50% Wholewheat Sourdough

It's been a really long while since I last updated this space! I guess I've been really caught up with schoolwork and stuff and I hadn't really had much time to really just sit down and write. It's always really nice to be able to set aside some time to do stuff that I really love and it's something I guess I should try to do more often.  


This sourdough loaf is nice in a way that it doesn't have to much sour notes my loaves tend to have (I think it's the hot weather and long overnight fermentation which fits better into my schedule but doesn't quite give the right flavour). Also, the crumb isn't as good as I hoped- I think fermentation activity is still quite low in my starter, maybe it's because I only take it out from the fridge once a week or 2 weeks so it's not as bubbly and active as it should be. It might be better if I maintain a young starter with more regular feedings (out of the fridge) so it gives the loaf the right notes and flavour. Overall, it's also better kneading, shaping and slashing which comes with (my mantra-) practice, practice and practice.   


The schedule I followed for this loaf    

8:30am Take the starter out of the fridge and feed with plenty of fresh flour and water 

2:00pm Autolyse the flours and water  

3:00pm Combine autolyse with starter. Rest another 30min.  

3:30pm Add in salt + some reserved water. Mix and give a couple of stretch and folds to build strength.  

4:10pm-7:40pm Bulk fermentation, with 5 sets of stretch and folds at 30min intervals.  

7:40pm Shape dough, prehsape and bench rest 20min  

8:00pm Final shape and place in floured banneton. Cover with plastic and let rest in the fridge overnight    

Day 2  

8:00am Preheat oven to 230 degrees  

8:30am Invert Loaf onto parchment, slash, bake.  

9:30am Cool on wire rack  

10:30am Slice and eat :)   

The crust was a little hard and chewy- as it comes with all the sourdough loaves I've baked at home so far. I think it's because  

1) the maximum temperature in my oven is 230 Celsius! Which is a little low for artisan bread baking  

2) I bake my loaves in a Dutch oven (which I probably didn't preheat long enough)  

I think what I really need to work on is ensuring I feed my starter a little more often to ensure it's nice and active and to find the right fermentation schedule to fit my life and to maximise the flavour of the bread. I find overnight fermentation always works well because it allows flavours to develop over a longer period of time- rather than for a shorter period at room temperature, and at the same time, controlling the amount of leaven I use in my loaf. I guess it comes with a bit of trial and error and working with bakers percentages to come up with the perfect formula!  

I think I'll have more time soon to experiment with bread baking because I know I'll have lots more early days and breaks - not because it's holidays but because it's study break to study at home haha. What I really like about sourdough baking is that it doesn't take much effort but it does take time- which is exactly what I'm going to have a month or two's time. I wonder if studying at home is a good or bad thing haha but if it promises more time for baking and good stuff, I'm in!    

Happy baking y'all :)   

50% Wholewheat Sourdough  

Makes 1 large loaf  

233g stoneground Wholewheat flour  

233g bread flour  

402g water  

10g fine sea salt  

66g mature, liquid levain (100% hydration)    

Combine flours and water, reserving 50g of the water to add later. Autolyse at least 1 hour, but preferably 2 hours.  

Mix in the starter until full combined. Autolyse another 30min. 

Mix in the salt and remaining 50g water, stretch and fold until the dough tightens up and building strength, about 10min.  

Bulk ferment for 3.5 hours, stretching and folding 5 times during the first 2.5h.  

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape. Rest 20min.  

Final shape the dough and place seam side up in a floured banneton. Let rise in the fridge 10-11h.  

Preheat the oven to 250 Celsius with the Dutch oven inside, about 1h. 

Invert the dough onto a piece of parchment and slash. 

Slip the parchment into the Dutch oven and bake, lid on for 30min. Uncover and bake at 230 Celsius for another 18-22 min.  Cool on a wire rack for 1-2h before slicing.  (For my oven, I baked at 230 Celsius for 1 hour.)               

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