Hi Eric, thanks for the recipe, I just tried it and really looking forward to cutting and trying a slice! I did have a problem with the bake though. First, my dough was much wetter than yours from what I see in the video, and it was just not coming together when I kneaded it. It remained very gloopy and sticky after kneading it in the bowl and after trying some “slap and fold” on the counter. Do you have a recommended way of kneading a wet dough, or do you find that it just takes a lot longer to knead a wet dough? Second, and partly because the dough was so wet, it stuck to my towel-lined bowl when I was doing the final rise. I had coated the towel with flour and semolina but that does not seem to help. The sticking seemed to have flattened the dough even more when I was transferring it to the oven for baking. Do you have any tips on this? Would investing in a banneton help? (I’ve heard of wet doughs sticking to bannetons too, which sounds even more like a nightmare to clean…) Thank you!!
I am making this bread for the first time. Everything was going well until this morning when I checked the dough in the refrigerator and it is only about half as high as it is supposed to be. Should I let it continue to rise in the refrigerator for another 24 hours?
I keep my sourdough starter in the refrigerator and fed it two times before using it. It was in it’s active state when I added the ingredients. I keep our refrigerator at 38 degrees. Could that be too cold?
From all the comments, I really would like to make a successful loaf of this bread. Thanks for any help.
Thank you for this recipe! We’ve really been enjoying this one.
Here’s a question for anyone who either has added or would add something to this loaf: Would almonds be a decent addition? If so, how many grams?
I’m just getting to where I’m more comfortable experimenting with adding seeds or nuts, but I’m having troubling deciding how much to add to this delicious sourdough.
This is by far the best sourdough bread recipe I’ve tried. However, my dough is always under cooked and the crust a bit over cooked. I will try to lower the temperature and add 10 minutes, but I don’t know if I should do that after I’ve taken the lid off or before (in other words, is it better to bake a fresh dough longer or is it better to extend the baking once the dough has already been baked?)
Hello, I’m new to this forum, but I’ve made the sourdough whole wheat spelt several times. The dough after kneading feels too dense - more like clay than what appears in the video. It also doesn’t rise much in the fridge. Two things I’m doing differently are:
I keep a whole wheat starter so I don’t have to make one each time.
Second, I use a bread mixer instead of hand kneading.
The bread tastes good, but I’d prefer a lighter texture. Hope to hear from someone!
Thank you for this life-changing recipe. It truly is amazing. I’ve run into one consistent problem though: my bread is always under-baked inside. I get really close to a great loaf, but it always feels a bit too moist.
So, here is my situation:
Using a 50/50 Rye/Whole Wheat starter that I feed twice before starting to bake.
Using same flours as mentioned, same times, etc.
Not using rice flour but just all-purpose for the end part (boule part).
Not using a proofing basket but a normal plastic bowl.
At first I was using a stainless steel bowl, but it seemed to have made it worse (maybe because the bowl was too cold during proofing?). I since then switched to plastic with a towel at the bottom and it definitely improved. I tried to bake with different times and temperatures, to no avail (tried to keep the lid on the whole time, tried to take it off earlier, etc). My question is: what could I try to make it less moist? Should I add or take water out? Should I try to leave it to proof longer or shorter? I am still new to sourdough so I am still not sure exactly how it ‘acts’.
Thank you so much!
Is there any reason to not bake this in a Dutch oven??
I started learning how to bake sourdough bread back in the summer this year and was on the point of giving up because I baked so many flat failures. Our flours here in the UK are not like the hard wheat varieties available elsewhere and won’t take the high hydration that you often find in many recipes.
I was so glad I discovered this site as all the recipes I have tried, have worked beautifully.
This is our favourite bread as it’s wholegrain. I have done this several times without using any white flour at all. I have given up trying to score as no matter how sharp the blade, or how wet, it just drags and flattens the dough. Instead I just bake seam side up which gives a different look every time.
I bake for the entire time in a dutch oven as I have an AGA so can’t regulate the temperature.
