This 25% whole wheat sourdough bread is an easy and almost undetectable switch from white sourdough. Even more so if you’ve got our classic no-knead bread recipe down pat, and you’re craving a little more wholesome goodness in your daily slice of toast!
This post was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated as of April 2020 with new photographs, some improvements to the recipe, and a video.
Can You Substitute Whole Wheat Flour In A Sourdough Bread Recipe?
The short answer is yes! Adding some whole wheat flour into a sourdough recipe shouldn’t negatively affect the structure of your bread. Whole wheat flour adds fibre, protein, and flavour to the loaf, but won’t make it more difficult to work with or dense.
That being said, whole wheat flour can sometimes require added moisture. We recommend trying this 25% whole wheat sourdough bread recipe to start if you’ve been wanting to transition into baking more wholesome loaves.
Lower Gluten Flour Substitutions For Sourdough
Lower gluten flours, like spelt, rye, or einkorn, can definitely be used in place of the 25% whole wheat flour! The structure of the loaf may end up a little more dense but shouldn’t be hugely different. See this sourdough spelt bread, for example.
Is Sourdough Bread Hard To Make?
It may seem intimidating at first, but the only true challenge in making sourdough bread is being patient. In order for the fermentation process to work it’s magic, you simply need to give your dough time to develop that lovely sour flavour.
Our 25% whole wheat sourdough is a hands-off bread, with no stretching, folding, or kneading required. Some basic shaping, and a hot oven, and you’re all set!
What Kind Of Flour Is Best?
We prefer bread flour for making sourdough, specifically because it has a higher gluten content than regular flour. Extra gluten helps form the sourdough loaf and gives it good structure without a lot of extra work.
To Make 25% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread With Yeast Instead Of Sourdough Starter:
Follow the recipe exactly as written and in place of starter use ¼ teaspoon of yeast. None of the other instructions or quantities need to change.
To Substitute All Purpose Flour:
Follow the recipe as written, using 100% all-purpose flour, however, do three stretch and folds over the course of half an hour, once every ten minutes. This will help increase the gluten strength in the dough, and should result in a well-structured loaf even if you don’t have high-gluten bread flour.
Baking Sourdough Bread In A Dutch Oven
We’d argue that, not only is a Dutch oven desirable for baking sourdough bread, it is a necessity. A Dutch oven creates a humid environment for the sourdough, ensuring an optimal rise as soon as it goes into the oven. We remove the lid of the Dutch oven partway through the baking process to improve browning and flavour.
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, any oven-safe vessel with an oven-safe lid will work as long as it’s big enough. You can even use a baking pan or baking sheet as a “lid” to cover a large oven-safe dish in a pinch.
25% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread Baker’s Schedule
Feed your sourdough starter until bubbly and active.
Day 3, Evening:
Make the dough, and let it rise overnight.
Day 4, Morning:
Shape the dough, let it rise again, score, bake, and eat!
Looking For More Bread Recipes? Try:
Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe (plus 40 Focaccia Topping Ideas)
Braided Rosemary Garlic Rye Bread
No Knead Maple Oat Spelt Bread
Honey Oat Bread
Gluten-Free Seeded Millet Sandwich Bread
Pumpkin Millet Sandwich Bread
If you make this recipe, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram! We love to feel like we’re in the kitchen with you.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
- Mixing bowl
- Dough whisk or fork
- Tea towel
- Bench scraper
- Banneton or 8-inch (20-cm) bowl
- serrated knife
- Baking pot or Dutch oven
- Parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- ¼ cup active starter
- 12 oz. water, warm
- 4.4 oz. whole wheat bread flour
- 13 oz. bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
MAKE THE DOUGH:
- The night before you want the bread: Whisk the starter and water together in a large mixing bowl with a fork or dough whisk.
- Add both flours and salt, and combine to form a stiff dough. Use your hands to finish mixing and fully incorporate the flour. You will have a shaggy, heavy dough that will stick to your fingers.
- Scrape off as much as you can, then cover with a damp towel and rest for 30 minutes. Tip: Now is a good time to replenish your starter.
- After the dough has rested, work it into a relatively smooth ball by grabbing a portion of it and folding it over, pressing your fingertips into the center.
- Repeat this process, working your way around the dough until it begins to tighten, about 15 seconds.
- Cover bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise overnight at room temperature, about 8 to 10 hours at 70°F (21°C). Dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size.
- In the morning, gently scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a boule or batard. Meanwhile, generously flour a banneton or line an 8-inch (20-cm) bowl with a towel and dust with flour. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape. Using a bench scraper, place the dough into the bowl, seam side up (upside down).
- Cover and allow it to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Dough is ready when it’s puffier and has risen slightly, but has not yet doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Tear a sheet of parchment paper the size of your baking pot or dutch oven, leaving enough excess around the sides to remove the bread.
- Place the parchment over the dough and invert the banneton/bowl to release. Sprinkle dough with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Using a bread lame, the tip of a small, serrated knife, or a razor blade, score the dough in your desired pattern. Using the sides of the parchment paper as two handles, transfer the dough to the baking pot.
- Bake dough on the center rack for 20 minutes, covered. Remove lid, and continue to bake for another 40 minutes. When finished, transfer to a wire rack. Cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.