There is something special about the whole grain flour. About the bran in it. It seems the entire grain’s story sneaks to the light, if there is just a pair of ears to hear it. The story about the sunbathing, bending in the wind, resistance, and growth. About ups and downs. About the time needed to mature.
I like to bake whole grain wheat loaf during the week, when I spent most of the day at work and in the afternoons you can find me everywhere else but in the kitchen. But I bake my bread anyway, I can’t help myself. I prepare larger quantities of starter in the morning, knead the dough when I come back from work and let it rise in the fridge or at the room temperature, depending on how hungry I am. In both cases, it rises quite fast because there is much more sourdough starter in the bread than usually. In this recipe I will write the instructions for how to prepare the bread if you start in the evening.
Whole grain wheat bread
Yields: 1 big loaf
200 g whole grain wheat flour + 200 g water for sourdough starter
130 g whole grain wheat flour
170 white wheat flour
120 g water
10 g fine sea salt
10 ice cubes for creating steam during baking
1. In the evening, mix 200 g of whole grain wheat flour with 200 g of water and 1 heaping tablespoon of (active*) rye sourdough starter. Cover and let it ferment overnight until bubbly and doubled in volume.
* you could also use unfed sourdough starter directly from the fridge, it will work as well.
2. In the morning, your starter should be active and risen.
3. Next, prepare the dough. In a large bowl mix together all of the above well risen starter (400 g), 120 g of water, and 300 g of flour. Mix until all ingredients come together. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it sit for 10 minutes.
4. In the meantime, prepare your rising basket. Make sure your basket is well floured so the dough will not stick to it when taking it out. I like to line my rising basket with a kitchen cloth.
5. After 10 minutes, add 10 g of salt and knead the dough for 8 minutes until smooth.
6. Shape the loaf. Stretch the dough a little bit and then fold the upper third of the dough over the middle. Turn the dough for 180° and repeat. Then, fold the upper half over the lower half and pinch well. You can see the shaping part in the video from the previous post. Transfer the dough to a rising basket and sprinkle some flour over the dough as well.
7. To rise the loaf, you have several options: you can rise it just at the room temperature (it will probably take two hours, depending on the temperature of you kitchen), you can first rise it at the room temperature and then put it in a fridge or you can rise it in a fridge only. I left my loaf for two hours in a fridge and two more hours at the room temperature. Your dough is ready when it passes the poking test and the indent doesn’t spring back quickly.
8. Since my dutch oven is too small, I used my baking stone to bake this whole grain wheat loaf. At least 30 minutes before baking preheat your oven to the maximum temperature of your oven along with a baking stone and a baking pan, which you put under the baking stone on a lower rack.
9. When ready, take the loaf out of the rising basket and transfer it to the baking stone. I use my pizza peel for this. Throw 10 ice cubes on a baking pan, close the door and lower the temperature to 235°C/455°F. Leave the loaf to bake for 35-40 minutes or until nicely brown. If necessary, turn the loaf for couple of times to brown it evenly.
10. Cool on a cooling rack before cutting.
The loaf is very delicious, it has nutty flavor and has really soft crumb. Let me know me how it worked for you 🙂