The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe wanted for soft multigrain sandwich bread

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Recipe wanted for soft multigrain sandwich bread

My daughter is asking me to bake a fiber-rich sandwich bread that has the mouth feel and texture of soft, commercial breads, e.g., Aunt Millie's, Klosterman, Butternut.  Like many of her generation, she favors soft crumb to the rougher, more substantial artisanal bread.  I searched here but found mostly hard-crusted breads.  Does anyone have what I'm looking for? --- cake diva

gcook17's picture

Try the Multigrain Extraordinaire in Reinhart's BBA on page 187.  It's incredible.  It also makes really good dinner rolls.  I make mine with 80% prefermented dough, but it's also really good if you make it without a preferment.  It is pretty soft bread but really flavorful.  Also, like Reinhart says, it makes unbelievable toast--and I never even liked toast before.



gcook17's picture

Here's the formula I use.  I hesitate to post it because it is mostly Reinhart's, but with my changes I guess it's not completely flagrant copyright violation.  Numbers are in oz. and are for for 3 lbs. of dough.  Hold back some of the water in the final mix until you see if it needs more.  It sometimes seems a little too wet with the full amount of water to me.

  Total Formula Soaker   Prefermented dough Final Dough
  % Quantity % Quantity % Quantity % Quantity
Flour 100.0% 20.48     100.0% 6.62 100.0% 13.86
Brown sugar 11.1% 2.27         16.4% 2.27
Salt 2.8% .57     1.9% .126 3.2% .44
Yeast 2.4% .49     0.55% .036 3.3% .46
Cooked Brown rice 7.4% 1.52         10.9% 1.52
Honey 7.4% 1.52         10.9% 1.52
Buttermilk 29.6% 6.06         43.7% 6.06
Water 44.4% 9.09     65.0% 4.3 34.6% 4.79
Soaker             43.3% 6.
Prefermented dough             80.0% 11.09
Cornmeal 7.3% 1.5 50.00% 1.5        
Rolled oats 5.5% 1.12 37.50% 1.12        
Wheat bran 1.8% .37 12.50% .37        
Water 14.6% 3. 100% 3.        
Total 234.4% 48.00 200% 6. 167.5% 11.09 346.4% 48.00
cake diva's picture
cake diva

Hi Greg!

I'll copy the above into excel so I can figure out batch size.  Can you give me short instruction on how to make?  I don't have BBA.  I've restrained myself from buying books because we might have to move.  But I've gotten so much better since Art 1!


gcook17's picture

Hi Teresa,

The night before:

Mix the soaker ingredients.  Leave at room temp overnight in a covered container

Mix the prefermented dough ingredients thoroughly and ferment at room temp for about an hour.  Then store in the frig overnight.  The amount of yeast in the pref. dough is maybe around 3/8 teaspoon.

In the morning, bring pref. dough to room temp and then mix every thing together in a mixer until it will just pass the window test (improved mix).    The dough temp should be about 77-80.  Ferment at 75 F for 1.5 hours.  If dough seems to slack you can fold it 1-2 times during fermentation.

Divide into sizes and shapes you want.  I normally make 2 or 3 oz. boules than turn into nice dinner rolls.  3-4 oz. boules will give you approximately hamburger bun size rolls.  If you make rolls put them on parchment on a sheet pan with room to expand.  I usually put 9-12 on a half sheet pan.  You can also shape it for loaf pans as described in most any book on bread.

I find that folding the dough during fermentation to build strength and shaping tightly gives nice round rolls that hold their shape.  To get hamburger buns I don't make the dough as strong and shape more loosely so it will spread out into hamburger bun shape during proofing.  I think this bread makes better rolls and pullman style loaves than hamburger buns because it is a little too sweet (for my taste) for hamburgers.

Optionally eggwash and sprinkle with bran or sesame seeds or whatever you like.  I generally sprinkle with coarse bran.

Proof for 1.5 hrs or until about doubled in volume.

