WW bread, “old dough” method

Here’s one method for producing a loaf of 50% whole wheat bread with a mellow flavor.
  • 240 grams of warm filtered water.
  • 2 grams of commercial yeast
  • 18 grams of granulated white sugar.
  • 154 grams whole wheat flour
You want the water to be 95 or 100 degrees. 15 or 20 seconds in the microwave will do it. The water should be filtered so that there is no chlorine.
This amount of sugar will neutralize the bitterness of whole-wheat. I have found that less doesn’t work and more isn’t desirable.
Put all three of these ingredients in a mixing bowl or into the bowl of your stand mixer. The yeast will be happy with plenty of carbs to eat.
The first step produces a batter, which you allow to ferment until it sorta looks like this.
You will end up with a soupy batter. Let this ferment for 2 or 3 hours at a warm room temperature.
When it’s very fragrant and bubbly you’ll be ready for the next step.
6 gram salt
10 gram wheat germ
222 gram APF
Knead this by hand until you are happy or in a stand mixer on the lowest setting for 5 minutes.
You add the salt now because adding it earlier would retard the fermentation.
You add the wheat germ to make up for what they took out when refining  the white flour.
after five minutes
Add your second batch of ingredients and after 5 minutes in the stand mixer it looks like this. It handles well, not too sticky.
Put this in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let it ferment for probably about 3 hours, depending on how warm it is.
in a bowl
Now that it’s a complete dough, you let the Yeasties do their work for about 3 hours in a covered bowl. Here I’ve used plate & towel.
Then take out the dough. Pinch off a piece about the size of a golf ball and put it in a sealed jar.
earth and moon
There’s a sort of earth and moon relationship here. The “moon” you’ll save as a starter/helper for the next batch.
moon captured
“Moon” captured in mayonnaise jar. This goes into the fridge until you need it for next batch.
Roll the remaining dough into your shape and put it in whatever you’re going to bake it in.
It’s resting in a cloche here. And slashed just before baking.
Give it an hour to recover and then put it in a 450-degree oven for 45 or 50 minutes. it’s done when you tap it and it sounds hollow or you stick a thermometer in there and get 205 degrees.
Because it’s whole wheat, it may need 50 minutes in the oven at 450 rather than the traditional 45. But… you can be sure it’s done if its internal temp = 205 degrees.
Between the wheat germ in the whole wheat flour you probably got something like 50% whole wheat bread but with a mellow flavor.

It won’t have the fabulously open crumb of a French white bread … But then again, it’s NOT white bread.
Next time you make this, or any other loaf, you simply start with the “refrigerated golf ball” and proceed as above, incorporating the “golf ball” in the first step.
Over time, the yeasties will evolve and give your bread a unique flavor.