fbpx

How to Make Multigrain Sourdough | 7-Grain Multigrain Sourdough Recipe.

Last updated on June 11th, 2024 at 10:54 am

Multigrain Sourdough Bread is one of my favourite ways to use more whole grains in my sourdough. Understanding how to use soakers in your sourdough baking will help you come up with unique flavours and textures all while increasing the nutrient density of your bread.

A close up shot of a loaf of multigrain sourdough.

Introduction

I first started baking multigrain sourdough when I was the baker at Langdon Hall, a 5-Diamond Relais and Chateaux hotel. I experimented with different grain blends and ratios to maximize the flavours and texture in the sourdough we served with our dinner menu. We had a focus on local foods and I frequently experimented with different local grain blends. By mixing different grains (some cracked and some whole) together and scaling them with boiling water you can create a grain soaker. You can create your own multigrain mixes using your favourite grains like millet, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat and more.

Learning how to incorporate a grain soaker into your baking can unlock thousands of potential new combinations for you. You can use any combination of these ingredients to create your own unique multigrain mix (you can also buy a multigrain mix). Experiment with different ratios and see what works best for your taste preferences.

  1. Whole wheat flour
  2. Rye flour
  3. Spelt flour
  4. Oat flour
  5. Buckwheat flour
  6. Cornmeal
  7. Quinoa
  8. Amaranth
  9. Millet
  10. Flaxseed
  11. Sunflower seeds
  12. Pumpkin seeds
  13. Sesame seeds
  14. Poppy seeds
  15. Rolled oats
  16. Cracked wheat
  17. Cracked rye
  18. Wheat bran
  19. Oat bran
  20. Barley flakes

Note: The combination of grains and the way they are cracked can impact the way they absorb water. After 10-12 hours, the grain soaker should not be wet or have visible liquid on top.

The crumb shot of a multigrain sourdough loaf.

Flour Specs

  • 62.15% Organic strong bread flour
    • 12.4% protein, 0.54% ash
  • 35.71% Whole wheat flour
    • I use stone-milled organic hard red spring wheat.
  • 2.15% Fresh-milled rye flour
    • I use fresh-milled rye flour in this recipe, but you can substitute it with whole rye flour, also known as dark rye or whole-meal rye.

You can increase or decrease the amount of whole grains in this loaf and the easiest way to do that is to grab the Multigrain Sourdough Excel dough calculator. I use these Excels in my everyday baking and send them out to readers in my weekly newsletter.

Multigrain Sourdough Excel dough calculator

Multigrain Sourdough Tips for Success

Here are some tips for success when making multigrain sourdough bread that can help you master and customize your own multigrain sourdough formula.

  1. Use high-quality flour: When making multigrain sourdough bread, it’s important to use high-quality flour. Look for flour that is organic and stone ground to ensure maximum nutrient retention.
  2. Make the grain soaker properly. It is really important to hydrate the grains and make sure all the water in the soaker has been absorbed. For this reason, I prefer to leave my soaker overnight and I almost always choose boiling water for the soaker. In general, a ratio of 2:1 water to grains will work, just keep in mind different grains will absorb different amounts of water. Even the same grains if cracked differently can have different water absorption rates.
  3. Keep your starter healthy: The starter is the foundation of your sourdough bread, so it’s important to keep it healthy. Feed it regularly and make sure it has a good balance of water and flour. If you don’t have one, you can create your own starter using my guide to sourdough starter creation. If you’ve already got a starter but could use a little help maintaining it, you can check out my video on how I feed and maintain my starter here.
  4. Use a good mixing technique: When mixing the dough, be sure to use a technique that incorporates all the ingredients evenly. It is important to develop your dough before adding the grain soaker. If added too early, the multigrain soaker can weaken your dough’s gluten structure and create a very slack final dough.
  5. Experiment with different amounts of grain soakers. You can experiment with different amounts of soakers in various breads. I like to use a 10-15% cracked rye soaker in my light rye sourdough and 30% in my cornmeal sourdough. Another favourite is using cracked buckwheat for a really unique and robust flavour.
A pile of multigrain sourdough breads.

