Approachable, eh? (BBB August 2023)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Wild Approachable Sandwich Bread; 100% whole wheat bread; refusal to use commercial yeast; encountering hazards along the way; at least the toast is edible; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): The Approachable Loaf

Nailed it!

BBB August 2023

This month, Kelly (A Messy Kitchen) chose a recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread for us to make. An approachable bread.

We wanted a bread that is approachable, accessible and affordable. With no stabilizers or conditioners in it. The Approachable Loaf is tin-baked and sliced, contains no more than seven ingredients and no non-food. It is at least 60-100% whole wheat and priced under $8/loaf depending on regionality.
Oh, and it tastes really good too.
– Washington State University (WSU) Breadlab, The Approachable Loaf

Hearing about it, I was suddenly transported back to when we first moved into the neighbourhood, way back in the last century. It was before I had any inkling that I would even think about baking virtually all our bread.

In those days, our local supermarket was still baking large amounts of the bread they sold. For our morning toast, we always got their loaves of 100% whole wheat bread. The ingredients were whole wheat flour, water, salt, yeast. Sometimes the bread on the shelves was beautifully lofty. Sometimes, it was clear that someone new had made the bread; it was a little door-stoppy and flat as a pancake. But, toasted, it always tasted wonderful.

Those were the days!!

Thanks to Kelly, we could relive our youth!

Here is how things went with the BBBabes’ August 2023 recipe:

BBB Approachable Loaf:

6 July 2023, 19:25 Ah, simplicity. This looks great! I really like that there is whole grain involved. Although, now I’m scared. Cathy said she had less than stellar results.

I wonder if it might be possible to bake this bread in the barbecue. I anticipate that it will be hot hot hot in August.

13 August 2023, 07:37 I am finally paying attention to this month’s BBB recipe.
The Approachable Loaf is tin-baked and sliced, contains no more than seven ingredients and no non-food.
– WSU Breadlab | The Approachable Loaf

No more than seven ingredients and no non-food makes complete sense. (Have we EVER baked any bread that contains non-food??) But, oh oh!! The bread is supposed to be “tin-baked”?

I don’t remember exactly when we put all our bread tins out on the front lawn for passersby who wanted bread tins to take. It’s ages ago.

We do have one bread “tin” that is pyrex. But is pyrex an okay thing for baking bread? Don’t I remember reading somewhere that it doesn’t work so well?

... click click ... click click click ...

Bernadette Machard de Gramont was one of the reviewers for The SpruceEats article, “The 8 Best Loaf Pans of 2023, Tested and Reviewed”. Even though the article mentions that Ms. Marchard de Gramont grew up baking banana bread in pyrex, there is no review at all of a pyrex loaf pan.

But others talk about it:

Though glass bakeware generally isn’t as durable and doesn’t cook as quickly as its metal counterpart, it does allow you to easily gauge how your baking is progressing, since you can see the side and bottom of your loaf without removing it from the pan. […] [I]t’s wise to grease this pan before adding ingredients because items may stick to it.
Pros: Browns food well, allows you to see how done the bottom of your loaf is
Cons: Concerns about durability, items may stick
– James Brains, Insider | The best loaf pans
Metal conducts heat well and in turn produces even bakes. Glass bakeware (which is heavier and more expensive) insulates rather than conducts; in other words, it’s slow to heat but, once hot, retains that heat for longer. Save the Pyrex baking dishes for casseroles like lasagna.
– Li Goldstein, Bon Appetit | The Best Baking Pans for All (Yes, All) Your Baking Dreams
[T]here is a general pattern of the difference between glass an metal baking pans that is direct consequence to how ovens cook the food. Baked goods will typically cook somewhat faster in the glass pan, than in metal. There are two ways to compensate for this:
• Some people lower the temperature by about 25 F to make the time come out more evenly.
• The other option is to watch the item closely to see when it is done, which may be somewhat earlier than in a metal pan.
– Cooking Stack Exchange: Seasoned Advice | Baking time difference in pyrex versus metal

Hmmm. What to do. What to do.

