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Artisan Whole Grain Bread

Living in the United States made me explore many types of bread. And some of them were really good. Here I want to talk about the artisan whole grain bread. I usually buy this bread at a local grocery store If I run out of my own (this doesn’t happen often:). And I don’t feel guilty at all. It contains healthy and great ingredients, and it is also very delicious. It is made with sourdough starter and small amount of yeast. And if you mix it all together in the morning, by lunch time you will have hearty and delicious loaf of bread. 

The recipe was adapted from the book “Bread” by Jeffrey Hamelman.


Sourdough Starter 


  • 115 g any grains and seeds you love. I was using whole wheat berries, barley, millet, flex seeds, sunflower seeds.
  • 135g hot boiling water
  • 3g salt 




  • 10 pm add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let sit at room temp 74-78F until in about 8-10 hours starter reaches its peak (triples or more in volume).
  • Learn how to make starter from scratch here.


  • 10 pm  pour hot boiling water over the seeds, cover, let them soak overnight.


  • 8 am mix water with yeast, flour, all soaker and sourdough starter, cover, let it rest 30 min for autolyse.
  • During the autolyse the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This activates gluten development.
  • 8:30 am add salt . Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or with KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 minutes until well incorporated and gluten will get stronger, The dough should come up together,
  • Let ferment the dough for 1 hour and 30 min at 76F/24C

Preshaping Sourdough 

  • 10 am Transfer the dough on to a work surface and dust its top with flour. Flip the dough over so the floured side faces down. 
  • Fold the dough onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf. This will become the crust. 
  • Place the dough round on a work surface and let it rest for 30 minutes uncovered.

Shaping Sourdough 

  • 10.30 am Dust the dough with whole wheat flour. Use a dough scraper to flip it over on to a work surface so the floured side faces down. 
  • Starting at the side closest to you, pull the right 2 corners of the dough to the left, then fold them up into half of the dough. Repeat this action on the left side too.
  • Finally, roll the dough. Shape it into a smooth, taut roll.
  • Spray it generously with water and roll it in the mixture of seeds, or just regular oats.
  • Generously sprinkle proofing couche with whole grain  flour to prevent sticking.
  • Now transfer shaped dough onto a proofing couche sealed side up. Clip both sides of couche with clips to help it to hold its shape. 
  • Let the dough to proof for 1 hour at 78F/25C(could be little more). It could take little more or less time( depending on the temperature on your kitchen)
  • Perform poke test to check the readiness. Give the dough a gentle but assertive poke. If the dough springs back right away, let it rise for a few more minutes. If the dough springs back slowly, like it’s waking up from a long nap, and your poke leaves a small indentation, it’s ready to go.


  • 11-11.30 am Preheat your oven to 500 F, place a challenger pan with the lid inside for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Flip the dough over on a parchment paper, score it with a sharp knife or a scoring lame.
  • Transfer it on to the hot cast iron pan, cover with lid (to create steam for a beautiful and crusty crumb).
  • Bake at 500F for 15 minutes with lid on.
  • Remove the lid, lower the temperature to 450F. 
  • Bake for 20 more minutes until golden brown.
  • Enjoy 
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25 thoughts on “Artisan Whole Grain Bread

  1. thank you for all the information sourdough breads and referrals for the tools that you use. 👍☺️

    1. Thank you for your feedback 🙏

  2. dear natasha thank you for this recipe! the levain in this is 188 gram , is this really obly 20% of bakers percentage? thank you

    1. Dory, it was typo. Just changed it 🙏

  3. Hello. Confused about the Levain. The math doesn’t seem to work out. If it’s 20% of flour only then it should be 50g. If it’s 20% including the soaker it should be 73g. Could you explain how you measure the 20% and what it is based on. Thank you

  4. **** Sorry. Including all soaker is 100g not 73g

    1. All soaker 253 g

  5. Hi Natasha, can I skip yeast in this recipe.

    1. Sure, absolutely !
      Let it ferment longer.

  6. Hello. Is the Levain correct?

    1. Yes

  7. Wow!! Just WOW!! I made this 2 weeks ago and accidentally overproofed the dough but the bread still came out amazing. Today, I doubled the recipe and better tended the dough, baked 2 loaves in bread pans (sandwich), and I am blown away!! I love the process of making sourdough bread but I love even more that this can be made in less than a day! THANK YOU SO MUCH NATASHA! Your inspiration & sharing have made that last year and a half so much more bearable. Blessings<3!

    1. Thank you, Anita!
      So happy 😀

  8. Is there any way to ferment this dough to realize the benefits of the sourdough starter + time? If I leave out the yeast, could the dough be fermented in the refrigerator overnight? Would love you thoughts!

    1. You can follow the regular fermentation steps( about 2-5 hours) following by cold retard

      1. Great news! I tried it:). Once shaped and laid into bread pans, I fermented 4 loaves in inside the refrigerator overnight! Wow… again… great sour taste, even higher rise when baked. They are absolutely perfect. Thank you again for your love for baking!!

  9. This is an amazing recipe and much better tasting and healthier than the store bought brand we usually get for our “seeded whole grain bread.” .;). Thank you for always sharing such detailed instructions.

    1. Susan, thank you so much for your kind feedback 🙏

  10. Natalie can I double recipe with same results?
    Cheers Ashton

    1. Ashton, hi!
      Sure you can.

  11. Honestly, since I followed this amazing account and I can’t get out of it as if it was a fully presented workshop. It is really a wonderful and amazing account. Thank you very much for all this rich information, effort, photography and accuracy in the explanation Love U Natalia

    1. Thank you!
      I really appreciate your feedback 🙏

  12. Fantastic recipe. Really love the outcome of this seeded loaf. Can’t wait to try more recipes!

    1. Thank you 🙏

  13. Hi
    Is levian realy 188 grams?

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