The Fresh Loaf

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100% Whole wheat

Ansio's picture
Ansio

100% Whole wheat

Hello.

I am trying to make this recipe.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qlsj49gPdEg&list=WL&index=77&t=1s&pp=gAQBiAQB

I have gotten to the part where you mix the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then stretch and fold.

My problem is I can not get my dough to look like his. Mine stays a sticky ugly rough mess. It never comes together in anything that is even relatively smooth. At the end he picks it up and gives it a tug. Mine is just a sticky blob. I wetted my hands when I started.

I am semi-new to baking. I have always done white bread and the max hydration I have done is 75%. I have 20-30 whole wheat before. That bread is 80% hydration. 

I even did the stretch and folds in bowl using scraper and it never came together right.

I am using king arthur whole wheat flour. 13.8% protein. 

 

Any ideas/help?

Thanks

Abe's picture
Abe

He says you will need high protein wholewheat flour. 

Which wholewheat flour are you using? 

Ansio's picture
Ansio

In my post I say I am using king arthur whole wheat 13.8%. He also says you can do it with 13%. It will just take longer.

 

So I went longer. Much longer. I even let it rest and tried again.

Abe's picture
Abe

I didn't see that as I had clicked on the video before reading to the end.

Next question...

Did you use wholegrain rye flour and the exact same seeds? 

Even though he says the seeds can be customised one should bear in mind that different grains/seeds will soak up water at different rates. 

He also says he did the soaker for 24 hours but it can be done in as little as 3 hours. But if you were to get to the bottom of the issue then try replicating his procedure as much as possible. I imagine soaking for 24 hours using the same seeds would produce the "perfect" rate of absorption than if you did different seeds at 3 hours. 

Ansio's picture
Ansio

I used different seeds. I am unable to get the exact same seeds as he has. I soaked mine for only 6 hours.

I did use bobs red mill whole grain dark rye flour.

I was wondering if part of my problem was I added to much water to the dough by re-wetting my hands a few times.

 

I also have 15% protein WW flour coming on Monday. 

 

Thanks for the tips. I will try again with a longer soak and 15% flour.

Abe's picture
Abe

Sounds fine! Next time round i'd suggest going with the 15% protein, soaking the seeds (if you can try and get the same seeds too) for 24 hours and use damp but not wet hands. 

So if the dough sticks a bit to your hands just scrape of the dough that sticks and add it back to the dough. As time goes by it should become less sticky anyway. 

Best of luck. It looks absolutely delicious. Now I wish to try it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. 

P.s. his dough is never not sticky. Even if you get the exact same dough as he does there's a way to handle sticky dough which comes with practice. Even if all does not go perfectly just get it into the loaf pan the best way you can. I'm sure it'll still rise and make a nice tasty loaf. 

Ansio's picture
Ansio

I hope you have better luck than I did. Lol

 

I will tackle this beast eventually. 

 

Thanks again for the input 

tpassin's picture
tpassin

That's a very interesting video, thank you for sharing it. The recipe and technique  seem sound to me. This bread is fairly ambitious since it has several elements that potentially make it tricky.  When one doesn't have the experience yet, it's hard to know if adjustments need to be made as you go along.

You write that you got a gloppy mess that never tightened up.  That suggests that the hydration was much too high - for the particular ingredients you used.  This doesn't mean anything was wrong, but only that your flours and grains probably had different properties from the ones in the video. Different ryes and whole wheat flours can act very differently, for example, in their ability to absorb water.

I suggest simplifying the recipe until you get the feel of it.  The most obvious thing to change would be to reduce the hydration. (It's conceivable that you didn't measure something correctly and that was the reason for the wet sloppy dough.  But I'm going to suppose that's not what happened). I suggest taking the hydration down to, perhaps, 75%. I don't think the exact protein level of the flour will be very important in itself.  It should be high, but don't worry about whether it's 13%, 15%, or something else as long as it's in the vicinity.

Next, leave out some of the grains and seeds.  You can cut back on the scalding water accordingly - but remember to increase the rest of the water.

Because the water absorption of the ingredients is uncertain compared with the video, it would be wise to withhold some of the water when you mix the ingredients initially.  You could hold back, let's say, 20 or 30g of water.  Then if the dough doesn't seem too wet, and the flour isn't quite getting hydrated you can add more, little by little.

Once you get a decent result, you can start to bring the recipe closer to what is in the video. But don't worry if it doesn't match precisely, because as I said, there are a lot of ingredients whose ability to absorb water can be different.

You could also watch a video or two about making "glass bread".  That's very high hydration, typically 100% with white flour. You could even try making a loaf yourself.  It will teach you a lot about how to handle a high-hydration dough.  It won't be exact the same as the recipe you are trying - your video's dough will be much stickier and more paste-like.  But the general way to handle wet dough, that will be valuable anyway.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

TomP

Moe C's picture
Moe C

Ah, Chain Baker. He's good and his recipes are well-tested. Apart from the differences in ingredients, as mentioned, his dough looks very sticky too. Perhaps it's just his expertise that makes the difference and you'll just have to keep practising.

Instead of wetting your hands for S&F, you can lightly oil them, although that's a lot of stretch & folds, so any lubricant on your hands is going to wear off quickly. This might be a useful link. BWraith claims one can add 10-20g of water to the dough each time he wets his hands. https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5202/wet-dough-questions  That can really add up, and he suggests lowering the original hydration rate slightly.

