Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread in Hawaii Question

Discussion in 'Bread' started by HawaiiDon, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. HawaiiDon

    HawaiiDon New Member

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    Aloha,
    I moved to Hawaii (Oahu) in 2015 from Las Vegas Nevada. Before that I live in Amherst Massachusetts.
    Recently I started making Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread using Wild Yeast and although I have baked 5 loaves so far I can get the dough to rise using the following recipe and variations I have tried. Any suggestions would be great. Oh, I don't know if this matters but I am 289.41' above sea level.

    Recipe:
    6 C Whole Wheat Flour
    2 C Sourdough Starter
    2 C Water
    1.5 Tbsp Salt

    I mix everything except 3 cups flour and then add the last 3 C with the Salt and form a ball after kneading for 10 minute.
    Then I let it rise in the baking pan for 6 hours.
    Bake at 325 degree for 50 minutes.
    And end up with a flat loaf no matter what.

    I have tried using less liquid and today tried using 3 C Starter and 3 C Warm Water plus a packet of bakers yeast but still the loaves wont rise.

    Is it the humidity or something?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I eat it anyway, dipping it into olive oil and think it's delicious just the same! :)
     
    HawaiiDon, Mar 19, 2019
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  2. HawaiiDon

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum! :)

    How long have you had the starter going for? They can take a while to get good, mine took a couple of months before I started getting a decent rise (and flavour) out of it.
     
    Becky, Mar 20, 2019
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  3. HawaiiDon

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    First I strongly encourage you to purchase a food scale. Baking is all science; the ratios of all other ingredients to the flour are critical to success. Volume measurement isn’t used in any culinary school or commercial kitchen because it so inaccurate. It’s impossible to know what your hydration levels are or even how much flour you are actually using when volume measurements are used.

    A measuring cup of flour can be anywhere from 120g to 150g depending on how you fill that measuring cup. But in using a scale, 100 grams will always be 100 grams.

    I don’t know why American cookbook writers persist in using volume measurement when they were trained in culinary school to use weight measurements. So moving on to the rise problem...


    The problem is the whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour is 100% extraction, meaning it contains all the bran, endosperm, and the germ after milling.

    A low extraction flour contains almost no bran or germ.

    An example of low extraction flour is cake flour. Cake flour has 45% - 55% extraction; so it contains almost no bran and germ and is mostly the starch rich endosperm.

    An all purpose flour is about 70% extraction. So it contains more bran and germ than cake flour, but considerably less bran and germ than whole wheat flour.

    The more bran and germ in the flour, the less it will rise.

    Wheat flour is also unbleached. Unbleached flour does not rise as much as bleached flour. That why cake flour is bleached—bakers want that high rise for a light airy cake. So whole wheat flour does not rise because it’s a high extraction and unbleached. It’s the nature of the beast. If you want all whole wheat flour bread you have to accept a dense, low heavy loaf. The only way around it is mixing it with other flours.

    Whole wheat flour also requires 100% hydration. Too little water is the number one mistake bakers make when working with whole wheat flour. Some of the top bread bakers use more than 100% hydration.

    When working with high hydration dough you have to learn the stretch and fold or slap and fold technique because doughs at 75% hydration and above are too sticky to knead. More on that below.


    I’d recommend you work with a mix of flours and gradually work toward an all whole wheat loaf. In this approach you learn the characteristics of the whole wheat flour and how to fitness it to your liking.


    The Perfect Loaf has an excellent recipe for a mixed flour loaf.


    https://www.theperfectloaf.com/fifty-fifty-whole-wheat-sourdough-bread/


    He also has a lot of other recipes using whole wheat including a couple with all whole wheat flour.


    https://www.theperfectloaf.com/?s=Whole+wheat


    Learning the proper technique to develop gluten in high hydration dough is very important. I mentioned earlier the importance of baking by weight to ensure the ratios are correct. In kneading dough, inexperienced bakers throw the ratios way off by adding way too much extra flour because they don’t know how to deal with a sticky dough. That extra flour inhibits rise and it create a heavy tough bread that requires a hack saw to cut.

    At hydration of 75% and above instead of kneading to develop gluten you have to use other techniques,


    Trevor Wilson demonstrates one method of developing the gluten in high hydration bread.




    Peter Reinhard demonstrates the stretch and fold



    And lastly, the slap and fold




    When kneading lower hydration doughs, it’s important to use proper kneading technique as well. Again most inexperience bakers use the wrong technique and way too much flour. It’s a very gentle motion.

    https://www.kingarthurflour.com/videos/bread-101-basic-white-bread-kneading-techniques



    You elevation is fine. Nearly all recipes are developed for sea level. The elevation problems in baking have to do with high elevation beginning around 3500 ft above sea level.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 21, 2019
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  4. HawaiiDon

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Becky, Mar 22, 2019
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  5. HawaiiDon

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    I've been playing with sourdough, and I generally end up using whole wheat in my starter, and then about 25-30% of my remaining flour by weight. I use the general principles outlined in the Bake With Jack instructions, which end up being a dough that is not kneaded, but initially stirred together, and then repeatedly folded and stretched at intervals. I let it mature for days in a container in the refrigerator. The longer, the better the flavor. Then when I gently shape, I don't push all the gas out, and I bake in a large enameled cast-iron pot (a knock-off Le Creuset), after spraying lightly with water, baked covered for 10-15 minutes, then uncovered to brown and finish the crust.

    Here's the Bake With Jack recipe and method. https://www.bakewithjack.co.uk/blog-1/2018/7/5/sourdough-loaf-for-beginners He's very big on wholemeal rye, which I haven't worked with yet. I've been using either King Arthur Flour whole wheat or some spelt flour I had left over, in addition to KAF bread flour. My boyfriend doesn't really like the chewyness of the sourdough, or the fact that it dries out overnight, so I've also been tinkering with adding a tangzhong to keep it a little fresher longer. 10% tangzhong was a little too much and it was closer to sandwich bread than sourdough (though it was a sandwich bread that was deep on flavor!), so I'm going to try 5%. I popped my recipe into a spreadsheet so I can calculate all the changes, and halve or double easily. :)
     
    Apocalypso, Mar 24, 2019
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    Becky likes this.
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