100% whole-wheat sourdough

100% whole-wheat sourdough

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
one loaf
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

100% wholegrain breads have outstanding flavour and nutrition. This is the style of bread that most people would have eaten before breadmaking was industrialised and wheat became a commodity. For centuries this was the only bread available. It was made with very fresh stonemilled flour and baked in community bakeries or wood-fired ovens.

Starter build

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g Starter
50g whole-wheat flour
50g water

Method

  1. Around 4–6 hours before you plan to mix your dough, combine the starter, flour and water for the starter build, mixing well to combine. You will use 80 g (2¾ oz) of this for the dough; retain the rest for maintaining your starter.

Dough

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80g Starter
420g whole-wheat flour
300g water
10g salt
whole-wheat flour, for dusting

Method

  1. At least 30 minutes before you plan to mix the dough, combine the flour and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix them with your hands until thoroughly combined, then cover with a damp cloth and set aside for the autolyse.
  2. When the starter is ripe and bubbly, mix it with the flour and water, then sprinkle over the salt and finish mixing the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, before your first set of folds.
  3. Complete six sets of folds, resting the dough in between each one for 30 minutes. Whole-wheat can take extra folds, as it has proportionately less protein in the flour than baker’s wheat flour. It needs some extra work to build a strong dough.
  4. After your last set of folds, cover your dough with a damp cloth and leave to prove at room temperature for 2–3 hours.
  5. If you have multiplied the recipe, divide the dough into individual loaves before you pre-shape. Pre-shape the dough, then cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rest on the bench for 15–20 minutes.
  6. When the dough has relaxed, shape the dough as desired, then place it seam side up in a lightly floured proving basket. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight, until ready to bake.
  7. Preheat the oven to the maximum temperature and bake according to your preferred method. Once baked, tip the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool.

Bakery notes

  • Proper wholegrain flour will go rancid faster than other flours because it retains the oils with the germ. If you can, use fresh wholegrain from a good farmer or miller; the end result will be worth it.

    We give this dough more folds than our basic sourdough. The higher proportion of bran and germ in the flour makes it harder to fold a well structured loaf, and it will take longer to build strength in the dough.
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