This Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread is an easy recipe that is a delicious and healthy option for your family.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread coming out of the oven. And this sourdough bread with whole wheat flour recipe is definitely a winner in my book.
It’s super soft and perfect for sandwiches. Plus, it’s made with whole wheat flour, making it a little healthier than regular classic white sandwich bread.
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The Best Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread
I’m sure you came to this post because you love whole wheat bread and are curious if you can make one using sourdough.
You’ll be glad because let me tell you that this foolproof recipe features two of my favorite baking stars: whole wheat and sourdough.
Whole wheat flour is packed with fiber and minerals and is considered a healthy whole grain. It also happens to be delicious!
The loaf made with King Arthur Flour whole wheat is slightly dense (compared to all-purpose flour bread), so you get a lot of flavors and a lovely texture throughout the loaf.
Just like our sourdough sandwich bread recipe, they’re also easier to slice and hold up super well when loaded with all kinds of sandwich goodies.
And what’s not to love about sourdough? It’s got that signature tangy flavor and is delightfully fluffy and lightly chewy – with no eggs or yeast needed!
Also, this vegan bread with whole wheat flour is healthier than standard white bread flour.
So skip the bagged bread at the store and make this recipe. I am sure you’ll fall in love with the relaxing baking process just as much as the family will love sandwiches made with thick slices of homemade bread!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Sourdough starter – use an active and bubbly starter.
- Whole wheat bread flour – I like to use King Arthur flour to make the most tender and soft bread for sandwiches.
If you want to make this recipe without whole wheat flour, you can use all bread flour. Or try using a mixture of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.
- Sugar – granulated cane sugar or your preferred sweetener, like coconut sugar. For a sweeter bread loaf, increase the sugar to 2 tablespoons. Or, brush the top of the loaf with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/4 teaspoon of water before baking.
- Oil – We used extra virgin olive oil but you can use other neutral-flavored oil, like sunflower oil or melted butter.
- Salt – does more than just flavor the bread, It helps strengthens the gluten strands in the flour, helping the dough to rise.
- Add dried herbs or spices to the dough before baking. I recommend 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, rosemary, or thyme. Or mix in 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, or black pepper.
- For added flavor and texture to the bread, add up to 1/2 cup of raisins, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or seeds when rolling up the dough.
How to make whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Mix the ingredients. Add the starter to a large bowl. Mix in warm water and sugar, stirring until dissolved.
Then add the flour, whole wheat flour, oil, and salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until it becomes thick and shaggy.
Knead the dough. After you have mixed the dough, flour your hands and finish kneading it by hand. Kneading helps mix the ingredients together and makes the dough more elastic.
Cover the dough with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rest for 45 minutes.
Stretch and fold the dough by stretching 4 inches, then pushing it down the middle and turning 1/4 until you make a circle.
Let them rise. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover the bowl with a damp towel, and let the dough rest and rise at room temperature for about 8-10 hours until it doubles in size.
In the morning, lightly flour your countertop. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently stretch it into a rectangular shape. Use your fingers to push down on the dough and release the air from it.
Shape the dough. Roll the dough into a log shape. Then, cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-2 hours. When it has doubled in size, press the corner edge of the dough. If there is an indentation, it is ready to bake.
Bake the bread. Preheat your oven to 375º. Put the bread in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The top of the loaf will be golden brown when it is done.
Ready to serve. After 10 minutes, tilt the pan to remove the bread. Let it cool on a cooling rack. Do not cut it for at least 1 hour (to prevent the loaf from deflating).
How to Serve Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
This bread with whole wheat flour is delicious, served plain, toasted, or with your favorite sandwich toppings. It’s also great for making French toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.
How to Store
Store the cooled loaf in a plastic bag and keep it at room temperature for up to 5 days.
This bread is also great to freeze! Place in an airtight bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the loaf at room temperature, then slice and enjoy.
Check out our in-depth guide on how to store sourdough bread to learn more!
Frequently Asked Questions
This bread is made with whole wheat flour, which is a whole grain and good source of fiber. Another benefit of sourdough bread is that it contains lactic acid, which has been shown to have some health benefits like improving gut health.
Using whole wheat flour can make dough a littke more difficult to work with and takes longer to rise. Also, using 100% whole wheat flour will give the bread a slightly denser texture.
Yes, you can use whole wheat flour to make a sourdough starter. The process is the same as if you were using all-purpose flour. In my homemade sourdough starter post, one of the starters I make uses whole wheat flour.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (No-Knead)
- Bread pan, 9" x 5"
- Spoon or dough whisk
- Food scale - (optional)
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) sourdough starter, bubbly and active
- 1⅓ cups (300 grams) warm water, filtered (95º to 100º F)
- ¼ cup (56 grams) granulated cane sugar
- 2½ – 3 cups (300-360 grams) bread flour (I use King Arthur flour)
- 1 cup (150 grams) whole wheat flour (I prefer white whole wheat)
- 1½ Tbsp (15 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp (9 grams) sea salt
- Add the starter to a large bowl. Mix in warm water and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add the bread flour and whole wheat flour, oil, and salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until a thick, shaggy dough forms. Flour your hands, and finish mixing dough by hand until all the flour has been absorbed. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
- Coax the dough from the bowl and stretch and fold the dough by stretching 4 inches then pushing it down the middle and turning 1/4 until you make a circle. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature overnight (at least 8-10 hours) until double in size.
- In the morning, lightly flour your countertop. Remove the dough from the bowl, gently stretching it into a rectangle, then use your fingers to dimple the dough to release the air from the dough. Roll the dough up, into a log shape. Cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Spray bread pan with cooking spray. Tighten the dough log by gently pulling it towards you along the counter top for 5-8". Place it in your loaf pan, seam side down. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours, until dough has doubled in size. Press the corner edge of the dough in 1/2" and if the indentation remains, it's ready to bake.
- Preheat your oven to 375º. Bake sandwich bread in the center of the oven for 40 minutes. The top of the loaf should be golden in color. After 10 minutes, tilt the pan to remove the bread to cool on a cooling rack. Wait at least 1 hour before cutting (to prevent the loaf from deflating).
This post, originally published in November 2022, was updated with new information in February 2023.