Vegan Whole-Wheat Sourdough Bread

The fermentation process reduces the amount of kneading required for this hearty bread.

Serves: 16Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 18 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 3 ¾ cups plus ⅓ cups pure water, warm (110°F–115°F), divided
  • 2 Tbsp. agave syrup
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. salt

Directions

  • Sterilize all equipment first by boiling in water for 5 minutes. This includes the container for the starter and all measuring cups and utensils. Combine the 2 cups flour and yeast in the sterile 2-quart glass or glazed ceramic bowl or container. Gradually stir in the 2 cups of warm water to form a thick, pasty mixture. Cover with a clean dish towel and set container on a baking sheet to catch any overflow that may occur. Place in a warm area, ideally 70°–80°F, and allow to sit for 3–4 days, stirring once each day.
  • When the starter is ready it will be bubbly and will have a sour but pleasant aroma. (If starter smells bad or develops a pink or orange tint, throw it out and start over.) The starter is ready to use and can be covered with a tight-fitting lid and stored in the refrigerator at this point.
  • The starter will need to be fed once every other week. To feed the refrigerated starter, bring starter to room temperature then add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. Let sit at room temperature for 8 hours and return to the refrigerator. Sometimes a brown liquid byproduct of fermentation called “hooch” will appear on the starter. This is harmless and can be stirred back into the starter.
  • Refresh 1 cup of sourdough starter (reserve remaining starter for another use) by combining the starter with ¾ cup water and 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Mix well and allow to sit for 4 hours.
  • Stir in the remaining 1⅓ cups water and the agave syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining unbleached all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt. Gradually add the flour to the sourdough mixture, adding only a small amount of additional water if needed. Stir until flour is incorporated. Dough will be stiff. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place (70°–85°F) for 6–8 hours.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes, and then knead again for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest for 10 more minutes. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a firm ball. Place dough balls on a nonstick baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for another 2–4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut five small ¼" deep slices on the top of loaf forming a star shape. Bake for 55–60 minutes, or until deep-golden brown. The loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Recipe Information

Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 3 ¾ cups plus ⅓ cups pure water, warm (110°F–115°F), divided
  • 2 Tbsp. agave syrup
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. salt

Directions

  • Sterilize all equipment first by boiling in water for 5 minutes. This includes the container for the starter and all measuring cups and utensils. Combine the 2 cups flour and yeast in the sterile 2-quart glass or glazed ceramic bowl or container. Gradually stir in the 2 cups of warm water to form a thick, pasty mixture. Cover with a clean dish towel and set container on a baking sheet to catch any overflow that may occur. Place in a warm area, ideally 70°–80°F, and allow to sit for 3–4 days, stirring once each day.
  • When the starter is ready it will be bubbly and will have a sour but pleasant aroma. (If starter smells bad or develops a pink or orange tint, throw it out and start over.) The starter is ready to use and can be covered with a tight-fitting lid and stored in the refrigerator at this point.
  • The starter will need to be fed once every other week. To feed the refrigerated starter, bring starter to room temperature then add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. Let sit at room temperature for 8 hours and return to the refrigerator. Sometimes a brown liquid byproduct of fermentation called “hooch” will appear on the starter. This is harmless and can be stirred back into the starter.
  • Refresh 1 cup of sourdough starter (reserve remaining starter for another use) by combining the starter with ¾ cup water and 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Mix well and allow to sit for 4 hours.
  • Stir in the remaining 1⅓ cups water and the agave syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining unbleached all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt. Gradually add the flour to the sourdough mixture, adding only a small amount of additional water if needed. Stir until flour is incorporated. Dough will be stiff. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place (70°–85°F) for 6–8 hours.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes, and then knead again for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest for 10 more minutes. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a firm ball. Place dough balls on a nonstick baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for another 2–4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut five small ¼" deep slices on the top of loaf forming a star shape. Bake for 55–60 minutes, or until deep-golden brown. The loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information
Amount per serving
Calories230
Total Fat1g
Saturated Fat0g
Cholesterol0mg
Sodium300mg
Total Carbohydrate49g
Dietary Fiber3g
Sugars2g
Protein7g