Multigrain Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

by - September 12, 2019

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.
Please read the below notes before baking.

Please read the below notes before baking for beginner.


A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want nice big crumb bread that rises nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise much even though the starter is used at its peak.

My daily feeding schedule:
9.00 am - Ratio 1:5:5 @ room temperature of 26 - 28C
9.00 pm - Ratio 1:5:5 @ room temperature of 26 - 28C

I learnt making sourdough starter from "How To Make Starter From Scratch" by Full Proof Baking.  Thank you to Full Proof Baking for the detailed video which proved invaluable.


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. Warm ambient temperature will shorten the fermentation time while cooler ambient will extend fermentation time.  For this bread, we prefer a longer fermentation as this allows you to have more time to develop the gluten structure . Therefore, short fermentation in  warm ambient doesn’t allow you to work the dough as well.  Credit to Janet The Soprano

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 24C - 25C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 40% - 50% in volume. 

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 24C - 25C.
  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 24 - 25 C.
  3. Cooler bag - Place ice cooler packs inside a cooler bag.  Then rest the dough inside the cooler bag during bulk fermentation.  Try to maintain temperature 24C - 25C.

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.   Over-working the dough may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

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 & pull?
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. 

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.

Recipe - Multigrain Open Crumb Sourdough Bread 

Yields:  1 loaf

Total flour is 325g + 32.50g (from the levain) = 357.50g 


245g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour) - 75%
50g whole wheat flour - 15%
30g rye flour - 10%
250g water - 79% final hydration  
7g sea salt - 2.1%

65g sourdough starter (100% hydration) - 20%

Multigrain to sock:
55g multigrain (I used 9 grains) - 17%
61g boiling water

In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the multigrain, cover with cling film and soak overnight.

  1. Feed starter 
    1. Feed ratio of 1:1:1, keep at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 2 – 3 hours.
  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 and Soaked Multigrain- Wet your hand, add 65g levain into the dough, then add in soaked multigrain and hand mixing until incorporated, about 3 - 4 minutes. Or use a stand mixer with hook attachment and knead for 6 to 8 minutes.  I used machine for this loaf. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Sea Salt -  Sprinkle sea salt on top of the dough, use hand to mix in the salt.  It takes about 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Stretch and 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).  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Coil Fold 1 - Fold dough in the dish. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Coil Fold 2 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes
  9. Coil Fold 3 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 90 minutes. 
  10. Shape - Flour the counter top.  Shape and coat the dough with sesame seeds then transfer to a  slightly flour banetton.  
  11. Proof - Proof at room temperature (RT) for 15 - 20 minutes.  Then retard overnight in the fridge for 12 - 16 hours.
  12. Preheat oven, with the dutch oven at 250C for 30 minutes before baking.
  13. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring.  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
  14. 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.
  15. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.

Usually 3 coil folds should be enough.  But, sometimes you may need extra coil fold if your dough is spread and not enough gluten develop.

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  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 :)