Whole meal loaf

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Fife404
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Whole meal loaf

Hi I'm new to sourdough baking but can I replace the ratio of flours in the recipe with 300gms stoneground whole meal and 200gms flour

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@Fife404,

I'm glad you're not discouraged. Just remember, sourdough bread baking is an advanced level technique with a lot of moving parts, and no one knocks it out of the park their first time at bat.

As you continue to bake more loafs, you'll start to get a feel for it, and soon, baking amazing sourdough will become second nature.

At this point, I would recommend a base line success. It sounds like you're having issues with the hydration rate, so lets try dropping that a little bit. It will make the dough easier to work with, but the crumb won't be as open  (a fair trade off for now). Also, I think using the mixer is a good idea for gluten development.

So next time, drop your hydration to 65-67%. Autolyse for 30 minutes, mix with dough hook for 4 minutes, and then let it rest for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute rest, a single stretch and fold should do the trick.

3-4 hour bulk fermentation, 1-2 hour proof, and "Bob's Your Uncle."

Once you get a couple wins under your belt, you can make the process more technical by raising the hydration rate, doing multi-stage builds, etc.

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Doing the slap and fold for 20 minutes is way too long. You should do that just long enough for the dough to come together, maybe 6 minutes.

If you could type out the exact measurements you used in a bulleted list, that would help me trouble shoot the recipe. Also, did you autolyse? If so, for how long?

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Hi Jacob,
I followed your 1/2 recipe today and had moderate success. I used what I thought was the British equivalent of whole wheat I.e. Whole meal and I think this gave me some problems.

Last night I thought I changed my starter from straight white flour to a 50/50 mix of whole meal and white by refreshing it and adding a straight 100 gms whole meal and 100 gms water to a 100 gms starter. On reflection I think I should have had a 75 whole meal and 25 flour. Although I did the float test it was possibly not as strong as it should have been.
Although I did the slap and fold for 20 mins or more I could not get a skin to form and it remained sticky to work with although the stretch was there and it also appeared to retain it's shape reasonably well during the rests. The stickiness did give me problems once again when trying to tension the dough in the final stages and this could have accounted for the lopsided bounce. I did get more bounce than I was expecting with just a tray of water in the oven but I did put trays on the wire rack above to try and keep the steam nearer the bread.
I will try again!

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Hey Fife,

If you're new to sourdough baking, I would get a feel for it first using our Basic Sourdough Loaf Recipe. After you've successfully baked this loaf a few times and have gotten a feel for it, then you can play with flour ratios.

For more information on flour ratios in sourdough bread, read through this thread here: http://stellaculinary.com/forum/general-cooking-and-recipe-trouble-shoot...

Welcome to Stella Culinary. Let us know if you have any more questions.

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Thanks Jacob. I've been having a good look round the site and there is a lot of useful info on what works and what doesn't and the techniques.
I've made 3 basic loaves to other people's recipes and the first two the gluten wasn't strong enough to hold shape after tipping out of proving basket and that was because I don't think I had kneaded enough. The 3rd was better at holding it's shape but didn't get too much oven spring but there again I'm using a tray of water as I don't have a Dutch oven. I also over proved as when I pressed the dough it stayed indented but I couldn't get into the kitchen as my wife was cooking the tea.
I notice a lot of British bakers in the books I'm reading have a lot longer proving/rise times which without putting in the fridge I would never achieve. Your method looks good so we'll give it a go.

Many thanks

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Hi Jacob,
Thanks for your reply.. As you can see I used the calculator to give me the quantities. The only difference is I substituted Whole meal for Whole wheat. I have managed to get my hands on Whole wheat and it appears finer than Whole meal. I have redone my starter with it and noticed after refreshing it with a 50/50 mix it was a lot more active. I have refreshed it again and will leave it for a couple if hours and then put it in the fridge until next weekend for another go when I'll use the full recipe. My regime is to take it out the night before and leave it for a couple of hours to come up to temp. I will then take 200 g starter add 200 g water mix and then add 100g each of bread flour and whole wheat. It will then sit overnight for 12 hours ready for me to use in the morning.
Yes I did auto lyre for 30 mins. The reason I did as long with the slap and fold was to try and get a skin on it. It did release from the work surface quite well and the stretch was good but it just kept sticking to my hands which I hadn't floured. I did wet them eventually but it is amazing how a little water makes the outside of the dough wet..

The loaf tastes o.k.

137 1/2 g Warm Water
250 g Poolish Starter
200 g Flour Bread
50 g flour Whole Meal
7 1/2 g Salt

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Sorry for the delayed response.

It sounds like you're on the right track. Next time when you're doing the slap and fold, once the dough release from the table you're ready to move on. The dough will never fully release from your hands.

Let me know how it turns out with the new whole wheat flour.

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Hi Jacob still no joy. Much happier that at least my starter was at the right stage. I only did the slap and fold for 8 mins this time. Although structure looked reasonable and it seemed to hold it's shape during the rest periods the rise is poorer after baking and I'm pretty sure the crumb structure will be as well once it cools and I cut it. I think the problem lies in getting it to release from the work surface properly and think I need to knead for longer as you are used to working with a wettish dough and will get more slap and folds in during any time periods.
I think in my next attempt I will use my mixer with dough hook attachment for four minutes after the autolyse as when I've used it for normal bread the dough structure appears to be like your dough structure in the video. I will finish by hand and then follow the rest of the steps in the video.

