Sunday, January 25, 2009

sourdough bread 5 (whey, whole wheat)

The latest exercise incorporated 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (all I had left) and whey from the farmer cheese for the liquid. I forgot to add the gluten, though. This produced a noticeably stickier dough than the previous whole wheat dough, which had twice as much whole wheat. It rose overnight in the oven with light on and door open, which maintained a temperature of about 80 degrees. Had a bit of a skin.

The risen dough was much more pliable than the last whole wheat and I folded completely four times. Still, the baked loaf had a traumatic separation across the last fold. Maybe I'm using too much flour on the board.

Baked for 20 minutes covered and then 18, at which point the crust was blackening, but was surprised to see the final internal temperature at only 189 degrees. I wonder whether I should increase the ratio of covered to uncovered baking. This crust really is charred in spots, but on the other hand maybe that's only because of the way it's breaking open.

The texture is pretty close to the last loaf, perhaps a little less dense, and not as gummy when chewed. The sourness is understated and the whole wheat flavor is less evident. If the whey made a difference I can't isolate it, so despite the fact that several variables changed it seems likely that whey doesn't alter the results dramatically. Might be interesting to try two loaves with whey as the only difference, though.

Overall, pleasant but unremarkable. I guess it's nutritionally nice to have the whole wheat, but I don't think this small-fraction hybrid is worthwhile. I'd rather have a whole wheat with a soft texture and dominant sweetness, and a sourdough that is light, sour, and chewy.

What I'd like to try next is a white sourdough that is markedly more tart than what I've made so far.

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