The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

(4-results) Journey to perfect a 100% WW Sourdough Pullman Loaf

texasbakerdad's picture

(4-results) Journey to perfect a 100% WW Sourdough Pullman Loaf

In the immortal words of the Commodores:
"Ow, she's a brick house"

Wells fellas and gals, this bake did not go so well.


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 results of my 4th 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.
  • Don't use bran flakes as a bread topping.
  • 1.5 out of 10 on the TexasBakerDad sourness scale, whatever the heck that means :-)

Summary of the Bake

The Good:

  • The bake was much simpler.
  • Because the loaf shrunk in the oven, it was super easy to get out of the pan. Which isn't saying much since my loaves are usually easy to get out of the pan... but hey, I am trying to be positive :-)
  • It was cool to see how the stark difference between two bakes, one with stretch and folds and shaping and the other without.

The Bad:

  • Because I didn't have any stretch and folds, didn't have any shaping, the dough had no structure. And when I stuck the loaf in the oven, the loaf, along with my ego, deflated. The loaf was sad looking, it came out of the oven smaller than when it went in.
  • This bake could have gone better, but I would have had to proof the dough less (stick it in the oven earlier). Or found a way to build dough strength before putting the dough in the pan... Maybe I can use the Ankersum to create a lot of structure up front, enough structure to shape it immediately and then put the loaf into the pullman.

What to do Next:

  • I am going to try this again, but this time I am going to play around with building more strength and structure during kneading using my ankersum.
  • If that fails, then 2 bakes from now, I might redo this exact same bake but put the loaf in the oven earlier.

The Final Recipe:


  • 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


  • 9:08a: In large mixing bowl, add: 475g of boiling water, 50g rolled oats, 30g honey, 10g salt. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • 9:18a: Mix in 30g olive oil
  • 9:19a: Without kneading, mix the 450g of hard white wheat to combine into a shaggy mess. Let autolyze for 10 minutes
  • 9:29a: Smear 60g starter over the top of the dough mess. Use mixer or hand to knead at medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • 9:34a: Let dough rest for 10 minutes before putting in pan.
  • 9:35a: Prepare pullman pan, liberally butter all sides and apply flour.
  • 9:44a: Transfer dough to pullman pan. Siphon off 20g of dough to aliquot jar.
  • 4:30p: Preheat oven 375dF
  • By 5:08p, the aliquot had risen to about 2x.
  • 5:08p: Brush top of loaf with melted butter and sprinkle bran on top of loaf, put lid on pullman and stick in oven for 1 hour 30 min.
  • 6:38p: Pull from oven, transfer loaf to rack. Let rest until cool, probably 2.5 hours.
  • 9:08p: Slice using slicer then put loaf in plastic bread bag to keep it soft.

The aliquot right before I loaded the loaf into the oven.

The dough loaded into pullman 10 minutes after kneading with the ankersum