Wednesday 13 January 2021

95% wholemeal sourdough

I have to call this a 95% wholemeal loaf because I used a white wheat starter but it could easily be made 100% wholemeal by using a rye starter or a wholemeal wheat starter. Some adjustment may, as ever, needed to be made to the quantity of water. As always, the wetter the better.

I prefer my bread a little softer than a traditional crusty white Sourdough so I often add a lump of hard fat - butter usually or, as in this recipe, a hard vegan alternative such as Naturli. Hard fat seems to help keep the rise, while oil will soften the texture but the rise may be lessened. 

Wholemeal can have a slightly bitter taste, too, so I also like to add a sweetener to take the edge of that. Here I've used maple syrup but you could use honey, barley malt extract or brown sugar.


I started the pre-ferment the previous night

100g white wheat starter (100% hydration)

100g wholemeal flour

100g water

Leave covered at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, add:

450g strong organic wholemeal flour

270g water

30g hard fat (vegan block or butter)

20g maple syrup or honey

10g salt

Mix and leave to stand for 30-40 mins

Give the dough a short initial knead, it really needs no more than a minute. Then place in an oiled bowl and cover.

Prove at room temperature for about four hours. Do Stretches and Folds periodically.

I always find it hard to judge when the dough has doubled in size, and much depends on how active your starter is, but by the end of four hours you should feel the dough has grown considerably.

Handle it carefully as you cut it into two pieces and prepare for tin.

I used a long loaf tin but you could use two small tins.

Final prove approximately two hours

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 9/475°F/245°C

Bake under foil for 20 minutes.

I bake under foil to maintain moisture in the early baking period, then remove the foil to allow the crust to caramelise and crisp.

Remove foil and bake for a further 25 minutes.

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