Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Loaves

Multigrain Soft Sourdough Bread

May 09, 2019 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Multigrain Soft Sourdough Bread

Multigrain Soft Sourdough Bread

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This month is all about sourdough bread. This time, I baked a multigrain soft bread with the sourdough starter. I just love sourdough now. The bread just turns out very soft with a delicious aroma every time.

This recipe is originally from Jeannie Tay.  But, I made some changes.  Thank you, Jeannie for the recipe.

This Multigrain Soft Sourdough Bread is especially soft, fluffy and moist on the first day.  However, it lost a little softness and moisture on the second day.  By the second day, it is best to toast them before eating to get back some softness.  It tastes very mild sourness.

I have another slightly different version Soaked Multigrain Soft Sourdough Bread that you may interested too. 

If you like Soft Sourdough Breads,  I have several Soft Sourdough Bread Recipes that you may like to try.  

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Multigrain Soft Sourdough Bread 

Yields:  1 loaf


Levain - 260g total (ratio 1:3:3):
40g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
120g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
120g water 

Main Dough:
250g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
80g whole wheat flour
260g levain (from the above)
50g multigrain (9 grains), blend with food processor
30g brown sugar or honey (I used brown sugar), please add more sugar if you prefer sweeter.
1 tsp salt
30g extra virgin olive oil
130g full cream milk
60g lukewarm water

600g loaf pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)

  1. Levain:
    1. One night before baking, mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment in aricond room temperature (approximately 25C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. The total weight should be around 280g.  But, you will only need 260g.
    3. Note:  If you like to prepare levain on the same baking day, please use the ratio 1:1:1.  Let it ferment in our tropical room temperature until tripled.  It took about 3-5 hours depend how strong is your starter.
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except olive oil), including the 260g sourdough starter (levain) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 3 - 5 minutes (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until dough comes together.  Add in olive oil and continue knead for 12 minutes - 15 minutes or until reach window pane stage. 
  3. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough did not rise a lot in 60 minutes.
  4. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    2. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  
  5. Final Proofing:
    1. I let it retard in fridge for 12 hours.  I took out from the fridge and let it continue rising  until the dough reaches the height of the pan. 
  6. Baking:
    1. Preheat the oven to 180C for about 15 minutes.
    2. Bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 

If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.


Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Hi where did you buy the sourdough starter & japanese bread flour?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for asking. You need to make your own starter from scratch. You may search online for making starter dough. I followed the before Youtube:

      For Japanese bread flour, you can get from any Bakery Ingredients Shop. I got mine from House of Ingredients.


  2. Hi there,

    Do I have to blend the multigrain until powder form? I have 10 Grains cereal from Bob’s Red Mill which is coarsest ground, do I still need to blend it further?

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your question. No need until powder form. Coarse ground is ok or you can blend till medium if you like.

      You can see the picture from this link:

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi, when u say leave to retard and bake next day, did u bake it cold from the fridge? Or let it drop to room temp?

    1. Hi, Thank you for asking. I baked straight away from the fridge. But, if the dough deflated slightly, then you need to leave in room temperature to rise back before baking.

    2. Great! Thanks for the tip, excited to try it out!

    3. You are most welcome :) Happy baking...

  4. Hi,

    265 gram of levain, does that mean it's already tripled? Or, do I need 265 levain + the 90 gram feeding + 90 gram water + 90 gram flour again?

    Thank you for the recipe.


    1. Hi Sri, Thank you for asking. Feed 90g sourdough starter with 90g water and 90g flour to get the 265g of levain. You may get slightly more. But, just use 265g is enough. I hope this is clear.

      Cheers and happy baking :)

  5. Hi,

    When you mentioned 265 gram of levain, that means it's already fed, correct?
    Or, do I need the 265 gram of levain + 90 gram water + 90 gram flour + 90 gram water, wait till trippled then use?

    Thank you,



    1. Yes, you are right. 265g is already fed. Thanks :)

  6. Hi,I tried this multi grain loaf over the weekend and I did a retard which was only abt 9.5 hrs.
    1.I feel that the levain is too much for a loaf. loaf was soft but the taste was sourish. Could it be as I mentioned in No. 1 that Levain is too much because for a loaf of 380gm flour(including multigrain)against 264gm levain. Thank you.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for trying this recipe and the feedback.

      The bread dough going through long fermentation at low temperatures is usually more sour as more acidity developed. To minimize the sourness in the bread is to minimize the lenght of fermentation time. Another way is use the young levain when it proofs till double and not triple.

      This is the 70% levain recipe. I made all my soft bread using this recipe. I found that my bread will double in size in between 3 - 4 hours and all the bread are not that sourish if compare with the bread that retard in the fridge over night. To my personal opinion, I don't think it is because of too much levain because more levain will shorten the proofing time.

      I hope it helps. I am also a beginner in sourdough baking and an expert yet. I answered based on my experience. Please share your experiment with me too ya.

      Thank you and happy baking.

  7. Hi Yeanley,
    I am new to sourdough baking.
    May I know why is my dough wet, sticky and can't be handle?
    The more I mixed it, the stickier it became.
    May I know at what speed do I mixed the dough.
    I am using a Panasonic mixer.

    Thank you. A great weekend to you and family.


    1. Hi Kim,

      Thank you for asking. It could be too wet. Please refer to the general notes:

      The liquid measurement given is also a guide. It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go. This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency. This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently.

      I use Kenwood Mixer, speed no. 2.5 - 3.

      Cheers :)

    2. Hi Yeanley,

      Thank you for the tip.
      Will keep in mind to reserve some water.

      Thank you.


    3. You are most welcome Kim. I hope it will work in your next baking.

  8. Hi,

    Thank you very much.
    Happy baking.

  9. I would like to try this recipe, but my loaf tin is different size 25cm x 12cm x 11cm. Can you advise how I should scale the recipe to fit my tin?

    1. Hi, I think this recipe can fit into your tin. Maybe it will be slight shorter.
      I think your tin will be slight bigger in term of volume. You can try to increase by 1.2 in all the ingredients.
      I hope it will work.
      Cheers :)

  10. I was very excited to try this recipe, so I started adding all the ingredients into the mixing bowl. Then I read the next two sentences and realised that there's butter to added in after the initial dough comes together. But I couldn't find the butter in the list of ingredients...!
    As I had already started on this bread with the ingredients mixed in the bowl, I had no choice but to carry on.
    I decided to use my own discretion for the amount of butter and finally added 30g. With that amount,the dough felt pliable and reached window pane stage.
    The dough is currently about 45 minutes into its first proof and has just about doubled in size. I will form into buns.
    I am curious how other people have managed to bake this bread when there's such an huge oversight in the recipe...
    I hope the buns turn out well. There was no turning back for me. Would have been a great waste of ingredients if I had abandoned baking the recipe...

    1. Hi, thank you for trying this recipe. Sorry for the confusion. Actually, there is no butter used in this recipe. I used extra virgin olive oil instead as stated in the ingredients. There was an error in Main Dough step 1. I forgot to change 'butter' to 'extra virgin olive oil'.

      Thank you for pointing out the error. I apologies for any inconvenience caused.


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