Breads (Sourdough) - Open Crumb

Multigrain Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

September 12, 2019 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Multigrain Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Multigrain Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

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Inspiration from here and used method by Kristen from Full Proof Baking.

Characteristic of this bread:  The texture is moist, chewy, slightly sticky with a hard crust and very mild tangy taste. Sticky is because of the soaked multigrain. Usually sourdough starter provides an aromatic flavour to the bread.

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 Open Crumb Sourdough Bread 

Yields:  1 loaf


240g pan syokunin flour (Japan high protein flour 12%) - 80%
30g super melanger flour (Japan super high protein flour 14%) - 10%
30g whole wheat flour - 10%
221g water - 76% final hydration  (reserve 10g water for salt)
6g salt - 2%
60g active sourdough starter (100% hydration) - 20%

Multigrain to soak:
50g multigrain (I used 9 grains - brown flax, anthograin wheat, rye, triticale, barley, sesame, spelt, quinoa & millet) - 17%
55g boiling water

In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the multigrain, cover with cling film and soak overnight.
  • Please refresh  your starter several times before baking day in order to get a better result if you do not feed your starter daily or regularly.
  • Please reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 
Banneton (proofing basket)'s size - 6.5" oval shape
Ambient temperature after adding in levain:  25C 
The total fermentation time is 5 hours and 45 minutes.


You may refer to the video above (Basic Open Crumb Sourdough Bread).
  1. Feed starter - Feed ratio of 1:1:1, keep at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 3 – 4 hours.  Please feed your starter at the ratio that fit your schedule as long as the starter is at its peak when use.
  2. Autolyse - Mix all flours and water, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula.  Or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes at low speed.  Cover and leave for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Levain - Wet your hand, add 60g sourdough to the dough and hand mixing until incorporated, about 3 - 4 minutes. Or use a stand mixer with hook attachment and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until window pane stage.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Sea Salt & Soaked Multigrain-  Dilute sea salt with the balance of 10g water.  Pour on top of the dough, use hand to mix in the sea salt water. Then at in soaked multigrain and continue mixing. It takes about 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Bench Fold - Lightly mist the counter top with water.  Wet your hand and scrapper.  Transfer dough to the counter top.  Pull and fold the four sides, flip over and round the dough.  Return to the same bowl.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Lamination - Lightly mist the counter top with water and wet your hand.  Pull from centre out to form a rectangle shape.  Pick up one edge and fold into the center.  Pick up other edge and fold into the center over first section.  Fold the top down half way.  Fold the bottom up.  Put dough in a new dish (square pyrex dish).  The reason to use a square dish is because it is easier to judge how much  the dough has spread.  Cover and rest for about 30 - 45 minutes or until dough spreads.  
  7. Coil Fold 1 -  At this stage, the dough is weak and extensible.  Fold the dough in the dish. Cover and rest for about 30 - 45 minutes or until dough spreads.
  8. Coil Fold 2 -  At this stage the dough still extensible but stronger compare with the dough  before the 1st coil fold.  Fold the dough in the dish.  Cover and rest for about 30 - 45 minutes or until dough spreads.
  9. Coil Fold 3 -  At this stage, the dough is quite strong and not so extensible and will be the last coil fold.  I did half coil fold as the dough is quite stiff.  Cover and rest for 60 - 90 minutes or until dough rise 40 - 50% in size since you added the levain.  
  10. Shaping - 70 minutes later, the dough had risen about 50% in size since adding the levain. This is the end of bulk fermentation.    Flour the counter top.  Shape and transfer to a  flour banneton.  
  11. Proofing On The Counter - Proof at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes.  I skipped this as my dough was over-proofed.
  12. Cold Retard - Then retard overnight in the fridge (4C) for 12 - 16 hours.  This bread is about 15 hours.
  13. Baking -  
    1. Preheat oven with the dutch oven (cast iron) at 250C for 30 minutes before baking.
    2. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring.(Slash the dough approximately 0.5 inches deep at 45-degree angle).  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
    3. Lower the temperature to 230C (fan-forced) and bake with cover on for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and lower the temperature to 220C (fan-forced), continue bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.
    4. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it 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.  


