No-knead Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread THM-E

Sourdough bread is so fascinating to me. I love to experiment with different ways, methods, and with my large family, they eat it right up. This method is very easy and the gluten is developed by the stretch and folds. It is a simple recipe that only uses 5 ingredients and is just stirred together using a large spatula or spoon. I found my clay baker at a thrift store for just a few dollars and I love it.

The key to a successful sourdough baking day is a mature starter. I do send small jars of starter for the cost of $6 for packing/shipping. Message me if you are interested in starter. You will find many more sourdough recipes in the spiral bound 600+ page Around the Family Table Cookbook. All recipes are sugar-free and label with the correct fuel. Books can be purchased using this link.  Buy It Now.

this video shows the entire process from mixing to baking.

No-Knead Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread THM-E

In a large mixing bowl, whisk starter, water, flour and gluten together until combined. You will have a rough, sticky dough. Allow dough to rest 20 minutes. Add salt. Mix well. Cover and allow it to rise for 1 hour. Remove lid and gently pick up one side of the dough, fold it in half. Repeat with all four sides of dough. Cover and allow to rise for another hour. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 4 folding times. Refrigerating ferment: Allow the dough to ferment for a total of 5 1/2 hours at room temperature from the time you mix it until you put the dough in the fridge. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours or longer. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Shape following the directions below. Room temperature ferment: Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for a total of 7 hours from the time you mix it until you shape it to be baked. Shaping. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I place my clay baker in the oven. The lid and the base on the oven rack to preheat. Press the dough out in a large rectangle. Fold dough in 3rds, pinching the edges together to seal the edges. Turn dough and fold in 3rds, pinching to seal edges. Lay the loaf on parchment paper. Slash the loaf with a sharp knife. When the oven is preheated, place loaf and parchment paper in a clay baker. Cover baker with lid. Set the timer for 35 minutes. When the baking time is complete, reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Remove the lid. Bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove clay baker from oven. Remove loaf to a wire rack to cool. 12-14 slices

Dough stirred together with a large spatula
Stretch and folds result is a silky smooth dough and develops the gluten.
Here is a video showing the stretch and fold method used to develop the gluten.
Stretched and folded for the last time and ready to place into the fridge.
The dough has doubled in size while it was in the fridge for 12 hours.
Covered Clay Baker
After a 30-45 minutes proof on the countertop at room temperature, the dough is slashed and ready to be placed in the hot oven. I love my serrated Princess House Bread knife to slash bread. It works great. 
This is what I found when I opened the lid after the bread at baked for 35 minutes at 450 degrees F.

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No-Knead Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread THM-E

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 47 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes
Servings 12
Author Glenda Groff

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups active sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir starter, water, flour and gluten together until combined. You will have a rough, sticky dough. Allow dough to rest 20 minutes. Add salt. Mix well.. Cover and allow it to rise for 1 hour. Remove lid and gently pick up one side of the dough, fold it in half. Repeat with all four sides of dough. Cover and allow to rise for another hour. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 4 folding times.  Refrigerating ferment: Allow the dough to ferment for a total of 5 1/2 hours at room temperature from the time you mix it until you put the dough in the fridge. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours or longer. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Shape following the directions below. Room temperature ferment: Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for a total of 7 hours from the time you mix it until you shape it to be baked. Shaping. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I place my clay baker in the oven. The lid and the base on the oven rack to preheat. Press the dough out in a large rectangle. Fold dough in 3rds, pinching the edges together to seal the edges. Turn dough and fold in 3rds, pinching to seal edges. Lay the loaf on parchment paper. Slash the loaf with a sharp knife. When the oven is preheated, place loaf and parchment paper in a clay baker. Cover baker with lid. Set the timer for 35 minutes. When the baking time is complete, reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Remove the lid. Bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove clay baker from oven. Remove loaf to a wire rack to cool. 12-14 slices

You will find many more recipes in the spiral bound 600+ page Around the Family Table Cookbook. All recipes are sugar-free and label with the correct fuel. Books can be purchased using this link. I do send small jars of mature sourdough starter at your request and I ask that you cover the cost of shipping/packing. PM me if you would like to receive a small jar of mature starter. You may also request a small jar of free sourdough starter with the purchase of a cookbook.   Buy It Now.

