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Sourdough Wholemeal Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Made with the simple basic ingredients of flour and water, you cannot hurry sourdough bread making.

For additional guidance with hints and tips, see our Guide to Sourdough Making alongside our handy Sourdough Starter Chart.

Free from Egg, Soya, Dairy, Nuts
Vegetarian, Vegan, Without crystal sugar


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Starter – use this handy chart to help you keep track of your feeding times.

  1. On the first day, put one tablespoon of flour and one of water into a 500ml glass bowl and mix together.
  2. Wet a clean tea towel, wring it out well, lay it over the bowl and leave in a warm place for about 12 hours.
  3. After the 12 hours have passed, add another tablespoon of flour and another of water, mix together, cover with the damp tea towel and leave for another 12 hours.
  4. On day two (24 hours since beginning your starter), stir in a third tablespoon of flour and a third spoon of water, stir to mix, cover again with the damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.
  5. For the second feed of day two, add a tablespoon of flour and one of water, stir to mix, cover with the damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.
  6. For the first feed of day three (36 hours since beginning your starter), increase the feed by adding two tablespoons of flour and two of water, stir to mix.
  7. Re-dampen the tea towel if necessary, lay it over the bowl and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.
  8. On the second feed of day three, add one tablespoon of flour and another of water, mix together, cover loosely and leave for another 12 hours.
  9. At this point your starter should be bubbly and ready to create your ferment. If the starter is not showing bubbles, repeat the 12-hour feed and water routine, and ensure the starter is kept in a warm place.


  1. Once your starter is bubbly, stir it and measure 50g of the starter into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 100g flour and 150ml water, stir until lump free.
  3. Invert a large bowl over the dough bowl and leave in a warm place for 4-12 hours until bubbles appear. When bubbly, your ferment is ready to use (you can either dispose of any unused starter after bread making or keep and feed it regularly until your next baking session).

1st Dough

  1. Pour the tepid water into the ferment and mix well.
  2. Add the flour and stir to mix.
  3. When roughly mixed, sprinkle the salt over the top and stir until incorporated.
  4. Using your hands gather everything together, gently pressing into a ball of dough.
  5. Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour.
  6. Invert the larger mixing bowl over the dough bowl and leave in a warm place until double in size which may take 4–12 hours.

2nd Dough

  1. Dust the inside of the banneton liberally with flour.
  2. Run a spatula around the edge of the swollen dough.
  3. Pour the oil onto the dough and dip your fingers in the oil.
  4. Pick up the dough on the far side of the bowl, gently pulling and stretching it upwards then fold it forward onto the dough still left in the bowl.
  5. Turn the dough a quarter to the left or right.
  6. Repeat the action of lifting and stretching the dough then folding back onto itself five or six times, turning the bowl each time.
  7. Tuck the edges of the dough under to make a ball of dough.
  8. Transfer the dough into the floured banneton with the smoothest side down.
  9. Cover with an upturned mixing bowl and leave to roughly double in size, 2-12 hours.


  1. Pre-heat the oven 20 minutes before you are going to bake.
  2. Dust an oven tray with flour or insert a baking liner.
  3. Remove the upturned bowl and very gently tip the dough onto the oven tray.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Click this link to find a handy Sourdough Starter Chart which when printed has space for you to enter the day and time that you feed your starter with flour and water and to help monitor progress.

This Guide to Sourdough Making contains lots of hints and tips for successful sourdough bread making. 


2 x large mixing bowls, banneton, large oven tray and 500ml glass bowl


220˚C, Fan 200˚C, 425˚F, Gas 7

Cooking time

35-40 minutes
This recipe forms the core of most of my bread baking. I have also successfully used it as the basis for 50/50 white wholemeal bread too, which makes a nice light loaf. I dont have a banneton, but use a colander and tea towel with no problems. It's nice dusted with polenta before going in the banneton (helps with sticking too). I've reduced the salt, due to some lifestyle changes, and the loaf is still very tasty!
By Lucy Wallace
28 Oct 2020
I have my own starter and have tried various sourdough recipes. This is by far the best and most reliable. Ratios are perfect (I did include a teaspoon of salt) and the method is foolproof. With wholemeal flour you don't get a huge additional rise during the baking phase but that's the nature of the flour. I also tried this method using strong white flour (reducing the amount of water for the dough from 175ml to 150ml) and the result was also excellent with a very good final rise in the oven.
By alpen
14 Jun 2020
This is an excellent recipe. The ratios are perfect. But yes ... NEEDS SALT. Add 7g of salt at the 1st dough stage and you'll have perfect bread.
By D
10 Dec 2019
This makes a nice loaf, only thing that I would say is missing is it needs a bit of salt and sugar. Just to bring out the flavours a bit more. But it did make a perfectly risen loaf of sourdough
By Naomi
21 Nov 2019

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