I make a high hydration pizza dough that could be described the same way--a sticky blob. It covers the counter and my hands with goo. The slap & folds don't seem to have much effect at first...I do s&f, rest a few minutes, s&f, rest, and eventually it becomes manageable.

Ansio's picture
Ansio

I baked the loaf today. It came out great.

Between the time I made the post and the time I went to bed I did 3 more folds with rest then I put in the fridge overnight. 

Going to try again with the higher protein flour.

 

Thanks for all the pointers and help.

Abe's picture
Abe

What's there to lose by putting it into a pan and baking it up? If you did everything he did then i'm sure it is very tasty. This dough will always be on the sticky side it's just a matter of how to handle a sticky dough. 

Bon Appetit. 

P.s. even if you mixed everything up and threw it into the fridge for 24 hours then did a rough shaping and threw it into a loaf pan it'll turn out a nice bread. Everything else is the icing on the cake. Taking it from 90 to 100%. If you have an electric dough kneader then you can use that! 

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

Tom's recommendation to lower the hydration a bit and see how that goes fits with my experience. My usual bread is 75-100% whole wheat, spelt or a mix, and those are milled on my Mockmill. I definitely find that different whole wheat flours require varying hydration levels. One grain can handle 80%, while another can only go to 74%. Both produce a silky, not sticky or sloppy dough. 

Another thought.... I see you are from Idaho. When we moved to WY from AZ, I had to lower my hydration just a tad. Life at 6,000 ft required a few adjustments to my process.

Last thought..... I use a spray bottle to give my hands a light spritz of water before handling the dough. It doesn't take much. That approach does seem to add less water than when I used to run them under the tap and shake off the extra. 

 

tpassin's picture
tpassin

 I use a spray bottle to give my hands a light spritz of water before handling the dough

That's what I've been doing too.  It only takes the lightest spray on a hand, and you can rub your hands together so they will both be wet.  If you are doing a "slap-n-fold" type of stretching, you only have to touch the dough with your fingertips so there is less skin to stick to.

BTW, a "slap" isn't really what you want to do.  The stretching comes from the underneath dough sticking to the counter so you can stretch by pulling against it. A draping action rather than an actual slap is more gentle and accomplishes the same thing. If your dough is too dry or too stiff for that to work, it would be better to use some other stretching technique rather than slapping the dough hard on the table.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I highly recommend vigorous slap and folding ("French" folding) at mixing time.  In my experience, that is the most reliable cure for initially sticky doughs.  I see a passing reference to S&F in one comment, but I would promote it to a top recommendation.  You can spend/waste a lot of time messing around with alternative flours and +/- various add-ins.  But vigorously abusing the dough into submission from the start with slap and folds can yield very gratifying results.  Some Loafers count their S&F's into the hundreds.  I'd just do a minute or two, rest 5, repeat.

If you have any doubts about the technique, search YouTube for "Slap and Fold".  I just did that and was astonished at how many videos have been posted since I first learned it from Babette and Richard Bertinet many years back.

Happy Baking.

Tom

tpassin's picture
tpassin

As a kind of aside, one advantage of using sourdough instead of packaged yeast is that the bulk ferment generally takes longer. During that time the dough's gluten will develop over the passage of time in the presence of the water.  So you can do less stretching and still end up with a well-developed dough.

5 is nice's picture
5 is nice

I prefer sourdough over yeast most of the time because I find that yeast ferments very quickly where I live (very warm place). I've had times when I used yeast (usually more than halving the yeast given in a formula) and was worried that I won't develop enough gluten before the dough overferments.

tpassin's picture
tpassin

vigorously abusing the dough into submission from the start with slap and folds can yield very gratifying results.

I'm going to differ a little here.  Not that it isn't effective, but I don't think there is any need to "abuse" the dough.  IMHO, what matters is stretching the dough, and which of hundreds of ways to do it is only important as a matter of your convenience - and too vigorous stretching can tear a gluten structure that isn't ready for it.  However you do the stretching it's good to do it in a way that you can see or feel that you are starting to over-stretch the dough.

TomP

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Hey Tom - I think perhaps you're too-literally interpreting my use of 'abuse'.  It's not meant in a negative sense.  FFolding may appear abusive to dough-spattered spectators, but bakers know they're just persuading glutens to fall into line. 

t

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Looking at how much rye flour is used,  I can tell you that it will be a very sticky dough. The oats contribute to that, also. Sticky doughs take some practice to handle. No amount of extra flour or extra water will remedy the stickiness. After a time, you learn to use just fingertips and not much pressure and very little water. Some bakers like to use a little oil. It takes about 100 folds for some doughs. That is a lot. 

I can tell you from experience that the protein level in your flour is fine. It could be that you have already identified the issue of having your hands too wet while you handle the dough. You can do the stretch and folds while it is in the bowl rather than on the bench and use just damp (not wet) hands and scraper. The vid is a little deceiving. He handles that dough so deftly and quickly with just his fingertips but the dough is quite sticky. 

Do a search for 100% whole wheat breads and there will be LOTS of posts. WW can take a higher hydration than an AP loaf as the branny bits need time to absorb all that water. Otherwise, the branny bits will absorb the moisture from the crumb after baking and the sandwich will crumble as you bite into it. 

 

Have some delicious fun! Don't give up