George, my sourdough starter (thanks for naming him, ChannonD --and thanks everyone for your great suggestions), has been bubbling away for a few weeks now and I've been using him to make waffles, pancakes, and sandwich breads with different combinations of flours: all white, part whole-wheat, and all whole-wheat. You already have my recipe for Sourdough Sandwich Bread, and today, I want to share with you a recipe for my All Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich bread with no added yeast.
This is a super simple bread, and it requires just a few main ingredients: Flour, sourdough starter, and some sugar or molasses. I also add a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into the mix to help with the rise. Whole wheat flour is low in gluten, the substance that helps create structure in breads and helps them rise, and a little acid can actually help with gluten formation. You can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice.
I love this bread: it has a nuttier, warmer flavor than the all-white bread, which is excellent too, and although it doesn't rise as high, it has, as you can see, a nice, open crumb -- not so open that your peanut butter or jelly would slip through, but enough to make the bread light and airy and not dense at all, as wholegrain sandwich breads sometimes tend to be. Jay, who's missing a few teeth, loves this bread with the crust trimmed away. It makes great toast too!
I haven't shared my recipe for sourdough starter because I followed the one over on the King Arthur blog, except, as I told you in my last sourdough bread post, my sourdough is more hydrated-- it uses more water. If you want me to share the recipe for my starter, give me a holler and I will do so.
There is some waiting involved in the recipe, and you need to be patient, in order to help the gluten form. There are three rise times, including an overnight wait time while the flour and sourdough soak together. Trust me, it's all necessary to make sure you get the best bread possible.
I am going to keep this post short because I have something to talk about after the recipe. Stay tuned if you're interested, and weigh in if you want to. I would love to hear what you think.
All Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 2 cups water (I've been using distilled water for my breads because the chlorine can inhibit yeast and I find it does make a difference. But if you'd rather use tap water, that's okay too)
- 4-5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar or molasses
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Place the sourdough starter in a bowl along with the water, sugar, and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix well and let it stand overnight or about eight hours.
- Beat the dough the next morning with the kneading attachment of a stand mixer or with a ladle, then add salt, vinegar, and 1 more cup of flour. Continue to add the flour and mix, ¼ cup at a time, until you get a dough that feels sticky but doesn't really stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Continue kneading on a flat surface, by hand or in the stand mixer, for another five minutes. If the dough sticks to the surface as you knead, add a little flour, no more than a tablespoon at a time. You want a supple, smooth ball of dough that's not too firm.
- Coat a large bowl with oil and place the ball of dough in it, turning over once to coat the top with oil.
- Cover with cling wrap or with a tight lid and let it stand in a warm place for two hours or until doubled.
- Lightly grease two loaf pans with an oil spray or oil, and sprinkle some cornmeal or cream of wheat on the sides and the bottom.
- Punch the dough down and divide into two. Shape each half into a loaf by rolling it out into a rectangle about six inches wide and nine inches long, and then rolling it into a log. Tuck the sides down and pinch any seams together. Place the loaf, seam side down, into a prepared loaf pan. Repeat for the second loaf.
- Cover the loaves with a towel or -- better still -- with shower caps. This is a trick I learned from the King Arthur blog, Flourish, and it works really well because it allows the loaf to expand without weighing down the top, the way a kitchen towel would.
- Place the loaves in a warm place and let them rise two hours or until they dome slightly over the top. Whole wheat loaves will not dome or rise as much as white or part-whole-wheat breads will, so don't wait too long to bake in the hope that your loaf will rise further. After two hours, the bread is likely to lose its structure.
- About half hour before baking, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When you're ready to bake the loaves, place them on the center rack and bake 40 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the oven and, carefully, turn them out onto a rack. Let them stand, right side up, until they are thoroughly cool. As attractive as the smell of freshly baked bread is, resist the temptation to cut a slice off before the bread has thoroughly cooled because you can upset the moisture balance in the loaf.
- I like brushing or spraying the top with a little oil for an attractive look as soon as it comes out of the oven. But no need to do this if you'd rather not.
- Slice and eat!
What size of loaf pan do you use? I have a 9 1/4" x 5 1/4" pan and a 8" x 4" pan. Which would be better?
A standard loaf pan is about 8 1/2 by 4 1/2. I would prob go with the 8 by 4 for a nicely domed bread. The bread in the larger pan could come out flatter.
This recipe is great!
I stay in India and presently I do not have access to corn meal or Cream of Wheat. Can you suggest a substitute?
