The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

20% Whole Wheat Sourdough

Carlo_Panadero's picture

20% Whole Wheat Sourdough

This maybe the simplest recipe and something that always works for me. I’m posting probably almost the same recipe but different approach or methods every week, but this is the only way I can achieve consistency upon my bakes..



70g Whole  wheat

280g Premium Bakers Flour

260g Water ?

70g Starter(100% hydration)

7g Salt ? 



Mixer is used

-1 hour Autolyse

-30 minutes rest after mixing starter

-1 hour rest after adding salt b4 doing 1 S & F

-5 hours Bulk Fermentation @ 24c deg

-2 sets of coil folds

-no pre-shape, rested on banneton for 30 minutes 

-16 hours cold retard


Baked on steel plate covered with stainless steel bowl for 20 minutes @ 250c Deg, another 25 minutes @ 230c Deg uncovered.


Floydm's picture

Gorgeous loaf and crumb.

Would you mind if I featured this on of the homepage for a bit? I love simple formulas like this.

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thank you! I would love to have this featured! 

Benito's picture

Handsome loaf Carlo and congratulations on the front page feature.


Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thanks Benny! 

Danni3ll3's picture

Love the oven spring and the crumb. Awesome job!

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thank you! a very nice oven spring indeed..

vstyn's picture

Excellent looking bread and I bet it tasted good too. Thanks for the recipe and direction.

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thank you and your welcome! We're half way through it! 

Isand66's picture

Awesome crumb.  Sometimes the simplest way is the best.  
Congrats on the front page!


Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thanks Ian! So true the more you try to make it complicated the more you will fail..




alessia's picture

Is it same as strong white bread flour? 

Do you feed the starter just before using it?


Thank you!

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Yes that’s the same! I do feed my starter the night before and normally collapsed when I need to use it in the morning.. thank you!!

vdalis's picture

I am new to this site. Your bread is beautiful. You mentioned that you use a stand mixer. Would you mind letting me know how long you are mixing the water and flour for autolyse before the 1 hour rest? How long do you let the mixer run when adding the starter? How long do you let the mixer run when adding the salt?  When does the 5 hour bulk fermentation start? 30 minutes in between each coil fold set? I am new to sourdough and trying to understand all of this. ANy help wold be greatly appreciated.

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Flour and water mixing took about 2 minutes then I let it rest for an hour for Autolyse, then I added my starter and mixed for another 2 to 3 minutes then I let it rest for another 30 minutes before adding the salt and mixing it until gluten is develop or I would say the dough is not stick on the bowl.


Mixing it would take up to 20 minutes for it to develop gluten(7 minutes continues mix/7 minutes rest/6 minutes mix - on medium to high speed) the best way is to mix and rest (My point of view). As soon as you see that the dough comes together and not sticking stop mixing and let it rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour,  then do one stretch and fold to release the dough from the bowl.


Transfer the dough to a new and oiled bowl and let it rest for an hour before doing your coil folds and another after an hour then let it bulk ferment until almost double in volume.  Times will vary depending on temperature, Mine took about 5 hours on a room temp of probably 24°C to 25°C room temp.

JettBakes's picture

Gorgeous inside and out, Carlo. Recipe and process very similar to Kristen's of Fullproof Baking fame. I use her recipe all of the time.

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thank you! Kristen is amazing!

peter_Kaye's picture

Method says "-1 hour rest after adding salt b4 doing 1 S & F".  What does 1 S & F mean?

Danni3ll3's picture

^^ ?

Gadjowheaty's picture

Beautiful bread.  Going to do this one next.

Do I understand you're doing one envelope fold to release the loaf, then only 2 coil folds total, over the first 2 hours only of the bulk?

edit:  "slap and fold." lol.

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Thank you! Yeah stretch and folds to release the dough from the bowl, then did 5 hours of bulk ferment/proof with 2 coils folds(Either 30 minutes interval or 1 hour)

Carlo_Panadero's picture

I may have been confusing everyone, S and F = stretch and folds.

