Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

Soft Yogurt Bread (Old Dough Method)

October 04, 2020 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Soft Yogurt Bread

Soft Yogurt Bread

This is the forth Yogurt Bread that I have tried this week.  I tried both the Old Dough method and Yudane methods for comparison. The Old Dough method yields a very soft, aromatic and fluffy texture. However, by third day it lost some of its moisture.  The Yudane method also yields a very moist and soft textured loaf but the bread is slightly more solid and is less flavourful. Maybe Yudane dough and yogurt made it a little heavy. However, the Yudane method bread lasts longer and stays fresh even up to the third day.

After trying few, I find that Yogurt Bread is better with Old Dough Method because it gives a better flavoured bread.

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details. 

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 - Soft Yogurt Bread (Old Dough Method)

Yields:  2 loaves in two 250g Loaf Pan


Old Dough:
140g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
45g full cream milk (whole milk) or fresh milk
45g water
1/4 tsp instan yeast
1/4 tsp sugar

Main Dough:
210g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
3 tbsp (36g) brown sugar
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
50g egg, whisked 
120g greek yogurt (I used full cream greek yogurt)
35g butter, room temperature

1 egg + 1 tbsp water 

Two 250g (4.5" X 4.5" X 4.2") square loaf pan  OR
One 450g loaf pan (21.3 X 12.2 X 11.5 cm  /  8.4" X 4.8" X 4.5")

  1. Old Dough
    1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then add in bread flour and knead with your hand until smooth and all incorporated.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it ferment for 12 - 16 hours in cool place or  air-conditioned room (25C - 26C) if you live in a hot climate.
    2. You may also let it proof 1 hour in room temperature (hot climate). After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator for 24 - 36 hours.  Take out the old dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature 30 minutes before using
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) including all the old dough into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead for 12 - 16 minutes or until reach window pane stage.  This dough is a bit sticky and soft and need slightly longer kneading time compared with other dough. During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  3. Shaping:
    1. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions.   
    2. Flatten with rolling pin. 
    3. Fold left to centre and fold right overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. 
    4. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    5. Place all the dough in the prepared loaf pan. 
    6. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes or until at or slightly above the rim of the pan.  
  4. To bake:
    1. Brush with egg wash.
    2. Bake in a preheated oven at at 180C (top & bottom heat) or 160C (fan-forced) for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  I set temperature 10C lower than I always used it is because Yogurt bread tend to brown very fast.
    3. I usually preheat oven for 10 - 15 minutes before baking.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.


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 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. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • 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 until it rises 80 - 90% in size 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.


  1. Hi! Thanks for your recipe. I have a question plis. When You let the bread cools, it is inside the pan or out?. Sorry My English si terrible jeje.

    1. Hi, No worry...Please remove the bread from the pan once it is out from the oven and let bread cool on the rack.

      Cheers :)

  2. I read up about old dough method of making bread but haven't try it before. The information I have is that the amount of old dough used is only about 20% to 30% of the weight of flour used for the main dough. In your recipes, you have always use about 1:1 ratio of old dough to weight of flour. Isn't that a bit too much?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe and your question.

      There are so many different calculation on old dough. It is usually use 25% - 50% of total flour from the recipe to create old dough. I used 50%. I find the higher percentage of old dough the better aroma and finest the bread texture is.

      You can refer to here on my compilation from difference sources.

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi! Can I use active dry yeast instead?

    1. Hi, yes of course you can. I have not tried active dry yeast and not sure how much required.

      Cheers :)


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