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Wholemeal Sourdough Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Made with the simple basic ingredients of flour and water; this delicious wholemeal sourdough bread is the perfect recipe for all sourdough novices. There is no salt in this recipe but you can add half a teaspoon when you are making the dough.

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, Wholemeal, Without crystal sugar

Ingredients

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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. Re-dampen the tea towel if necessary, lay it over the bowl and leave in a warm place for 12 hours. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Ferment

  1. Once your starter is bubbly, stir the starter and then measure 50g of the starter into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 100g flour and 150ml water, stir to make a paste, cover with an upturned mixing 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. Add the flour and water to the bowl of ferment and stir to mix.
  2. When roughly mixed, add the salt and stir until incorporated.
  3. Using your hands gather everything, gently pressing into a sticky ball of dough. 
  4. Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour.
  5. Turn another large mixing bowl upside down, place it over 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 and sprinkle a large oven tray with flour 
  2. Knead the dough in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and put into the prepared banneton. 
  4. Cover with an upturned mixing bowl and leave to double in size, 2 – 4 hours.
  5. Pre-heat the oven.
  6. Remove the upturned bowl and very gently tip the dough onto the prepared oven tray and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. 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. 

Equipment

2 large mixing bowls, baneton, large oven tray and glass bowl

Temperature

220˚C, Fan 200˚C, 425˚F, Gas 7

Cooking time

40-45 minutes
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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