So I tried shiao-ping's Pane Ancienne recipe, or modofication thereof.

Here's the link: http://sourdough.com/recipes/pain-l%E2%80%99ancienne-two-modified-versions


When I tried to hydrate my wholemeal at 87% it basically just poured through my hands.  I added flour to get an 80% hydration and it just barely held together for folding.  Granted, I did not refrigerate for 24 hours, but used sourdom's pane francese procedure, so I was trying to fold after about three brief kneads and spread out over about 50 minutes.  After the first knead it was still dripping out of my hands so I abanonned ship and enough added flour to get it to 80%.  The resulting loaf came out pretty good and with a bigger crumb than the 75% hydration I usually go for,  so maybe I'll try it again, but I don't see how I could have got to 87%.  Maybe the overnight in the fridge is the answer?  I would add that with this much hydration I don't try to free form the loaf, but bake it in pans, as I am trying to use it in sandwiches. 

322 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 October 22

Hello DVT02,

Might I ask what type of flour you were using?  The crumb in the photo looks a bit dark for wholemeal wheat or is that just the lighting.

At 87% hydration the dough would be very slack, something like a ciabatta or pide dough and would take some handling although Shiao Ping seems to have managed OK.  Maybe the time is the thing to let the gluten to develop itself rather than by mechanical means through kneading and/or S&F.

Keep on bakin'


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 October 22


Wholemeal just means that the bran and germ has not been separated and could be wheat, rye spelt or whatever.

However, I think that, in general, when people refer to wholemeal flour (unqualified) they mean that produced from wheat.  When referring to other 'wholemeal' flours they generally add the grain type.


DVTO2 2012 October 22

So , yes, its the same, and I don't know why my whole wheat is darker than yours looks or the pictures os shaiou-pings whole meal, which isn't much darker then her white flour bread.  Any thoughts on why? 

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 October 22


I am not completely sure of my ground here, but I think there are varying grades of 'wholemeal' that have more or less of the bran and germ removed.  In Italy, the 'complete' wholemeal is called integrale and then as I recall they have percentages to reflect the amount of roughage removed.  I also recall that some bread that I had made with 'integrale' was darker so maybe what you have is something like that. (Just remembered I have a pic of it)

This bread was also made at fairly high hydration.  If you look at my other blogs, I think I reported on it in the one called something like Bread Making in Italy.

Good luck with your projects.


DVTO2 2012 October 23

So in doing a little more research, apparently there is more use of "white wheat" in Australia, which even when whole grain, does not have the pigment that most of the hard red wheat in the USA has.  This is sold in the USA as "white whole wheat".  n the USA, commercially prepared "100% whole wheat" looks much the same color as my bread does.   I always assumed "white whole wheat" was some kind of sham, so I have never tried it, and don't know if the taste is any different. 

Coloradodough 2012 October 25
I have been using a white wheat for years to make a traditional yeast bread. It is a lighter wheat and therefore produces a lighter flour. It also produces a lighter texture bread in my opinion. Be aware if you decide to buy the white wheat that you get the HARD white wheat. There is a soft variety that does not contain enough protien for breadmaking. It is used for pastas and cakes. You can tell the difference by the size of the "berry". The soft white is larger than the hard varieties.
DVTO2 2012 October 25

Coloradodough:  Yes, a hard white wheat.  I'll have to try it.  I've  been using Hodgson Mill stone ground, but I recently purchased a Great Nrothern grain mill (from ebay) and ground my first flour this morning.  I could adjust it to grind finer than the Hodgson flour - I am looking forward to trying it this weekend.  Now I just need to find a reasonable place to get wheat berries.   

Post Reply

Already a member? Login