FWSY Country Brown Levain
So I’ve spent a few weeks in the shadows, reading tips on the boards, but I need some help.
I received FWSY for Christmas, and spent some time making my own Levain. My levain is very active, and it has no problem making bread rise.
Where I have problems is that after I do all of my stretch and folds, and then set it overnight for bulk fermentation, it becomes almost completely unmanageable when I’m shaping it into a loaf the following morning before I put it into a banneton basket. It won’t hold any form, and I can’t form a nice skin or anything on it. It just tears and the sticky center comes spilling out. And this is even after I really flour my counter space.
Ken Forkish recommends an overnight bulk ferment, and my dough tends to rise to almost 3x-4x the original size, with bubbles forming on the surface of the dough by the following morning. It just won’t stretch and form into a loaf.
I have a few ideas, and I tend to think that I’m either over-fermenting my dough causing a complete loss of structure, or there’s something wrong with my whole wheat flour.
I tried making a loaf with very little whole wheat flour, reduced the bulk fermentation by a few hours, and reduced the proof by an hour, and the loaf worked out just fine. It was easy to shape, and baked up with a decent crumb.
Source: Fresh Loaf