For 2 oz. rolls I bake at 350 F for about 20 min.  Turn pan end-for-end halfway through the bake for even baking.  I use steam at the start of baking. 

    For loaf pans you'll need to bake longer...maybe up to 30-40 mins.  Reinhart calls for an internal temp of about 190 or you can do the "thump on the bottom test" to detemine if the loaves are done.

Reinhart's formula is for a 2 lb. loaf.  Using my numbers you could make 2 1.5 pound loaves or increase/decrease the amounts to suit your needs and the size of your loaf pans.

 Here's what they look like:

 Here are the even briefer SFBI-style directions:


Prefermented dough Mix incorporated Final dough Mix Improved
  DDT 70 F     DDT 77-81 F
  Ferm 1 hr @65-70F, overnight in frig Ferm 1 1.5 hrs.
          Divide 2 oz.
          Preshape light ball
          Rest time 20 min
          Shape boule, egg wash & dust w/ bran or seeds
          Proof 1.5 hr @ 80 F, 65% rh (until nearly double)
          Steam 2 sec.
          Bake 20 min. @ 350 F on sheet pan
          Vent 8 min.

 I have all this in a spreadsheet.  Let me know if you want and I can email it to you.



sewcial's picture

Hello, Cake Diva,

I am new to this forum and new to artisan breads, but I have been baking soft pan loaves for over 50 years. I have been gleaning all the tips I can find for crusty white breads and am happy that i can contribute something. I hope you will give this bread a try. I gave a loaf, fresh from the oven, to a new neighbor as a welcome gift. The hubby came to tell me it was the most delicious bread he had ever eaten and he always thought he didn't like whole grains.

Here is my own recipe that I have been using for years and raised my 4 children on. It has gone through many transitions as I change the wheat I use and/or find better ways to make it tasty. I stone grind my own flour and, although, I have used hard red wheat for many years, I have recently started using the hard white wheat from Wheat Montana Farms. It is over 16% protein which makes it a nice high gluten flour. The cooked oatmeal makes it very moist and keeps well. It is wonderful breakfast toast and, sliced thinner, is great for sandwiches. 

Note that the measurements are not precisely weighed out as in the artisanal breads. It is an old fashioned homey bread and, depending on the humidity of the day, it may take a bit more or less flour. I make this in a batch of 4 loaves at a time, but I have reduced the recipe to 2 loaves here. You may be able to knead it completely in your Kitchen Aid Mixer, but with my large batch, I start with the mixer and go on to hand kneading. I like hand kneading anyway and find it very therapeutic and satisfying. *Please note that my 4 loaf batch has evolved into 5 loaves. I think it is the addition of the oatmeal and the extra grains. Your 2 loaf batch might fill your pans a bit generously or you may prefer to make a little loaf or a couple rolls if it seems like too much.

        Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread -- 2 two pound loaves. 


  Amount         Ingredient 

1 1/2 cups   water

1/4 teaspoon  salt

1/2 cup oats (rolled or steel cut)

1.  Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in the oats and return to a boil. Simmer until tender. This may take about 5 minutes for rolled oats. Steel cut oats take longer. Taste a bit to check tenderness. You don’t want to break your teeth on the oats.

Leave the cooked oats aside to cool.

*You can add 1/2 cup finely ground alfalfa or flax seeds or any other grain you like and cook it with the oats. I like my grains finely ground and softened because I do not care for "grainy" breads. I grind the small amount of seeds in an electric blade type coffee grinder that I keep for this purpose. I grind them just before using.

1/4  cup  honey & 

2 Tablespoons sugar (or  you may use all honey or all sugar)

2 1/2  cups  tepid water

2 Tablespoons   active dry yeast

2. Stir sweetener into water in a separate medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the warmed bowl you will use to mix the dough. Slowly pour the sweetened warm water over the yeast, but do not stir. Keep it warm. Set aside to foam up (proof). (8-10 min).


