The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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

texasbakerdad's picture

(2-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.

This post is for the recipe for my second attempt to make the perfect loaf.


  • 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.

Modifications from Previous Bake

The last bake's rise took too long (20 hours). I need to get that down to something less than 10 hours. I am going to double my starter from 6% to 12%. And, I am going to make sure I use my starter at a more optimal time (in the morning or evening, versus what I did last bake which was to use it at 2pm). My guess is the rise will get end up somewhere between 4 and 8 hours depending on the temperature.

Last bake's dough was too dry for my liking. I am going to increase the hydration just a little bit, I want to increase it more, but I don't want to change too much too fast, especially since I am also doubling my starter. Old hydration 90% of wheat and oats (not including 50:50 starter), new hydration, 95% of wheat and oats (not including 50:50 starter).

5 minute knead using my ankersum with the dough hook attachment was not long enough, last bake I ended up doing a 10 minute mix. I updated my process to reflect that change.

I originally stated 50g of dough for the aliquot jar, but 20g is what I ended up using and was the perfect amount for the size jar I am using. I updated the recipe to reflect this fact.

The bread was slightly undercooked, increasing the bake time from 45min to 1hour.

FYI: My loaf size, about 1kg is a bit small for my huge pullman pans, I am OK with this for now, because I think a 1.5kg loaf is closer to the right size for these 14" pullmans. But, since I am experimenting at this point, I don't want to be making loafs that big just yet. I am fine with undersized loaves temporarily while I work out perfecting my rise. I think that I will leave honing in on the perfect loaf size for the pan as one of the last steps of my experimentation.

Second Attempt


  • 60g (12%) sourdough starter (50:50 hard red)
  • 50g rolled outs
  • 30g (6%) honey
  • 10g (2%) non-iodized salt
  • 30g (6%) virgin olive oil
  • 475g (95% 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: 475g 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 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 10 minutes.
  • 0:26: Transfer dough to proofing container with lid. Siphon off 20g 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 1 hour.
  • 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.