Of course, I can just line our pyrex bread pan with parchment paper and use it. Or should I ask our friend next door if I can borrow one of her bread tins. She has EVERYTHING in her kitchen….

I’m also wondering why the recipe calls for commercial yeast when there is a perfectly good wild yeast starter included.

Is that commercial yeast really necessary?

I wanted to see if I could get similar results with my ever-ready 100% hydration rye starter. Or perhaps using only commercial fresh yeast. So I tried both!
– Matthew Chan, Twisty Bakes | Twisty Test Kitchen: The Approachable Loaf Variations

Ha! Judging from Matthew Chan’s loaf made with a 100% starter and zero commercial yeast, I think I can safely omit the commercial yeast. Yay.

I see that the BBB recipe calls for feeding the starter with all-purpose flour rather than whole wheat. Which leads me to another dilemma. Should I go ahead to follow the Breadlab’s recipe using only 100% whole wheat flour and risk having to eat the whole loaf myself? Or should I follow the BBB recipe by adding that smallish amount of our ‘no additives’ all-purpose flour? And still risk having to eat the whole loaf myself? (T is a bit like the grandmother in “Heidi” and only likes to eat fluffy white flour bread….)

Thinking about it more, with the risk of having to eat the whole loaf myself no matter what I do, it seems smartest to go with the Breadlab’s 100% whole wheat loaf, doesn’t it?

In the past, when I’ve made bread with a high concentration of whole wheat flour, I’ve sifted the flour and added the big pieces of bran to the outside of the loaf. This time around, I’ll follow Kelly’s advice and regrind the sifted bran. I’ll hold that sifted bran and fold it in near the end of all the folds and turns. That should work, shouldn’t it?

14 August 2023, 12:56 Late yesterday afternoon, as we were drinking iced tea on the porch, our neighbour raced over, carrying a bread tin for us to borrow. Wow. What great neighbours we have! I love that I won’t have to use our pyrex loaf pan after all.

Late last night, I poured an excessive amount of alcohol off of the top of our Jane Mason starter that has been languishing in the fridge. And, feeding the starter at the same time, I mixed the leavener ingredients for our Approachable Loaf.

This morning, the leavener had expanded and was bubbling madly and already beginning to be concave in the bowl. I threw in a bit more whole wheat flour and water, stirred it and stuck it back into the turned off oven. Hey Presto, a few hours later it was all ready to go, bubbling madly once again with a beautifully convex top and rounded edges at the sides of the bowl.

17:02 How thrilling! The dough has easily doubled. After waffling a bit about whether to grease the loaf pan, or to line it with parchment paper, I went with parchment paper. I hate the idea of fighting to get a stuck-fast loaf out of a borrowed tin.

Then, I looked at the instructions to remind myself how to shape a loaf to go into a tin.
Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 8×4″ loaf pan. Let rise for 60-90 minutes until the dough has doubled and/or risen above the edge of the pan by about ¾-1″.
– BBB August 2023 recipe

Well. That’s no help, is it? :stomp: :stomp:

Hoping I was doing it correctly (I cannot remember how Mum shaped all those delicious sandwich loaves she made!) I folded the dough in 3rds then in half and plopped it into the parchment papered tin. I really hope that will be enough!

Oh dear. What if I have created a doorstop? :lalala:

17:31 Nope. It hasn’t really moved yet. I’ll look again in half an hour.

18:06 The bell just rang. Fingers crossed that the loaf has almost doubled and I can turn on the oven.

18:35 The oven is almost completely reheated.
Score if desired.
– BBB August 2023 recipe

Ooops. Too late. The bread has already scored itself because my shaping was less than expert.

BBB August 2023

I put it in the oven anyway and hoped there might be some oven pop. I also – ignoring my earlier advice to myself (I completely forgot) – put an overturned pyrex baking dish on top as a hat to capture the steam.

