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Kountry Kernza®

Kountry Kernza®

1 two-pound loaf of bread


12 to 24 hours, depending on how the dough is proofed


  • Kitchen scale
  • Proofing basket (optional)
  • Cloche or Dutch oven (or other suitable baking vessel)
  • Thermometer


  • 350 grams (1 1/2 C) water
  • 100 grams (7/8 C) Kernza Flour
  • 400 grams (3 1/4 C) All Purpose flour
  • 75 grams (1/3 C) ripe sourdough starter
  • 9 grams (1 tsp) sea salt


I have been baking sourdough bread for several years. Most of the bread that I bake use a blend of flours with a preponderance of whole grain flours. I use some Kamut, an heirloom variety of wheat, in most of my breads. I decided to experiment with the 21st Century variety – Kernza.

To get a sense for how Kernza performs, I decided to begin with a basic sourdough recipe, a variation on the Sourdough Country Loaf recipe in Tartine Bread. This recipe is an adaptation that substitutes Kernza for the whole wheat flour.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Mix together 350 (1 1/2 C) grams of water, 100 grams (7/8 C) Kernza and 250 grams (2 C) AP flour, let stand for 2 hours (the autolyze).
  2. Blend 75 grams of ripe sourdough starter into the previous mixture.
  3. Mix the salt into the remaining AP flour (150 grams/1-1/4 C) and blend into the dough. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Do a series of 4 or 5 “stretch & folds” at 30 minute intervals, resting the dough in between.
  5. Cover and let the dough stand at room temperature for an additional 2 to 4 hours. Then refrigerate the dough and bulk ferment for another 12 hours. During the bulk ferment, the dough should about double in volume.*
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, degas the dough and shape the dough. Place the dough into a proofing basket that has been dusted with rice flour. Cover and let stand for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.
  7. Place the cloche in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  8. Remove the pre-heated base of the cloche from the oven, place the dough onto the base, cover and return to the oven for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the cloche cover and bake for an additional 20 minutes.** The bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 200 to 205 degrees F.***

Additional comments:

*Timing for the bulk ferment is variable, depending on the temperature at which the dough is proofed. Refrigeration retards the process. Proofing time would be shorter if the dough is proofed at warmer than room temperature.

**If a softer crust is desired, increase the covered baking time

***Baking times will vary, depending on oven performance.

For consideration:

As an alternative to leavening the dough with sourdough starter, the home baker could use a poolish. Mix together 100 grams of water, 100 grams of AP flour and ¼ teaspoon active yeast. Let stand for about 12 hours. Then, add ¼ teaspoon active yeast, the remainder of the water and flour and the salt. Continue with the stretch & folds. Complete the bulk fermentation at room temperature and shape the dough after the dough has doubled in volume.


Oct 05, 2020 • Posted by John Mundinger

Michael – I did not share a crumb shot for that loaf. But, if I had used that bread for PB&J, I’d have a serious laundry issue. ;)

On the more serious side, I typically only bake the “country loaf” to have bread to eat with a hearty soup and that is how I would use the above recipe.

Oct 04, 2020 • Posted by Michael

I have been making a sourdough loaf with 300 g bread flour, 200 g whole wheat, and 100 g Kernza. With 400 g water and 100 g starter, my hydration is only 70%. Not as airy, but fewer big holes for the peanut butter and jelly to drip through.

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