Friday, September 21, 2012

Sourdough bread - slow fermentation

After studying different ways and methods of making sourdough bread I settled on information from two main sources. I found the website to be the easiest information to understand how to take care of my starter and I found the recipe at to be the easiest recipe to follow while still providing a slow fermentation. A slow fermentation is important because in that time the gluten is partly or largely broken down as well as other anti-nutrients such as phytic acid. (Visit for more information on how to treat your grains properly and why.)

So, here is the information I found helpful when putting together my 

100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread.

To be ready to start the recipe you need to have a healthy sourdough starter.

If you have a healthy starter here are the 3 rules to maintain it:
1.       It must be feed no less than twice a day to keep its vitality (if it is at room temperature)
2.       Each feeding should be enough for it to double its size.
3.       Each feeding should be equal amouts of water and flour by weight. (2 parts water to 3 parts flour by volume)

*****If your starter was in the fridge you should take it out and give it at least one feeding the night before Day 1 to make sure it’s very active.******

(This information is taken from:


  • About 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup very active starter
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt
  • 25 g (2 Tbsp.) lard or butter
  • Water
(65 g = ½ cup of flour)
(65 g = little less than 1/3 c. water)

Day 1 (Making the Sponge)

9:00 am (First feed)
In a large mixing bowl, mix 65 g whole wheat flour and 65 g of water with ½ cup of your active starter. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 4-5 hours.
1:00 pm (Second feed)
Add another 65 g each of flour and water to the bowl. Stir and cover.
4:00 pm (Third feed)
Add another 65 g each of flour and water to the bowl. Stir and cover.
7:00 pm (final additions)
Dissolve ¼ tsp of sea salt in ½ cup of water and add it to the sponge, then mix in the melted fat. Then add 325 g (2 ½ cups) of flour. Add a little cold water at a time to form a wet dough. You want the dough to just stick to your hands and countertop. The wetter the better. Knead for about 5 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil in a glass bowl, cover with plastic and put into the fridge for 12-72 hours. This is the slow fermentation step that breaks down anti-nutrients including some gluten. 

Day 2 (Baking Day)

9:00 am (Rising Time)
Take dough out of fridge (It should have doubled in size.)
Dump onto counter and let warm for a few minutes. Knead for a few minutes, adding water if necessary.
Shape dough and put into greased baking pan (I like pampered chef stoneware greased with coconut oil)
Cover with plastic and leave in warm place until double in size (3 ½ to 4 hours).
1:00 pm (Baking time)
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. If you have a baking stone put it in the oven as you preheat it and add a metal bowl of hot water to the bottom of the oven.
Bread should read about 180-190 degrees inside when done. Cool on wire rack.
“A warm place” means warmer than a normal house at room temp. I set mine inside the oven with the light on. It is 82 in there and that seems to work perfectly.