We will not be beaten.

Jim

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Hi Jacob thanks for that. I will plug away and come back sometime in the future and let you know when I achieve the king of loaves.

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Hi Jacob,
Thanks for the reply to my protein question. I attempted another loaf at 70% hydration but used dough hook for 4 minutes and then the second of your kneading for another 3 , then followed the rest of your recipe. Although the dough released from the work surface better it still fails to retain it's shape although when baked crumb structure is reasonable and taste is good. I Also bought a baking dome and that gave me a good crust without the need for a tray of water in the oven.
I know that like you suggested dropping the hydration rate to between 65 to 68 will help but I tend to plug away at things until the eureka moment. I've only been baking for about 3 months so I'm not despondent and I will get it right.
The reason I asked about the protein percentage is mine is 12.1 %. I noticed when using my lame to score the sourdough it doesn't cut it as the dough sticks to it and is more like pulling a stick through mud whereas when I do straight bread it cuts it. I am assuming that this is to do with gluten structure. Would using a higher protein flour help or will it cause it to relax more and also does the dough need to be kneaded for longer. In one of your video clips your cling film sticks to the dough and that happens all the time with my dough and even when trying to shape the dough into a ball just using the side of my hands it doesn't want to release . I don't use any flour, water or oil on my hands.
Many thanks
Jim

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If you're baking in a humid environment, that could be causing a lot of your issues. It will make your dough more hydrated than normal. It will also make it difficult to score.

During proofing, make sure you're generously dusting your proofing basket to both keep the dough from sticking, but also to help to skin dry out slightly. This will help make the loaf easier to score later on.

Let me know how your next batches turn out.

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Hi Jacob,
Just had another go today at the loaf. Much happier with the dough and beginning to wonder if I did follow your recipe exactly. I'm wondering if I used a 50/50 mix of wholewheat and flour instead of in the recipe a 1 to 4 ratio. That would I'm sure account for my dough being more wet. I did adjust the half loaf quantities as I wanted slightly more. If you get a minute can you just confirm it's still 70% hydration.

300 gms starter
240 gms flour
60 gms wholewheat
165 gms warm water
9 gms salt

I know this is not sourdough but when making corn bread can you get a fine maize flour because when I use polenta it gives me more of a cake texture.

The sourdough did rise a bit but I'll keep plugging away . After all Rome wasn't built in a day.

Many thanks

Jim

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Assuming you're using a 100% hydration poolish, your hydration is actually at 80%, which will give you a very wet dough, that's much harder to work with.

Here's how the math breaks down:

  • 150g Flour (from starter) + 240g Flour = 390g Flour
  • 150g Water (from starter) + 165g warm water = 315g Water
  • 315 / 390 = 80.7% hydration

For a 70% hydration using the same amount of starter (300g):

  • Total flour (390) X .7 = 273g water TOTAL (70% hydration)
  • 273 - 150 (amount of water contributed by 300g starter) = 123g water

So your recipe, for a 70% hydration sourdough, should look like this:

  • 300g Starter
  • 240g Flour
  • 123g Water
  • 9g Salt

I think once you produce a 70% hydration dough, you'll find it much easier to work with.

Let me know how it turns out.

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Never mind. I missed the whole wheat flour. With the whole wheat you get 450g flour total. 315/450 = 70%.

Let me know how your next batch turns out.

Jacob

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Had another go today. Much improved. Found a white flour at 12.9% protein but I think the main change was using the correct recipe. I think I was adding the flour in the same ratio as the Poolish starter I.e 50/50 mix instead of the 1 to 4 ratio as stated in the recipe. This made the dough a lot less sticky as my plastic wrap did not stick at all to the dough after the rest period. I also brought my kneading time back inline with your suggestion of 6 mins although I did 7 working on the assumption my technique is not as good as yours. Certainly the dough was not sticking to my hands anywhere like previous attempts. The loaf did rise but not as good as yours. My times for rising/ proving dough seem to be half of what you suggest. I'm not working in a hot humid environment and I would say room temperature is about 21*c.
I'm using my starter 12hours after feeding so do I need to have a longer period after feeding so that it is less active.
Many thanks

Jim

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Remember that everyone's starter and environment is different. This is why in the audio podcasts I always preach "getting to know your starter."

If your times are faster, then pull back on the starter amount by about a 1/3 and see how that changes. You want to use your starter when it's the most active, which sounds like the 12 hour mark for you.

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Hi Jacob,
I have had success. But with an olive and coriander sourdough baton and I incorporated some of the changes you suggested. My flour to starter ratio I changed to 3 to 2 ,reduced hydration to 65% and used my starter 8 hours after feeding when it appeared to be at it's peak. I was also baking a standard non sourdough white loaf. I also had the best rise on this loaf since I started baking so maybe my kneading has improved and I'm building up a better gluten structure. Whatever it was I got some great oven spring on both loaves. I am now going back to your boule 70% hydration recipe although I am going to reduce hydration to 65% to see if I can replicate the oven spring and the I'll go to 68% and hopefully on to 70%. I have also found a 2 day sourdough course which I have signed up for in October and it will be interesting to see his method and whether he autolyses or not.

Many thanks for your help

Jim

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Hey Jim,

Glad to hear of your success. Let me know if you have any more questions, and have fun at your October Sourdough Course.

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