I started using this recipe with mostly white flour and only a little whole wheat flour. The above picture shows this bread. But gradually I've been using more and more whole wheat flour until now I'm using all whole wheat. The photo below is 100% whole wheat. The crust is not as crispy when using whole wheat, neither do I get as large of holes in the interior, but we still love it. If you choose to use all or some white flour, you will probably need slightly more flour.
6 cup whole wheat flour (or white if you prefer)
2 1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup active starter
1 T honey
3 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients except salt just until combined. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Add salt and mix on low or medium speed for 5 minutes.
Transfer to oiled bowl. Allow to rise for 3 hours. During rise, at each hour, stretch and fold the dough.
After rise, turn onto counter and divide into loaves. Make two large or four small loaves. Shape into round or oblong loaves and allow to rise for 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Slash loaves, mist with water, place in oven, turn heat down to 450 degrees, and bake for about 30 minutes. The crust should be a deep brown.
For even better crust and oven spring, cover loaf with roasting pan lid for the first 12 minutes of baking time to add humidity.
If you wish, you may allow the shaped dough to rise for about 1 1/2 hours and then refrigerate for 2 hours or up until a day. Bake directly out of the refrigerator with no warm up time needed.
I like to form the dough into a round loaf and place it seam side up in a VERY well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. When taking out of the fridge, the dough will be risen to fill the bowl. Turn out of bowl onto a baking sheet, score and bake immediately. This gives a lovely golden blistered crust.
I like the refrigerator method especially when we are having guests. It is nice to have all the prep work done the day before but still have fresh hot bread out of the oven.
To find more sourdough information and recipes, check out the sourdough page.