Hazard (clipartbest free image)
:!: :!: :!:
BBB August 2023

Baking: Put both trays onto the middle rack. Immediately turn the oven down to 425F. Do as I say, not as I did, and do NOT put an overturned large pyrex dish over the large boule as a hat. (Don’t ask. There was hair tearing, shrieking, and language….)
– me, blog from OUR kitchen, Tiger (Leopard??) Rolls/Bread (BBB June 2023)

19:17 Rats. Rats. Rats.

How do YOU spell “doorstop”? It looks like the “already scored itself” must be a giant flashing sign to say that I let this overrise, doesn’t it?

BBB August 2023

It’s decidedly blonde too.

I’m so disappointed. All I can hear in what’s left of my mind is a chorus of “Approachable. Approachable. Approachable. {deflated pause} Really???” repeated ad nauseum.

What’s Approachable, again? […] The original formula can have infinite variations, but must conform to these parameters:
• The bread must be baked in a pan and sliced.
• It should contain no more than seven ingredients.
• The bread should not contain non-food, such as chemicals and preservatives.
• It should consist of at least 60% whole wheat — preferably 100%.
• It should be priced around CDN $8 per loaf.
– David Morton, The Happy Monk Baking Company | An Approachable Recipe

BBB August 2023
BBB August 2023

Our not-so-approachable brick is cooling now. Maybe when it’s sliced, it will miraculously make good toast.

When I was excited about reliving our youth, I wasn’t hoping for the new baker’s version of the bread that “was a little door-stoppy and flat as a pancake”. :stomp:

If anything, the bread had gotten even flatter as it cooled overnight on the counter.

BBB August 2023

Yesterday morning, we sliced the bread and made toast.

BBB August 2023
BBB August 2023

Mercifully, while I can’t quite say that it tasted absolutely wonderful, I have to admit that the toast isn’t terrible. I’ll tell the truth: It’s actually quite delicious. Especially with apricot jam.

BBB August 2023

However. Would I be happy using this bread for making sandwiches? Well, I think you know the answer…

(T has pronounced that he is going to make 100% whole wheat with commercial yeast. He claims that he made great 100% whole wheat bread when I was away. …I’ll let you know how it turns out.)

Thank you, Kelly, for trying to change our minds. Maybe if I try baking this free-form, and really really watch it for over-rising, we’ll get some loft.

Here is the August 2023 BBB recipe that we were given. And here is what I did to it:

Wild 100% whole wheat sandwich bread for toasting
based on WSU Breadlab’s Approachable Loaf

The Approachable Loaf is tin-baked and sliced, contains no more than seven ingredients and no non-food. It is at least 60-100% whole wheat and priced under $8/loaf depending on regionality.
Oh, and it tastes really good too.
WSU Breadlab | The Approachable Loaf


  • 60 grams 100% ‘no additives’ whole wheat flour
  • 60 grams water
  • 15 grams Jane Mason whole wheat starter from the fridge