8 cups total flour  -- whole wheat high protein bread flour (My flour is 16% protein). I brind my flour just before baking. If you grind and do not bake the same day, the flour should be aged at least 2 weeks before baking.

Measure out about 4 cups of the above flour.

1/4  cup    oil

1   tablespoons   salt 

1 Tablespoon  lecithin if you have it (liquid or granular)--Optional. This helps keep cholesterol under control and I add it to most of my baked goods. It is not necessary for the success of the bread.

(-Optional: 2 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten _Add this is your flour is not high protein/high gluten.)

3. Add oil, salt, gluten, lecithin (optional) and 2 cups of the flour to foamy yeast mixture. Stir and beat  about 300 strokes by hand or 3 minutes by mixer at medium speed. Add  enough more flour to make a soft dough. Stop with the mixer before it starts to climb up the beaters. Now use a large wooden spoon or flat stirrer until it is stiff enough to scrape it out onto a floured surface to knead in the rest of the flour in by hand.


4. Turn out onto a board (or a formica table top) and knead the remaining flour into the dough until dough is elastic and not sticky. -- No less than 7-8 minutes -- the more you knead here, the better the bread! 

You may use slightly less or more than the remaining 6 cups of flour, so have an additional cup or two ready in reserve for kneading, if needed. Actual amount of flour varies with humidity, etc.

5. Place dough in oiled bowl; turn it over to oil top of dough, cover with a warm damp cloth and place in a warm  place free of drafts to rise.  (30-40 minutes). While dough is rising, generously grease 4 loaf pans. 

6. Punch down dough and dump it out of the bowl. Knead lightly, cut into 4 evenly sized pieces. (I weigh mine--2 pounds.) Cover with a damp cloth and let them rest 10-15 minutes. Shape into loaves and put into the well greased pans. Place in well greased bread tin, oil the top of loaf, cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap. Put back into the warm place to rise till double in bulk (30-45 minutes). 

7. When bread is nearly risen, preheat the oven to 350’. If you have been using the oven for a rising spot, be sure to take the loaves out before turning the oven on! Brushing tops with egg white before baking makes a lovely brown top. Sprinkle tops with poppy or sesame seed, if desired.

Place them in another warm spot while oven heats up. Bake about 45 minutes at 350’ F.

Sewcial (Catherine)


cake diva's picture
cake diva

Greg, Catherine!

Thank you for taking the time to write the recipes and instructions.  I'll make these into pan loaves.  I think I'll add a few cut walnuts too for some nutty flavor. Thank you, thank you! --- cake diva

sewcial's picture


Here is a photo of my Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread. There are a couple slices missing because we had it for breakfast. When I bake 4 loaves, I keep one out and put the others in the freezer so there is always fresh bread when we want it. It's a bit sweet and I love it with just butter. My granddaughter and my DH like homemade apple butter on it. It makes the absolute best grilled cheese sandwiches, but good for cold sandwiches, too.  Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread


sewcial's picture

I forgot to mention that the loaf in the photo is a much darker brown because I substituted blackstrap molasses for the honey this time just to see how it would come out. Usually the lighter wheat flour makes a very light tan bread. So, unless you plan to use dark molasses, expect a lighter colored loaf. Red wheat will also make it darker than the white wheat. I like playing around for variety.

Janknitz's picture

My husband likes the commercial Milton brand multi-grain loaf, which is soft, sweet, and has a nice complex flavor.  

I find the KAF multigrain loaf (search KAF recipes since the spam filter on this site doesn't like the link) is a close approximation--better IMHO because it is not quite as sweet.  It uses mostly ingredients you are likely to have on hand.  I substitute rye flour for the pumpernickel and use vital wheat gluten in place of KA "dough enhancer".  I also add 4.2 oz of 100% hydration ripe sourdough starter to improve the keeping qualities of this bread.  

I make this bread weekly (when it isn't so dang-blasted hot!), slice and freeze the slices. Even my teen who has vowed never to touch a whole grain will eat this when nobody is looking.