How I make whole wheat bread

Using nothing but whole wheat flour, yeast, potato water*, salt, and a bit of honey, here is how I made a pretty decent whole wheat bread today:

Here are the numbers:

  • 900 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 10 grams salt
  • 650 ml potato water, warm (* or, 650 ml warm water with 15 grams of potato flakes)
  • 21 grams (half a cake, here) fresh yeast
  • 20 grams honey

I proofed the yeast for about twenty minutes.  The yeast makes plenty of bubbles and foam.  More is better, I think.

Mix the ingredients together, and do the first fold and stretch.  Put the dough into a covered bowl and wait for 45 minutes.

Do another stretch and fold, then return the dough to the big bowl.  Wait another 45 minutes.

Here’s what it looks like when I stretch it out:

I fold it in thirds along it’s length, then in thirds again to make the ball.  Return it to the bowl and wait another 45 minutes.

Then, after another 45 minute rest, here it is, ready to form:

I probably should have rolled it flat, then done some type of roll forming.  Instead, I just formed it into a long worm, then cut it up into individual rolls and put them on the baking sheet to rise for the last time before I baked them.

I let them rise for 45 more minutes, then baked them at 200C for twenty minutes, until the internal temperature of the bread was 95C.

As you can see, I got some more good rising, but it would’ve been better if I had rolled out that last ball of dough, then formed the rolls.  Knocking the dough down deflates the bubbles, and puts the yeast into contact with more food to make even more bubbles.

I used this formula yesterday to make a couple of sandwich loaves, and I am very pleased with how they turned out:

This worked out well, I think.  Now that I have this formula measured out by weight, I can adjust and experiment with various bits and reproduce the results with accuracy.


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