Almost No-Knead Whole Wheat Sourdough
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Almost No-Knead Whole Wheat Sourdough

Whole wheat sourdough seemed to be one of the biggest challenges around.  Kneading whole wheat too much seemingly wouldn't produce good fermentation.  However, no-knead whole wheat seemed impossible since it didn't rise well.  This was the case until I discovered ultra-fine whole wheat flour.
How it Began
A month ago, I was moving to a different place and didn't have time to create new bread.  I started thinking about no-knead bread more and found this interesting recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough | The Perfect Loaf  This person went into very meticulous detail, even noting that the type of flour was important in this case, namely that the bran particles should be very small.  After looking at some websites, I purchased ultra-fine flour from Sunrise Flour Mill.
I made a few regular loaves with this flour, and noticed that they were very smooth.  I tried absolute no-knead and saw that there was no rise, because bran particles are not as soluble as the white starchy component.  Therefore, I followed an almost no-knead recipe and got decent results: The Almost-No-Knead Baguette
However, the dough before the final rise looked like a pancake!
For a greater rise, I started "folding" the dough.  This simply means rinsing your hand with cool water, then taking the edges of the dough and folding them into the center, then turning the dough upside down.  Overall, I decided to keep the dough in the refrigerator for seven days, after a two-hour first rise.
I decided to take a picture every time I folded, so I kept a very solid record.  I folded every hour for the two-hour rise, and folded every 36 hours while the dough was in the refrigerator.
Tuesday, September 7
All this was done in two hours.  The more I fold the dough, the more gluten strands appear.
Thursday, September 9
The dough has cooled, so as a result, the gluten strands are not very visible.
Friday, September 10 - Sunday, September 12
Each time, the dough becomes more and more round.
Tuesday, September 14
The final dough was still pancake-like, but it was not very flat.  I still used steam to give the bread a greater rise.  The final bread was not bitter, and I also noticed that there wasn't a sharp, "yeasty" taste that was present in previous no-knead breads.  This is because the folding caused the flour particles to somewhat move around, creating a greater rise.  The resulting bread looks like it was made in an upscale bakery!
Additionally, cutting the bread was far easier compared to before, as the last loaf was rather crumbly.  Future improvements include folding more times overall for an even greater rise.