The Fresh Loaf

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Atta (whole wheat) Sourdough Bread

paresh1955's picture

Atta (whole wheat) Sourdough Bread


This is my first attempt at Atta (whole wheat) Sourdough Bread. I should point out that in effect this is a 80% whole wheat as the starter I use is fed with Maida.

 The recipe:

 Atta: 240 gms

Water: 180 gms

The above was mixed by hand and then the “stretch & fold” method applied a few times before putting the dough in the refrigerator over night.

Salt: 6 gms

The next morning the salt was added to the dough with a few “stretch & fold” moves.

Starter: 112 gms (70% hydration of Maida, hence 60 gms. Maida)

The starter was mixed in with the dough, rolled into a ball & put into the refrigerator for the first proof (approx. 9 hours)

A clarification regarding the proofing. I do leave the dough on the kitchen table for a couple of hours as my starter is not that active enough to sufficiently raise the dough.

After the shaping (boule) the dough was retarded as well as proofed on the counter top.

After the slashing the boule  was covered with a metal bowl (to let the steam remain inside) and put in the oven heated to 250°C. After 15 minutes the covering bowl was removed and the temperature reset at 175°C. The loaf was removed for after 40 minutes (internal temperature was 101°C)

 Even though this is the best whole wheat bread I have made, I would prefer a more open crumb.

 I look forward to comments & suggestions.

Nim's picture

Hi Paresh

can you post pics? I have always had trouble with Atta for bread, but there are a couple of links on this site where people discuss their experiences and some of them have gotten a nice open crumb.


Doc.Dough's picture


When I buy atta in the US it is for chapati and it is ground from durum wheat. As you probably know, durum is what they grind for semolina and sooji, but for atta they add back the bran (or some of the bran) and grind it much finer.  I read somewhere that durum, while high in protein, does not have as much damaged starch in the flour because it is so hard. One result is that it does not make very light yeast bread, even when the bran is removed (then called durum flour).  You need more gluten so you might want to see if you can find some vital wheat gluten to add to your dough (along with some excess water).  You might also try using straight maida (no atta) with added vital wheat gluten to see if you get where you want to go with an open crumb.  The hydration will determine whether it is possible to get cell size you want.  While 75% is good when you have a high gluten flour, it is too much if you have a lower gluten flour (such as maida), and you will have to experiment to find the sweet spot for your particular ingredients.

If you are using an atta that is ground from another grain (non-durum), then the guidance is probably still good, but the amounts of VWG that you need is likely to be lower.

varda's picture

Paresh,  I've baked a few loaves with Atta - some with a starter made with white flour (I think Maida is the same thing) and some with an Atta starter.   I have posted a lot on the subject and all the difficulties of getting a well structured bread.   Here are a few links:  here and here and here.   I think Franko has had great success in making an Atta loaf with wheat starter so you should check this post as well.  Best of luck!  -Varda

Nim's picture


Thanks for the link to Franko's post! That is incredible atta bread; I agree with you about the differences between different attas' too. Gosh, now I am inclined to try atta bread again.