Gadjowheaty's picture

One other question I have, and this goes as a general question - is on the degree of bulk fermentation development.  _JC_ I see you call here for a doubling and this wouldn't be the first time I've seen that benchmark (probably like many, it was my working presumption ever since beginning baking).  Yet Trevor and others I've followed call only for anywhere from 1.33 to 1.5X.  It's been my experience that allowing a doubling with these loaves has resulted in dough soup, really acidic and glutens destroyed.  Could you or others perhaps discuss this?  Many thanks.

NotBadBread's picture

I've wondered about this quite a bit as well-- with my approach, the dough starts to get quite wobbly if it gets much past 1.33X rise (never mind 2x). I've always marveled at the folks who seem to be able to push BF so much longer! Is it, perhaps, related to the fact that mechanical mixing is imparting a tremendous amount of additional strength to the dough...?

Carlo_Panadero's picture

So true that over fermented doughs will have gluten breakdown and no way anyone can shape that(Focaccia?) from my point of view it looks like it has doubled and I may have been doing 1.5x all along which I am not aware of. The only way this can be monitored is by using internal dough temperature and using the same recipe over and over, minding room temperature and your time to be spent on the dough/bake.

Have you tried measuring your internal dough temp? I have been experimenting with temperatures and PH level now in which to control how and what type of crumb I would like to have as the end products.

Biased turkey's picture
Biased turkey

Nice simple recipe , looking good

snaps's picture

what a beautiful crumb! thanks for the formula, simple and straightforward. I’m gna try it! 

snaps's picture

So I tried this recipe yesterday and this was what I got:


The only changes I made was; 

1. reserve 50g of the water in the mixing stage

2. mixed in the salt together with the levain + reserved water

I do feel that I could cold retard this for longer, I did a 15 hr retard. I might go for 18 hours the nxt time. 

Thanks for the recipe! 

Carlo_Panadero's picture

Been a while since I log in, beautiful bake! Stay on 15 hour cold proof and adjust your bulk fermentation hours.. then do both..'s picture

I'm a Newbe and the formula, for me, needs decoding.  I am sure in time I will fully be on par with you with the terminology, but for now the formula is Greek to me.

Carlo_Panadero's picture

It’s called bakers math, 100% is your total flour weight and anything you add will be based on your flour weight. Example:

1000g Flour (and you prefer 20% of this to be in whole wheat then you do - 1000 x 0.20 = 200 so your whole wheat amount will be 200g, deduct that 200g from 1000g and will give you 800g of white flour)

from that 1000g you have 200g of whole wheat and 800g white flour.

for Starter again use 1000g to get the % you want, I.e. 1000 x 0.20(20%) gives you 200g of starter. A very common starter is what we call liquid starter which is equal amounts of flour and water that’s why it’s called 100% hydration.

same goes with hydration 1000 x 0.80(80%)will give you 800g of water

your recipe will be as follows

1000g Flour(20% whole wheat)

800g water(80% hydration)

200g Starter(20% starter)

20g Salt(2%) - 1000 x 0.02

common terms:

CF - coil folds

S & F - Stretch and folds and can be slap and folds(slap and folds introduced by Richard Bertinet)

Hydration - refers on the amount of water

Inoculation - amount of starter

Bulk fermentation - this starts when dough mixing is done and ends when shaped.

proof of prove - starts when dough is in the banneton or shaped.

Cold proof/retard - means proofing in a very cold temperature (fridge) most of the time 5c deg below or lower.

and many more…

hope this helps.. happy baking!

Muchohucho's picture

This is almost exactly how I normally make bread, except perhaps I use different flours my autolyse is usually about 30 minutes, then mix in salt, rest for 30 minutes, then coil or stretch once per 30-40 minutes about three times then finish bulk, preshape, shape fridge for 14-16 hours. . My crumb never looks like this though. I'm trying to figure out why.