Healthy Whole Wheat Sourdough Recipe: Step-by-Step

Whole wheat sourdough recipe

If your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier, then this Healthy Whole Wheat Sourdough Recipe is the perfect recipe to add to your baking rotation.

Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned sourdough connoisseur, this simple seven-ingredient recipe is ideal for bakers of all experience levels. All you’ll need to master this delicious, gut-friendly recipe is the right tools, plenty of baking time (4 hours and 4 minutes) and some good old-fashioned elbow grease to create your next masterpiece.

While normal, run-of-the-mill sourdough is already healthy, as it is a more natural alternative to normal bread and doesn’t contain any additives, this whole wheat sourdough recipe offers even more benefits. For one, whole grains provide better sources of fibre and important nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium. 

It’s for these reasons, as well as the existing health benefits of sourdough – it’s more digestible, easier for the body to absorb and has a better effect on blood sugar and insulin levels – that make this recipe a must for anyone looking for healthy alternatives.

If the health benefits were not enough to have you reaching for your sourdough starter, then you might be interested to know that this recipe only requires 20 minutes of preparation time – so, for the remaining time, you can put your feet up and scroll through our Sourdough Starter Recipe or Sourdough 101 guide.

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Step-by-Step Recipe

Whole wheat sourdough bread recipe


  • 1 cup (227g) fed sourdough starter
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (255g) lukewarm water
  • 3 cups (340g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) whole grain bread improver – for a better, faster rise
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Weigh your flour, or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweep off any excess with a spoon or butter knife.
  2. Combine flour with the rest of the ingredients, mixing until a shaggy dough forms.
  3. Let the dough rest, covered with a tea towel or designated cover, for 20 minutes, then knead until fairly smooth and slightly sticky.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise until it has almost doubled in size. This should take about 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. Gently fold the dough over several times on a lightly floured work surface. Be careful not to add too much flour, as this will dry out the dough.
  6. Shape it into an 8" (20cm) log, and place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" (23cm x 13cm) loaf pan.
  7. Cover the loaf and let it rise until it's crowned 1" over the rim of the pan, which should take approx. 60 to 90 minutes.
  8. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  9. Bake the sourdough for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the centre displays 96°C (205°F) to 100°C (210°F).
  10. Remove the sourdough loaf from the oven, let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then place it out onto a rack to cool.

Pro tips for sourdough baking

Cutting whole wheat sourdough bread

Steam is essential for a crunchy crust

Steam is essential for a crunchy bread crust, as it maintains the moisture of the outer dough, while the inside cooks. Without steam protecting the dough, the crust and inner crumb will cook too quickly, creating a burnt, dense bread with little flexibility.

The primary way to use steam for the perfect crust is to bake your bread in a Dutch oven. A closed Dutch oven will trap the water that evaporates from the dough and convert it to steam under the lid. However, if you don’t own a Dutch oven then you can instead use a spray bottle to create your own steam in the oven.

Sift flour to make sourdough less dense

If you still choose to use whole wheat flour, try sifting some or all of the flour to get rid of part of the bran. Bran in your whole wheat flour acts like tiny shards that cut through the gluten strands, stopping them from holding up the air in the dough. Getting rid of part of the bran will help keep more of the structure formed by the gluten and give you a lighter loaf.

Don’t have a starter?

If you don’t have a sourdough starter, then you can simply use our Dried Sourdough Flakes and follow these Sourdough Starter Instructions to bring them to life. 

However, if you’re looking to make your sourdough starter from scratch, then we have got you covered. Be sure to check out our How to Make a Sourdough Starter from Scratch guide and follow the simple steps to make your own Yeastie Boy (or girl).

What are the health benefits of whole wheat bread?

Whole grains are often touted by health professionals as an important part of any healthy diet, which is because they are packed full of nutrients that help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity. 

So, what is it about whole wheat bread that makes it so good for you? Here’s the top three reasons:

  1. High in fibre content: Whole wheat breads typically have much higher fibre content than your common supermarket bread. The bran component of wheat, which is the main source of fibre. In fact, a regular slice of wholemeal bread provides around 2g of fibre.
  2. Rich in B vitamins: wholemeal bread is packed full of B vitamins that are essential for making sure the body's cells are functioning properly. They also help the body to convert food into energy, create new blood cells, and maintain healthy skin cells, brain cells, and more.
  3. Lower GI: Wholemeal bread has a lower Glycemic Index, or GI, than other breads which means that it maintains healthy, more stable blood sugar levels. This allows you to minimise spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels, which is particularly important for anyone with type 2 diabetes. 

Now you know how to make your own whole wheat sourdough, you can try out our own classic Sourdough Bread Recipe for yourself. If you’re new to baking, this complete sourdough starter kit includes everything you need to bake your first loaf, or you stock up on your baking supplies by exploring our online range. 

If you need some more sourdough content in your life, be sure to follow us on Facebook and TikTok and be sure check out @youkneadsourdough on Instagram and hashtag #youkneadsourdough so we can marvel at your sourdough creations.

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