Multi-Grain Bread Formula

Two slices of multi-grain bread laying on a plate.

This is a multi-grain 100% whole-grain sandwich bread that I make at least weekly for my husband.

I use a lot of heritage and ancient grains in my breads so the gluten is weaker than modern bread wheats. I find it easier to use bread pans instead of fighting the nature of the grains I have chosen to use.

This recipe will make one normal loaf or two small loaves. If you chose to make a free-standing boule or batard you might have more success if you refrigerate it and bake it straight from the cold. I don’t have much experience with free-standing loaves. I’d love to know how it works for you!

Ingredients: Amount:   %        
Hard Wheat:              
hard red 170g   42.50%        
hard white 170g   42.50%        
TOTAL Hard Wheat 340g   85.00%        
Ancient Wheats:              
spelt 30g   7.50%        
einkorn 30g   7.50%        
TOTAL Wheat 400g   100.00%        
Misc Grains:              
oat groats 20g   5.00%        
blue corn 20g   5.00%        
millet 20g   5.00%        
rye 10g   2.50%        
barley 10g   2.50%        
flax 10g   2.50%        
buckwheat 5g   1.25%        
teff 5g   1.25%        
Kernza 5g   1.25%        
amaranth 5g   1.25%        
TOTAL Misc Grains 110g   27.50%        
15oz can organic pears 15oz            
starter 40g   10.00%        
salt 7g   1.75%        
1 large egg ~50g            
dried flowers, powdered 1-2 tsp            
dried lemon powder 1-2 tsp            
dried hibiscus powder 1-2 tsp            
extra water up to 80g            


  1. Blend the can of pears, liquid and all. (Check the temperature of the pears, ideally I want my liquids around 80F because I want my dough to be somewhere around 80F after mixing.) Add the starter and any optional ingredients such as dried flowers, lemon powder, etc to the pear pulp here. DO NOT add the salt yet.
  2. Weigh the hard red and hard white wheats and mill them into flour. Add that flour to the blended pears. Mix until JUST moistened. Cover and let it rest for 60+ minutes. You are letting the hard modern wheats and bran absorb as much liquid as they can before you start kneading the dough.
  3. After the dough has rested, add the egg and the additional water if you are using them. Knead it in briefly.
  4. Mill your spelt, einkorn and misc grains into flour, add the salt to that flour and mix it around well. Add that flour to your dough and knead until you reach a windowpane . (I use my Anksrum mixer and it usually takes me 20-25 minutes to reach a windowpane, it used to take me about 10 or 15 minutes when I kneaded by hand. Your mileage may vary, of course.)
  5. Move the dough to a container where it can bulk ferment for several hours. Cover it and wait. You want it to at least double in volume, my last dough tripled without any apparent negative effects. (I forgot it - oops!)
  6. After it’s risen for a bit, feel free to pop it into the fridge for a few hours or overnight if you need to. You can take it out of the fridge tomorrow, let it come up to room temperature and continue without harm. And the flavors will probably be a bit deeper and more complex with the extended ferment!
  7. When you are ready to shape it, the dough should be at least doubled in volume, it should be bubbly, and jiggly if you shake it. It should be FULL of air and ‘feel’ alive.
  8. Butter your bread pans.
  9. Gently remove the dough from the container without deflating it, divide it (if you’re making two small loaves like I do), and shape it into loaves. Gently put the shaped loaves into the bread pans, cover them and leave them in a warm place to rise for at least an hour or two. (This is another good time to refrigerate the dough if you need to bake it tomorrow.)
  10. Preheat your oven and your dutch oven if you’re using one.
  11. Slash the top of your loaves. (This step is optional but I find it does usually give me more height. The only time I don’t slash is if I forgot the dough and it over-fermented and feels a bit ‘slack’. Oops.)
  12. Bake the loaves at 400F for 20 minutes with steam, remove the lid of the dutch oven to release the steam and bake lid off at 370F for another 20 minutes. Use a thermometer to check the interior temperature of the loaf, it should be between 200F and 210F.
  13. Remove the loaves from the bread pans and let cool on a rack for AT LEAST one hour before cutting them.


Feel free to mix and match your misc grains. This is just a combination that I like, that I feel gives a wide range of nutrients and dietary fibers.

It’s much easier if you mix the whole grains up before hand, so you don’t have to run around frantically measuring grains while you’re trying to bake. I keep a large sealed container that holds several pounds of my mixed whole grains, ready to mill as needed.

If you’re interested, this is the podcast from Peter Reinhart that got me interested in multigrain baking. And here is another podcast about the health effects of dietary fiber that I found fascinating.


desired final dough weight: 900g to 1050g

desired final flour weight: 510g

estimated hydration: ~77% (difficult to measure because of the pear pulp and optional liquids)


20 min @ 400F w steam

~20 min @ 370F no steam

  • All views expressed are my own opinions, based solely on my own research and experience. I am not a professional baker. Nothing in this blog is professional nutritional or medical advice. I do not include affiliate links, I am not compensated for any links or recommendations on this blog.