Anything like coarsely powdered rice or wheat will work!
If you have parchment paper, it works really great to line pans with, and can be reused many times too.
My first and second rise went well but once in bread pan, it didn’t rise at all.. even after 2 hours .. ended up with a very dense bread ?
Any clue what could have gone wrong
Depending on the warmth in your kitchen, it could have needed more time. Sourdough breads usually need longer rise times than regular yeast breads do, and also depends on how strong your sourdough starter was to begin with.
Can you please give me an estimate of how much 2cups of starter in grams?
I made my first Sourdough Starter over four years ago using a fallen apple from a organic walled garden for good bacteria, bread flour and water. At that time I hand kneaded the dough and was fairly pleased with my bread and rolls. Using the discard and replacing with flour and water worked well. When I was going for an extended holiday I labelled my starter yeast and popped it into my freezer. (I was finding the kneading quite tiring as I'm getting older.) A year ago I brought a bread machine and became very pleased with the improved quality of my loaves using dry yeast according to the instruction booklet. I have now taken my Sourdough Starter from the freezer and am so pleased with the results I'm now getting using the programme to do the initial mixing, then letting it rise, cutting into four and making four longish rolls which I then plait together to form a braided loaf. Quick and easy and such fun!.
hello there! is the two cup sourdough recently fed starter?
Doesn't have to be very recent, about a week ago is fine.
I am baking this right now. It did not take all those hours for me, maybe 8 hours in total. Smells very nice, can't wait to taste... I have my jam ready!
I love love your recipe. It has been my go-to most of the time. I have been trying to use einkorn flour. Have you used einkorn wheat flour for this recipe before? I find I need to make an adjustment to the amount of water I use but not sure of the best amount to use. Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Donna, I can't say I've used einkorn flour, so not sure what to advise. I'll definitely look into it.
Thank you for this recipe. I seriously recommend adding one packet of dry yeast to the recipe for a lighter bread. And for me, it was definitely 5 cups of whole wheat floor, not four.
Hi, thanks for the recipe. In the first step of the recipe, do you leave the starter + 2 cups flour +water + sugar to rest overnight at room temp/warm area/fridge ? Could you estimate the ambient temperature? I am in Scotland, so room temperature is on the cool side 🙂
" 1 tbsp sugar or molasses"
Ever tried to make it without any sweetener?
The sugar helps the yeast grow and the bread rise -- important for an all whole wheat bread.
I added vinegar before the second fermentation, did I ruin it? What should I do?
You should be fine--vinegar won't hurt the rise.
Your recipes look very impressive and healthy.
do you use organic whole wheat flour for the bread or the regular kind that we get from Indian grocery store? (like Aashirvad or Royal) . Your suggestions would be much appreciated and helpful for me to try out.
Hi PMV, I use either, depending on what I have on hand. The Indian atta definitely works in this bread and other bread recipes on my blog that call for whole wheat flour.
Thanks for your reply. I will definitely try this one with your sour dough starter recipe.
Caitlin J Schwanger
Do you use a white or wheat starter for this recipe? Can't wait to try it! We're doing the white bread today. I've only tried artisan sourdough recipes before. I'm excited to have an everyday recipe. 🙂
I used the white starter here!
HI, I am planning to buy a whole wheat starter,does this recipe and other sourdough recipes on your blog work with the whole wheat starter?
Yes they should but pay attention to the hydration level of your starter and adjust accordingly.
Holy Cow has been passionate about veganism in a non preachy way. That's what I love about this blog!
We live in a free society and we also live in a civil society; there is no need to be unkind or judgmental.
Keep up the wonderful work..and thank you!
PS . I would love a tutorial on making a sourdough starter too
I love sourdough bread, never thought about making it whole wheat. Even healthier!
Hope you try!:)
Please share your recipe.I live in Dehli.Temperature here is much higher .Can you suggest some adaptations accordingly?
Hi Abha, will do! Stay tuned.
Being vegan in a non-vegan world . . . you cannot stay silent when you understand the horrific brutalities that billions of innocent animals suffer during their hellish lives. Gandhi wrote in 1939 that "the principle of nonviolence necessitates complete abstention from exploitation in any form." [From - All Men Are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections, by Mahatma Gandhi]
As vegans we wonder how meat-eaters don't see it. Pro-vegan organizations such as Mercy for Animals, PCRM, Vegan Outreach, & Farm Sanctuary are strong and essential advocates for the animals, working tirelessly to expose the truths of the "tradition" of eating meat. Diet for World Peace, by Will Tuttle is a very profound book about veganism, the history of the "cattlemen", the manipulative propaganda-methods used by the meat and dairy industries, etc. etc. . . . a remarkable book!
