100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread Recipe
This sourdough bread is incredible! It is a loaf to really be proud of as it is made entirely from our fresh milled Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries! It is a 100% whole wheat sourdough made from high quality flour. You can’t get much better than that!
Sourdough bread is made by a natural culture of yeast and bacteria. It is this culture that gives the bread a sour flavor and leavens it. This might sound intense but should not scare anyone off. Many people keep a sourdough starter these days. Obtaining a starter might be as easy as asking around. Of course, making your own starter is just as easy although it takes a few more days to get started. We encourage you to try our recipe and method listed below to get going with your own starter.
Loaves of bread are not commonly made with 100% whole wheat flour. This is because bread made from 100% whole wheat flour will always have less of a rise. The gluten forming proteins found in flour is only found in the endosperm. White flour purchased at grocery stores are just that; endosperm. Flour, milled from wheat berries, contains the whole grain from the bran, germ, and endosperm therefore; the overall protein will be much less. We feel the health benefit of using whole wheat flour strongly outshines the extra rise you get from white flour.
To help our sourdough bread get its’ rise, we sift our fresh milled flour through a sieve to remove large pieces of bran. The large bran flakes act like small shards that cut through the gluten strands; the same gluten strands that are important for our bread’s rise. Don’t worry; we add this bran back later after we soak it in warm water to soften. Then we simply fold it in as you would with any other bread additions such as nuts, dried fruits, etc.
Lastly, we bake our bread in a heated cast iron pot. This is a common method for baking crusty loaves at home. The heated cast iron pot provides a quick burst of heat and seals in the steam released from the bread during baking. This allows for a greater rise and crusty exterior.
We love our sourdough bread for morning toast, grilled sandwiches, and dinner bread. We hope you give it a try and let us know what you think!
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
500 grams milled Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries (4 cups plus 3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour)*
2 teaspoons table salt
¼ cup of warm water
250 grams active starter (about a cup)
1 ¼ cups warm water
2 ¼ cup warm water
270 grams milled Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries (2 ¼ cup of whole wheat flour)
1 cup of mashed organic grapes
Sourdough Bread Ingredients
Sourdough Starter Ingredients
How to Make Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Sift the whole wheat flour through a sieve to remove large pieces of bran. Stir in the 2 teaspoons of table salt and ¼ cup warm water to the bran flakes and set aside.
In a large bowl, add your starter and stir in 1 ¼ cups of warm water.
Stir in the sifted flour until the mixture is fully hydrated.
Cover your dough with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for an hour.
After an hour, begin to stretch and fold the dough. With a wet hand, grab the bottom of the dough and stretch it over the top to the other side. Rotate the bowl of dough 90 degrees and repeat. Do this until you have stretched the dough a total of four times.
Repeat this folding process two more times allowing the dough to rest 30 minutes between folds.
Add the bran, water, and salt mixture and fold three more times again with 30 minute rests. The bran and salt will be incorporated as you fold.
After you have a total of 6 folds, turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll the dough between two floured hands to create a tight boule.
Dust the top of the boule liberally with flour. Line a mixing bowl slightly larger than the size of your boule with a towel and flour it as well. Fold the towel to cover the bread and refrigerate overnight.
On day two, remove the loaf from the refrigerator and heat oven with cast iron pot to 500 degrees. Once heated, remove the pot from the oven and carefully turn the dough into the pot. Remove the towel and score or snip the top of the bread. Cover and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer until the desired crust is reached.
Folding Tip: The first folds you make will seem weak. The dough will be wet and will not stretch. Do not worry. This is because you haven’t developed the gluten yet. As you stretch and pull, you will see the dough tighten and the gluten develops. When you are finished, the dough should start to hold its shape and increase in volume as air is trapped inside.
How to Make Sourdough Starter
In a medium size bowl, mix 1 cup water with 1 cup flour and 1 cup smashed grapes. Set aside in a warm place for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, you should see bubbles starting to form. Feed by mixing in ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup water. Set aside for 24 more hours.
Skim any skin off the top and strain starter through a sieve to remove grapes. Feed once more with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. Split starter between 2 mason jars with a coffee filter or mesh cover. Set aside for 6 to 8 more hours. If your starter rises, it is active and ready for bread. If not, continue to feed every 24 hours until your starter is active.
You may store your starter in the fridge and feed the day before you want to bake.
To feed your starter, remove ¼ cup and discard the rest. Stir in 1 cup warm water and 2 cups flour. Starter must be fed every 24 hours or stored in refrigerator.