No-knead Rye Sourdough Bread and No-knead White Wheat Sourdough Bread.

93 thoughts on “No-knead Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread THM-E

  1. I was an avid bread baker a few years ago, and this definitely takes me back! I adore sourdough, but was never brave enough to try it myself. The Princess House comments also sent me down memory lane, as I have many of their pieces. Sadly, not those gorgeous bowls! I’m heading over to your FAQ’s on types of flour to see if sprouted wheat will work. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Like Shirley Moore, I used to bake bread, but it wasn’t healthy at all and I didn’t know better until four years ago (2015), when I learned about proper eating from a nutritional therapist specialising in Standard Process (SP) plans and supplements. At that time I was closing in rapidly on 90 kilograms (200 lbs) and was prediabetic. Three months later I was around 60kg (135 lbs) and have stayed in the 60-65 kg (135-145 lbs) range ever since. The keys for me were no processed sugars and no grains. Until recently, the only grain I ate was quinoa (which is technically not a grain).

      But many potential clients just could not imagine a menu without any bread, so I decided at the beginning of spring of this year (2019) to build a bridge to better eating by returning to bread making, this time focussing exclusively on fermented sourdough and sprouted grains.

      So far I have concentrated on sourdough using the Tartine Bakery of San Francisco’s recipes found in their books “Tartine” (2010) and “Tartine Book No.3” (2013) with a century-old San Francisco starter purchased from Alpine Bakery of Corvallis, Oregon where I currently live. The results with non-organic, non-whole wheat white bread flour were lovely, but still not very nutritious or healthy. So I took the plunge into organic white flour, which still produced good results without much improvement on the health/nutrition side.

      When I began to try Tartine recipes that contained organic whole grain red wheat, I ran into serious trouble. The results were overly dense breads with little rise that tasted fine but were virtual jaw-breakers! Definitely not the way to go.

      Tinkering with the starter and leaven (i.e. the developed starter) produced no better results. I was at a standstill until I discovered your “Around the Family Table” website just last week. The notion of adding vital wheat gluten was new to me. Fortunately my health food co-op had bags of it for sale, and I tried your no-kneed whole-wheat sourdough recipe for the first time this weekend (actually, preparations began back on Wednesday with accelerated feeds for the starter).

      The result was dramatically better! The bread rose properly, and had a reasonably good structure. The taste was fine. While definitely denser than a loaf made with white bread flour, it was soft enough to consume without a serious risk of breaking a tooth or cutting gum tissue. Even though the dough didn’t expand in the refrigerator during final finishing as much as the recipe called for, it still rose nicely while baking. I would definitely call it a success! Next weekend I’ll find out if it was just beginner’s luck, or if I’ve discovered how to make really healthy sourdough bread to lure clients over to better eating habits.

      I also added 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to a Tartine Bakery half-size recipe for a single 50% whole wheat loaf, while otherwise following the standard directions in the book. Once again, the bread rose nicely, had good structure and retained its taste. This was another indication that vital wheat gluten can greatly ease the struggle to home-bake sourdough bread that people will find attractive.

      Thanks ever so much for sharing your recipes and experience with various types of flour. I will be looking further into other recipes you offer, and will likely purchase your cookbook soon!

      – Be Wise & Well!
      Kirk S, Wellness Coach
      4 Strong Legs Wellness

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  3. Thank you so much. I made this recipe and it is everything I want in a bread. THM or not, it is amazing and has that classic tangy smell and taste that I LOVE. I have made a lot of THM friendly breads, and this take the prize. I love that I don’t have to buy sprouted wheat flour. I used Wheat Montana Prairie Gold whole wheat flour (available from Walmart on line). Amazing, Amazing bread. It looks as good as yours, only I have a long clay baker, rather than a round. It came out perfect. THANKS. You have made my life better. 🙂

      • Is it stickier if you don’t use the wheat gluten? Mine is always sticky even at the end? Not as sticky but still sticks to my fingers when I do stretches and folds.

