Rustic Sourdough Bread

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A delicious rustic sourdough bread made with whole wheat and honey.

Lets go back to the basics with this rustic sourdough bread recipe!

This one is for those of you who love the tangy, slightly tart flavor of traditional sourdough loaves, the aroma of freshly baked bread, and the satisfaction of creating something beautiful with your own two hands.

Sourdough is a true labor of love – it requires patience, dedication, and a little bit of science. But don’t worry, I’ll walk you through every step, from the autolyse, to the bulk ferment, to cold retard, to pulling a golden, crusty loaf out of the oven.

This rustic sourdough bread recipe is dedicated to the basics.

Rustic sourdough loaf in a blue oval dutch oven.

Jump to:

Key Ingredients

Sourdough Starter: For this recipe, you want to use a fed and active SOURDOUGH STARTER. Your starter should have been before beginning and have AT LEAST DOUBLED IN SIZE. This recipe is based on a sourdough starter with 100% hydration (equal amounts of flour and water by weight, not volume.)

Honey: I am using raw, unpasteurized honey straight from my homestead honeybees. If you don’t have access to raw honey, regular honey will work. As will maple syrup, or even granulated sugar. But I believe you just can’t beat honey whole wheat!

Ingredients required for this recipe.

How To Make Rustic Sourdough Bread

Autolyse:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 340g warm water with 40g honey, stir until completely combined.
  2. Add 275g bread flour and 225g whole wheat flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until all the dry bits are incorporated.
  3. Cover the bowl and set aside to autolyse for 30 – 60 minutes.

Add Sourdough Starter:

  1. Uncover the bowl and spread the dough in the bowl, I just press it flat with my fingers, and sprinkle 14g sea salt over the dough, then spread 100g sourdough starter across the surface of the dough.
  2. Using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat 4 times to fold in the starter.
  3. Recover and set aside for 1 hour.

Stretch And Fold:

  1. Using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat 4 times to fold in the starter. This makes 1 set of stretch and folds.
  2. Recover and set aside for 1 hour before performing another set of stretch and folds before recovering.
  3. Repeat once more, for a total of 3 sets of stretch and folds. Then cover, and set aside for 2 hours to finish the bulk ferment.

Shape:

  1. Uncover the dough and transfer to a work surface or countertop. Gently press and spread the dough into a large rectangle.
  2. Fold up the bottom third of the dough as though you were folding a letter, and then fold the top down.
  3. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll up into a large log. Cover with a kitchen or tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. After the rest, flip the dough over, gently press the dough flat then roll it again. Pinch the ends if you’re making a batard or tuck them in if your making a boule.
  5. Dust the dough with rice flour then tuck seam side up into a banneton.

Prove + Cold Retard:

  1. Prove the rustic sourdough loaf in the banneton for 2 hours before covering and placing in fridge to cold retard for up to 3 days. If you want to bake it right after proving, you’re welcome to, but the flavor is better after resting in the fridge.

Bake:

  1. Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don’t have a dutch oven, I do have a guide on baking sourdough bread without a dutch oven.
  2. Once the oven is preheated, invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash, but you can get as fancy as you like!
  4. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  5. Bake the dough at 450f covered for 30 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 10-15 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through and the crust is nicely browned. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.
Overhead look at baked rustic sourdough.

Cool:

  1. Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> If you’re overwhelmed with all things sourdough, I can help you! I have guides on everything from making a 24 HOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER, to PICKING THE BEST STARTER JAR, to FEEDING SOURDOUGH STARTER, to STORING SOURDOUGH STARTER, to PROOFING IN THE FRIDGE, to FREEZING SOURDOUGH BREAD, to USING UP DISCARD, and more.

No. 2 –> Don’t have a banneton basket? I have a guide on BANNETONS AND BANNETON ALTERNATIVES!

No. 3 –> This recipe has a high proportion of whole grain flour, so we’ll be using a little bit of baking magic called autolyse. This easy process helps to improve the texture of the baked bread and improve gluten structure in the dough.

No. 4 –> I recommend using bread flour in conjunction with whole wheat in this recipe because whole wheat has the tendency to result in dense baked goods while bread flour, with its high protein content, provides a lot of structure. In a pinch, you could use all purpose flour, but the dough might feel “wetter” to work with.

Close up of the crumb.

Batch + Storage

Batch:

This rustic sourdough recipe makes one large boule or batard. This is enough for my family of 4 to snack on for at least 2 days!

