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Freshly Ground Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Part of the Grain Mill Comparison

This recipe is a modified version of one of my favorite yeasted breads. It was created to provide a good platform to test home ground whole wheat flour. I'm using a yeasted recipe to focus on the flour tastes of the bread in the freshly ground whole wheat.

This bread uses a poolish and an autolyse to bring out as many flavors as possible. A poolish brings many of the benefits of sourdough to a bread, though certainly not all. Since we are making this bread to test the flours, I didn't add any gluten. If I was making this for enjoyment rather than flour testing, I'd add about 5 grams of gluten to help the rise.

This recipe makes two 1 1/2 pound loaves.

Making the poolish - about 12 hours before you want to start making the bread mix:

Volumetric Measure (Cups)IngredientGramsBaker's Percentage
2 CupsFreshly Ground Whole Wheat Flour270 Grams100%
1 cup + 1 TBSP + 1/2 tspWater270 Grams100%
1/8 tspInstant Dry Yeast.5 Gram.2%

Cover and allow it to ferment for about 12 hours. It should have reached a peak and be just starting to recede.

Making the Autolyse - classically an autolyse is just flour, water and time. Mix:

Volumetric Measure (Cups)IngredientGramsBaker's Percentage
2 CupsFreshly Ground Whole Wheat Flour270 Grams100%
1 cup + 1 TBSP + 1/2 tspWater270 Grams100%

Cover and allow to stand 1 to 2 hours.

The final dough - mix together:

Volumetric Measure (Cups)IngredientGramsBaker's Percentage
1/2 Cup + 1 TBSPWater140 Grams37.8%
All of itAutolyse, from above540 Grams146%
All of itPoolish, from above540.5 Grams146%
2 1/2 CupsFreshly ground whole wheat flour330 Grams89.2%
1/3 CupFreshly Ground whole rye flour40 Grams10.8%
1/16th tspInstant Dry Yeast.2 Grams.05%
1 1/3 tspSalt7.2 Grams2%

Mix just enough for all the flour to be wet. Stretch and fold every 30 minutes for 3 hours (see our guide to stretch and fold, if needed)

Give the dough one last stretch and fold, allow to rest an hour and form into loaves. When the dough has risen, bake in 425F(218C) on preheated tiles until done, typically 40 to 45 minutes.  Steam the oven.

2 thoughts on “Freshly Ground Whole Wheat Bread”

  1. The starter you feed twice a day, after it has peaked. Do you ever save that starter in the refrigerator knowing you will be baking for a few days. Then when you pull it out of the refrigerator do you let heat up at room temperature feed it and let it double rise and peak before you began to bake with it. Also how much yeast starter do you use for 7 cups of flour (2 loaves ). Is it 1/3 cup of starter or more ???
    When ready to use do you mix it with the warm water, like you would do with rapid dry yeast. When Proofing your dough, do you let it proof on a counter at room temperature for an hour or two. Is it smart to put in an oven at 200 degrees to proof or will this kill the yeast. Can you over proof a dough, what would be the longest time to proof.
    I am so sorry about all the questions. But dry yeast is hard to come by during this Coronavirus 19 Pandemic.
    Please help !!! It would be much appreciated. I want to conquer this .
    I have made the sourdough yeast, had it rise and peak. I put it in the refrigerator, because I was going to be gone for a few days. I used it straight from the refrigerator into my dough, 1/3 cup for 7 cups of flour, but the starter was cold. Dough did not rise. But my starter sat out for a few hours until it was room temp., I feed it and it double it size and peaked in about 6 hours.
    Your information was very helpful, but it brought on a lot of questions.
    I hope you can help.
    Thank you,
    Lisa Kidwell

    1. Hello Lisa,
      In our “Fast track to Sourdough” tutorial we have a page on “Maintaining your starter” that covers your questions about refrigerating starter. If you still have questions after reading that, please send us another question.

      We take dough temperature pretty seriously. If you use water that is too hot or too cold you can hurt your starter. We pay attention to the rule of 240 to get our dough temperature right. Although, with a sourdough starter it really should be the rule of 320.

      Beginners often want a hard and fast rule of how much starter to use. Sadly, there isn’t such a rule. Some of my recipes use as little as 5% starter others around 40%/ The percentages are bakers percentages, which are always measured by weight. We really don’t recommend using cups as they are so inconsistent. We talk about that in the “What’s a cup?” article. The three biggest things a baker can do to become a better baker is to use get some scales and weigh ingredients, get a chef’s thermometer to track the temperatures of ingredients and doughs, and get a notebook to record what you did and how it turned out.

      On the how much starter do I use question, Dr. Ed Wood in his, “World Sourdoughs From Antiquity” book has three recipes for the same bread. One uses something like 1/2 cup of flour, the other 1 cup, and the last 4 cups. The rise time ranges from 16 hours down to 4 or so. The difference between the loaves was equally striking. The loaf with the least starter and longest rise was the most sour loaf, the loaf with the most starter and the shortest rise was the least sour. The other loaf was, as you’d expect, in between. How much starter depends on what you are trying for. My suggestion is to try some sourdough recipes and then decide what you want to do after that. Converting yeast based recipes isn’t really a task for a beginner.

      If you still have questions after reading the links I shared, please ask them,

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