Bread loaf with patterned top on a board with slices cut

Wholemeal sourdough loaf

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 40 mins plus 8 days for the starter and 3 hrs rising


Makes 1 loaf

Try making our easy sourdough loaf and fill your home with a gorgeous aroma as it bakes. You need to have a sourdough starter which you can make yourself

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal245
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre2g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.4g


    To make the sourdough starter

    • 200g strong white flour
    • 200g strong wholemeal flour

    To make the sourdough bread

    • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 50g wholemeal flour
    • 10g fine salt
    • 100g sourdough starter (see above)


    1. To make a sourdough starter: whisk 50g of the strong white flour and 50g of the strong wholemeal flour with 100ml slightly warm water until smooth. Transfer to a large jar or plastic container. Leave the lid ajar for 1 hr or so in a warm place, then seal and set aside for 24 hours. For the next six days, you will need to ‘feed’ it. Each day, tip away half the original starter, add an extra 25g of each flour and 50ml slightly warm water, and stir well. After a few days you should start to see bubbles on the surface, and it will smell yeasty. On day seven, the starter should be bubbly and smell much sweeter. It is now ready to be used.

    2. To make the sourdough bread: tip both the flours, 325ml warm water, the salt and the starter into a bowl, or a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir with a wooden spoon, or on a slow setting in the mixer until combined – add extra flour if it’s too sticky or a little warm water if it’s dry. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins until soft and elastic – you should be able to stretch it without it tearing. If you‘re using a mixer, turn up the speed a little and mix for 5 mins.

    3. Place the dough in a floured bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for 3 hrs. You may not see much movement, as sourdough takes much longer to rise.

    4. Line a medium bowl with a clean tea towel and flour it really well or flour a proving basket. Tip the dough back onto your work surface and knead briefly to knock out any air bubbles. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and dust it with flour.

    5. Place the dough, seam-side up, in the bowl or proving basket, and leave at room temperature for 3 hrs, or in the fridge overnight, until risen by about a quarter.

    6. Place a large baking tray in the oven and heat to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Fill a small roasting tin with water and place in the bottom of the oven to create steam. Remove the tray from the oven, sprinkle with flour, then tip the dough onto it.

    7. Slash the top a few times with a sharp knife to make a pattern, then bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown. It should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Frantic Flapjack
    2nd Apr, 2018
    Not sure where I went wrong with this. I faithfully fed the starter every day for a week and the finished loaf looked great when it came out of the oven with a hollow sound on the bottom when tapped. However, when I sliced it, it didn't look cooked through properly and was incredibly heavy and dense. The only way to make it edible was to toast it but even then it sat very heavily on the stomach! The birds ate the rest.
    Dave Bell's picture
    Dave Bell
    11th May, 2020
    I've been trying sourdough, and checking other recipes, and the numbers for this recipe look low for the sourdough starter/ferment quantity. The total flour/water mix for the dough looks right, but some recipes grow a big batch of starter, a "ferment", with half the current starter (you feed the other half for maintenance). So instead of adding 50g flour you add 150g, with water to match, ferment that, and use the whole. Total flour and water in the dough mix aren't changed. That sounds a lot, but sourdough starters are a lot less energetic than the usual commercial yeasts. So you need more and it takes longer to rise. To be honest, there's so much white flour in this recipe that I wouldn't call it a wholemeal loaf.
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