The Fresh Loaf

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Benito's 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough

fredsbread's picture

Benito's 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough

For today's bake, I decided to take a page from Benito's book and make a whole wheat sourdough with 2% vital wheat gluten and a bran scald. I used freshly milled hard red wheat and sifted it with a 50 mesh sieve.


  • 141g bran (13.8%)
  • 282g boiling water (27.6%)

Main dough

  • 828g sifted flour (81.1%)
  • 19g vital wheat gluten (1.9%)
  • 20g salt (2.0%)
  • 50g stiff starter (3.3% prefermented flour)
  • 508g water (49.7%)

12 hours after making the scald, I mixed the main dough. I let the main dough rest for 30 minutes, then mixed in the scald. 30 minutes later, I added 50g more water. I performed 3 sets of stretch and folds, then let it bulk ferment over night.

I happened to wake up at 1:45am and decided to check on the dough. In my delirium, I mixed up my starting and target volumes on my Cambro container, and didn't realize it until after I preshaped, shaped, and went back to bed. So I got up and put both loaves back into the bulk container.

I'm the morning, when it had actually doubled, I redivided, preshaped, shaped, and stuck the loaves in the fridge to proof. During the mixing and stretches, the dough felt very sticky, but by the time I shaped it, it felt somewhat stiff, like it still could've used at least 5% higher hydration.

After 8 hours in the fridge, I baked one of the loaves in a dutch oven, and I'll leave the other one in the fridge until we finish this first one. Overall, I'm very pleased with the shape of this loaf, although the volume seems small. I'm going to try to give the other loaf some time at room temperature to see if that helps with volume before I bake it.


jo_en's picture

Wow that looks great!!

I don't know how you can get anything through a 50 mesh screen.

fredsbread's picture

When I set my Komo Mio as fine as it goes without the stones touching, I get about 93% extraction through a 40 mesh screen and about 83% extraction through 50 mesh with hard red wheat. Hard white wheat gets a couple percent higher.

semolina_man's picture

Great looking bread!

Cutting board looks like it could absorb a bottle or more of food-grade mineral oil.

fredsbread's picture

Thanks! It's been a while since I oiled that board, it might be time for a touch up.

fredsbread's picture

Here's the crumb. Definitely tighter than ideal, but I'm not displeased with the number of bubbles. It's nice and soft and tastes great. Definitely one of the best whole wheat loaves I've ever made.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


JonJ's picture

Impressive bake, and I think the crumb is excellent too.

Didn't know Benny had a non-enriched wholewheat loaf recipe like this one!


CrustyJohn's picture

That's a wonderful shape and ear to the loaf!  In my efforts working with 100% ww loaves, I often have trouble getting a nice round, tall loaf like that even if the crumb turns out nice.  

fredsbread's picture

Thanks! I do wonder if the nice shape was from underdoing the hydration, but it may just have been from adding the vital wheat gluten. I've tried scalding/soaking the bran without adding gluten before and it didn't seem to work as well for me.

Benito's picture

Fred that turned out beautifully.  Very nice oven spring, the crumb is just lovely as well.