The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

first artisan sourdough

srifky's picture

first artisan sourdough


I am new to TFL, and generally quite new to baking bread. I just made my first sourdough loaf following an easy recipe

I used whole wheat flour only though. The dough was a bit tough while I was kneading it (is it okay to add water in the future during the folding/kneading process to make it more elastic?) 

When I baked it, the sides sort of burst, how can I avoid that in the future? Is it mostly because of the tough dough? Or could it be because of the oven temperature?? It tasted quite nice and nutty though, but the crumb was quite dense.. 

thanks a lot & the site is extremely inspiring and super-helpful!! 




(i am unable to upload a photo..)

ericb's picture



Welcome to TFL. Be sure to search through some past forum posts and blogs, because there's a ton of helpful information out there.

Regarding your first question, yes, it's OK to add a bit of water if the dough seems too tough. You might want to reverse your thinking a bit and reserve some of the flour. That way, you can add a some flour if the dough seems too wet (I find it easier to add flour than water).

If you substituted 100% whole wheat flour for white bread flour, then your dough will be quite stiff. Whole wheat flour holds more water than white flour. Also, the characteristics of whole whole wheat flour are completely different than white. While it is possible to get excellent bread from WW, it will never be the same as white.

Regarding the bursting sides: I think you're right in suspecting a "tough dough." If your dough was too dry, I can see where this might happen. Another cause would be if you didn't score the top of your loaves.

If you're interested in baking 100% whole wheat, check out Peter Reinhart's book, Whole Grain Breads. You might also want to consider only substituting 20%-30% of bread flour with whole wheat, which might yield more desirable results. You can always work your way up to a higher percentage.

Good luck!


srifky's picture

Dear Eric,

I've been reading as much as I can, there's a lot to learn here!! Thank you very much for your answer, i'll make a post once I achieve my first successful bread loaf!