Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

I just love wholewheat sourdough bread. I am a baker's daughter, and I've always made cakes, pastries, and quick breads, but for some reason I never went near yeasted breads. I have no clue why. Homemade wholewheat sourdough bread is about as delicious and as natural as it gets since you're literally pulling wild yeast out of the air to make it. I guess at the end of the day it was because the process is so time-consuming, from overnight to over 48 hours, and because of how finicky the yeast seemed to be on the few occasions I tried to use it. No instant gratification here, just waiting on the yeast to do its thing for hours, days!  I've since learned that it's all a question of timing and patience, that breadmaking can't be rushed. Once you take that into account and realize that all you have to do is plan, baking bread is easy. Enjoy!

Homemade wholewheat sourdough bread is about as delicious and as natural as it gets since you're literally pulling wild yeast out of the air to make it.

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whole wheat Sourdough Bread
Yields1 Serving
Prep Time2 daysCook Time45 minsTotal Time2 days 45 mins
Leaven
 35 g active 100% hydration sourdough starter(my starter is 1/2 bread flour 1/2 whole-wheat flour)
 200 g warm tepid water
 100 g bread flour
 100 g whole-wheat flour
Bread
 200 g leaven(any leftover leaven can be used for new starter or to make other recipes)
 750 g warm tepid water, divided
 650 g whole wheat flour
 350 g bread flour
 20 g fine sea salt
Night 1 - Make the Leaven
1

In a medium bowl, swish the starter and the water together. Stir in the bread and whole-wheat flours. Mix until you have a lumpy paste.

2

Cover bowl with plastic film and let sit on the counter for 12 hours or until the top is covered with tiny bubbles. See photo below. When ready, a test dollop should float in water.

Day 2 - Making the Dough
3

In a large bowl, with your hands swish together the leaven and 700g of the water.

4

Sift the flours together and add to the leaven mixture. Work together until you have a shaggy dough. See photo below. Cover bowl with a dishcloth. Leave to autolyze for 20-30 minutes.

5

Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the remaining 50g of water. Work into the dough with a few slap and folds. It will separate at first but will quickly come together. When it has, cover with the cloth and leave to rest for 45 minutes

6

Remove the cloth. The dough will have spread to fill the bowl. Lightly wet your hands. Holding the bowl with one hand, run your other between the dough and the side of the bowl and lift the dough over itself towards the middle. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Do this a few times until the dough is roughly round again and feels smooth. See photo below.
Let rest for 45 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times or until the dough has developed some tension.

7

Lightly flour a working surface.l with bread flour. Turn the dough out onto it. Divide into 2 with a bench knife. Shape into rough balls. See photo below. Leave to rest 20 minutes. It will spread out so don’t put the balls of dough too close together. Meanwhile, line 2 medium size bread proofing baskets (or bowls) with dishcloths and generously sprinkle with flour. Set aside.

8

Take one of the rounds. With both hands pull out the corners of the dough nearest you to stretch it, and fold back over into the middle. Repeat with the other 3 sides. Now lift the 4 corners of the dough towards the center to form a taut ball. Gently lift and place in a basket seam side up. (The seam side will be the bottom of the loaf).
Repeat with the other piece of dough. Cover each with a cloth and put each into plastic bags. Leave to slow rise in the fridge for 12 hours.

Day 3 - Next morning - Baking Day
9

Before baking remove baskets from the fridge. Take out from the plastic and bring to room temperature. Tear 2 sheets of parchment big enough to cover the top of each proofing basket. Set aside

10

Meanwhile. Place 2 x 5qt Dutch ovens in the oven, lids on. Heat to 500f and leave for 40 minutes.

11

When ready to bake remove the cloths. Cover one of the baskets with the prepared parchment, and cover that with a cutting board. With one hand on the board and one on the basket, quickly invert so the basket is now sitting on the board. Carefully lift the basket off the dough. If it sticks move ever do gently so as not to break the dough. With a very sharp blade or lame, slash the dough so it can expand.

12

Quickly take one of the Dutch ovens out of the oven. Remove the lid. Grasp the edges of the parchment paper and lift the dough off the board and into the pot. Replace the lid. Return pot to the hot oven. Repeat with the other basket.

