The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


greenmother67's picture


I need help, I have a lovely sourdough starter that has been going for about 6 years, My entire family is currently changing our lifestyle by incorporating more whole grains in our diet, cutting out the refined and processed foods, making smaller portion size and exercising. I REALLY dont want to get rid of my starter, we make homeade pizza dough and breads from it. I want to make it whole grain, how do I do this without getting flat bread or ruining my starter?

SourdoLady's picture

All you need to do is start feeding it with the wholegrain flour instead of white flour. Both whole wheat and rye make good starters. Where the challenge comes in is in achieving fluffy, open textured bread with 100% whole grains. You can use some vital wheat gluten with your whole grain flour to help with this. It also helps to use milk for the liquid and to start your dough with a biga or a soaker to hydrate the grains. If you aren't adverse to having a little bit of white flour in the mix, it will help it rise much better. Just start experimenting. Your starter won't suffer at all from the change and you can always convert it back to white if you ever want to.

sphealey's picture

Luckily the Laurel's Kitchen people don't have their own international police force, so you can put as much white flour in your wholegrain breads as you like!
I typically use 60-70% whole grain flours and the balance unbleached white in my own breads, but my family prefer no more than 30% whole grain; I make that too and it all works out fine. So I don't see why you couldn't use your white-flour-based starter along with whole grain flour if you don't want to change the feed source per sourdolady.