  • 330 grams 100% ‘no additives’ whole wheat flour, sifted (reserve the large pieces of bran, and grind finer)
  • 20 grams wheat germ
  • 240 grams water
  • 0 (zero) grams dry yeast (I just couldn’t bear to insult our starter by adding commercial yeast)
  • 23 grams unpasteurized honey
  • 17 grams extra virgin olive oil
  • all of the leavener from above, when it is floating
  • 8 grams Himalayan pink salt + 20 grams water (seasalt would work just as well)
  1. Leavener Late in the evening before the day you will be baking the bread: put a dessert spoon of starter from the fridge (if necessary, drain off any alcohol that is lying on top of the jar) into a smallish bowl, along with 60 grams whole wheat flour and 60 grams water. Using a wooden spoon, mix everything until all the flour is mixed in. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter (or in the oven with only the light turned on) until it becomes bubbly and frothy like mousse (8-10 hours).
    refreshing the starter: To refresh the starter, put 30 grams whole wheat flour and 30 grams water into the starter jar. Stir this in with a wooden spoon or chopstick and replace the lid before putting the starter back into the fridge.
  2. Final Dough: On the morning of the day you will be baking the bread: Check that a small spoonful of the leavener floats in a small bowl of cool room temperature water. If the leavener does not float, stir in a little more whole wheat flour and water – even amounts by weight – cover with a plate and leave for about 30 minutes more. Chances are that it will now float. Once it is floating, you can go ahead and mix the dough. (If you are allergic to doing this floating test, make sure that the top surface of the leavener is convex, with nice rounded edges by the sides of the little bowl. If it is convex, it is already past its prime.)
    • Put a sieve over a large mixing bowl and dump the whole wheat flour in. Gently sift to separate the larger pieces of bran. Use an old coffee grinder or Magic Bullet to pulverize the bran that was left in the sieve. Add the pulverized bran and wheat germ and 240 grams water to the sifted whole wheat flour. Mix as well as you can, using your dough whisk (or wooden spoon if you don’t have a whisk), until all the flour is mixed in. Set aside for 15 minutes or so.
    • Add the honey, olive oil, and now bubbling leavener to the hydrated flour. Use your dough whisk (or wooden spoon, or your hands) to mix it all into a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter to rest for about 40 minutes. Chad Robertson says
      Do not skip the resting period. Working with the nature of the dough, the resting period allows the protein and starch in the flour to absorb the water, swell, and then relax into a cohesive mass.
  3. adding the salt: In a small bowl, whisk 10 grams salt into 10 grams of water. Pour the salt mixture over the dough.
  4. Kneading: Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt water into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might feel a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Fear not. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than weirdly folded, slimy glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to rest for another 30 minutes.
  5. stretching and folding: About 30 minutes after adding the salt, run your working hand under water. Reach down along the side of the bowl and lift and stretch the dough straight up and almost out of the bowl. Fold it over itself to the other side of the bowl. Turn the bowl and repeat four or five times more. Stop if t’s a little difficult to stretch the dough up any more. Cover with a plate and leave on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  6. Repeat the above step 3 or 4 times (Robertson says to do this 4 times in all). You’ll notice that after each time, the dough feels significantly smoother. Robertson writes
    [N]otice how the dough starts to get billowy, soft, and aerated with gas. At this later stage, you should turn the dough more gently to avoid pressing gas out of the dough. […] A well-developed dough is more cohesive and releases from the sides of the bowl when you do the turns. The ridges left by the turn will hold their shape for a few minutes. You will see a 20 to 30 percent increase in volume. More air bubbles will form along the sides of the container. These are all signs that the dough is ready to be […] shaped
  7. Proofing: Making sure that the bowl is covered with a plate, leave the dough on the counter (or if the kitchen is cool like ours in winter and early spring, into the oven with only the light turned on) for a couple of hours to allow the dough to almost double. (A good way to tell if the dough is ready to shape is to run your index finger under water, then poke a hole in the center of the dough. If the hole disappears immediately, the dough still needs to rise. If there is a slight whooshing sound and the hole remains in place, alas, the dough has probably over-risen. If the hole very very gradually begins to close, the dough is ready to pre-shape. (In our kitchen, this is generally in the late afternoon.)
  8. Prepare the pan: Line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  9. Shaping: Scatter a dusting of all-purpose wheat flour on the board and gently release the dough from the bowl onto the board. (When the dough is ready to shape, it will fall out of the bowl cleanly.) Using your hands, stretch the dough into a longish rectangle, then fold it like a letter, gently patting off any extra flour that might be there. Roll it up like a long jelly roll and put it seam-side down in the parchment papered tin. (Did I follow these instructions? Of course not! I completely forgot that I had written down – as best I could – what Mum always did to make sandwich bread.) Note that both the BBB’s and the WSU’s recipes assume that everyone knows how to shape dough for making sandwich bread:
    10. Shape and proof in greased loaf pans.
    – WSU’s instructions for the Approachable Loaf
    Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 8×4″ loaf pan.
    – BBB August 2023 recipe

