Servings: 216-ounce loaves or one large 32 ounce loaf
Author: Whitney Reist
1cup8 ounces of fed sourdough starter (make your own using a double batch of this recipe)**
1 ½cupslukewarm water
2teaspoonsof instant yeastnot rapid rise
2 ½cupsKing Arthur white whole wheat flour
2 ½cupsKing Arthur bread flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the starter, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and the 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour. Mix on medium-low speed to combine, while gradually adding the bread flour as the ingredients begin to incorporate. Scrape down the sides as necessary and continue mixing on medium-low until a dough ball forms. On low speed, knead the dough for 7-8 minutes until a smooth, elastic ball forms (test the elasticity by poking a finger in the ball of dough; if it springs back, you are done kneading. If a dimple remains, keep kneading).
Transfer the dough ball to a clean bowl that is lightly coating with cooking spray. Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise until double in size; about 90 minutes (mine only takes 70 minutes when I proof it in a warm dryer- see explanation in post).
Punch the risen dough ball down and divide it into two even sections. Shape it into a round ball and transfer to a well-floured bread rising basket (use two 8’’ basket made to hold 2-3 cups flour or one 10’’ basket made for a 5 cup flour recipe). Alternatively, you can use two greased loaf pans OR one large cast iron pot for the second rising.
Let the shaped loaves rise until double in size and puffy; about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 425? towards the end of the rising time.
Once the loaves have risen, carefully place a baking sheet pan on top of each the bread rising baskets and gently flip the loaves onto the pan. If you are using loaf pans or a cast iron pot, place the risen loaves directly into the oven in these containers.
Spray the sides of the oven with a little lukewarm water and bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes until they are a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before transferring the loaves to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.
**Fed sourdough starter means the starter has been fed within 2-4 hours of making the bread and is in an active growing state. The starter you measure out for this recipe should be very bubbly, slightly risen, and have a sweet aroma.