100% WHOLE WHEAT SOURDOUGH RECIPE
Allow about 24 hours for this recipe.
Makes 1 loaf (760g dough) - small/medium sized proving bannetons
80g Active starter (from starer build)
400g Kialla Stoneground Wholegrain Flour or Wholegrain Milling Stoneground Wholewheat Flour
285g Water (lukewarm)
8g Salt (preferably fine salt)
Makes 1 loaf (950g dough) - medium/large sized proving bannetons
100g active starter (from starter build)
500g Kialla Stoneground Wholegrain Flour or or Wholegrain Milling Stoneground Wholewheat Flour
355g Water (lukewarm)
10g Salt (preferably fine salt)
Recommended: Watch the demonstration video & read through the instructions below to familiarise yourself with the process before starting.
1. PREPARING THE STARTER BUILD
Every time you bake a loaf of sourdough, you must do a starter build. This means 4-6 hours before you plan to mix the dough, combine the starter, flour & water for the starter build & mix well to combine. Depending on which size loaf you choose to bake you will use 80g or 100g of this for the dough; retain the rest for maintaining your starter.
Please note: If your starter is not as active (no bubbles) or is hungry (smells very sour or vinegary) please feed your starter several times with a 1:4:4 ratio - starter: flour: water (e.g 5g starter: 20g flour: 20g water), wait for it to double (peak) before doing your starter build. Anytime you use your starter it should always smell sweet rather than sour.
2. BUILD THE DOUGH
At least 1-hour before you plan to mix the dough, place the water in a mixing bowl & then add the flour. Using the a bowl scraper or Danish dough whisk, mix all the flour & water together into a shaggy dough. Don’t worry if there are still dry bits. This will sort it self out after 1-hour rest, this is often referred to as the “autolyse” stage. Cover with a damp tea towel & set aside in a warm place for its autolyse. This is an important step (especially when working with mostly wholegrain flours) to help the flour & water come together.
After 1-hour (autolyse), add your active starter & salt. Now roll your sleeves up and have a bowl of water handy. Before mixing with your hands, wet them in the bowl & begin to mix by rotating the bowl with one hand & using your other hand to massage & fold the edges into the centre. Do this for a 3 minutes or until the starter & salt is fully incorporated into the dough. At this point your dough will still look a little shaggy (that’s ok!) just make sure there are no dry lumps.
Cover with a damp cloth & rest at room temperature (24 -26 degrees celsius is preferred) for around 30-45 minutes. If your room temperature is a cooler (below 21), than leave to rest for 1 hour or when you're dough looks relaxed.
3. STRETCH & FOLD ( COIL FOLDS)
Folding rather than kneading your dough is preferred & will give you a better result. Stretching & folding your dough will strengthen, tighten & makes it easier to work with (less sticky). Please note weaker or low protein flours will require more folds.
Before you start, wet your hands. Use one hand to hold & turn the bowl, while the other hand to fold - folding the edges of the dough up & into itself, rotating the bowl as you go. Do this 5-6 times until the dough feels tight. Turn the dough over so the smooth side is facing up. Cover with a wet tea towel or lid & rest for 30-45 minutes to allow the gluten to relax & fermentation to occur.
For the last 3 folds, we will switch to a coil folding technique, which focuses on folding the dough instead of stretching it. This is a gentler method & one that helps to trap tiny air bubbles created during fermentation & helps give your bread an airy crumb. Best to watch the video for this one.
Wet both hands, then tuck your fingers under the dough to lift it out of the bowl, then placing it gently back down but making sure the stretched side is folded under the dough. Now turn the bowl 180 degrees and do the same again. Finally lift the dough one last time to fold the two open ends under. Keep the dough smooth side up and cover with a wet towel to let it rest for 45 minutes or until your dough has relaxed. Repeat this 2 more times.
- A stiff dough will require less sets of folds at longer intervals. If you can no longer stretch & fold your dough, than do not force it.
- Wetter doughs will require more sets of folds at shorter intervals.
- It’s important to read your dough & observe how quickly/slowly it relaxes.
4. BULK PROVING
After doing your final set of coil folds, cover your bowl with a damp cloth & let the dough rest & ferment, this typically takes 3-4 hours sometimes longer depending on your dough & room temperature. The aim of the "bulk proving" is to build up the gluten structure & gives the yeast a chance to leaven the dough.
At this point, the dough will rise & feel stronger & show signs of fermentation (bubbles & sweet fermented smell). Bulk times above are a guide only & beginners should read the dough. Typically the dough should almost double in size before proceeding to the next step - shaping.
Learning to read these signs & knowing when it is ready to shape can take time to understand, every bake is never the same, so it takes persistence & experience (through baking) to fully understand the process. Be kind to yourself, learn from your mistakes & enjoy the process!
5. PRE SHAPE & FINAL SHAPING
Pre-shaping is an important step to build one last final strength into the dough & knocking out any large irrelevant air bubbles. If left alone, can create large holes in your loaf as seen in image below by one of our beginner bakers’s @alex_mieko
After your dough has done its bulk proving, tip the dough onto a slightly moist bench (prevents dough from sticking). Using firm pressure to create tension - pull the dough towards you to create tension on the smooth side (best to watch the video at 40 seconds in if you’re unsure). You want to achieve a tight ball without breaking the smooth surface of the dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes before the final shaping.
Before doing the final shape, dust your bannetons with some flour to stop it from sticking. You can use just bread flour or rice/semolina flour, its really a personal preference.
When the dough has relaxed, flip your dough over (seam side up) & shape your dough as per the video for an oval banneton shape.
HOW TO SHAPE ROUND
Flip your dough over (seam side up) & pull the sides into the centre until you create a tight ball & turn it over smooth side facing up. Then pull the dough ball towards, turning it you to create more tension without breaking the smooth surface. Place the dough ball inside your round banneton with seam side facing up. See our round shaping video here.
Lastly, dust the tops with a little flour before covering with a plastic bag. You may like to bake it the same day, just let it rest at room temperature for a few hours before baking. For amazing flavour, we recommend putting the whole banneton into the fridge covered overnight.WHY OVERNIGHT FRIDGE PROVING?
Though optional, a long slow fermentation at this final stage leads to better flavour development in your bread. It also allows your bread to take on the shape of the banneton better, giving it improved shape & outer surface for scoring.
5. BAKE YOUR BREAD (DUTCH OVEN METHOD)
This is the preferred method for baking bread at home. If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can buy one here.
Preheat your oven to the maximum temperature (230 degrees Celsius or more) and place your dutch oven inside. Heat for 45 minutes.
Place a piece of baking paper (slightly longer & wider than your loaf) onto your bench. Take your dough out of the fridge & sprinkle some semolina on top (optional), then tip the loaf out of the proving banneton onto the paper, seam side down. Bread can be baked straight from the fridge. See video to see how it’s done.
Use your baker's lame/blade to score the top of the loaf with a 2-3mm cut. This allows the loaf to expand & rise with the help of the steam & hot pan. Carefully transfer the loaf into the hot Dutch oven, put 2 cubes of ice, then pop the lid back on & into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on.
After 20 minutes, carefully take the lid off the dutch oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before cutting.