The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

65% whole wheat sourdough

Raluca's picture

65% whole wheat sourdough

I have baked a bread once every two days, so I’ve got solo many things to tell you, but the day is just not long enough.

Need to spend it with our wonderful 7 months old daughter, as well as baking bread, cooking some food and working on some exciting things that involve yarn and crochet, but more on that at the right time.

Today I want to tell you all about my first attempt at baking a whole wheat sourdough bread, well it’s not entirely whole wheat just 65% whole wheat, but your know what? We loved it like that and that’s why I want to share it with you.

I have used a recipe from the Weekend Bakery for this bread as well and I really need to thanks Marieke and Ed for posting about it and answering all the questions and comments they receive! Their website it’s simply a treasure  . 

Time schedule:

Day 1: Make the preferment leave for 12 hours at room temperature to mature. I don’t know exactly what the temperature in my kitchen is over night…I guess not above 21C.  I usually leave my preferment for around 12 hours until it’s nice and bubbly and has not sunk. You can test if it’s ready by putting a spoon of it in a bowl of water if it floats it’s ready  .

Day 2: Make the bread

    • Mix the preferment with the water and flour.
    • Leave to rest for 20mins (autolyse)
    • Add the salt and mix for 6 minutes on low speed
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Perform 1st stretch and fold
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Perform 2nd stretch and fold
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Shape the bread
    • Proof it for 150mins
    • Bake at 230C for 48mins

Sourdough culture: I use a 100% hydration sourdough culture: 90% whole wheat, 10% dark rye. 

Recipe for 1 loaf (aprox. 69% hydration)

Flour: For this loaf I used strong white organic flour from Shipton Mill and organic whole wheat flour from the same mill.

Ingredients for the preferment

Make it 12 hours before you want to start on your bread.

IngredientQuantityBaker’s %
Organic whole wheat flour65gr100%
Sourdough starter15gr23%

Method for the preferment

Dissolve the starter in the water, this is what I start with always. Add the flour and mix until well combined. Cover tightly with cling film and leave it to rest at room temperature for about 12 hours or as I said above: until it’s bubbly and floats. 

Ingredients for the bread

IngredientQuantityBaker’s %
Organic whole wheat flour225gr58%
Organic strong white flour160gr42%

Final baker’s percentage (including preferment)

IngredientQuantityBaker’s %
Sourdough culture15gr3.33%

Method for the bread

I dissolved the preferment in about 2/3 of the water and then added it to the flour. Mix and add the rest of the water until you have quite a weird and not smooth mass of wet flour coming together. Do NOT add the salt at this point.

I covered the bowl and left to rest for 30 minutes for the autolyse.

When the 30 minutes are up I add the salt and mix for around 6 minutes on low speed. I used the Kitchen Aid with the hook attachment this time. If you want to knead it by hand do it for about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean greased bowl (I used an oil spray to grease the bowl), cover it with cling film and leave it to rest for 50 minutes. 

When the 50 minutes are up you are ready for your first stretch and fold. If you are not familiar with this technique watch this video from the Weekend Bakery, that I find really useful.

I did my stretch and folds directly in the bowl, but you can either tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface or you can initially place your dough in a large rectangular container so you can do them directly in there.

Now cover the bowl again and leave to rest for another 50 minutes. Do another stretch and fold (the last one) and again leave to rest for 50 minutes.

After this final rest you need to shape your bread. I shaped this one as a boule again. I moved my shaped boule in a floured banneton, placed it in a plastic bag that I closed tightly and left it to proof for 2 hrs and 30 minutes.

You will need your oven to reach 230C so start pre-heating sometime after the proofing period has started, depending on your oven.

To bake the bread I use a 3cm thick granite baking stone, that needs at least 1h20 minutes in a 250C oven to heat up properly.

So, after the 2hrs and 30 minutes of proofing, I tipped my bread on a baking sheet scored it with a cross and put it in the oven.

I also keep in the oven one of the trays, while it is pre-heating, so it gets hot hot. Then, immediately after transferring the bread on the stone, I add a cup of hot water to the tray below to create some steam and shut the door quickly.


I baked this bread at 230C for 45 minutes. To get a nice crust open the oven door 5 minutes before the baking time is up, to release some of the steam. If your oven is as small as mine you will need to reduce the heat to about 215C, I think, after about 10 minutes otherwise the top of your bread will be burnt. I did it but a bit too late and you can see some of my “ear” got burnt  .

Resulting bread:

This is a very nice and tasty bread. It had a nice crust and crumb and very was very nutty and tasty, especially with butter. Alex enjoyed it very much toasted with butter and orange marmalade as well  .


dabrownman's picture

WW boule.  Boldly baked so the crust and crumb are top notch.  It has to taste great.  The crumb is especially good for so much whole grain.

Well done!

Raluca's picture

Thank you very much!

I need to do it again and try to bake it a bit less boldly ;)

isand66's picture

Very nice wholesome bread with a nice moist and open crumb.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


Raluca's picture

Thank you for reading :)

AnnaInMD's picture

lovely photographs !


Raluca's picture

Thank you very much Anna!