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      • No clay baker so I plan to use a heavy casserole. Should I put a pan of water in the oven when I remove the lid? Thank you!

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  7. Hello Glenda, May I ask how you confirm that the bread is THM
    friendly? Is it because you know that once the flour has been fermented so many hours, most of the sugar is broken down? Some sourdough recipes that I’ve seen say at the top of the recipe what percentage of the bread is prefermented. I haven’t seen any numbers higher than 35%, which wouldn’t be a THM E, in my mind. So what makes this recipe E friendly?
    Thanks so much!

    • For sourdough bread to be THM approved it must be made with whole grain and fermented 7 hours at room temperature. This recipe is at room temperature for 5 hours and then refrigerated for 12+ hours. It meets the requirements for THM-E. The pre-fermenting you all talking about is the sourdough starter that they use in the bread dough.

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  9. Hi Glenda-I’ve had this site tagged and have come back to this recipe multiple times for weeks now. I just can’t seem to jump in! I think my biggest confusion is the timing. I need to time to be home (I guess four hours the first day) for all the rising, and then time it so after the 12 hour fridge sit and 2 hours on the counter. I’m struggling. Any easier way to simplify this for a newbie like me? Also, once it does the 12 hours can it stay in the fridge longer if need be? Thanks!

    • 1.You can shorten the rising time to 3 hours if that works better for you.
      2.You can keep it in the fridge up to 36 hours.
      3.The recipe is easier than it looks 🙂

  10. One more question; my dough didn’t rise. I’m getting ready to bake so we’ll see what happens. This has always been a problem for me my entire life. It’s like I’m incapable of having bread that rises. Any guesses to what I could be doing wrong? I did exactly everything as written. Maybe it’s my starter? I got one from a family member who had it sent from San Francisco. It was made with white KAF and I’ve been feeding it with wheat. Could that be the problem? Or am I maybe not catching it at the peak time?

    • If you had your dough in the fridge overnight it will not have risen much at all. I would try feeding your starter a different flour or a mixture of flours.

  11. Mine came out perfectly! So delicious! One more question; how do you store your bread and approximately how long does it keep? I did a Ziploc and I’d say I got a good week and then a couple pieces started getting moldy.

    • Amy, with no preservatives, the bread will not keep at room temperature that long – as you found out 😊 Try slicing the whole loaf and then stashing it in the freezer if you can’t go through it fast enough!

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  13. Do you have any suggestions for how to modify this recipe for spelt? Can I use the same amount as the white whole wheat? Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  14. Can i bake this bread in a bread pan? What would be the oven temperature and length if baking time if using a metal bread pan?

  15. Hi, Glenda!!! I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve had a starter (that I’ve tried a few recipes with) since November of last year, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy all that rye and spelt flour the THM cookbook calls for… The only issue I have is that I have a glass loaf pan (with a lid) and two lidless metal pans. Which would work better for this bread? Or should I just settle for the round loaf I could make in my Dutch oven? I honestly just want to be able to make bread for my husband’s sandwiches. 🙈

  16. Hi Glenda! I don’t have the 5.5hrs plus 12 hours fridge time to ferment this recipe. I realize because of the nature of the dough, the 12 hour fridge time finishes the 7 hour ferment plus allows the dough to be more workable. If I counter ferment for 6-7 hours and then fridge ferment for a couple (to get the dough more workable) would that work do you think? I have enough for 2 loaves so I may try this on one and do it for the right amount of time on the other (or fridge ferment longer) and see if there is any major diffeeence. I would love your input though! Thanks!

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  18. Glenda, thank you for your detailed recipe! I have a question… can I bake this bread in a glass bread loaf pan? If so, how long and at what temp would you recommend? I am desperate to make a good sandwich bread for my family but I don’t like to use metal pans and I don’t have any cast iron! Trying to just use what I have! Thanks so much!

  19. I only have whole wheat flour and not white whole wheat, I can’t get that where I live. How much of a difference will this make? I was reading it’s much more dense. Could I do like 75% whole wheat and 25% bread flour and still be thm friendly?

