The Fresh Loaf

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread


This is another of my favorite breads. Slightly sweet, but also tangy, it’s perfect for sandwiches, but also stands well alone, with just a bit of butter.

Whole wheat flour: 100%
Salt: 2%
Water or milk: 75%
Honey: 4.2%
Unsalted butter: 2.8%

30% of the flour is in the whole-wheat starter. (I’ll give two options, one for starter at 100% hydration and another at 60% hydration)


Whole wheat flour: 500 grams or about 4 cups
Salt: 10 grams or 1.25 tsp
•    Using a wet starter: 225 grams or 1 cup
•    Using a stiff starter: 285 grams or 1.25 cups
Whole wheat Starter: Two options
•    Wet starter (100% hydration) 300 grams or 1 ¼ cup
•    Stiff starter (60% hydration) 240 grams or 1 cup
Honey: 21 grams or 1 Tbs
Unsalted butter: 14 grams or 1 Tbs

Dissolve the starter into the water, and then add the salt. Melt the butter and stir in the honey – add both to the water. Finally add the flour and mix until all is hydrated.

Dough development and the first rise

However you develop the dough, from the time you mix until the time you shape the dough, it’ll take about 3 to 4 hours for the first rise at room temperature.

Shape into a sandwich loaf and place it in a greased 8.5”x 4.5” pan.

Second rise and retarding

Sourdoughs benefit quite a bit from retarding – they often taste better. You can simply cover the shaped dough and place it in the fridge or, if you’re lucky and the overnight temperature will be between 45 and 55, you can simply place it outside, in which case the bread will probably be ready to bake when you wake up.

If you put it in the fridge, it’ll need to warm up for 3-4 hours to complete its rise.

If you don’t want to bother with retarding, you can let it rise for another 3 hours at room temperature. You can also speed things up (and increase sourness) by placing the dough on an upturned bowl in the bottom of a picnic cooler, throwing a cup of boiling water in the bottom and covering it quickly. After an hour, throw another cup of hot water in. The rise should only take a couple of hours this way.

There’s no need to score the bread, but I often do anyway. Bake for about 55 minutes at 350 degrees F. No steam or pre-heating required.