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4.78 from 22 votes
Whole Wheat Sourdough Recipe

My Whole Wheat Sourdough recipe gives you a crusty, chewy, and perfectly proofed loaf of flavorful sourdough bread without much fuss.

Course: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 Loaf
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) sourdough starter (fed/active)
  • 1 cup (8floz/225ml) lukewarm water, roughly*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups (7½oz/213g) bread flour*
  • 1 ⅓ cups (6½oz/185g) whole wheat flour, fine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Olive oil for greasing
Making the Sourdough:
  1. In a large bowl, add in your sourdough starter, water, and olive oil and whisk to combine.

  2. To the liquid, add the flours and salt and mix together to form a ball of dough. I prefer to mix by hand so you can feel exactly how wet or dry your dough is.

  3. Bring your dough together to form a ball that cleans the bottom of the bowl. (If your dough is a little on the dry side add a splash more water).

  4. Pour a little olive oil into your bowl and toss your dough in it. This helps the bread while proofing. Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap and a kitchen towel.

Bulk Fermentation:
  1. Set aside the dough at room temperature to proof for roughly 12-18 hours. I mix mine up the night before and let it proof overnight. If you are unable to bake it off after this time place it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  2. The next day, carefully remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. I don’t knock out the air but rather I fold the dough over itself to strengthen it.

Shape and Proof your Sourdough:
  1. On a flourless surface, shape the dough into a boule or a ball by pushing the dough against your surface to make it round and smooth.

  2. Lay a kitchen towel in a bowl or breadbasket and dust it generously with flour.

  3. Place your dough into the bowl with the seams facing you and the smooth side down. Cover over with the towel so that none of the dough is exposed to the air. (Air is not a doughs friend so keep it well covered so it doesn’t form a skin.)

Proofing the Sourdough:
  1. Proof the dough for roughly 1 ¾ -2 ½ hours or until the bread has risen to almost double the size. Don't rush this step, if your bread is not ready then give it the time it needs.

  2. Once the dough is well risen and feels almost lighter and not as dense then it’s time to bake it off.

Baking the Sourdough:
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (225°C).

  2. Safely and carefully turn the dough out onto a different floured flat baking tray. Gently, shape it back into a round loaf with your hands by pushing the seams underneath the bread.

  3. Score the bread with a blade or a sharp knife.

  4. Turn down the oven to 400°F (200°C) and place in the bread.

  5. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a gorgeous golden brown color. See my notes about creating steam in the oven during baking by baking in a Dutch oven or covering your bread with a bowl (7 Chefs Tips for Baking Bread)

  6. Once your bread is golden brown and has a crisp crust remove it from the oven. Allow cooling down completely before cutting your bread. It’s tempting, but don’t cut hot bread, it’s just not the same. Let it cool down for at least 2-3 hours before cutting.

  7. Store your sourdough covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. And CONGRATS! You just made a loaf of sourdough bread from scratch.

Recipe Notes

*Bread flour: Bread flour yields a stronger, more defined structure to your bread. Can you use all-purpose flour? Technically yes, but for best results use bread flour. 

*Water: I say roughly because it can vary how much YOU need. Everyone's flour absorbs liquid differently so you might need a little more or even less. Just add enough until it forms a ball and cleans the bowl.