Wholemeal sourdough with peanut butter.

A friend posted this bake as a batard, earlier this week. It looked lovely, so this is my take on it.

Sounds like a weird concoction, sourdough and peanut butter, but the combination of strong white and wholemeal flours combined with a sourdough starter and a good 'dollop' of peanut butter, produces a unusual bake. The peanut butter accentuates the 'sourness' of the sourdough. If you're a person who likes your sourdough well....sour....then this might be for you. 

The peanut butter adds nutritional value as well as blending in beautifully into the dough. Incidentally, peanut butter is also ideal for removing tar from car panels. Use the smooth butter, smear it on, wait and then wash it off. And no.....you can't reuse it in this recipe, afterwards. 

This is a two day bake - you'll need to start it on Day 1 and then bake the following morning. 

You'll also need 75 gms of active sourdough starter. If you haven't any starter - then you'll need to make one before you can proceed. 

There's a recipe for 'make your own starter' here: https://breadclub20.blogspot.com/2020/11/making-your-own-sourdough-starter.html

Ok, so we have 75 gms of starter. What else do we need? 


75 gms active sourdough starter

300 gms strong white bread flour

200 gms wholemeal flour (also referred to as wholegrain or wholewhat flour)

200 gms of smooth peanut butter (not the salted variety)

7 gms sea salt. 

375 mls of filtered or basic bottled still water. 

You'll also need a floured banneton or a floured bowl (lined with a floured tea towel) in which to prove the dough - I'll refer to this as the proving basket. 



  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flours with the salt.
  2. Add the peanut butter and mix well. 
  3. Add the yeast and the water and mix into a sticky mix. 
  4. Cover the bowl (I use a disposable shower cap, but cling film or a tea towel will be fine) and leave on the worktop in the kitchen for 2 hours. 
Two hours later

After the first stretch and fold. 

  1. Lightly oil your hands. Working in the bowl, pull one side of the dough up and fold it back over itself. This is called 'stretch and fold'. Turn the bowl through 90 degrees and repeat. It will be sticky at this point, don't worry. Turn the bowl through 90 degrees and repeat. Keep turning, stretching and folding until you have a nice ball of heavy, sticky but stretchy dough. 
  2. Re-cover the bowl and return it to the worktop. 
  3. Over the next 4 or 5 hours, return to the bowl on 3 occasions and go through the same process as above. Stretch, fold, turn, stretch, fold turn. Repeat this four times and then cover the bowl until the next time. 
  4. Before you go to bed, stretch and fold it one more time and then leave until the morning. 
  5. Ideally, your kitchen will be somewhere around 18- 20 degrees C. If it's a lot warmer than this, try and find a cooler spot. If its a lot cooler than this, pop the bowl into the oven with the oven light on and leave the oven door slightly ajar. 
The next morning

  1. The dough should now have risen and at least doubled. 
  2. Take the proving basket and flour it generously with a coarse flour. I love rice flour - it's the Teflon of flours - nothing sticks to it. 
  3. Tip the dough onto a floured board. Tucking the edges of the dough under itself, form the dough into a ball or boule. 
  4. Place the dough away from you on a section of the worktop that is not floured. Place the edges of your palms around the dough and draw the ball of dough towards you. This is increasing tension in the dough. There's a video to support this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww78_SfGyQE. Repeat this a few times until you can feel the skin of the dough forming and the tension building up. 
  5. Now, decision time! You can bake the bread in any way you like. You might have an oval or a round banneton, a Dutch Oven, a roaster, a bread cloche, a Pyrex bowl....whatever. You now need to shape the dough to fit the proving basket which, of course, will be the same size and shape as your baking container. 
  6. Cover the proving container with a tea towel, cling film or shower cap and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You can leave in there longer if you wish, but no more than 9 hours, please. 

When you're ready to bake

Falcon 23cm enamel roaster and home-made silicone bread sling

  1. Preheat your oven to 220⁰C. 
  2. Remove the cover from your proving container and with the help of a piece of parchment paper on the top, flip it over carefully onto your hand. The bottom of dough from the proving container is now the top of your loaf. 
  3. Place the dough in your baking pan. 
  4. Slash the dough firmly and decisively. I use a razor blade. The fact that the dough has been in the fridge for a length of time will mean that it will score easily. 
  5. Cover the baking pan with a lid and place it on a rack in the lower third of the oven. 
  6. Remove the lid after 40 minutes. If it's still a bit pale, leave it in the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes until it develops the cover you are after. 
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and the loaf from the pan.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before slicing. 

If you are baking this freeform on a pizza stone or sheet of cordierite, then heat the stone up in the oven from cold. 

Slide your loaf onto the stone and mist gently. If you can cover the loaf with a metal bowl for the first 15 minutes, so much the better. This will help the 'oven spring'. 

Happy baking.....


    Popular Posts