Wholegrain sourdough bread deserves to be noticed, explored and tasted. Though the grain results in a loaf that is dense and moist, it is wonderful for feeding a sourdough culture, creating a bread has a rich tasting, full bodied flavour that will remind you of chocolate, coffee and a perfect Sunday morning. Toasting a wholegrain bread elevates the flavour, making it the perfect accompaniment for fried eggs and tomatoes.
So I ask you to let go of the idea that wholegrain is best eaten for the good-for-you-fiber, and embrace it as something that deserves it’s own recognition, as a bread that is meant to be noticed and tasted.
I’ve written this recipe for rye flour. However, you can use any wholegrain gluten containing flour. The flavour and density of the bread will change depending on the flour you use!
The loaf in the photo below is made with 100% dark rye. Since dark rye is lower in gluten and quite a heavy flour it results in a dense and moist loaf.
The water ratio for this recipe will probably remain the same for barley, kamut, einkorn and emmer. Higher gluten flours will likely require a bit more water, so I would recommend adding around 1/4 cup more water when making this bread with wholegrain wheat, spelt or red fife flours. If you want a white flour loaf, then check out this recipe instead.
Why not try this recipe with different flours or mixing them up to create your own perfect combination? I would love to know what flours you used and how the loaf worked out. Share in the comments below or on our Facebook Page!
- Initial Starter Feeding
- Sourdough starter (1¼ oz or 5 tbsp) -see notes below
- Rye flour (6 oz or 1⅓ cups)
- Warm water (5 oz or ⅔ cups)
- Main Dough
- Dark rye flour (28 oz or 7 cups)
- Warm water (22 oz or 2¾ cups)
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tsp instant yeast (optional, to improve the rise)
- Start with an initial feed of your starter. Warm 5 oz of water to approximately 29-32 C / 84-90 F. Mix with the sourdough starter and 6 oz of rye flour, cover with a towel and leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours to make sure your starter is good and bubbly.
- Warm the remaining water to approx. 32-35 C / 90-95 F, and mix with the remaining flour. Leave the flour to hydrate for 15-30 minutes.
- Mix in all of the remaining ingredients.
- Allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in volume (about 5 hours). Use the dough folding procedure 3-4 times during this rise. (See notes).
- Place the dough on a well floured surface and cut into 2 equal pieces.
- Gently shape the dough into a ball, using flour as needed, but avoid kneeding.
- Place the dough balls in floured baskets (or bowls lined with floured tea towels), then cover with an airtight cover and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 500 F (250 C).
- Bake for 30 minutes covered (if using a dutch oven) then cook uncovered until dark brown (about 20 minutes).
- Cool on a rack before slicing.
-This recipe requires an active sourdough starter. I recommend making your own rather than buying one.
-My folding technique is illustrated and described in the basic sourdough bread techniques.
-I recommend baking in a cast iron dutch oven or a metal loaf pan for baking these loaves. Free form baking will result in a fairly flat loaf of bread.