7-Grain Multigrain Sourdough Specs

    Yield 2 x 900g loaves
    Total dough weight 1800 grams
    Pre-Fermented Flour – 10.73%
    Levain % in Final Dough – 25%
    Total Hydration – 80.44%
    The total formula hydration does not include any water from the soaker

    Total Formula

    WeightIngredientBakers %
    566 gramsBread Flour66.61%
    18 gramsRye Flour2.15%
    266 gramsWhole Wheat Flour31.24%
    683 gramsWater80.36%
    17 gramsSalt1.96%
    7 grams Levain.86%
    243 gramsSoaker28.57%
    A close up shot of a 900g loaf of multigrain sourdough resting on a cooling rack.

    Multigrain Sourdough Dough Schedule

    The times listed alongside the steps are meant to be a guide to help you fit sourdough baking into your schedule. I like to make the soaker the night before I mix the dough as it allows the grains enough time to properly absorb the water and soften. If the grains are too hard they are not pleasant to eat.

    Mix the Multigrain Sourdough Levain – 10:00 pm

    WeightIngredientBakers %
    92 gramsBread Flour80%
    23 gramsRye Flour20%
    115 grams Water at 28°C/82.4°F100%
    9 gramsLevain8%
    1. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Cover with a lid. I like to place an elastic band around the top of the levain at the beginning of the feed so I can monitor its growth. This build should take about 10-12 hours at 22.2°C/72°F.

    Note: This yields an extra 50g of levain to act as a buffer. The buffer is used to preserve your starter and helpful so you don’t have to scrape every little bit of of your starter jar.

    Make the Multigrain Soaker – 10:00 pm.

    WeightIngredient
    90 grams7 Grain Mix
    152 grams Boiling Water
    1 gramSalt

    The salt here is optional. I like to add a small pinch of salt to the soaker as it helps bring out the flavour from the grains and balance the seasoning in the final loaf.

    Get creative and try different mixes for your grains. You can use a home mill to coarsely crack the gains or buy them. If you want to learn more about milling flour at home you can check out my guide to milling at home.

    1. Mix the grains together with the salt (optional) and place them into a non-reactive bowl or container.
    2. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the grains.
    3. Stir the grains to make sure all the grains are exposed to the water. Cover with a loose-fitting lid and leave for 20 minutes.
    4. After 20 minutes stir the grains again to make sure all the water and grains are evenly mixed. Place the lid back on the grains and leave them at room temperature for 8-12 hours. The grains can also be refrigerated and used later if desired, but I prefer to use them right away.

    NOTE: The grains should look dry and like a thick paste and not watery or wet.

    A cracked rye, red fife, cornmeal, oat, sunflower seed and sesame seed grain soaker.

    Autolyse – 8:00 am

    WeightIngredient
    493 gramsBread Flour
    266 gramsWhole Wheat Flour
    546 grams Water at 22.2°C/72°F
    1. Mix all water and flour until well combined and there are no dry bits of flour. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.

    Please note: that this autolyse is WITHOUT the levain and WITHOUT the salt.

    Mix the Dough – 9:00 am

    WeightIngredient
    58 gramsWater 2 at 28-30°C/82.4-86°F
    190 gramsLevain
    17 grams Salt
    243 gramsSoaker

    If the amount of soaker you have is a bit more or less than 243 grams, don’t stress and use what you’ve got.

    Machine Mixing:

    1. Add the levain and mix the dough until fully incorporated about 5-6 minutes on low speed.
    2. Add the salt and continue to mix the dough until the salt is fully incorporated about 4-5 minutes on medium speed.
    3. Add the water 2 in 3-4 additions on medium until fully absorbed about 4-5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic with a good strength to it.
    4. Add the soaker in chunks and continue to mix until fully incorporated about 4-5 minutes on medium speed.

    Hand Mixing:

    1. Add the levain and half of the water 2; mix, either by hand or in a mixer until combined.
    2. Mix the dough for 4-6 minutes before adding in the salt. Add the salt and the remaining half of the water 2. Mix until the salt is fully incorporated. The dough should be strong and elastic. Add the soaker and mix until fully combined.

    NOTE: Make sure the dough is well mixed before adding the soaker. The soaker will weaken the gluten and you want to have a strong dough that can hold all the soaker grains and still have good strength so you get a good rise and volume. You can see a more detailed look at the stages of dough development by watching the YouTube video linked above.

