otherwise the flour can cut the gluten strands thus lessening the rise.

Colc's picture
Colc 2015 October 1

Maedi, the error message is " this file could not be uploaded" I have tried  several different images without success.
 Bakers Father.

UPDATE, I tried to see if I could upload an image to my profile, and was able to do so, but not elswhere.

Colc's picture
Colc 2015 October 1

Anonymous, my understanding is that Atta flour is used for flatbreads  due to high protein but less  "bread forming gluten" so the bread when baked  does not rise as well and tends to be dense.

I grind my wheat on the finest setting on the Whispermill.

Anonymous 2015 October 27

Colc, try using a very fine sieve to separate the out the bran. Soak the bran in hot water for 15-30 mins, then reincorporate back into dough (helps keep the bran's jagged edges from rupturing those precious air pockets). With whole grain, many stretch & folds works well to develop that gluten!

darrel

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