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Apr 10, 2013

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
100% whole wheat sourdough bread (actually about 98% or so because I used a bread flour starter). While I am giving you the whole wheat version, you can substitute some of the whole wheat flour with the same weight of other grains such as rye, cornmeal, maseca, and/or oatmeal.

This recipe calls for a 66% sourdough starter, but I don't think you have to go crazy maintaining multiple starters. Just use your 100% starter and add a little extra flour to your dough.

One of my favorite ways to eat this bread is toasted with cheddar. The two flavors seem to work so well together. It also is great for tuna melts.

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread


2 oz sourdough starter
6 oz whole wheat flour
4.5 oz by weight lukewarm (95 degrees F) water


All of the starter
1 1/2 T honey
12 oz lukewarm water
2 T vegetable oil
16 oz whole wheat flour
14 g salt (2 tsp table salt)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I use SAF)


Make the starter

  • Mix all of the ingredients by hand or machine and then knead by hand for about 30 seconds. 
  • Place it into an oiled bowl and allow to ferment for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature. Use right away or refrigerate for up to 4 days. 

Make the dough

  • Break the starter into 10 to 12 pieces and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  • Add the the honey, water, and oil, and stir it to soften the starter. 
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix with a dough whisk or the paddle attachment of your mixer on low. 
  • Let the dough sit for 5 minutes. 
  • Mix the dough with the dough hook for two minutes. If the dough is too stiff, add more water, a little bit at a time. 
  • Continue to knead with the mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but well developed. 
  • Do four "stretch and folds" with the dough every ten minutes for a total of 40 minutes. To see this technique, see Peter Reinhart demonstrating the technique on this post
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight or up to 4 days. 

Bake the bread

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for 3 hours. 
  • Shape the dough into a boule and place it into a floured banneton or towel lined bowl and cover with plastic wrap. 
  • Let the dough rise until it increases in size by 1 1/2 times, about 2 to 3 hours. 
  • In the meantime, place the Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F.
  • When the dough is ready, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and dump the dough out into it. Slash the dough with a sharp serrated knife, cover, and place back in the oven and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. 
  • Bake the loaf, covered, for 30 minutes. (Note: you can also bake the bread on a pizza stone and add steam to the oven instead of using the Dutch oven). 
  • Removed the Dutch oven from the oven and carefully remove the partially baked loaf. Place the loaf on a sheet pan, and bake the loaf for another 15 to 20 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees F. 
  • Cool the bread on a cooling rack for at least 60 minutes before slicing. 
To bake my bread, I use this Combo Cooker. Just be careful. The thing gets very hot, and it is heavy.
This recipe has been adapted from one of my all time favorite bread books, Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day

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Would you like to comment?

  1. This recipe looks so good. Baking homemade bread is what sets my heart on fire. Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to try it asap!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

  2. I wish you were my neighbor. I'm so intimidated by starters and you're a profesional! I love all your bread recipes and always looking forward to see what you're baking next

    1. Aww,Roxana, thank you! I think when I started with sourdough I was too naive to know it was difficult. =)

  3. Such a helpful blog!
    I am new to baking and was wondering if any of you have ever used any starters from Sourdough's International.. I have a friend who loves it but I'm looking for some more opinions.

    1. Thanks Rachael. I got my starter from King Arthur Flour and have kept it alive for four years. I am very happy with it. You can also start your own or convert a plain starter to whole wheat or rye.

  4. Will the instant yeast prevent the sourdough from fermenting?

  5. Could I make this recipe without the instant yeast? Would I need to use more starter or just give the dough more time to ferment?

  6. I'm guessing more time would probably work.


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