100% whole grain sourdough bread is rich, dense and moist. It has a full-bodied flavour that will remind you of chocolate, coffee and relaxing Sunday mornings. Whole grain sourdough is not only healthier, it also makes a really good sourdough culture.
So let go of the idea that 100% whole grain sourdough bread is just about the good-for-you-fiber, and embrace it as something that deserves its own recognition, as a bread that is meant to be noticed, tasted and enjoyed.
Experiment with different grains!
This recipe will work for any whole grain, gluten containing flour. However, the flavour and density of the bread will change depending on the flour you use. Also, the water to flour ratio may need to be adjusted depending on the type of flour.
Here is how to adjust the recipe for the particular type of flour.
- I created this recipe using 100% dark rye. Since dark rye is heavy flour that is low in gluten, it results in a dense and moist loaf.
- Light rye is also lower in gluten, however the bran and germ have been removed, so the bread will be lighter.
- The water ratio in this recipe will also remain the same for barley, kamut, einkorn and emmer (affiliate links.)
- Higher gluten flours usually absorb more water, so add an extra 1/4 cup of water. when making this bread with whole grain wheat, spelt or red fife.
- For a white flour loaf of sourdough bread, try making pain de compagne instead.
Why not try this recipe with different flours or using a mix of flours 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!
100% Whole Grain Sourdough Bread
This 100% whole grain sourdough bread is a rich and delicious. It is perfect sliced fresh with butter or toasted for breakfast. It can be made with rye, barley, spelt or whole wheat. See the section above for more information.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 loaves 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Sourdough
- Cuisine: Eastern European
- 7 1/2 cups (31 oz) whole grain flour (see notes)
- 3 cups (24 oz) warm water
- 1 cup (7 1/4 oz) sourdough starter
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast (optional, to improve the rise)
- Warm the water to approx. 32-35 C / 90-95 F, and mix with the flour. Leave the flour to hydrate for 15-30 minutes.
- Using the pincer method, mix in the sourdough starter, salt and yeast. The dough should be stiff but not dry. If needed add a bit more water or flour.
- 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 kneading.
- Place the dough balls in floured baskets, then place in an air-tight container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. (I use bowls lined with floured tea towels with dinner plates on top of the bowls.)
- 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 was designed for lower gluten flours like rye and barley. When making it with whole wheat or spelt add 1/4 cup more water.
- This recipe requires an active sourdough starter. I recommend making your own rather than buying one. Rye is especially good at catching a sourdough culture. The extra yeast isn’t necessary if you have a very healthy sourdough starter.
- For more information on the pincer method and folding techniques read the basic sourdough bread techniques.
- I recommend baking in a cast iron dutch oven or a metal loaf pan as free form baking will result in a fairly flat loaf of bread.
Keywords: dairy free, egg free, vegan, fall, 10 ingredients or less, winter, red fife, spelt, barley, rye, kamut, einkorn, emmer