Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Makes two 1 ½ pound loaves
Bob Linville, a good friend, calls this loaf one of his favorites. It has great flavor and texture. He uses our fast Russian culture to leaven this moderately heavy dough.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 ¾ cups white flour
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1.Combine the flours and mix well. Mix the sourdough culture with 1 cup of the flour and ¼ cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. This is the working culture. Proof 12 hours at room temperature (68° to 72°) or 6 hours in a proofing box at 85°.
2.Add 1 cup of the flour mixture and ½ cup of the water. Mix and knead until smooth. Proof 8 hours at room temperature or 4 hours in the proofing box. After proofing, this is the fully active culture.
3.Punch down. Dissolve the salt in the milk and mix in the sugar and butter. Add to the dough and mix well. Reserve 1 cup of the flour for flouring the board. Mix and spoon knead the remaining 1 ¾ cups flour into the dough 1 cup at a time. When too stiff to mix by hand, transfer to the floured board and knead in the remaining flour.
4.Form 2 pan loaves, and proof at the same temperature used above until the dough rises about 1 inch above the pan tops (2 ½ to 3 hours).
5.Start in a cold oven at 375° for 70 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks.
He used Sourdough International’s South African culture.  This culture loves and thrives on whole wheat.  In fact it is started with whole wheat.  If you do your own whole wheat grains or anything along that line, you need this culture!  In fact, I headed right home to start mine.  All I could think on the way home is;  I could add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and the list could be endless! Here is his recipe.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.  Happy baking.
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