Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread (Yudane Method)

by - April 12, 2020

Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread

Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread

Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread

Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread

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.

Yudane method is quite similar to Tangzhong (water-roux) method.  Both methods are scalding method. For the Yudane method, boiling water is used to scald the flour instead of cooking over the fire.  
Please click here to see the differences between  Yudane vs Tangzhong Method

I have another Wholemeal Bread Recipe using instant yeast that you may like to try too.

It is advisable to read the following notes before starting baking.


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.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

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 and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test.
  1. Proofing Test:
    • 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.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • 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 your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

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.

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

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

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

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 - Wholemeal Soft Sourdough Bread (Yudane Method)

Yields:  1 loaf


70g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten 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 Japan High Gluten 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. Yudane:
    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.
  2. Levain:
    1. One night before baking, mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment in aircond room temperature (approximately 25C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. The total weight should be around 280g.  But, use only 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.
  3. 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 10 - 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 for 15 minutes -  60 minutes in the same bowl, covered with cling film or the lid.  
  4. To shape:
    1. 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 for room temperature at 28C - 30C).
  5. 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. 

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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 :)

  7. Is there a big difference between this recipe for wholemeal bread and your Basic soft sourdough recipe? I recently made your basic soft sourdough recipe and love it! I wanted to make a bread with more wholewheat flour so I thought the wholemeal recipe would work but besides the yudane method and about 10g more wholewheat flour, I am not seeing a huge difference. I am also curious, why make 3 rolls in this recipe instead of the 2 rolls in the basic recipe. Is there a difference?

    1. Hi, thank you for asking.

      Is there a big difference between this recipe for wholemeal bread and your Basic soft sourdough recipe? No, it is quite similar. The different is I added 18.75% of wholemeal flour in the above bread instead of Wholewheat flour.

      why make 3 rolls in this recipe instead of the 2 rolls in the basic recipe. Is there a difference? I baked these two breads in different size of pans if you read carefully. This wholemeal bread I baked in longer and narrow pan. However, this is individual preference.

      Just FYI - Different of Wholemeal flour and wholewheat flour

      Cheers :)

  8. Hi, I tried your recipe but made some slight changes use soy milk instead of milk and vegan butter instead of butter. The bread’s texture is not bad and not dense and there is a slight tinge of sourness. I would like to check with you what can I do to make it not sour at all? thanks!

    1. Hi, Thank you for trying and your feedback. Usually you will get very mild sourness for sourdough breads.
      You can try to add 40g of sugar when feeding the starter (levain), this is what I learnt from Autumn Kitchen using sweet sourdough starter that produce bread that no sour taste. I have not tried. But, it should work.

      Cheers :)


  9. Thank you for your kind sharing the amazing recipe, I fell in love with YUDANE method from your clip in Youtube ^^.

    May I ask you a question of this recipe, if I want to use this whole wheat recipe with Fresh yeast or instant yeast, please advise how to adjust the ingredients of the ‘Levain’.

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for watching and visiting Bake with Paws. I have this Wholemeal bread recipe using instant yeast. Please click the below link. You can also search under categories at the side bar. There are a lot of bread recipes using instant yeast and also sourdough.


      Cheers :)

  10. Hi,
    Thank you for this recipe.
    I only gave 450g bread pan. How to change the ingredients to this instead of 600g bread pan? Thank you

  11. Hi, My pleasure.
    Please use my Sourdough Shokupan Recipe and change to 135g of Japan High Gluten flour + 70g wholemeal flour instead.


    Cheers :)

  12. Hi Yeanley,
    Thank you for the prompt reply.
    By the way, can I know the texture of the wholemeal flour you are using? If it superfine or coarse?
    Thank you

    1. Hi, I used wholemeal (coarse) and not whole wheat. Thanks