Phew. My reputation as the family baker is saved — at least until my next meltdown.
85% hydration — very wet, but some of the water was soaked up by 20% of whole grains (muesli). 80% whole wheat and 20% white whole wheat flour, with 1.5% honey and 1.5 olive oil. I pre-fermented the 80% whole wheat overnight, and added the remaining ingredients the next day. The dough itself was very moist, just holding together in the mixer and sticky to the touch.
The loaf is much lighter, and less dense, and the crust is chewy — not leathery. This is no hockey puck. If fact, it’s really nice.
One possible explanation for the nice chocolate brown color in the crust is that the enzymes in the flour were able to work overnight, before I added yeast the next day — allowing for more complete fermentation and dough development.
That’s the upside. The downside is that my Cuisinart stand mixer is behaving very strangely. It is speeding up and slowing down on its own, right in the middle of mixing bread. Scary.