13

Lower heat to 450f. Cook bread covered 20 minutes. Remove lid. Cook 20-25 minutes more. It’s done. See photo below. Use the parchment to lift the hot bread out onto a rack. Let cool 20-30 minutes before cutting. When cool, store bread wrapped in a clean dishcloth to help it stay moist. Keeps 3/5 days.

Ann's Tips
14

I have 2 Dutch ovens which I use together. If you only have one, remove just 1 loaf from the fridge an hour before. As soon as you put the first loaf into the oven, bring out the 2nd loaf to get the chill off while the first loaf is baking.

Ingredients

Leaven
 35 g active 100% hydration sourdough starter(my starter is 1/2 bread flour 1/2 whole-wheat flour)
 200 g warm tepid water
 100 g bread flour
 100 g whole-wheat flour
Bread
 200 g leaven(any leftover leaven can be used for new starter or to make other recipes)
 750 g warm tepid water, divided
 650 g whole wheat flour
 350 g bread flour
 20 g fine sea salt

Directions

Night 1 - Make the Leaven
1

In a medium bowl, swish the starter and the water together. Stir in the bread and whole-wheat flours. Mix until you have a lumpy paste.

2

Cover bowl with plastic film and let sit on the counter for 12 hours or until the top is covered with tiny bubbles. See photo below. When ready, a test dollop should float in water.

Day 2 - Making the Dough
3

In a large bowl, with your hands swish together the leaven and 700g of the water.

4

Sift the flours together and add to the leaven mixture. Work together until you have a shaggy dough. See photo below. Cover bowl with a dishcloth. Leave to autolyze for 20-30 minutes.

5

Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the remaining 50g of water. Work into the dough with a few slap and folds. It will separate at first but will quickly come together. When it has, cover with the cloth and leave to rest for 45 minutes

6

Remove the cloth. The dough will have spread to fill the bowl. Lightly wet your hands. Holding the bowl with one hand, run your other between the dough and the side of the bowl and lift the dough over itself towards the middle. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Do this a few times until the dough is roughly round again and feels smooth. See photo below.
Let rest for 45 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times or until the dough has developed some tension.

7

Lightly flour a working surface.l with bread flour. Turn the dough out onto it. Divide into 2 with a bench knife. Shape into rough balls. See photo below. Leave to rest 20 minutes. It will spread out so don’t put the balls of dough too close together. Meanwhile, line 2 medium size bread proofing baskets (or bowls) with dishcloths and generously sprinkle with flour. Set aside.

8

Take one of the rounds. With both hands pull out the corners of the dough nearest you to stretch it, and fold back over into the middle. Repeat with the other 3 sides. Now lift the 4 corners of the dough towards the center to form a taut ball. Gently lift and place in a basket seam side up. (The seam side will be the bottom of the loaf).
Repeat with the other piece of dough. Cover each with a cloth and put each into plastic bags. Leave to slow rise in the fridge for 12 hours.

Day 3 - Next morning - Baking Day
9

Before baking remove baskets from the fridge. Take out from the plastic and bring to room temperature. Tear 2 sheets of parchment big enough to cover the top of each proofing basket. Set aside

10

Meanwhile. Place 2 x 5qt Dutch ovens in the oven, lids on. Heat to 500f and leave for 40 minutes.

11

When ready to bake remove the cloths. Cover one of the baskets with the prepared parchment, and cover that with a cutting board. With one hand on the board and one on the basket, quickly invert so the basket is now sitting on the board. Carefully lift the basket off the dough. If it sticks move ever do gently so as not to break the dough. With a very sharp blade or lame, slash the dough so it can expand.

12

Quickly take one of the Dutch ovens out of the oven. Remove the lid. Grasp the edges of the parchment paper and lift the dough off the board and into the pot. Replace the lid. Return pot to the hot oven. Repeat with the other basket.

13

Lower heat to 450f. Cook bread covered 20 minutes. Remove lid. Cook 20-25 minutes more. It’s done. See photo below. Use the parchment to lift the hot bread out onto a rack. Let cool 20-30 minutes before cutting. When cool, store bread wrapped in a clean dishcloth to help it stay moist. Keeps 3/5 days.

Ann's Tips
14

I have 2 Dutch ovens which I use together. If you only have one, remove just 1 loaf from the fridge an hour before. As soon as you put the first loaf into the oven, bring out the 2nd loaf to get the chill off while the first loaf is baking.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

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