    Desired Dough Temperature – 27°-28C/80-82°F

    Multigrain sourdough in a large ceramic bowl.

    Bulk Fermentation 9:30 am

    Bulk ferment the dough for 3 hours.

    1. Bulk ferment at room temperature for 3 hours, folding the dough once after 30 minutes and for a second time after 60 minutes. 
    2. If the dough feels slack give it another fold. I like to give at least 90 minutes after the last fold before preshaping the dough.

    Divide and Preshape 12:30 pm

    1. Divide the dough into two 900-gram pieces. Using a bench knife, round each portion. The bottom should stay flush with the table, helping create the tension needed to form a taut ball. Rest, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes.

    Final Shape 1:00 pm

    1. Lightly flour the top of the dough, then flip it over. Bring the bottom up about one-third of the way and seal. Stretch the sides out, then bring them to the centre, making a tight package. Bring the top down about one-third of the way, then pull the corners in, stitching them over each other. Gently roll the dough, giving it an oval shape. Rest on the table for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a basket, seam-side up.

    This sourdough also works really well as a tin loaf.

    Final Fermentation – 1:15 pm

    1. Transfer to the fridge to cold-proof for 12-18 hours.

    While I prefer a final cold ferment for this (and most) of my doughs, it can be ambient-proofed as well. A cold dough tends to bake better, has better flavour and is easier to handle. That said if you leave this dough at room temperature (depending on your environment) it should take about 2.5-3 hours for the final fermentation.

    Baking – 9:00 am

    1. Preheat the oven to 260°C/500°F for a home oven or 246°C/475°F for a deck oven.
    2. Score the loaves before baking. For a boule, you can check out these creative ways to score and for a batard, I prefer 1 or two slashes down the middle of the dough.
    3. Bake the multigrain sourdough loaves for 16-20 minutes with steam and 16-20 minutes without.
    4. When fully cooked, remove the sourdough multigrain loaves from the oven and slide the bread onto a cooling rack.
    5. Let the sourdough loaves cool completely before slicing.
    An overhead shot of the baked multigrain sourdough resting on a cooling rack.

    Serving suggestions and variations

    Of course, this multigrain sourdough can be eaten as it is and is absolutely delicious with butter here are a few of my favourite ways to eat it.

    1. Toasted with avocado: Slice your sourdough multigrain bread and toast it until crisp. Top with mashed avocado, sea salt, and red pepper flakes for a healthy and delicious breakfast or snack.
    2. My fave, the grilled cheese sandwich: Use your sourdough multigrain bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich with your favourite cheese and toppings.
    3. With eggs: Just straight up with some butter and eggs for breakfast. Bonus for smokey bacon.
    4. French toast: Use your sourdough multigrain bread to make French toast for breakfast. Dip the bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, and cinnamon, then fry until golden brown. Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup.
    5. Sandwiches: Use your sourdough multigrain bread to make sandwiches with your favourite fillings, such as turkey, ham, cheese, and vegetables. Cut into halves or quarters for easy serving.
    6. Brunch board: Create a brunch board with your sourdough multigrain bread, along with a variety of toppings such as smoked salmon, cream cheese, sliced cucumbers, boiled eggs, and fresh fruit.

    7-Grain Multigrain Sourdough Final Thoughts

    The variety of grains that can be used to make multigrain sourdough make this recipe and technique so important for any sourodugh baker. Mastering how to use soakers in different doughs can not only help you use more local grains but also pack your bread with nutrients.

    If you enjoyed this recipe and want to learn more about incorporating whole grains into your sourdough, I’ve got a guide on making grain soakers and an awesome recipe for a 100% wholegrain buckwheat schwartzbrot.

    Print
    clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
    A close up shot of a loaf of multigrain sourdough.

    How to Make Multigrain Sourdough | 7-Grain Multigrain Sourdough Recipe.


    5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

    3 from 2 reviews

    • Author: MJD
    • Total Time: 24 hours 45 minutes
    • Yield: 2 Loaves

    Description

    Multigrain Sourdough Bread is one of my favourite ways to use more whole grains in my sourdough. Understanding how to use soakers in your sourdough baking will help you come up with unique flavours and textures all while increasing the nutrient density of your bread.


