Sunday, October 2, 2011

Let's Try a 100% Whole Wheat (Updated 10/4)

While I've made breads with 25% whole wheat, this will be my first enriched bread using 100% whole wheat flour.  For the record, I'm using King Arthur red whole wheat flour which is "milled from 100% of the hard red spring wheat berry grown in the norther Great Plains.  Nothing is added, nothing is taken away."  :)

I've just finished putting together the first two parts of the dough (which will be baked tomorrow)

  • Soaker:  The Soaker is made up of 227 grams of WW flour, 198g of scalded milk (cooled) and 4g of salt.  The soaker is used to soften the coarse grains and also allows some enzyme action to take place that is beneficial to the flavor of the final product.
  • Biga: (or pre-ferment) The Biga is also made up of 227g WW flour except it has 170g of water (75% hydration) and 1g of yeast (no salt).   Pre-ferments are also used to bring out additional flavor and (I believe) improve gluten structure. 
I'm using a Biga for this one however, if I want, I can substitue the biga with my sourdough starter (same total weight).  I think I'll give that a try next time.

Both of these are extremely easy to put together.  All that's needed are two small bowls and a heavy wooden spoon.   The little kneading that's done is actually done in the bowls.  The 5 minutes of rest after the initial mix of the soaker and the biga (ensuring all the flour is hydrated) is all that's needed to make them very easy to handle.

The soaker will stay out at room temperature overnight.  The biga will go into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (this will retard the fermentation).  Tomorrow, I'll cut both the soaker and the biga into small pieces (so they'll be easier to mix together) and pop them into the mixer along with 42g of honey, 14g of unsalted (melted) butter, 7g of yeast, and 5g of salt.   An additional 56.5g of WW flour will be on hand should the dough need any adjusting (so it's smooth and just slightly sticky)

Update:  I left the "biga" out two hours prior to the final mixing (to warm up).   I flattened out the biga and the soaker, placed one on top of the other and cut the lamination into 12 pieces.  I put the cut pieces into the KA mixer along with the other ingredients (less the salt  as I wanted the yeast to hydrate first) and mixed.  I then added the salt, mixed on "2" for approximately 7 minutes while adding 1 additional tablespoon of WW flour in the process because the dough was a bit "sticky".  The recipe does allow for 56.5g WW flour (7 tablespoons) in reserve for adjustments.  

The dough was turned onto a floured surface and hand kneaded.  I'd say that I added approximately 3 to 4 more tbs of flour in order to get the right consistency (just slightly sticky / tacky but somewhat firm).   Now that I know what it should feel like,  I'll just check the dough in the mixer while making any adjustments.  I rested the dough for 5 minutes, kneaded it for another 2 minutes or so, formed it into a ball and put it into a (covered) greased bowl (I use Pam).

The dough took about an hour to almost double in size.  I then flattened the dough out to about a 5" X 8" rectangle, rolled it up and sealed the bottom edge (not the sides).  This was placed (seam down) in a grease loaf pan to proof for about 45 minutes, until it rose above the sides of the loaf pan.  I may give it a little longer next time...

The oven was pre-heated to 425F and immediately lowered to 350F once the pan was put in the oven.  It baked for 20 minutes, was turned 180 degrees (something that's really unnecessary for my oven since it bakes so evenly) and baked another 20 or so.   When done, the internal temperature should be 195F and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.   Always leave the bread on a cooling rack for an hour before tasting so the baking process can continue.  Not an easy thing to do :)

I'll triple this batch next time :)

See you tomorrow!