Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread

by - April 12, 2020

I am back to my soft sourdough bread baking.  I have tried various types of soft sourdough bread and have not tried using wholemeal flour in my sourdough bread yet.

Characteristic of this bread:  The texture is especially soft, fluffy and moist on the first day and it lasts very well for 2 - 3 days.  I think it is because of Yudane dough added.  It tastes very mild sourness.

If you are curios about Yudane Method and wish to understand more, please click here Yudane vs Tangzhong Method.

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.

Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread Recipe - Using Yudane Method 

Yields:  1 loaf


70g bread flour
70g boiling water

Levain - 260g total (ratio 1:3:3):
40g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
120g bread flour
120g water

Main Dough:
190g bread flour (I used high gluten Japanese Bread Flour)
90g wholemeal flour
30g brown sugar
1 tsp salt
35g butter, room temperature
90 - 100g full cream milk (Start with 90g first, if too dry then add the balance)

600g loaf pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)
If you don't have this pan, you can use 20cm X 10cm X 10cm loaf pan


  1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon.  
  2. Cling film and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  I prepared mine the night before.
  3. Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
  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, use only 260g.
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.

Main Dough: 
  1. Put all ingredients (except butter), including the 260g sourdough starter (levain) and all yudane dough 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 butter and continue knead for 12 minutes until reach window pane stage.  In this bread I continued knead for 16 minutes after adding in butter. Usually 12 minutes is good enough. 
  2. Let the dough rest in a warm place for 60 minutes in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.  It is fine if the dough doesn't rise until doubled the size after 60 minutes.
To shape:
  1. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions.  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
  2. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin.
  3. 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. 
  4. Place all dough in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.  Let the dough proof in a warm and dark place until it reaches the rim of the pan (This one took approximately 3.5 - 4 hours).   
Note: To speed up the rising process, place the dough in the oven with a bowl of hot water next to it and close the oven door.

To bake:
  1. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190C.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Remove bread from oven and let it cool on rack completely before slicing.

No. 7 - To achieve the above window pane stage (thin membrane), I had knead for about 20 minutes total time.  After adding butter, I continue kneading for 16 minutes.  I stopped half way to prevent the motor from overheating. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how your dough rises.
  4. 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.

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  1. Hi Yeanley, i decided to bake your wholemeal soft sourdough bread yesteday and prepared the levain around 10pm last nite. This morning around 8am it was reaching double but later it dropped to less than double and never achieve triple raise.
    Looking forward for your advice.
    Btw, wonder i prepared the levain correctly as i'm new in sourdough starter. I took 40g of starter from fridge and mixed in 120g of bread flour + 120g or water, mixed and cover and left on the table.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Melinda,

      Thank you for your question and trying to use this recipe. Your feeding is correct. Looks like the natural yeast is running out of food.

      1. How often did you feed your sourdough starter? If you didn't feed for almost a week. It is better to refresh for starter by feeding a small amount (1:1:1) for 2 - 3 times in a day before the baking day.
      2. What type of flour you used for feeding? I usually used unbleached bread flour/high gluten flour.

      I usually feed by starter 2 - 3 times in a week if you can. Just a small amount (8g + 8g + 8g) so that you will not end up with a lot of discard.

      I hope it answer your question.


  2. Hi,hydration can adjust >82% if used yudane method? Will it be hard to shape? I had been tried tangzhong with 82% hydration, dough is not wet as compared to tradition sourdough.

    1. Hi, thank you for your question. Are you referring to the hydration of sourdough starter? Yudane dough contains less liquid as Tangzhong dough. Hence, not required to adjust the hydration of the levain.

      Cheers :)

    2. Hi, my query is on the hydration of the dough. Yundane method looks like the same with autolyze process. Huh?

    3. Hi,
      Yudane is not autolyze process. It uses a method of precooking a small portion of the dough scalding. You can refer here.

      Cheers :)

  3. May I know how do you calculate the total hydration of this loaf taking into consideration the Yudane, levain, dough flour & milk?

  4. Hi, Thank you for sharing the recipe. May I know how to calculate the total hydration of the loaf taking into consideration the Yudane, levain, dough flour & milk. Appreciate it. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Thank you for asking.

      Please add up all the liquid (A) and add up all the flour (B). A/B X 100 = you will get the total hydration in percentage.

      Liquid (70 + 140 + 90 = 300g)
      Flour (70 + 140 + 190 + 90 = 490g)
      300/490 X 100 = 61.22%

      Cheers :)

  5. This is the first time i am making a sourdough soft loaf and it turns out very well. I made my levain with 90g starter, 90 bread flour and 90 water..it took 2hours for my second proof to reach the height of my tin..I used a 20x10x10xm tin..the bread was a little compact but still very soft...Thank you for sharing the recipe !!

    1. Hi, Thank you for trying this recipe and your feedback. Glad to hear that you like it.
      Try to use bigger pan if you can.
      Cheers :)

  6. Thanks for sharing! Going to try this tonight :)
    Just had a dumb question - for the Levain, we use 260g of the 280g we make; what do you do with the remaining 20g of Levain? Sorry if I miss something when I read the steps...

    1. Hi, Sorry for late response. The balance of levain keep as sourdough mother dough.

      Cheers :)