    Cover the shaped loaf with an overturned bowl, or a clean tea towel and allow to rise until almost double or, as Kelly wrote in a message to the BBBabes, “the dough has doubled and/or risen above the edge of the pan by about ¾-1″”.
  10. Preheat the oven: About half an hour before baking, with the rack in the middle spot, turn the oven to 425F.
  11. Baking: To tell if it’s ready to bake: Firmly, yet gently, press your floured finger on the side of the bread. If the dough springs back immediately, re-cover the loaf and leave it for longer on the counter. If the dough gradually returns back after being pressed, it’s ready to bake. Put the tin onto the middle shelf of the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 375F.
         Do as I say, not as I did, and do NOT put an overturned large pyrex baking dish over the loaf as a hat. (It didn’t seem to help, and it was REALLY hard to remove.)
          Bake for about 40 minutes, removing the useless pyrex hat at the half-way point of baking if you ignored me and put the hat on anyway. Turn the tin around to account for uneven oven heat. The bread is done when the internal temperature of the bread is between 205-210F.
  12. Cooling: Remove the bread to a footed rack and allow it to cool completely before breaking the bread open; it is still cooking internally when first removed from the oven!
    Set the bread on a rack and (this is one of the hardest parts of bread baking) keep your hands off that beautiful crusty bread for at least an hour, or until it is completely cool. You will be dying to cut into that gorgeous warm bread, the crust crackling as it cools, but remember that it’s still cooking inside; the crumb is still jelling, and the crust still developing. The crust will soften partway through the cooling time, but it will crisp again as it cools completely.
    – Thomas Keller, ‘Breads: Cooling’, Bouchon Bakery

    If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat them after they have cooled completely: To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.


Leavener: Our leavener is a 100% hydration, liquid levain. It takes about 5 days to create. (Please see our take on Jane Mason’s Natural Starter made and maintained with 100% Whole Wheat Flour that we have been using since July 2017.)

Mixing: The BBB recipe closely follows the WSU instructions by saying to use a stand mixer.
Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer, holding back about 10% water. Mix on low for a few minutes to combine. Increase speed to medium low and knead until the gluten begins to develop some stretch, about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the remaining water and knead for another 5 minutes until the dough is well developed.
– BBB August 2023 recipe

Really? Does EVERYONE have an electric mixer??? Of course, the answer is no. We are the last people in North America to not own a stand mixer. (We do have an electric food processor. But after following Carol Field’s advice for using the food processor for slack dough, and producing $35 bread, we refrain from using the food processor for bread making.) Therefore, all of our mixing is done by hand.

Wild yeast and commercial yeast: The BBB recipe calls for using both wild and commercial yeast. I just could not bear to add commercial yeast. I know that our wild starter is working just fine. (Or at least I thought it was…. :lalala: )

Salt: The BBB recipe calls for a slightly smaller amount of salt than I added. I decided to add 1.8% (Baker’s percentage).
Salt helps develop the gluten in the dough but most importantly makes it taste of something. When using baker’s percentages, a rule of thumb is 1.8-2% of salt to 100% flour — though this can be changed to suit personal tastes.
– Michele Eshkeri, ‘Using baker’s percentages’, Modern Sourdough

Why the Measurements are in Grams: It took me quite a while to make the switch. And sometimes, I do still measure by volume. But it’s just easier to use the scale! Cleaner too. There aren’t nearly the number of dishes to wash….
WEIGHING VERSUS MEASURING […] [H]abits are hard to change. Your mother and grandmother probably didn’t use scales, and you may even have their measuring cups in your kitchen drawer. But using a scale will change the way you cook and bake for the better in many ways. And the merits of weighing are not only about accuracy: weighing is also more convenient. Weighing is a much easier and cleaner way to measure peanut butter, molasses, or corn syrup, for example — you simply set the mixing bowl on the scale, tare the scale (set it to zero), and measure the ingredient into the bowl, rather than having to scrape it into and out of a measuring cup. And, of course, there is the additional bonus that more than one ingredient can be measured into that same bowl.
– Thomas Keller, ‘Throw out your measuring cups’, Bouchon Bakery
Kitchen Scale An absolute must, the single tool that is not optional. Weighing your ingredients, as opposed to measuring by volume, is far more accurate, and this is the first tool I recommend any baker purchase. Measuring flour (and salt!) by volume using measuring cups is incredibly inaccurate
– Maurizio Leo, ‘the Must-have tools’, The Perfect Loaf


