The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Today's 100% whole wheat lean bread

sam's picture

Today's 100% whole wheat lean bread


After the last couple of mostly white breads, I decided to go to the other end of the spectrum with a 100% whole wheat, except for the tiny amount of white flour that was in in the starter.  First I milled the hard red wheat into flour, it's about three weeks aged.  I sifted some of the larger chunks of bran from it.   For this bread, I did a levain at 125% hydration, a soaker at 80% hydration, and the overall dough was 68% hydration.   Just flour, water, salt, and SD culture.








Cheers, and happy baking!


Mebake's picture

Beautiful Whole wheat, gvz! that is some seriously well crafted healthy bread! Very nice!

Did you temper your wheats prior to milling them? It helps to reduce starch damage, and increase the quality of the flour.

Syd's picture

Lovely looking bread!  I also sift some of the bigger pieces of bran out of my wholewheat for certain loaves.  It makes for a more open crumb.  How did it taste?  Was it noticeably sourer than your all-white loaves?



lumos's picture

Amazingly open crumb for 100% WW! Wish my crumb were always like that.

 What was the soaker, btw?

sam's picture

Thanks everyone!

Mebake -- I did not temper the wheat berries, I'd just heard about tempering the other day from you and Crider, I haven't yet looked into trying that.   So this is just milled and sifted, both using the Fidibus devices.

Syd -- Tastes scrumptious!  I did not notice a significant increase in sour vs. my previous recent white's.  Maybe a little...

lumos -- It was just a flour soaker with the sifted whole-wheat flour, nothing else.

Here's the weights/measures (in grams -- btw my Excel calculator rounds decimals to the nearest whole number, so...)


Total Dough Weight = 775
Total Dough Hydration = 68%
Total Dough Flour Weight = 461
Total Dough Water Weight = 314
Preferment Flour Percentage = 25%
Preferment Hydration = 125%
Starter Percentage = 20%
Flour Weight = 105
Water Weight = 131
Starter Weight (125% starter) = 23  (starter flour = 10, starter water = 13)
Flour Soaker:   
Soaker Flour Percentage = 46%
Soaker Hydration = 80%
Salt Percentage = 2.0%
Flour Weight = 212
Water Weight = 170
Salt Weight = 4
Final Mix:
Salt Percentage = 2.0%
Add Final Flour = 134
Add Final Water = 0
Add Salt = 5


I mixed up the levain and soaker around 9pm, put the Preferment/levain in the chillers at 50F and soaker at 60F, overnight.   Next morning around 7am, took them both out of the chillers, completed the fermentation of the levain at room temp.   Mixed everything together, bulk ferment for 3 hours with two S&Fs.  My final ferment only needed about 30 minutes (again).   Baked on the stone in my home oven w/steam.

lumos's picture

It was just a flour soaker with the sifted whole-wheat flour, nothing else.

 Right, so it's a sort of pate-ferment but with slightly shorter fermentation time, then?  It must create really complex and lovely flavour!  Thanks for the detailed ingredients and method. I'll definitely try it myself soon.... though I may lower the proportion of WW a bit because I'm a chicken....

Thank you for sharing. :)

sam's picture

Sure, no problem.  I'm not sure if it is the right thing to do or not, but for my levain mixes, I take into account the amount of water + flour in my starter (which I keep at 125%) so that my levain hydration is correct.   It might not be clear from the way I presented it above.

charbono's picture

What was the weight of the bran you removed?


sam's picture


I didn't measure it....  I posted pictures of it on a separate thread, though.   It is here:


Charlene's picture

I started my odyssey with sourdough experimenting one year ago.   Used to be able to buy 100% whole wheat sourdough from Ed’s bread in Ann Arbor Michigan, still craving that stuff after last having it in 1991. Have been working with a recipe from bread labs. I am not getting results anything like the photos you show, and when I saw your work I almost cried ! This is what I have been trying to do!

I want to switch to your method but not familiar with soaker ,s&f’s,  or how to achieve 50 or 60° temperature for proofing.  Can someone please give me all the details for  the recipe  described here. I would like someone to just spell it out in an exquisite detail.

Also, I have bought sprouted whole wheat flour from central milling as I heard that it was some of the best. I don’t really have space to grind my own flour.  What flour can I buy that would be best for this recipe?

Thank you so much!