100% Hydration Cold Fermented Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe

A while back I published a recipe for a 100% hydration white flour sandwich bread which turned out to be quite popular and a few people asked me for a whole wheat version. So here it is. It is basically identical to the original recipe with one exception which is the flour.

This dough is just as easy to handle. In fact, it is more cohesive because the bran absorbs more water and makes the dough a bit tighter. You could easily increase the hydration of this dough to 110% or even more without any issues. If you want to experiment with that, I suggest decreasing the mass of the dough so that it fits in the tray properly.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

550g (1.2lb) whole wheat bread flour

550g (1.2lb) water

4g (0.14oz) instant dry yeast or 4.8g (0.17oz) active dry yeast or 12g (0.42oz) fresh yeast

10g (0.35oz) salt


15g (0.53oz) olive oil for the bowl

Extra oil for coating the loaf.


To learn more about no-knead bread dough temperature control click here.

The flour I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration. 

If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients or else it could take a lot longer to raise the dough.


  1. Combine the water, yeast, and salt. Mix well to dissolve the salt and hydrate the yeast. Add the flour and mix to a dough. *Desired dough temperature around 24C (75F).
  2. Place the dough in a clean bowl with the olive oil.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Fold #1.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Fold #2.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Fold #3.
  9. Cold ferment for 12 – 24 hours.
  10. Pour oil over the dough, release it form the bowl, cover all sides with oil, and give it another fold before placing it in the baking tin.
  11. Cover and final proof for 2.5 hours. During the final 30 minutes pre-heat the oven to 250C (480F) fan on.
  12. Bake at 200C (390F) fan on for 40 minutes with the lid on.
  13. Remove the loaf from the tin and place it back into the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

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