This is how the Approachable Loaf is supposed to look:

Kelly's (A Messy Kitchen) Approachable Loaf
Kelly’s (A Messy Kitchen) Approachable Loaf (83% whole wheat)
She used a small amount of commercial yeast as well as wild yeast
Ellys'(Elly's Everyday Wholegrain Sourdough) Approachable Loaf
Elly’s (Elly’s Everyday Wholegrain Sourdough)
Approachable Loaf (100% whole wheat)
Elly used only wild yeast

Bread Baking Babes BBB: Let's Keep Baking

The Approachable Loaf

Kelly is hosting August 2023’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

[F]or this month’s bake, nice and simple, I am sharing a recipe that was developed just a ways north of me in the WSU Bread Lab : the Approachable Loaf. […] It includes both a levain and a bit of yeast to boost the final bake. […] [I]t was a really nice dough to work with and watch it build up. There is a noticeable change in texture and cohesion when the final water is worked in and the gluten reaches perfect development.
– Kelly, excerpt of message to BBBabes

We know you’ll want to make Approachable Bread too! To receive a Bread Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the bread in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 August 2023. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to contact the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ August 2023 Bread:


Thinking more about it, it’s the “baked in a pan” part that bothers me most about the rules for the Approachable Loaf. And “sliced” is also grating just a little.

Let’s face it. In our house, our idea of bread that is approachable is bread that is baked free-form. And ideally torn rather than sliced.

Or perhaps we like to imagine that we are French….

[I]l est considéré comme très impoli d’utiliser un couteau pour couper son pain à table […] La manière correcte de manger du pain à table est de le rompre en morceaux à la main. C’est mieux d’une part pour les mœurs de notre société mais surtout, ça permettra de mettre bien moins de miettes par terre que si vous le coupez avec un couteau. [[I]t is considered very rude to use a knife to cut bread at the table […] The correct way to eat bread at the table is to break it into pieces by hand. On one hand, it is better for the customs of our society, but above all, it allows for putting far fewer crumbs on the floor than if you cut it with a knife.]
– Restaurants avec terrasse | Pourquoi ne pas couper le pain avec un couteau?

Even though… not only do we have a bread knife, but we often use it to slice bread before putting it in the basket for dinner.

This morning, I had toast again. I ignored the flatness of the loaf. I’m happy to report that the toast was really delicious.

BBB August 2023
Maybe, just maybe, after I’ve finished licking my wounds, I’ll borrow our neighbour’s bread tin and try making Approachable Loaf again.



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6 responses to “Approachable, eh? (BBB August 2023)

  1. Cathy (Bread Experience)

    Your crumb looks really good. I’m glad you enjoyed this bread as toast.
    BTW, I used a parchment-lined Pyrex glass loaf pan and it worked fine. The approachable part is not necessary for the baker, but for the people that eat the loaf. It’s a transition loaf to get people who don’t normally eat whole wheat, to try it. The added yeast, although not really necessary, makes it more fluffy. It also makes it easy to overproof the loaf and hard to score.

    edit 16 August 2023, 16:04: If added yeast makes the bread easy to overproof and hard to score, I think I’d better leave it out. Our wild yeast is VERY active right now. (And phooey. I wanted the approachable part to be for the baker! :lalala: ) – Elizabeth
    Good to know that parchment-lined pyrex loaf pan works well. Next time, I’ll try that.