    Ingredients

    TOTAL FORMULA

    WeightIngredientBakers %
    566 gramsBread Flour66.61%
    18 gramsRye Flour2.15%
    266 gramsWhole Wheat Flour31.24%
    683 gramsWater80.36%
    17 gramsSalt1.96%
    7 grams Levain.86%
    243 gramsSoaker28.57%

    Instructions

    MIX THE MULTIGRAIN SOURDOUGH LEVAIN – 10:00 PM

    WeightIngredientBakers %
    92 gramsBread Flour80%
    23 gramsRye Flour20%
    115 grams Water at 28°C/82.4°F100%
    9 gramsLevain8%
    1. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Cover with a lid. I like to place an elastic band around the top of the levain at the beginning of the feed so I can monitor its growth. This build should take about 10-12 hours at 22.2°C/72°F.

    Note: This yields an extra 50g of levain to act as a buffer. The buffer is used to preserve your starter and helpful so you don’t have to scrape every little bit of of your starter jar.

    MAKE THE MULTIGRAIN SOAKER – 10:00 PM.

    WeightIngredient
    90 grams7 Grain Mix
    152 grams Boiling Water
    1 gramSalt
    The salt here is optional. I like to add a small pinch of salt to the soaker as it helps bring out the flavour from the grains and balance the seasoning in the final loaf.

    Get creative and try different mixes for your grains. You can use a home mill to coarsely crack the gains or buy them. If you want to learn more about milling flour at home you can check out my guide to milling at home.

    1. Mix the grains together with the salt (optional) and place them into a non-reactive bowl or container.
    2. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the grains.
    3. Stir the grains to make sure all the grains are exposed to the water. Cover with a loose-fitting lid and leave for 20 minutes.
    4. After 20 minutes stir the grains again to make sure all the water and grains are evenly mixed. Place the lid back on the grains and leave them at room temperature for 8-12 hours. The grains can also be refrigerated and used later if desired, but I prefer to use them right away.

     

    NOTE: The grains should look dry and like a thick paste and not watery or wet.

    AUTOLYSE – 8:00 AM

    WeightIngredient
    493 gramsBread Flour
    266 gramsWhole Wheat Flour
    546 grams Water at 22.2°C/72°F
    1. Mix all water and flour until well combined and there are no dry bits of flour. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.

    Please note: that this autolyse is WITHOUT the levain and WITHOUT the salt.

    MIX THE DOUGH – 9:00 AM

    WeightIngredient
    58 gramsWater 2 at 28-30°C/82.4-86°F
    190 gramsLevain
    17 grams Salt
    243 gramsSoaker
    If the amount of soaker you have is a bit more or less than 243 grams, don’t stress and use what you’ve got.

    MACHINE MIXING:

    1. Add the levain and mix the dough until fully incorporated about 5-6 minutes on low speed.
    2. Add the salt and continue to mix the dough until the salt is fully incorporated about 4-5 minutes on medium speed.
    3. Add the water 2 in 3-4 additions on medium until fully absorbed about 4-5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic with a good strength to it.
    4. Add the soaker in chunks and continue to mix until fully incorporated about 4-5 minutes on medium speed.

    HAND MIXING:

    1. Add the levain and half of the water 2; mix, either by hand or in a mixer until combined.
    2. Mix the dough for 4-6 minutes before adding in the salt. Add the salt and the remaining half of the water 2. Mix until the salt is fully incorporated. The dough should be strong and elastic. Add the soaker and mix until fully combined.

    NOTE: Make sure the dough is well mixed before adding the soaker. The soaker will weaken the gluten and you want to have a strong dough that can hold all the soaker grains and still have good strength so you get a good rise and volume. You can see a more detailed look at the stages of dough development by watching the YouTube video linked above.

     

    Desired Dough Temperature – 27°-28C/80-82°F

    BULK FERMENTATION 9:30 AM

    Bulk ferment the dough for 3 hours.

    1. Bulk ferment at room temperature for 3 hours, folding the dough once after 30 minutes and for a second time after 60 minutes. 
    2. If the dough feels slack give it another fold. I like to give at least 90 minutes after the last fold before preshaping the dough.

