The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Whole-wheat flour for sourdough starter

TDubba's picture

Whole-wheat flour for sourdough starter

New to the site, this is great! I followed a recipe that called for whole wheat flour for the initial starter. I also did one with unbleached all purpose flour. I’m just noticing that the whole wheat starter doesn’t seem to be producing bubbles the same way that the all purpose flour did. I don’t know how old my whole wheat flour is cannot be a problem?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer


Can you share a picture, or explain what you mean by that? Whole wheat absorbs much more water and consistency must be very different, so that will affect the way it looks.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Whole wheat use in a starter isn't a bad idea but you'll find that it won't behave the same way as AP flour. It does absorb more water but it's advantageous to use since it has more nutrient value that is stripped away from the AP during milling. The bran that remains in your WW flour can also diminish the ability to form gluten.

I suggest that you look into starters that use whole wheat flour. They're known as desem and have been described as useful in producing bread that is sweet rather than tangy as some starters can produce. There are some posts that are archived that deal with desem and can be found by searching. There are also articles available by searching the internet.