Whole Grain Sourdough Rustic Country Loaf

(Paul) #1

This is the comment thread for the Breadtopia blog post originally published here:

To leave a comment, click the Reply button below

If you do not see the “Reply” button, you will need to log in or register an account. Please click the blue “Log In” button in the upper right of the page. :arrow_upper_right:


(Melissa) #2

That is an amazing ear, crumb, spring. I’m looking forward to trying the recipe - the shaping technique and the 5% starter long fermentation are especially intriguing.

When you’re about to roll the dough, you sprinkle it with flour. Is that to feed the dough bit in a swirly pattern for the final proof?

I’ve always wondered if the flour that enters the dough during shaping becomes the tiny boost to that final proof.

Did you at any point try wetting the dough before rolling instead? I imagine that could cause mouse-holey problems, but I’m curious if you experimented with it.


(alagrav) #3

Beautiful loaf. Only question is, what is the purpose of sprinkling raw flour into the center of your loaf in your fine roll up in shaping? I avoid raw flour in what will be come the crumb, at all costs. In this video it doesn’t seem to serve a purpose.


(Paul) #5

In all honesty, I was kind of on automatic pilot when I was shaping that loaf, and I had been experimenting with a bunch of different shaping techniques that included lightly flouring the dough at different stages to ease handling and that was a leftover from another procedure. It’s amazing how your brain turns off when a video camera turns on :hushed:. I tried (and obviously failed) to limit confusion by marking that step in the written instructions [optional]. I probably should have tried to edit that part out of the video. Maybe I will try to do that and re-publish.

I personally doubt that the very small amount of flour I used there (it was a pretty light dusting) made any real difference, and in any case, there is already some flour being incorporated into the rollup since I floured the work surface before turning the dough out. I guess you could even argue that flouring the top of the dough makes the pseudo-lamination, rollup technique more symmetrical since the bottom of the dough picks up flour from the work surface. But again, I doubt that the small amount of flour is making much difference in the proofing and baking.

I haven’t tried this, but thought about dampening the work surface instead of flouring it. I think it would be a good experiment and I’ll try it at some point. Let me know if you do it and how it works.


(Brewcat) #6

Trying this recipe now. Although I didn’t have red fife I subbed stone ground WW. Just trying this process. I was intrigued by the small amount of yeast since I’ve been trying to slow down the ferment/proofing since I’m trying to increase the flavor with long ferment without over proofing. I’ll be shaping and baking today. Do you think this will work for a freeform loaf?


(Paul) #7

If I were going to try it freeform, I’d lower the hydration a fair bit. Not sure how much difference your whole wheat flour will make but for me, the dough I specified in the recipe would probably lose its shape without some support. I’d probably try backing it down into the 70 - 75% range.


(Brewcat) #8

Well I already used 83% water. I’ll do this in the Dutch oven. Next loaf I’ll try and back it down a bit


(Paul) #9

Curious how it turns out. Post pics!


(Brewcat) #10

Most of my loafs aren’t very photogenic. But working on it.


(Brewcat) #11

Turned out bad. Had to dump it. The yeast had been in the fridge and fed a week ago because I was away. I’ll make sure it’s more active for the next one. Also I’ll use less water.


(Liz) #12

I followed the method but used 200 g King Arthur Irish Style Flour which is described as an “Irish style whole meal”, 200 g WheatMontana White whole wheat (from hard white) and 200 g WheatMontana white which is a blend of hard white and red. Water, salt and starter per recipe.

My times matched the recipe and the third bulk this morning I went 4.5 hours, did the laminate thing and shaped, then another hour of rise. Maybe a bit over proofed but I’m very happy with the result taste and crumb wise. Not the open crumb that draws oohs and ahs, but a very tender crumb good for not losing sandwich fixin’s.

I baked in a 3 quart enamel dutch oven: 500 preheat, 500 for 5 min, 475 for 22 min, uncover then 450 for 20 min.


(Melissa) #13

@easummers I’m oohing and aahing - that looks great inside and out!

@peevee I’m looking forward to trying it. Probably six ways to Sunday :slight_smile:


(Paul) #14

@easummers Nice loaf! What a great spring and bloom. Thanks for posting your results.

@Brewcat Sorry to hear it. Hope it works better next time.

1 Like

(Brewcat) #15

Already started another I’ll keep you informed, this one is going to be good.


(Liz) #16

Thanks, Melissa and @peeve. I typically use a Tartine method of overnight levain (1T starter, 75g flour, 75g water) and then 600-700 g flour (whatever mix I feel like/have), 550 + g water, 1 T salt plus/minus. Mix, 12 hrs RT, frig … at some time warm, shape and bake. I get similar results and the higher the hydration, the more open the crumb. Caveat though re similar results … with the usual variations of spectacular bakes and ok bakes but they all taste grand!

Although I didn’t do an overnight levain with this method, overall time from start to bake is the same and I don’t see any difference due to method. I did however, do the lower temp (from my normal 500 for 20 min) bake and got the thinner, crisp crust as described.

Bottom line, I think adequate fermentation and hydration are the key parts to a loaf that I like and particularly with a lot of whole grain, a longer fermentation with a lot of frig time develops the best flavor - for my taste.


(Melissa) #17

Agree and enjoyed the caveat :slight_smile:

I’m trying this today:
1 dough of about 60,30,10 red,white,rye
1 dough of 50,30,15,5 AP, red, white, rye

I want to see how the shaping technique affects the crumb of one of my more typical flour ratios in addition to making the whole grain original version.

Photo is three hrs in.


(wendyk320) #18

Thanks, Paul, for all the bread wisdom, great new technique ideas and videos!


(Melissa) #19

I didn’t get the ear but I did get a nice crumb and flavor, and my schedule got all messed up, so I’m pretty sure I went too long on both the bulk and the final proof. I won’t give all the gory details :slight_smile:

I will say flouring the dough before rolling it – both sides – felt right. It was too sticky and I couldn’t really cinch/roll it until I floured it.

Here’s a photo of the my whole grain home milled loaf (54% turkey red, 38% hard white, 8% rye).

The one where I used 50% AP flour was even more negatively impact of by my scheduling, and shaping was harder. I actually rolled it 3x before it held the tube. Again, fault of my scheduling and skipping steps and letting things go too long.

I’ll try again soon :slight_smile:


(Paul) #21

That crumb looks great.

Probably adding the rye flour made the dough stickier and that much harder to handle without some flour, so that makes sense. I think even without the rye, at the hydration I specified in the recipe it’s wet enough that it would probably be challenging for a lot of people to handle so a light dusting of flour can help.


(Melissa) #22


Next time I’ll probably shorten the bulk, make time for the post refrigerator stretch and folds, and degas/roll more aggressively. Also drop the rye to 5%. I’ve got a thing for that little bit of rye :wink:


Thin, crispy crust eludes me