    DIVIDE AND PRESHAPE 12:30 PM

     

     

    1. Divide the dough into two 900-gram pieces. Using a bench knife, round each portion. The bottom should stay flush with the table, helping create the tension needed to form a taut ball. Rest, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes.

    FINAL SHAPE 1:00 PM

    1. Lightly flour the top of the dough, then flip it over. Bring the bottom up about one-third of the way and seal. Stretch the sides out, then bring them to the centre, making a tight package. Bring the top down about one-third of the way, then pull the corners in, stitching them over each other. Gently roll the dough, giving it an oval shape. Rest on the table for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a basket, seam-side up.

     

     

    This sourdough also works really well as a tin loaf.

    FINAL FERMENTATION – 1:15 PM

    1. Transfer to the fridge to cold-proof for 12-18 hours.

     

     

    While I prefer a final cold ferment for this (and most) of my doughs, it can be ambient-proofed as well. A cold dough tends to bake better, has better flavour and is easier to handle. That said if you leave this dough at room temperature (depending on your environment) it should take about 2.5-3 hours for the final fermentation.

    BAKING – 9:00 AM

    1. Preheat the oven to 260°C/500°F for a home oven or 246°C/475°F for a deck oven.
    2. Score the loaves before baking. For a boule, you can check out these creative ways to score and for a batard, I prefer 1 or two slashes down the middle of the dough.
    3. Bake the multigrain sourdough loaves for 16-20 minutes with steam and 16-20 minutes without.
    4. When fully cooked, remove the sourdough multigrain loaves from the oven and slide the bread onto a cooling rack.
    5. Let the sourdough loaves cool completely before slicing.

    Notes

    SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND VARIATIONS

    Of course, this multigrain sourdough can be eaten as it is and is absolutely delicious with butter here are a few of my favourite ways to eat it.

    1. Toasted with avocado: Slice your sourdough multigrain bread and toast it until crisp. Top with mashed avocado, sea salt, and red pepper flakes for a healthy and delicious breakfast or snack.
    2. My fave, the grilled cheese sandwich: Use your sourdough multigrain bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich with your favourite cheese and toppings.
    3. With eggs: Just straight up with some butter and eggs for breakfast. Bonus for smokey bacon.
    4. French toast: Use your sourdough multigrain bread to make French toast for breakfast. Dip the bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, and cinnamon, then fry until golden brown. Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup.
    5. Sandwiches: Use your sourdough multigrain bread to make sandwiches with your favourite fillings, such as turkey, ham, cheese, and vegetables. Cut into halves or quarters for easy serving.
    6. Brunch board: Create a brunch board with your sourdough multigrain bread, along with a variety of toppings such as smoked salmon, cream cheese, sliced cucumbers, boiled eggs, and fresh fruit.
    • Prep Time: 24 hours
    • Cook Time: 45 mins
    • Category: Baking
    • Cuisine: Sourdough


    3 thoughts on “How to Make Multigrain Sourdough | 7-Grain Multigrain Sourdough Recipe.”

    • This recipe sounds awesome. I have one question though: would this work with mostly freshly milled flour or would that be too “solid”? I got a Mockmill 100 for Christmas and am slowly phasing out of the bread flour era. The last few breads were 80% freshly milled; tomorrow will be 90% freshly milled and 10% AP flour (just using up what I have left). I’ve been adding what I call a “Kochstueck” – the sifted-out bran mixed with boiling water the previous evening and added to my dough in the morning after the first coil with a lamination. The bran is only 10% of the milled flour, so the Kochstueck is only 9.2% of the dough (if my math is correct). I would like to have more “umpff” in my bread but don’t want a brick either. What do you suggest? Maybe cut the soaker to 15%?






    • The dough was forming beautifully until I added the extra 58 g of water after the salt & levain. Even with a Kitchen Aid mixer, it would not blend in. I have been making sourdough bread & discard recipes for a while now, & have never had this issue. I don’t understand why this extra water was added when it was. I have never seen this method in other sourdough recipes.

      What a waste of time , patience, & ingredients. Such a disappointment……






    • I am a little confused with the instructions. After we create the autolyse, it never says to do something with it. I assume that the “mix the dough” step was to include the autolyse, but it wasn’t clear.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star