Whole Wheat Loaf

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Brad's picture
Brad
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Joined: 2012-03-22 12:46
Whole Wheat Loaf

Hey Hey Hey,

I'm fairly new to the site, but have been listening to the podcasts for awhile. My cooking has definitely improved. Jacob, the local ladies thank you! 

For my everyday use I make a 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf. I've been using the King Arthur's recipe (found here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe) I found on their package a few years back. I've recently moved to South Dakota from NC for school and since moving I've been having trouble with proofing. The dough doesn't rise, or it takes twice as long as it used to, especially with the second proofing. Any ideas?

Also, any ideas on obtaining a lighter crumb. My last loaf I auto lysed (spelling?) and stretched and folded it a few times rather than the 6-8 minutes of continuous kneading the recipe calls for and it did turn out better. I don't it expect it to be light and fluffy, but a little lighter would be nice. Would the addition of gluten help? Should I up the hydration? I'm still trying to understand how all the ingredients work together, so I can figure all this out on my own. But some help would be much appreciated.

I'm curious what the powdered milk does to the loaf. I can't recall anything mentioned in the podcasts and some very basic whole wheat recipes leave this out. 

I know there is a lot here, so thanks in advance!

Cheers!
Brad

P.S. I should note I just bought a scale and have not had the change to bake with it yet, but I'm psyched to!

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skflyfish
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Joined: 2011-12-27 12:12

Hello!

While I use a lot of KAF flours, I have never used that one. 

My whole wheat bread is a combo of home ground hard red winter wheat and KSF Sir Galahad. I tried to use Sir Lancelot (high gluten) but the loaf was very dense. Gluten development was less, go figure.

I have found that I have to have a warmer area for my whole wheat during bulk and final proofing, than I do for white breads.

Another problem I had was buying Active Dry Yeast and using it as Instant Dry Yeast. Active Dry yeast requires it to be bloomed and I find the results inconsistent and have never had ADY raise as much as IDY.

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jacob burton
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Joined: 2015-05-25 20:37

Hey Brad,

Making an edible loaf 100% whole wheat flour that doesn't have the texture of wet cardboard is difficult. Sounds like you're off to a pretty great start, so let's knock these out one-by-one.

An extended autolyse will help with both your flavor and texture. I've had good results with letting the autolyse go over night. I've been experimenting with different applications of the autolyse process when making whole wheat bread and I hope to post a unique process on the subject in coming weeks. In the meantime though, an extended autolyse will help.

Hydration rate is a tricky thing with whole wheat bread; if the hydration rate is too high, the loaf will collapse under its own weight just like any other bread. However, whole wheat bread can absorb much more water then normal flour which can lead to a stiff, dense loaf if the hydration rate is too low. I recommend anything from 70-75% hydration when making a 100% whole wheat loaf, although I have had great results with an 80% hydration loaf as well.

Also, minimal kneading and/or switching to a stretch and fold will work better. The more you knead the dough, the more chance you have of those sharp, little pieces of bran contained in the wheat flour moveing around and cutting your gluten strands, yielding a dense loaf. This is why you were correct in assuming that adding some vital wheat gluten will help with your dough's structure.

The powdered milk is there to help retain moisture and add a certain amount of tenderness to the loaf. Because whole wheat bread can absorb a lot of moisture, it means it can easily dry out as well.

GreenBake's picture
GreenBake
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Joined: 2011-05-15 22:37

Do you think Xanthan Gum might help create / maintain the proper texture of a high whole wheat flour loaf?

jacob burton's picture
jacob burton
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Joined: 2015-05-25 20:37

@ GreenBake,

It's definitely something worth testing. In fact, I should probably be playing with different food gums that are normally found in gluten free flour to see if it makes a difference.

Brad's picture
Brad
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Joined: 2012-03-22 12:46

Sweet!! Thanks for the input! I'll give the extened autolyse and check the hydration. I'll be making another one this week and I'll let ya'll know how it turns out.

Brad's picture
Brad
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Joined: 2012-03-22 12:46

I just want to thank ya'll for all the tips. I baked a loaf a couple of days ago and it turned out great. As good as any honey whole wheat loaf I've had in a bakery and I used to work in one. 

I made a few changes to the original recipe. The biggest change was adding water to ensure I had a 70% hydration dough. I also used an extended autolyse (1.5 hrs) and stretched and folded it 4 times at 30 minute intervals. The loaf was great. Soft and lighter than it ever has been.

Thanks again!!

Cheers
Brad

jacob burton's picture
jacob burton
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Joined: 2015-05-25 20:37

Hey Brad,

Glad we could help!

GreenBake's picture
GreenBake
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Joined: 2011-05-15 22:37

So here’s my bizarre idea of the day...
 
What about soaking wheat berries in water (or making a wheat berry stock) to create flavored water to use in whole wheat bread?
 
Not as much fun as using wheat beer (you can claim to be quality assurance testing the beer)...
 
What do you think (besides I’m crazy)?
 
The idea would be to create a wheat berry specific flavor profile and without the effects of alcohol (which may be good or bad).
 
And you can cook the wheat berries for a nutritious side dish.
 
The Stock page is located here:
 
http://stellaculinary.com/stock

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strikingtwice
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Joined: 2011-05-19 07:33

I think making a yeast bread with alcohol is very difficult anyway, no? All Of the beer bread recipes I know are quick breads. Alcohol would kill yeast I would think. It's interesting to think about, the wheat berry stock thing. Not sure how much different Of a flavor profile that you would get other than just leaving it autolyse for another little while. Also, if it doesn't have a great effect, wheatberries could significantly raise the cost of the loaf. I know its about making the best products, but spending less money on bread is definitely a nice bonus with homemade.

Zalbar's picture
Zalbar
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Joined: 2011-05-16 06:20

Why not add the berries directly to your bread? That way you're not diluting the flavour.

GreenBake's picture
GreenBake
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Joined: 2011-05-15 22:37

To keep the texture the same and change only the flavor. The soaked wheat berries would be cooked and not thrown away. Or they could be put through a food mill, of course. Not sure what the milled wheat could be used for. Perhaps forming into burger patties and deep fried or pan fried. Perhaps not.

esavitzky's picture
esavitzky
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Joined: 2011-05-16 07:13

Here's a link to the whole wheat bread I made using Peter Reinhart's recipe.  100% whole wheat flour with soaked wheat berries and flaxseeds.
 
 

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