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Whole-Wheat Sourdough Bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Kristen Little
Cook Time:
1 hr

Chef notes

Sourdough is a labor of love: just a few ingredients and some patience. It's also a great source of minerals such as iron, selenium, magnesium and folic acid.

Technique tip: Use a scale to weight and measure ingredients.

How to freeze bread: Slice cooled sourdough and place slices on a baking sheet. Freeze for 10-15 minutes. Remove from freezer and stack together. Wrap loaf in plastic wrap and place in plastic freezer bag and make sure to label and date.


  • 225 grams (1⅔ cup + 1 tablespoon) bread flour, plus 80 grams to feed starter
  • 200 grams (1⅓cup + 1 teaspoon) whole wheat flour
  • 340 grams (1½ cups) filtered water, plus 80 grams (1/3 cup) to feed starter
  • 180 grams fed sourdough starter
  • 7 grams (1½ teaspoons) fine sea salt
  • Brown rice flour, for dusting



Start by feeding your starter, also known as levain. You want your starter to be active by the time you need to combine it with your autolyse. To feed it, measure 80 grams of starter into a tall container, preferably a large mason jar. Add 80 grams bread flour and 80 grams of lukewarm water. Mix to combine and cover with loose fitting lid. Let rest for 3-4 hours.


In a large bowl, add bread flour, whole wheat flour and lukewarm water (water should be about 90°F). Using damp hands, lift and fold until combined, about 2-3 minutes. (This stage is called an autolyse, which helps hydrate the flour and convert starches to sugars.) Cover bowl with plastic wrap or reusable cover and let rest for 2-3 hours. After 2 hours, flour should feel soft and able to stretch without tearing.


Add your fed starter to flour mixture and mix by hand for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let rest 30 minutes. Make sure to dampen hands before each mix.


Add salt to flour/starter mixture and mix by hand for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.


Turn dough onto a surface that has been lightly misted with water. During this process, you want to stretch the dough into a large rectangle. Start by pulling the dough from the middle to the edges without tearing it. Once dough is flat, fold into thirds vertically as if folding a letter to insert in an envelope, then into thirds horizontally, leaving you with a square. At this point, transfer dough into a shallow rectangle dish. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.


Perform 3-5 rounds of stretching and folding, resting 45 minutes to one hour in between. With damp fingers, pull from the middle of the dough and stretch the dough away from the dish. Fold in half and repeat on all sides. Repeat this process, resting in between, until dough starts to hold its shape.


Turn dough onto lightly floured countertop. Fold into thirds by pulling top of dough towards middle and bottom over top. Take the top of the dough and roll. Seal edges by pinching with fingertips.


Place smooth side facing down and seam side up into floured banneton (aka proofing basket) or large bowl with floured kitchen towel. Place entire bowl in a large plastic bag or reusable cover and place in refrigerator for 12-14 hours.


The next morning, heat oven to 500°F. Heat covered Dutch oven for 1 hour. Once Dutch oven is preheated, remove dough from fridge. Turn dough onto round disk of parchment paper. Dust top with brown rice flour. Using a lame or sharp knife, score dough along top (not too deep) to allow steam to release while baking.


Remove preheated Dutch oven and carefully transfer dough by lifting the edges of parchment paper and placing inside the Dutch oven. Cover with lid and bake for 25-30 minutes. After baking for 25-30 minutes, lower temperature to 450°F and remove lid. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until dark crust forms. Internal temperature should read 208°F.


After baking, remove bread and allow to cool on wire rack for at least 45 minutes. Consume within 2-4 days or slice and freeze.