Holy Cow is very positive blog and is helping to show the way.
Thanks for your kind words and your insight.
First off, I'd love your recipe for a starter! I'm still leary of breads and rolls but have managed to make a couple of your recipes without mangling them too much. I'd really like to bake breads at home, especially sourdough loaves that have an odd taste sometimes.
I read the comment on your other post too. More than anything, I don't understand why people are so quick to judge nowadays. It would've taken all of five seconds to open the recipe and check the ingredients. Most vegan blogs don't add "vegan" or "fake" tags, because it's implied. And how cowardly to hide behind an "anonymous" tag!
I'm not vegan: I consume eggs and dairy, but I'm trying out vegan alternatives.As with anything else, I have seen extremists on both sides insisting that their way is the right way. I pick my way through articles and recipes and pick up interesting tips and ideas and simply skip anything that offends me. With all the people yelling out their opinions online, if I don't have anything good or constructive to say, I prefer not to add to the noise.
I sat down to write this, because that comment bothered me very much. As someone whose never (knowingly) eaten meat, I really like the vegan and vegetarian alternatives to dishes you provide. It takes creativity and patience to adapt traditional meat dishes to a vegan lifestyle, and I appreciate the time you take to form these recipes and share them. I hope you'll think of the many people who read your recipes and try them out and ignore the random folks who can't be bothered to check facts before commenting.
Hi Krithika, will share the sourdough starter recipe soon. Stay tuned. And thanks for your kind words-- they are much appreciated. 🙂
I can see why there is so much militancy win the western animal rights movement.... The tradition here is based on the biblical ethic of dominion.... which if fraught with tolerated, cruelty to animals. In genesis man is given animals as food.... and ever since, the violence to animals has grown exponentially.... The tradition that produced the idea of tolerated violence to animals is rooted in the deep acceptance as violence, where according to this view, it is possible to be righteous while slaughtering and exploiting animals.
When faced with the brutality of dominion, those who are deeply offended by slaughter and violence to animals have no recourse other than to try to end the cruelty with violence. They see that the mainstream organizations support the dominion model, which results in the contradictory idea of humane meat. There is nothing humane about slitting someones throat, no matter how deftly. There is no appreciation for the value of life, when an innocent animal wakes up to a beautiful day on the farm, only to be slaughtered, deprived of the most precious right, the right to live.
There is a different ethic at play in India.... and while not everyone was raised in the Ahimsa tradition, it has permeated Indian culture to an extent. Ahimsa is the view that ALL living beings have the right to remain free from human inflicted violence. It is the main ideal of the Jain religion.... and for thousands of years the Jain Community has lived a cruelty free lifestyle. The Times of India is owned by a Jain family. They regularly advocate for better laws and an end to violence to animals. The New York Times is rooted in the dominion ethic and regularly supports culls and the preservation of cruel traditions, such as carriage horses in NYC. The Times of India spoke out against carriage horses in Mumbai and Delhi.... and tourist carriage horses in these populous cities are banned. It is because of Ahimsa that it is against the law to kill a dog in India. It is because of dominion that 4-5 million homeless dogs are killed every year in the USA, legally and with the blessings of dominion, for should an animal become an inconvenience, that animal may be disposed of.
Though I do not condone violence, activists in the west who favor violence are up against the enforcers of dominion... and feel they must react in kind.
As for the cow protectors in India, their confusion stems from worshipping only one animal, rather than having reverence for ALL living beings. Though I don't approve of their tactics, they do have a point when the see all the cows that are killed with moral impunity in the dominion tradition., which includes christianity and islam. It is a pity that the cow protects do not understand that every life: a pig, a chicken, a lamb, a duck etc is precious.
I do not understand how it is possible to love animals and have them killed, so you can eat them. That is a contradiction to great for me to breach.... unless the problem is with the word love, which is a word of many gradations. One can say I love chocolate, I love meat, I love life, I love music... Kindness too is limited.... extended to those closest to and most like us.
People who claim to love animals, then consume them do not understand ahimsa:
“In my opinion, the most beautiful word ever written, in any country, in any language, at any time, came from India. Ahimsa: non-violence to any living being” Phillip Wollen