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Whole wheat sourdough question

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Home Cooking

Whole wheat sourdough question

jono37 | Jun 1, 2008 03:32 PM

I made up my own recipe for a no-knead whole wheat loaf using a wild starter. I added a cup of mature starter at 100% hydration with three cups of whole wheat flour, a cup of water, 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten, a quarter cup of ground flax seed, a couple of tablespoons of honey, a tablespoon of olive oil and some minced rosemary.

I roughly combined the above, then let it rise for 18 hours. I then turned it out, kneaded it slightly for about 20 seconds, formed it into a ball, then let it rise in a dutch oven. After four more hours I scored it, then started it in a cold oven, turned up the temp. to 450, removed the lid after 35 minutes, took the loaf out after about 70 minutes (internal temperature about 205).

The flavor and loaf volume were exceptional. The outside was not evenly browned, but had kind of a mottled light-and-dark pattern. The crust was firm, but not real hard and crusty and craggy as I like it.

What modifications could I make to improve the browning and crust? Some possibilities I thought of were to make the dough wetter, to leave out the olive oil and to pre-heat the dutch oven, and start at an even higher temperature likt 500 degrees. I'm just not sure if 100% whole wheat ever gets real crispy-crusty like white flour loaves do.

Any tips would be appreciated.

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