Whole Wheat Sourdough with 90% hydration. What does it mean? The percentage of hydration refers to the amount of water per 100 grams of flour. This recipe uses 500g flour and 450g hydration, hence the 90% hydration. I’ve been pushing the limits of my gluten and love this super moist result, slightly sweetened with 30g honey. When starting sourdough, along with everyone else in the world locked in quarantine, I too created a sourdough starter using whole wheat flour from Homestead Gristmill Red Wheat. The natural yeast on our skin and on the fruit we leave outside and in the air all contains natural yeast. A starter comprised of equal parts water and equal parts whole wheat flour is like a magnet for this yeast. When we have our fermentation going in the starter we may begin. If waiting for seven days for the starter to begin isn’t your thing, bakers often discard a portion of their starter, and will usually give some away. Follow their instructions to complete the starter out of respect to them and buy yourself a croissant of theirs.

Whole wheat sourdough, 2 hours into bulk ferment


100g sourdough starter
200g whole wheat flour
300g Caputo Red flour
450g filtered water
13g salt
30g honey
10g sesame seeds

Firstly, its time for 30 minutes of autolys. This is the gentle harmonizing of the flour and water. Clean your hands and mix 500g of the flour with 450g filtered water in a non-reactive bowl. Leave covered with a towel for 30 minutes. This allows the flour to hydrate and time helps with the formation of gluten.

Next add your 100g sourdough starter, 13g salt, 30g honey and mix with cleaned hands. I like to add some filtered water in a separate bowl so that I can wipe off the excess dough back into the mass easily. The formation of this dough will happen with a number of folds or ‘coils’. Leave the mixed dough (It will still look a little shaggy but make sure to press out any clumps of flour stuck together.) for 40 minutes, covered at room temperature. I used to rise in a warm place for speedier results but I prefer the slow rise for more pronounced flavor and texture.

Coil method for folding sourdough

After 40 minutes pass, wet your hands with the filtered water and lift up the dough from the middle. Stretch the dough until it feels as if it will break and grab it again from the middle after you wet your hands again. This will take some practice. Repeat the coiling process four times and rest the dough back in the bowl with a towel on top. After another 40 minutes, repeat the process. Repeat it one more time after 40 minutes for a total of three foldings.

After the third fold, wait 60 minutes on its final rise. Finally, with wet hands, gently guide dough onto floured surface and sprinkle with more flour. rest for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes have passed, using a bench scraper, fold the dough over itself from the left, from the right, from the front and finally from the back, flipping the dough over. With floured hands, tighten dough in a circular motion – so that the bottom of the dough scrapes against the surface. You should see the pressure forming bubbles come to the surface.

In a bowl equipped with a tea towel, sprinkle with flour and the sesame seeds. Gently place the dough nice side down in the bowl. Cover with flour and finally with the sides of the tea towel.

Cover the bowl with plastic to avoid condensation and place in the refrigerator for 16 hours. I used to ferment it longer but I’ve found that over 16, you increase your chance of over rising the dough. The dough will slowly rise overnight and pockets of gas will emerge.

Heat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a dutch oven inside for 40 minutes. Cut parchment paper in a circle slightly larger than the dutch oven and guide your dough onto the parchment. using a razorblades or very sharp knife, score the dough so that steam can be released evenly. Otherwise the dough will break randomly. Carefully add the dough from the parchment paper into the dutch oven and cover with a lid. Bake for 20 minutes and remove the lid. Return sourdough to the oven and turn the oven down to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Check 20 minutes later and bake until a deep brown crust forms.

Whole Wheat Sourdough with 90% Hydration

Rest at least 40 minutes before slicing in. Serve with high quality butter and flakey salt and enjoy! We are currently taking orders for next day sourdough’s delivered in Barcelona – Click here to get in touch.