  20. I bake all our batches from scratch but have never made sourdough but have always wanted to. I am very interested in buying your sourdough starter! Do you still sell it?

  21. Hi! I will be ordering your book and starter but I want to purchase a covered clay pot first. What size do you use? Medium? Anything else I should know about purchasing one? Thanks for your help!! I’m excited to get started!!

  22. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I was getting ready to proof my dough this morning for 2 hours before baking it. Then, I reread the directions and it doesn’t say to do that. Am I going crazy? This is the only recipe I’ve ever made so I don’t know where I would have made that part up. Please help! Thanks

  23. I’m hoping I didn’t ruin it ..I was supposed to put my dough in the refrigerator at 9pm to finish the fermentation, and instead left it out overnight until about 630am. I don’t have time to bake until later today. Is it okay to use? Thanks so much!

  24. Glenda, on your webpage “Understanding Sourdough Bread – THM-E” you list using lecithin, oil/butter, and honey in some of your recipes and you tell how they help the bread. I’m curious why you use these ingredients in some recipes but not in the No-Knead recipes?

  25. I just tried this for the first time. It was so sticky I couldn’t even handle it. I ended up having to flour my table and knead it a bit until I could handle it. The end product spread out and was way more flat than yours. Tips on what I did wrong and how to fix it for next time? This is my first time making bread.

  26. Hi, I would like to get a starter. I would love to learn to make this. I also have a pot with a lid that is oven safe I specifically bought to make a no knead bread. Well, I never made it. 🙁 Would that work for this bread? Now that I’m on THM, I would love to try and actually do it this time. Please let me know the cost. Thank you!

  27. I believe there’s a difference between vital wheat gluten and vital wheat gluten flour. Do you have information about that. The link sends you to a product that says flour.

  28. Hi Glenda, I purchased my starter from you and feed it as instructed. The starter looked great and I separated some to use to make oat pancakes from your book . I had some left over and fed it 3 times to make no-knead rye bread. My starter for my bread ended up very thin although it was nice and thick before I took out what I needed for the pancakes. I still went ahead and used it for the bread but the bread was not very stretchy after my first set of folds and tucks. Is there anything I need to fix for the next time so it is not that thin?

    Thank you, Laura

  29. Does the clay baker need to be soaked AND preheated? The instructions that came with the clay baker only mention soaking.

  30. I’m confused. One recipe on your site says to bake after shaping. Another place says to shape then proof for 2 hours before baking. Which is it?

  31. I’m kinda confused….so you do stretches & folds, then do you put it in the fridge? Or leave it on the counter? And after it’s shaped, do you let it rise done more before baking?

    • There are two ways listed in the recipe.. You can allow the dough to ferment 7 hours at room temp from the time you mix it until you bake. That time includes the stretch and fold times. OR you can do some cold ferment by putting the dough int eh fridge like the recipe says.

      • Hi Glenda, thanks for all the help here! just want to make sure I got this right! so If I let it ferment for 7 hours at room temperature I can skip the 12 hours of cold fermentation?

  32. Are both refrigerator fermentation and room temperature fermentation required? Or is it one or the other?

  33. Can you do the refrigerator step in a proofing basket and skip the shaping step when you are ready to bake? Or does it need the stretch and fold in the shaping step before going into the oven?

  34. Hey Glenda,

    This may be a stupid question. But I got a clay baker but it is more shaped like a bread loaf. 14 by 5 by 4. Does the baking time change since it is more of a sandwich size loaf or would it be the same as in your directions?

  35. Hello, I made my dough and mine is pretty stiff. Thinking I may have used too much white wheat flour in my starter? 🙁

  36. Glenda, I made this loaf today for the first time in my DO. I did the 35 min at 425. took off cover and did 12 at 400. When that time was up, i checked the temp of the bread and it was 210. It looked beautiful. However, after it cooled and i cut into it, it was very “gummy” and inedible (not raw though). The end pieces were done and tasted wonderful.
    Is there a trick to know that your bread is actually done?

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