  2. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

    Ahhhhhhhh, LOL. I love your write ups!! It’s not that much yeast, really… So for your mixerless kitchen, I would suggest time and fold, fold, fold, and streeetttttch and fold some more. Easier to reduce the yeast with a bit more time, and sourdough is highly tolerant of extra time and stretching as I’m sure you know. Gluten is your WW friend and folding is conducive to whole wheat gluten development. I may do some experiments with purchased whole wheat flour vs fresh ground whole wheat flour results! But T made whole wheat on his own?? WOOT!

    edit 16 August 2023, 16:15: So he claims, Kelly. I didn’t see the loaf and only heard about it. But. He is not given to falsehoods; if he said he made 100% whole wheat bread, he did. But he would have used commercial yeast only. With maybe (that’s a big maybe) a spoonful of the Jane Mason starter from the fridge thrown in at mixing time.
    I really think that my problem was not with how much stretching and folding was done (or not done), but the fact that our kitchen temperature was significantly warmer than I thought. So our wild yeast was very very active.
    I’m looking forward to hearing your reports about your taste tests between commercial whole wheat flour vs freshly ground whole wheat. Because the commercial flour doesn’t seem to go rancid, I firmly believe that they leave out almost all of the wheat germ when they put everything back together to make whole wheat flour. (That’s why I added wheat germ when I made our bread.)
    The toast really is delicious. Thank you, Kelly, for choosing this bread. When I recover from the horror of producing a flat flat flat loaf, I’ll try again.
    – Elizabeth

  3. Karen (Karen's Kitchen Stories)

    Your crumb seems to be fine even though it may have been overproofed. 100% whole grain is tough for developing gluten (it’s even harder with rye!). Both my loaves rose a lot faster than the original recipe said it would and the extra wet dough made shaping into a loaf difficult.

    edit 16 August 2023, 17:16:
    I confess that I sort of let things get away from me. The dough definitely doubled. I suspect that it was on its way to deflating when I went to look at it. And then I was foolish; I waited a little longer before shaping it.
    However, I also think that it was a case of poor shaping. I SHOULD have pre-shaped when the dough was almost doubled, and then shaped it properly 20 minutes later. (I think that wolves could have done better shaping than I did. I really lost focus because of having to use a bread tin.)
    – Elizabeth

  4. Elle (Feeding My Enthusiasms)

    Well that isn’t what I was expecting Elizabeth…nor were you. If it is any consolation, none of the breads we Babes baked seemed to have much of a crown or oven spring. Mine looks like it has, but mostly it’s an illusion. My bread did not rise much over the rim of the loaf pan. If I were to guess, I think it needed a bit more volume (more flour, water, starter or yeast, salt) and that the oil wasn’t needed and probably didn’t help with the rising problem. The over proofing…well, life gets in the way. Still, toast is always a good thing.

    edit 18 August 2023, 08:16: Not at all, was it, Elle? I really thought this was going to be a slam-dunk success. At least the toast tastes good though! – Elizabeth

  5. Judy (Judy's Gross Eats)

    Our loaves are related, I’m sure. Proofed too quickly, came out flat, but it did make good toast. I swear that one loaf deflated just because I looked at it.

    edit 18 August 2023, 08:20: Ha! It was decidedly active dough, wasn’t it, Judy? I can’t imagine how quickly it would have over-risen if there were commercial yeast added as well! – Elizabeth

  6. Katie Zeller (Thyme for Cooking)

    A 4 x 8 pan?!?! That’s small. I think I have one but have never used it. Always 5 x 9. Too bad about the deflation. At least it was delicious. And don’t you slice bread for toast? Hard to toast torn bread – at lease when I tear it.

    edit 18 August 2023, 16:42: In my usual fashion, I didn’t even notice the dimensions for the bread tin. 4 x 8 IS small. I didn’t even know bread tins came that small. The tin I borrowed is 5 x 9. No wonder the bread didn’t approach the top!
    And yes. Of course you are right, Katie; comme d’habitude. We do slice bread for toast. We just don’t pre-slice a whole loaf. – Elizabeth


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