whole wheat sourdough

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Hearth Bread


100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Hearth Bread from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day

Process notes

Made one 1 1/2-pound loaf; followed the “purist” instructions (did not use commercial yeast)


Whole wheat sourdough starter

  • 29 gm Mother Starter
  • 85 gm hard white wheat flour, med-fine grind, 85°
  • 64 gm filtered water, 95°


  • Entire whole wheat sourdough starter
  • 15 gm honey
  • 170 gm filtered water, 95°
  • 15 gm vegetable oil
  • 227 gm hard white wheat, med-fine grind, 87°
  • 1 tsp salt

Day 1

9:00 a.m.: Combine starter ingredients. Mix with paddle attachment for 1 min. on low, then medium for 30 sec. Knead for 30 sec. then place in lightly oiled measuring cup, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Room temp: 76°.

12:45 p.m.: Starter has risen to 1 1/2 times original size. Make final dough, first mixing with dough hook, then moving to counter to knead for 4 minutes by hand. Perform 4 stretch & folds with 10-minute intervals.

1:50 p.m.: Place dough in tightly covered oiled bowl and leave on counter for 2 hrs 40 min, then refrigerate.

Day 2

9:00 a.m.:  Shape dough gently into a boule, without pressing out the air. Place in cloth-covered bowl, dusted with flour. Rise at room temp, 75°.

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3:00 p.m.: Place covered Dutch oven in oven and preheat to 500° with baking stone in place (following the Tartine baking instructions).

3:30 p.m.: Place dough in Dutch oven and score the top. Bake 20 min. then reduce temp to 450° and bake for 10 min. Then remove lid and bake 13 more min.

Stand bread up so it can cool from all sides.


The smell when this loaf was baking was incredible. The crust (which got crusty) tastes nutty and the crumb is on the creamy side. It’s not what I’d call “sour” — more like complex. It’s so much fun baking with the sourdough starter, and I’m excited to try lots of other things.

whole wheat sourdough

I had trouble getting the dough into the Dutch oven without distorting and squashing it. And I just never get great results when I score the loaf. I’d like to try not scoring, to see what happens.

The bottom was over-baked for my taste, which I’m guessing is from the double hit of baking stone and cast iron pot.

Adjustments for next time:

  • increase the dough quantity by 50% to see how a larger loaf impacts the flavor and texture
  • bake on the stone instead of in the Dutch oven
  • bake with the smooth side of the loaf down, to see if the rougher side opens up and browns nicer than the scoring attempts
  • no score on top
  • increase hydration to 85%
  • longer final proofing, perhaps overnight