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Jun 13, 2014

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

This White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is called Field Blend #1 in Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. 

He says he is using a term from wine making, meaning, he is using multiple varieties of grains (e.g. grapes for wine) to produce a loaf of bread.

This is a mixed method bread, in that it combines the use of levain (sourdough) and a bit of yeast, along with a long cold ferment.

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

While rye has been my nemesis forever, this loaf had the ideal ratio of wheat and rye to create an amazingly soft, fluffy, and delicious bread.
White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

While I've loved every bread I've baked from the book, I'm pretty sure that this one was one of our favorites. I can attest to the fact that we all kept asking, "who ate the bread?" It disappeared so fast!

You will need two days to make this bread as long as you have a freshly fed 80% levain. I usually feed my sleepy levain to get it going on a Friday morning. Then feed the levain again on a Saturday morning.

For a version with whole rye, be sure to try the White, Whole Rye, and Whole Wheat version. It's wonderful too. 

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

In the afternoon, I mixed the final dough, let it rise, and then shaped the loaves. The loaves rested overnight to be baked on Sunday morning.

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

In 2014 we visited Portland, which was one of my favorite cities. My mission that time was to visit Ken Forkish's Ken's Artisan as well as his restaurant Trifecta. I tried not to seem like a stalker.

We had lunch at Ken's Artisan. Mr. Kitchen had a panini, and I had the pork Banh Mi. It was amazing.

 I'm pretty excited about having visited the mothership.

Even though I am NOT a stalker, we then had dinner at Ken Forkish's restaurant Trifecta.

 The place was amazing. Bread was free but you had to pay for the hand churned butter. The booths were red "leatherette" and the staff was totally hipster, with beards down to there.

Of course I had to try their charred maple Negroni!

As we were leaving, I mentioned to our server that I was a giant fan of Ken Forkish (still NOT stalking, right?). She told me that he loves his fans, and gave me a "to go" care package of two small baguettes and some of that amazing butter.... xoxo

White, Rye, and Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Adapted from Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. Get the book. You will produce breads you never thought you could master. 



100 g active starter
400 g all purpose unbleached white flour
100 g whole wheat flour
400 g lukewarm water

Final Dough

590 g all purpose unbleached white flour
60 g whole wheat flour
150 g white rye flour
590 g lukewarm water
21 g salt
2 g instant yeast
360 g levain


  1. Feed your active starter with the flour and water, stir it to combine the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 6 to 8 hours. 
  2. Mix the flour, wheat flour, rye flour, and water in a large bowl or bucket by hand until just incorporated. 
  3. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. Add the salt, yeast, and levain and mix by hand by folding and pinching the dough. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover the dough bucket with plastic wrap.
  5. Do four "stretch-and-folds," once every 30 minutes. After that, let the dough continue to rise until the dough is 2 1/2 times its original size, about 3 hours more. 
  6. When the dough is ready, gently scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into two and pre-shape it into two preliminary boules. Let them rest for about 15 minutes.
  7. Again, shape the loaves into boules and place them into proofing baskets that have been dusted with flour. Spray the bread with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 
  8. The next day, preheat the oven with two cast iron Dutch ovens at 475 degrees F.
  9. Remove the loaves from the refrigerator and carefully transfer them to the hot Dutch ovens. 
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaves reach an internal temperature of 205 degrees F.
  11. Cool on a wire rack. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. hello Karen/ I love the book for Ken Forkish (Flour Water Salt Yeast) he's book is very amazing and I know that you can mix these recipe different if you like :-) and your breads are wonderful and delicious looking too. :-)

  2. Beautiful bread, that crumb looks amazing! I absolutely adore FWSY, in fact, I'm baking my way through it as a summer project and every single bread has been stellar. And I'm sooo jealous that you got to go his bakery and restaurant.

    P.S. I also want to thank you for giving me that final push to take on FWSY as a project. I had been thinking about it but reading your blog and looking at your beautiful photos, not only of the Forkish breads but all of the others as well, were really inspiring.

    1. Robin, thank you so much. I am so touched by your comments.

  3. Hi Karen, you bread baking skills are very impressive, this bread looks wonderful. We pay 6 to 7 dollars a loaf here in the local bakeries for something just like this.

    1. Thanks Cheri. That is one of the reasons I can't figure out how folks make money selling breads at farmers markets. It's a lot of work!

  4. Gorgeous as usual... I remember seeing it on your blog, but I did not comment at the time, now that I saw it again at Yeastspotting, I must absolutely say it's indeed a beautiful production!

    I haven't baked a sourdough in more than a month.... with the weather warming up, it gets a bit out of my routine....

    1. Thanks Sally. Fortunately, our weather is fairly consistent and my oven is well insulated, so baking any time of year works. xoxo


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