I’ve stopped worrying about the size of the holes and just enjoy the beautiful soft, tasty, wholesome bread. Thank you Eric
Excited about my first whole grain sourdough. Made it with my own sourdough starter. I want to emphasize the Importance of checking the temp. I baked it at the recommended temp, for the recommended time, and checked the temp (which I usually neglect to do when baking bread) and the temp was only in the 160s, so it needed about 10 more minutes. This is also my first time using spelt. I do need a better device for scoring, in order to imrove the appearance, but the result was delicious!
This is a wonderful bread, my first attempt at a sourdough AND using my homemade sourdough starter. I took this bread to work and received rave reviews! The most memorable comment was from a coworker from France who said, with a tear in her eye, “This bread tastes just like the bread my Grandmother used to make!” Now I’m totally hooked on making traditional style sourdough breads. Thanks for the recipe!
I became interested in sourdough when I recently started reading the book “From the Wood-Fired Oven” by Richard Miscovich. I’ve been interested in building a wood fired brick oven for quite some time and this book seemed to be a great place to start. It was there that I discovered the health benefits of fermented grain breads. The way breads have been made for thousands of years. I was completely unaware that humans are unable to digest wheat unless it has been fermented. About the same time I discovered an original Netflix four part series called “Cooked” by Michael Pollan which confirms this and points out many of the downfalls of commercially produced breads and other products. After that, there was no turning back for me. Again, thanks for the wonderful recipe and your fantastic web site!
HELP! I forgot to add the salt when I was mixing the dough, and now it is sitting in my refrigerator, 2 hours into its 24 hour fermentation. How should I add the salt??
I once did that too, then just mixed the salt in as best I could and it turned out to be the best loaf I had ever made. Now I often do it that way, when I think of it.
I am one of the unfortunate ones who is very sodium sensitive so I don’t salt my food and don’t eat packaged foods that contain added salt. (Also no miso, soy sauce, etc) I get all the sodium I need just from the produce I eat. Anyway, I made a few loaves at first with recipe amounts of salt, sort of proof of concept. Then started cutting back each time. Now I have made many loaves without adding salt at all. If you are used to very salty food they will likely taste a bit flat unless/until you readjust your taste buds. But I love the subtle flavors that appear that are actually covered up the “salty” taste. I also usually add spice seeds that enhance flavor, caraway is my favorite.
Baked this bread for the first time tonight. It’s terrific! A bit gummy, so I will bake a little longer next time, but honestly after being toasted who cares. The bread is delicious.
you can see it cooling on my pizza screen. pizza was my gateway drug into bread baking.
good looking bread! lol about the gateway drug. mine was cakes.
Curious: Why is 2 cups whole wheat flour 236 grams (8 1/3 oz) but 2 cups white bread flour 250 grams (8 3/4 oz)? When I weighed 2 cups WW flour last night it was 286 grams. I went with it since my last couple of attempts of this bread turned out a gloppy dough that simply wouldn’t hold a shape On day 2 now and hoping for the best tomorrow morning. Thanks!
The reason whole wheat flour is lighter than white flour is because wheat bran is much lighter than germ or the starchy part of the wheat grain. In a breeze bran would fly away compared to the germ and starchy part of the grain. I also noticed that my doughs with whole grains soak up more water during a long ferment, (12-16 hours). Even white bread doughs will absorb water after a bit. Bran soaks up a lot of water. In a nutshell, I find a dough that’s a bit wet when first mixed is quite smooth and less wet the following day before baking it.
One more thing. I use Michael Ruhlman’s ratio for making bread from his book Ratios. I get a great result every time.
The ratio for basic bread is 5 parts flour, 3 parts water, and just under or up to 2% of the flour’s weight in salt. The ratio would be 500 grams of flour, 300 grams of water, and up to 2% salt which is 10 grams. I make 2 loaves at a time, so it’s 1000 grams flour, 600 grams water, and just under or up to 20 grams of salt.
As I said earlier, I often need to add a little extra water because high gluten flour and whole wheat flour tend to need a little extra water. I use 50% freshly milled whole grain and 50% high gluten flour.