Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

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Use sourdough discard to make this Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread. This recipe has a hint of honey and makes two loaves.

One of our most popular sourdough recipes is our Sourdough Discard Bread. It bakes up fluffy on the inside and golden brown on the outside, with a slight hint of that sourdough tang you know and love.

We’ve been adding more whole grains into our diet, so we’ve tweaked that recipe to add in whole wheat flour and some olive oil for a heart-healthy bread.

Introducing our Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread. It makes an excellent sandwich bread!

two loaves of wheat bread on a table

About this whole wheat sourdough bread:

  • Flavor: In this bread you have nutty whole wheat flavor, a touch of sweetness from the honey and just a slight tang from the sourdough. Because this is a yeast bread, you won’t get a strong sourdough flavor, but it is a great way to use up sourdough discard.
  • Texture: This bread is light and soft, thanks to the mixture of bread flour and whole wheat flour. You can play around with changing the ratios if you’d like more whole wheat flour, but it will be a heavier bread if you do.
  • Method: There are three different methods you can use to mix this dough: bread machine on the dough setting, a stand mixer, or mixing by hand. My favorite method is the bread machine since it is a set and forget, tried and true method. Whatever way you choose to mix the dough, you’ll bake the bread in the oven.

Is whole wheat good for sourdough?

Yes! Although we use unbleached all-purpose flour for our sourdough starter, you can make sourdough bread with whole wheat flour or any other whole grain for that matter. It tastes amazing.

Sourdough Bread Starter

It’s important to know that you need a sourdough starter before you make this homemade bread. Sourdough starter takes at least 48 hours, but has better flavor the longer it sits. You can find complete instructions on how to make sourdough bread starter here. It’s an easy recipe.

The sourdough does not have to be active to use in this recipe.

Tips for Making Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

When I mix up yeast breads I use my bread maker on the dough setting to knead the dough. If you have a stand mixer, you could use that to mix and knead the dough.

But don’t worry…if you don’t have either of those appliances you can still make this bread! Simply mix the dough up in a large bowl and then knead the dough by hand for about 5-6 minutes.

  • About the water: You want the water and oil to be warm, about 110-115 degrees so that the yeast can start to activate. Be sure it isn’t too hot!
  • About the yeast: The most important thing to remember about yeast is to make sure it is fresh. There’s nothing worse than getting part way through your homemade bread recipe and realize that the bread isn’t rising due to old yeast. Our favorite yeast is Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast. It produces beautiful, tall loaves, every time.
  • About the flour: To have a whole wheat loaf that still is soft and light, use a mixture of both bread flour and whole wheat flour. The recipe calls for 4 ½ cups of flour. The dough should be slightly tacky when you touch it. If you feel you need to add a little more flour (especially if kneading by hand), add the flour a tablespoon at a time. The more flour you add, the drier and harder your bread will be.
  • About rising bread dough: To allow the bread dough to rise until it is almost double in size. I like to set my oven to 170ºF for a minute or two to let it warm. Then turn off the oven and place the covered bowl (with the dough inside) on the oven rack. Close the oven door and your dough will have a cozy, warm place to rise. My dough normally takes about 30-35 minutes to rise. This can potentially take around 60 minutes though, so be sure you plan enough time. Find a new way to rise bread dough here.
  • The second bread dough rise: After the dough has risen once, you’ll divide the dough in two, shape them into loaves and place them in a greased loaf pan. Cover the pans and allow the loaves to rise for an additional 20-25 minutes before you bake them.
slices of honey wheat bread with sourdough discard

Storage Instructions

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Freeze any leftovers for up to 6 weeks.

closeup of a slice of whole wheat sourdough bread
closeup of a slice of whole wheat sourdough bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread {With Discard}

4.66 from 44 votes
Use sourdough discard to make this Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread. This recipe has a hint of honey and makes two loaves.
Servings 20
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

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For the bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups warmed water 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit 12 ounces
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast* 7 grams
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (discard works great in this recipe) 8 ounces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 2 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon salt 7 grams
  • 1 tablespoon honey 21 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour 338 grams
  • 2 cups bread flour 260 grams

For the topping:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Pour the warmed water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and give it a few minutes to activate and get frothy.
  • Add the sourdough starter, olive oil, salt, honey, baking soda and flour.
  • Using the dough hook, mix the ingredients on medium speed until they are barely combined. Then let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  • Set the mixer to medium speed and knead for 4-5 minutes. The dough should be slightly tacky to the touch. If you think the dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, being careful not to add too much flour.
  • Transfer the dough to a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double.
  • Divide the dough into two loaves and place them in greased loaf pans**.
  • Cover the loaf pans and allow the dough to rise for another 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Uncover the bread pans. To get a lovely golden brown color, whisk together an egg and one tablespoon of water. Brush this on top of the loaf before baking. This is optional, but gives the bread a shiny golden brown top.
  • Bake the bread loaves for 25-30 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the loaves should sound hollow when you tap it. (Ours takes about 27 minutes. The internal temperature of yeast bread should read 190ºF.)
  • Allow the loaves to cool 10 minutes in the pans, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Freeze any leftovers.


*Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast works great for us in all of our yeast breads.
**I used 1 pound loaf pans that measured 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 2 loaves of bread and each being cut into 10 slices, with 1 serving being 1 slice of bread. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Calories 143
Keyword bread recipe, sourdough bread, sourdough discard

Sourdough Discard Recipes

These discard recipes use other leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda or yeast) to get a rise in the baked good. See some of our favorite recipes using sourdough discard here:

Sourdough Recipes We Love

We’ve had so much fun working with sourdough and creating all the things! Try one of our favorite recipes, both with discard and active starter.

About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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5 months ago

5 stars
BEYOND pleased!! These loaves rose so beautifully and had a fantastic texture and taste. Super easy recipe too, my new favorite sandwich bread recipe!!

slow food
7 months ago

5 stars
These turned out great–soft, fluffy and delicious. I used 4 cups whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup AP flour and added 4.5 tbl of wheat gluten. I refuse to throw out starter and I really appreciate all your discard recipes!

8 months ago

5 stars
Tell me a beautiful searching for a whole wheat bread recipe with my sourdough. This is absolutely delicious.

10 months ago

4 stars
Nice loaf of bread. I used whole wheat discard and put the dough in my King Arthur Flour long covered baker to make one large loaf. I always cut my bread from the center to keep it fresh. You could also cut it in half and freeze half. Thank for the recipe!

11 months ago

5 stars
This is softer and fluffier than the SD discard sandwich bread recipe I’ve used before! Husband approved! Thank you! (I measured the water and olive oil, but weighed all other ingredients)

Rachel Pradia
1 year ago

5 stars
This recipe was absolutely delicious!! I accidentally added extra honey but it didn’t affect the loaves. Also my dough didn’t seem to double on either rise, despite a 78° house, however they rose in the oven and were perfect!

1 year ago

Is the starter by volume or weight? Since the water is apparently by volume, guessing the starter is too. My starter is still a bit fluffy, so there will be a difference.

Ana Paula
2 years ago

My loaves are in the oven now but I don’t have much hope they’ll be any good. After the second rise when I removed the cloth that was covering the loaves they deflated like two balloons. I’ve never seen baking soda added to a yeast bread recipe. I think that might have caused the dough to rise too much and too fast.