Light Wholemeal Sourdough

This is a 70/30 blend of strong white bread flour and wholemeal flour , which gives it a great texture and a fairly subtle flavour that allows the sourness of the dough to come through.

To adjust how “sour” the loaf is, you can play around with the time between refreshing the starter – when you feed the starter with flour and water. Refreshing more often, or with greater quantities of flour and water, will reduce the sour flavours in the final bread. The longer you leave a refreshed starter for, the more acids build up which create the sour flavour, but also more of the yeasts are used up. Try to find a balance that works for you in terms of the flavour of the dough, and the rising amount and time.

Light wholemeal sourdough

This is also the last loaf of bread that I will ever make in the clapped out tiny gas oven. It’s been emotional (not really), and hard work (very), but I’ve made some loaves that I have been very pleased with. Recently, the oven temperature dropped and we decided it was time to get a new oven, so now we’re waiting for the electrician to come and install the replacement. Obviously I’ll have to give it a test drive this weekend…

Light wholemeal sourdough

Light Wholemeal Sourdough – makes two boules

  • 240g wholegrain flour
  • 560g strong bread flour
  • 530ml warm water
  • 300g white starter @ 130% hydration
  • 16g salt
  1. For this loaf, I refreshed the starter twice at 12 hour intervals, building it from 50g of rye starter to the finished white starter by adding 100g of white flour and 130g of water each time. I kept the left over starter and refreshed it once more to make sourdough pancakes.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Autolyse for 20 minutes, then stretch/fold a dozen times.
  3. Bulk ferment for 4 hours, doing a stretch/fold a few times in the first couple of hours.
  4. Divide and shape into boules, and transfer to well floured bannetons. Proof for 2 hours at room temperature. Transfer to the fridge in plastic bags and rest overnight (this step is optional).
  5. Preheat the oven to maximum with a lidded cast-iron pot (Dutch oven) on the middle shelf. Bake one loaf at a time for 30 minutes with the lid on, then reduce the temperature to 230˚C and bake for 15 minutes with the lid off.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least an hour before slicing. Repeat with the remaining loaf.
The crumb is light and open, with colour from the wholemeal flour

50/50 Wholegrain Sourdough

These half-and-half loaves have great flavour from the wholegrain, and a lighter texture because of the strong bread flour. I use Kialla organic stoneground wholegrain, which has an excellent taste and gives that dark caramel colour.

Two dark coloured wholegrain loaves

My oven is still only going at half strength (two weeks until we get a whole new kitchen!) so these loaves were baked in a cast iron pot with the oven turned all the way up throughout. In a fully functional oven, the temperature would need to be turned down after the lid is removed or the loaf would be too dark.

Dark and cracked crust

This recipe uses a starter with 150% hydration, and a lot of liquid in the dough, so the dough is quite wet. With that in mind, I only use stretch/fold kneads and go straight from the mixing bowl into the bannetons after the bulk ferment.

50/50 wholegrain sourdough – makes two boules

  • 400g wholegrain flour
  • 400g strong bread flour
  • 560ml warm water
  • 300g rye starter @ 150% hydration
  • 17g salt
  1. Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make sure that the salt does not come into direct contact with the starter.
  2. Bulk ferment the dough for four hours, with a stretch/fold every half an hour for the first two hours.
  3. With a wet hand, lift the dough out of the bowl onto a bench lightly dusted with flour. Divide and shape into two boules, and place into well floured bannetons.
  4. Proof for two to three hours at room temperature until risen. Preheat oven to max with a lidded cast iron pot (Dutch oven) on the middle shelf.
  5. Bake at max for 30 minutes with the lid on, then reduce the temperature to 230˚C and remove the lid. Bake for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Remove to a wire rack and cool for two hours before slicing. Repeat with the remaining loaf.
Proofed dough ready to go into the cast iron pot
Finished wholegrain loaves