The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

(1-recipe) Journey to perfect a 100% WW Sourdough Pullman Loaf

texasbakerdad's picture

(1-recipe) Journey to perfect a 100% WW Sourdough Pullman Loaf

The wife has tasked me to come up with a sandwich bread recipe our family can bake at least once a weak to completely replace our regularly purchased box store sandwich bread.


  • Soft and light
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Recipe must be easily repeatable and easy to execute.
  • Recipe must be designed for a covered pullman loaf pan.
  • My 12 year old daughter must be able to bake the bread from start to finish
  • Sourdough leavening only.
  • From start to finish, the bread must be completable in 1 day.
  • Process must exist to enable the baker to know with reasonable certainty that the loaf is perfectly proofed.
  • Dough needs to contain a few softened chewy seeds, grain berries, etc. for texture and flavor. 


I am going to start with a txfarmer's recipe ( and modify from there. I imagine it is going to take me somewhere between 5 to 10 bake days to hammer out the base recipe. To help perfect the proofing, I am going to use an aliquot jar.

At first, I am going to leave out any interesting seeds, nuts, and berries until the base recipe is sorted out.

My goal at first will be to get an optimal texture, hydration level, and rise.

To keep the process as simple as possible, I am going to at least at first, try to get away without any folding of the dough during the bulk rise.

First Attempt


  • 30g (6%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 450g (90% if you include rolled oats) well water
  • 450g hard white wheat (sifted to remove bran)
  • sifted bran to be used as topping


  • 0:00: In large mixing bowl, add: 450g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 0:10: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 0:11: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 0:21: Smear 30g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • 0:26: Transfer dough to proofing container with lid. Siphon off 50g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • Estimate a 2 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 2x rise.
  • 2:26: Preshape dough into ball, let sit for 10 min.
  • 2:36: Shape dough into log and place into prepared pullpan pan, cover with plastic wrap.
  • Estimate a 1.5 hour rise time, but will move to next step when aliquot jar shows 3.5x rise.
  • 3:36: Preheat oven 375dF
  • 4:06: Assuming aliquot jar shows 3.5x rise, sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 45 minutes.
  • 4:56: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 1 hour.
  • 5:56: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.

I am going to get my butt off the couch and try this out. I hope it all goes well.


GaryBishop's picture

I've been baking txfarmer's recipe for years with small tweaks and mistakes. I look forward to your results. 

GaryBishop's picture

Have you considered using a tiny pan for your experiments? This one is 4x4x4. Here is another small one

texasbakerdad's picture

A small pullman would be nice right about now.

Benito's picture

I’ve just recently become interested in baking sandwich loaves so I will follow your posts with great interest.


peacecow's picture

Very interested to see the process and results. I love multigrain breads, so I'm especially curious to see what you put in.

texasbakerdad's picture

Rough night. My aliquot didn't get to 2.5x until I woke up this morning. I transferred to bulk proof at 2:30p yesterday, I kept thinking the dough was going to take off any minute, so I stayed up. I didn't see any evidence of activity until 11pm. Worried I was going miss the peak, I decided to try and watch a couple movies. I finally gave up at about 1:30am and the aliquot was at about 1.5x, I set an alarm to wake up every 2 hours, at 3:30am it was at 2x but I was too tired to deal with it. At 7am it was at 2.5x, so I willed myself to get up and started shaping.

The slowness of the rise surprised me. There are a couple reasons this might have happened.

  • I am used to the house being between 78-80dF, and even hotter in the kitchen because we are always cooking in there. But, it has been a bit colder lately, so the kitchen was 72-78dF.
  • Because I got a late start on my bake day, my starter wasn't at optimum health. Best times to use my starter are at its peaks (when I feed in the morning and evening), I used the starter at 2pm.

One other unknown I need to google:

  • This is the first time I have used boiled oats in a recipe. Does that have effect on rise rate? I definitely let the hot oats cool quite a bit before before adding the starter. The autolysed dough was warm, but no where near hot.  

Moving on, I am going to load the loaf into the oven in 15 minutes. It will be near a 3x rise at that point. I am really loving the aliquot, because...

  1. I can carry it around from room to room as my little biological timing friend.
  2. Once I put the loaf in the oven and stop the rise, I can keep the aliquot going and get a better feel for whether or not I loaded too early.

My plan is to write a blog post for the loaf when the bake is complete. And, I am going to start my second bake this morning, so my second blog post will be the recipe for the second bake, the 3rd blog post will be the results of the first bake.

P.S. I am excited there are 3 other people interested in the results. I hope I succeed!