I've started experimenting with 100% whole wheat bread that I mill myself. The basic no-knead recipe works great if you add a little more water. I've found 100% whole wheat flour needs a hydration percentage of at least 79%.
If you're working from Jim Lahey's recipe that's:
- 14.1 ounces of flour or 400 grams
- 11.1 ounces of water or 316 grams (versus the recipe's 10.7 oz or 300 grams)
If you're working from the Cook's Illustrated recipe that's:
- 15 ounces of flour or 425 grams
- 12 ounces of liquid or 340 grams (versus the recipe's 10.5 ounces or 298 grams)
First Loaf: 50% All purpose flour, 25% Hard Red Spring Wheat, 25% White Spring Wheat
I know it's not 100% Whole Wheat but I wanted an intermediate step to see what adjustments I might need to make. I wasn't sure how well it would rise so I used a 10.5 inch diameter Dutch Oven so that less oven-spring would be needed. This loaf that was done in 45 minutes rather than the normal 60. Possibly because of using a wider Dutch Oven than the 9 inch one that I normally use.
There are large air holes. I didn't do a quick no-touch no-knead at the 12 hour mark--just the shaping knead before the final 2 hour rise.
50% Hard Red Spring Wheat, 50% White Spring Wheat
I baked this my 9 inch diameter Dutch Oven to get a taller loaf. It's 3 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter
This loaf has a very fine crumb structure. Like the first loaf, I didn't do a quick no-touch no-knead at the 12 hour mark--just a quick shaping-knead before the final 2 hour rise.
100% Hard Red Spring Wheat
The loaf is 3 inches tall and 9 inches in diameter. That's about an inch shorter than a loaf made with 100% all purpose flour. The loaf is very acceptable as a 100% whole wheat loaf. It's heavy but not heavier than expected. I'm going to try doing the shaping-knead 4 hours before baking and see if a longer final rise makes the loaf taller and lighter.
The No-Kead Bread technique is very robust and forgiving when making whole grain breads. I've tried various flours and they all yield good bread.
I've tried the grains below by themselves and mixed together. The height and the crust are different from grain to grain but all are good with one exception noted below.
- Bronze Chief Hard Red Wheat
- Prairie Gold Hard White Wheat
- Soft White Spring Wheat-- Don't use it all by itself!
It's OK when mixed with other flours. The loaf that I made with 100% of it was edible but blah--It tasted like a gigantic muffin that didn't have any sweetener or flavoring. That's understandable given that soft white wheat is used for cake flour.