Wholemeal Sourdough Recipe

using the Porridge Method.Wholemeal Sourdough

You can use any type of sourdough starter in this recipe - see sourdough starters for details. It's assisted by the 'porridge' of wholemeal flour prepared beforehand, through which an ideal food is made available for the sourdough yeasts to feed on.

This recipe will make a lovely soft wholemeal sourdough. The Blanching technique (porridge) documented is great for wholemeal flours of any kind, because it gets the bran really well softened.

The liquid sourdough starter technique is the preferred method for this recipe. You can also use the dry dough sourdough starter technique, but you may need to add a little more water - measurements are bandwidth only - you will adjust by feel once you get to know these recipes.

Wholemeal Sourdough (Porridge Dough) Recipe

This recipe makes 2 fairly large loaves, about a kilo each. The technique of doing the dough in two stages is really good for stonemilled wholemeal flour, because it will allow the flour to become fully moistened and thus make it softer. It's known as the 'Porridge Method', because it helps to soften and fully hydrate the wholemeal flour. You will need to plan a day ahead.

Wholemeal sourdough (porridge method) Stage One.

You'll need:

  • 500 grams of wholemeal stone milled wheat flour (if you can't get stone milled flour, you can substitute regular wholemeal flour)
  • 500 mls of very warm water

Method:Mixing flour and water porridge


Mix the water and the flour together in a plastic container with a loose fitting lid, using a wooden or plastic spoon. Don't worry about mixing it too much - loose and lumpy is fine. Place in the fridge overnight.

Stir it again when it comes out of the fridge.






Wholemeal sourdough Stage 2.

You'll need:

  • 500g of 80/20 stonemilled wheat flour (or spelt of the same grade will also work)
  • 200 - 400 ml of warm water (depending on the grade of flour you use - if it's wholemeal, it'll hold more water.
  • 300 grams of ripe sourdough starter
  • 24 grams of cooking salt

Method:Porridge, water and starter mixed

Remove the porridge you made yesterday from the fridge and pour into whatever you use for mixing in - a large bowl or large plastic box will do. You can scape out with a plastic scraper. Add most of the warm water and all the sourdough starter, and stir together using your plastic or wooden spoon in a circular motion, until combined and relatively smooth. You can use your fingers to help it break up.




Sifting in flour

Now sift in the 80/20 flour gradually, continuing to stir as you go. Right here, you can see the advantages of using one hand to stir and knead - if you do this, your other hand will be free of dough and not make a mess all over your sifter!




Dough beginning to form

When it starts to become lumpy, combine roughly and begin kneading. Work until combined. You may find that the dough becomes quite tight - if it does, just add some more of the water, a little splash at a time. Don't worry about lumps or shagginess. Leave the rough dough for an hour or so with a loose fitting lid or moist cloth to cover.




Delayed Salt (autolyse):Salt on a dough

Spray or wipe the bulk dough with water and sprinkle the salt over the remaining dough, working it through with your hands, kneading until you can't feel it anymore. You will find that the dough is now quite smooth and easy to knead - this is the way that the delayed salt method works.


Leave the dough in the container or bowl until it has doubled in size - usually this will be up to 24 hours later, but it could be in as little as six hours. It's ready when you can poke it and it doesn't resist you.



Partially gassed cut dough

Divide into two approximately 1 kg lumps, and round them off.  Put the seam at the bottom of the balls, and return to your container (This is why I like to use a plastic box here - it's got a flat bottom, so the two balls don't fall together, and is large enough to intermediate proof them comfortably).


In an hour or so, these balls will have gassed up nicely - by poking them with your finger you should see that they offer very little resistance.

Dough Cylinders



Now lightly oil two medium sized bread tins, and shape your balls into cylinders, using the flats of your hands. Spray with water, and dust with flour or semolina if you have it.



Slashed and ready for tins



Slash diagonally three times, and place in the tins.




Tinned and ready

Tinned and ready for final proofing. I usually place them in an upside down plastic box to proof.






Ready to bakeFinal Proof done, and ready to bake.







Sliced Wholemeal Sourdough


Allow the dough to fill the tins, and bake. For more information on baking, see 'baking techniques' and 'domestic ovens'.


Other Recipes in this site you might also like to try include:

Basic Sourdough Recipe

White Spelt Sourdough Recipe

Wholemeal Spelt Sourdough RecipeWholemeal Sourdough Hero Shot

Basic Sourdough Recipe 2 (Old Dough Technique)

White Sourdough (Old Dough) Recipe

Light Rye Sourdough (Old Dough) Recipe

Medium Rye Sourdough (Old Dough) Recipe

Continental Bread (Semi Leaven) Recipe

Light Wholemeal Bread (Semi Leaven) Recipe

Light Rye Bread (Semi Leaven) Recipe



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