Cracked Wheat Sourdough


After making sourdough for a few months I started to get the predictable urge to mess with the recipe – I wanted to offer customers more than one kind of sourdough. Rye sourdough had already been added to the lineup, so I started playing around with replacing part of the bread flour in the basic recipe with whole grain wheat flour. The next step was replacing part of the wheat flour with ground flaxseed, then I started mixing in sunflower seeds and cracked wheat, and a half and half mix of honey and molasses. Swap out some of the water for milk to tenderize the crumb, and there it was. A sourdough to please those of us who like chewy stuff in our bread.

Flaxseed goes rancid fairly quickly, so if you can, buy whole golden flaxseed and grind just as much you need in a burr coffee grinder. Whole seeds are shelf stable for a long, long time in tightly covered container, but refrigerate or freeze them if your storage space is warm. Cracked wheat can be found in most stores selling bulk groceries, or you can grind it yourself with a hand or electric mill set to make coarse grounds. You can sub roasted pumpkin seeds for some or all of the sunflower seeds, or just put a few on top.

Starting with an active, bubbly sourdough starter, stir in everything except the bread flour, salt and melted butter. Cover tightly and let it sit about 12 hours on the counter, preferably at a temperature of around 70°F. After 8-12 hours it should smell pleasantly sour and look a little puffy, though not necessarily like it has increased in volume.

– Joan, 4 February 2018


Cracked Wheat Sourdough

  • Servings: One 1¼ lb. loaf
  • Print

Starter dough

  • ½ cup (114 grams) warm water
  • ½ cup (120 grams) active sourdough starter
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) molasses
  • ¾ cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup (42 grams) golden flaxseed, ground
  • ¼ cup (37 grams) cracked wheat

Mix all the liquids together, then add the dry ingredients and stir well. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature, about 70°F, for at least 8 hours and up to 12.

Final dough

  • all of the starter dough
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½-1¾ cups (180-210 grams) bread flour

Pour all of the starter dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and stir in the melted butter. Stir salt into bread flour, then add to the starter dough and butter. Mix on low till all the flour is incorporated. Turn speed to medium and knead about 5 minutes. Dough should just clear the sides of the bowl and feel soft and pliable. Put it into a greased container and cover for 20 minutes, fold and turn, cover for another 20 minutes, fold and turn again, then cover and let it rise till it’s doubled in bulk. This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Once it’s doubled, form into loaf shape you prefer and cover again while it rises. Preheat oven to 400°F. When a finger gently poked into the loaf leaves an impression it’s ready to bake.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, till dark golden brown. It should sound hollow when turned over and tapped on the bottom. Cool at least 3 hours before cutting or bagging for storage.


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