Storage:

If you’ve got leftover sourdough, you’ve got serious willpower! There are a couple of ways to STORE SOURDOUGH BREAD to help prolong its quality after cutting.

Your loaf can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. This is our go-to. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours though.

Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To FREEZE SOURDOUGH, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up, and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap, and allow it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

More Sourdough Bread Recipes

Cast iron dutch oven: Much of the success of this bread depends on having a heavy-ass cast iron dutch oven, as it traps in steam and boosts the oven spring of your sourdough.

The blue one in these photos is a 6-quart oval dutch oven that I find perfect for baking batards. As an added bonus, due to the shape, I can fit this dutch oven and a round one in the oven to bake double the volume! If you don’t have a dutch oven, I have a guide on HOW TO COOK SOURDOUGH WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

Scale: It’s really hard to make sourdough without a scale. Sorry, but them’s the facts! bread baking and bread dough are a bit of a science. A GOOD KITCHEN SCALE will treat you well over a huge range of recipes, not just sourdough. Think of  HOMEMADE BACON!

If you love this recipe, please give it a star rating or leave a comment below! This helps me to create more content you enjoy!

📖 Printable Recipe

Rustic sourdough loaf in a blue oval dutch oven.

Rustic Sourdough Bread Recipe

Allyson Letal
Savor the taste of home-baked goodness with our rustic sourdough bread recipe. Made with whole wheat and a hint of honey, this hearty bread has a golden, crispy crust and a delightfully chewy texture. Perfect for any meal, it brings the cozy charm of a country kitchen right into your home.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rest Time 18 hours
Total Time 23 hours 45 minutes
Course Sourdough
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices
Calories 197 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 340 g water warm
  • 40 g honey
  • 275 g bread flour
  • 225 g whole wheat flour
  • 100 g sourdough starter
  • 14 g sea salt fine

Instructions
 

autolyse:

  • In a large bowl, add 340g warm water with 40g honey, stir until completely combined.
  • Add 275g bread flour and 225g whole wheat flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until all the dry bits are incorporated.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside to autolyse for 30 – 60 minutes.

add sourdough starter:

  • Uncover the bowl and spread the dough in the bowl, and sprinkle 14g sea salt over the dough, then spread 100g sourdough starter across the surface of the dough.
  • Using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat 4 times to fold in the starter.
  • Recover and set aside for 1 hour.

stretch and fold:

  • Using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat 4 times to fold in the starter. This makes 1 set of stretch and folds.
  • Recover and set aside for 1 hour before performing another set of stretch and folds before recovering.
  • Repeat once more, for a total of 3 sets of stretch and folds. Then cover, and set aside for 2 hours to finish the BULK FERMENT.

shape:

  • Uncover the dough and transfer to a work surface or countertop. Gently press and spread the dough into a large rectangle.
  • Fold up the bottom third of the dough as though you were folding a letter, and then fold the top down.
  • Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll up into a large log. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the rest, flip the dough over, gently press the dough flat then roll it again. Pinch the ends if you're making a batard or tuck them in if your making a boule.
  • Dust the dough with rice flour then tuck seam side up into a BANNETON.

prove + cold retard:

  • Prove the rustic soudough loaf in the banneton for 2 hours before covering and placing in fridge to cold retard for up to 3 days. If you want to bake it right after proving, you're welcome to, but the flavor is better after resting in the fridge.

bake:

  • Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f.
  • Once the oven is preheated, invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough.
  • Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  • Bake the dough at 450f covered for 30 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 10-15 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through and the crust is nicely browned. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.

cool:

  • Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

Batch:

This rustic sourdough recipe makes one large boule or batard. This is enough for my family of 4 to snack on for at least 2 days!

Storage:

If you've got leftover sourdough, you've got serious willpower! There are a couple of ways to STORE SOURDOUGH BREAD to help prolong its quality after cutting.
Your loaf can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. This is our go-to. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours though.
Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To FREEZE SOURDOUGH, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up, and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap, and allow it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 546mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  1. HI, I tried your cinnamon raisin sourdough recipe and had the best result I have every had. Thanks. I am wondering when you say bread bag what do you mean- a plastic bag or something else.
    Thanks so much,
    Rebecca Roy

    1. So happy to hear that Rebecca! Yes, you’re exactly right, when I say bread bag I just mean a plastic bag – some reuse bags from store bought loaves, I actually bought a pack of loaf bags just for this purpose! That said, you can use any food safe bag you have on hand.