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. 


Bulk fermentation starts when you add in levain to the dough and ends when the dough is ready for shaping.  


Ambient temperature plays a very important part in sourdough baking.  It will affect the dough temperature and eventually affect your fermentation time.  The cooler ambient temperature will extend the fermentation time.  The greater degree of proof, the stronger the dough will be as explained by Trevor J. Wilson. 

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 25C - 26C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 50% in volume.   The dough should look puffy.  It should jiggling when you slightly shake it.  This is the end of bulk fermentation.  

But, my kitchen ambient temperature (without air-conditioner) was 29C - 30C.  So, I have to bring down the temperature. 

How to bring down ambient temperature?
  1. Air-conditioner room - Rest the dough in air-conditioner room during bulk fermentation.  I used this option sometimes.  I turned on my air-conditioner when I added in levain and try to maintain temperature between 25C - 26C.
  2. Home oven (that's turned off) -  Place ice cooler packs inside along with an ambient temperature thermometer.  Then place your dough during bulk fermentation in the oven. Keep an eye on that thermometer and try to keep between 25C - 26C.


Too strong (tension or elastic) dough will take a longer time to increase (proof) in volume.  So too strong dough may not have good oven spring and open crumb.  While too weak dough (extensibility) dough may not hold it shape and rise with good oven spring too.  

So over-working the dough (too strong dough) or under-working (weak dough) may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.  

As demonstrated in an experiment by Kristen (Full Proof Baking) the over-worked dough rose super tall but was smaller in overall size and had a more dense crumb while the control dough rose tall during the oven spring and had a better overall result.

How do we know when it is enough and no more coil folds are needed? 
We usually do 3 coil folds for this method.  However, if by the second coil fold the dough is strong with less extensibility as you lift up a part of the dough then it should be the last coil fold, or just do a half coil folds instead of full. The resistance of the dough to being folded should be an indication to refrain from folding further.

How do we know when to do the next coil fold or stretch & fold?
When the dough spreads. Please do not rely on the time given in the recipe as it is just a guideline.  Please watch your dough and not the clock.  


You may wonder why most of the recipes asked to add salt after autolyze and adding levain.  Salt will tighten the gluten and make it harder to stretch. 


  1. My oven can only reach 230 degree c maximum, is there anyway I can still bake the dough using your recipe with this result?

    1. Hi, sorry for late response. Usually, baking sourdough bread using cast iron is 250C. But, I think you can try with 230C. I am curios to find out too. Thanks

    2. I have baked with 230 degree c successfully, however I find using glass casserole gives me a better oven spring than cast iron. I’m not sure if it’s due to my oven temperature.

    3. Hi, thank you for the update. It is interesting to know this. I guess you do not need to use cast iron like others and me. Stick to whichever method that work well for you ya.

      Cheers :)

  2. Hi - really dumb question for you. When you add your soaked grains, do you strain off the water, or do the grains absorb all the water anyway?

    1. Hi, sorry for late response. No, it is not dumb question. The grains will absorb all the water and there is no water left for you to strain. lol... The texture going to be like a paste.

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi - dumb question, I expect. Thanks for your really detailed recipe. When you add the soaked grains, has all the water been absorbed, or do you strain off the grains, or do you put the whole lot in? Cheers.

  4. Homemade bread is the best thing from my chirldhood. I will never be able to do one bread which my grandmom used to do. Your remindes me that bread, you have brung my good memories. Thank you so much for that...

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for your comments. I am happy to hear that my post had brought back your good memories.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hi, can I proof and bake in the same day instead of retard overnight in the fridge? If so, may I know how long should I proof under the room temperature? Thank you :)

    1. Hi, thanks for your question. I have accidentally left outside and forgot to keep in the fridge. I baked after 1 hour. Depend on your house temperature. Around 40 - 60 mins should work.
      Cheers :)

  6. i want to make the levian in the night and you mentioned use 1:10:10. So how much starter do i need for 60g active starter?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe.

      There is no fix rule how much to feed. I usually feed 3g starter + 30g water + 30g flour. But, you only use 60g. If you have access then use for your next maintenance feeding. I feed very small amount.

      Cheers :)


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