Elaine Boddy’s Whole Grain Sourdough

Editor’s Note: This recipe comes from Elaine Boddy from her book Whole Grain Sourdough at Home, provided to us for our Virtual Baking Summit. Her recipe calls for a banneton, which will give the loaf the beautiful pattern on the surface. If you don’t have one, you can shape the loaf in a bowl and it will taste just as delicious. Here are her notes and recipe:

Making sourdough with whole wheat flour not only brings the goodness from the whole grain, but also enhances the flavour in the loaf. You may even notice that the sour flavour is increased. White spelt flour is milled spelt with the bran and wheat germ sifted out; it is soft and fine and a perfect partner for heavier flours, such as whole wheat, to lift and lighten the loaf. The depth of flavour this dough produces in the baked loaf is almost indescribable, it is so good.

Makes 1 standard loaf


  • ¼ cup (50 grams) active starter
  • Scant 1 ½ cups (350 grams) water
  • 2 ¼ cups (250 grams) white spelt flour
  • 2 cups (250 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Make the Bread:

  1. In the early evening, in a large mixing bowl, roughly mix together all the ingredients, leaving the dough shaggy, and cover the bowl with a clean shower cap or your choice of cover. Let the dough sit on the counter for 1-2 hours.
  1. After the 1-2 hours, perform the first set of pulls and folds on the dough, it may start off being quite sticky, but it will become less so the more you work with it, and it will eventually come together into a ball, which is the perfect time to stop. Cover the bowl again and leave it on the counter.
  1. Over the next few hours, perform 3 more sets of pulls and folds on the dough, covering the bowl of dough after each set, doing the final set before going to bed. The dough will become beautifully stretchy as you work with it and will come together into a soft ball each time.
  1. Leave the covered bowl on the counter overnight, typically 8 to 10 hours, at 64 to 68°F (18 to 20°C).
  1. In the morning, the dough should have doubled, possibly even slightly more than doubled, with a smooth slightly bubbly surface.
  1. Have your prepared banneton ready and more rice flour at hand. Gently perform a final set of pulls and folds to pull the dough into a ball, then carefully place the dough smooth side in the banneton. Sprinkle extra rice flour across the top of the dough and down the sides to ensure it is not sticking. Cover the bowl with the same shower cap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  1. After 3 to 10 hours in the fridge, when you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) convection or 450°F (230°C) conventional. Remove the cover from the banneton, then place the paper over the top of the banneton and the pan upside down over the top of them both. With one hand under the banneton and one on the pan, turn it all over together to turn the dough out of the banneton and into the pan.
  1. Using a bread lame or razor blade, score the dough. Place the lid on the pan and bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, if you would like more color on your loaf, place the pan back in the hot oven, minus the lid, for 5 to 10 minutes.
  1. Or, to bake from a cold start: place the pan with your dough in into the cold oven, turn the temperature to 425°F (220°C) convection or 450°F (230°C) conventional and bake for a total of 55 minutes from the time that you placed the pan in the cold oven, with the lid on the entire time. Note: If you have an older oven that takes a long time to come up to temperature, you may need to bake the loaf for longer to ensure that it is fully baked.
  1. Once baked, carefully remove the loaf from the pan, saving the parchment paper for next time, and allow the baked loaf to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.


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Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
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