Multigrain Bread

This method has been combined from several sources and incorporates a lot of the things I’ve learned about baking bread in recent years. It makes good ‘standard’ bread that works well for frozen bread sandwiches.


The Baker’s percent method allows any sized loaf to be made and makes it simple to calculate required amounts for a variety of types of bread. The total flour weight = 100% and all other ingredients are calculated from their percentages.

The window pane test involves stretching out a piece of dough as far as possible without it breaking. If the gluten has developed fully then the piece should not snap and you should be able to see light though the dough - hence window pane.

Richard Bertinet’s kneading method allows you to work with very wet doughs. It involves lifting and slapping down the dough repeatedly and trapping air pockets in the dough. This stretches the gluten and incorporates are to help the yeast and gluten development. Check YouTube for a video of Richard Bertinet Method demonstrating his method. Using a mixer with a dough hook also works well.

To get the flour off your fingers use more flour and rub together to remove as much as possible before resorting to washing under the tap with a scrubbing brush. A dough scraper is well worth buying as it helps with a various stages in bread making.



  1. Autolyze (optional - some debate if this is good as can cause oxidation)
    • Mix Flour and Water and leave at Room Temperature for 30-60 minutes, covered with cling film.
  2. Add ingredients
    • Add Salt and Yeast to separate side of the bowl and combine with flour.
    • EITHER
      • Knead with Artisan Mixer with Bread Dough Hook for 4 minutes on speed 1/2.
      • Increase spread to 4/5 for 2 minutes.
      • Dough does not need to pass Window Pane (see youtube) test according to Ciril Hitz.
    • OR
      • Use Richard Bertinet slapping method to knead until dough ‘comes alive’. (see his video above)
  3. Bulk Fermentation
    • Place dough in a large bowl or box that will allow at least 2x volume expansion.
    • EITHER
      • Incubate at 14-18C overnight for 9-12 hours (gives max flavour, may need to reduce yeast)
    • OR
      • Incubate at 24-26C for around 2 hours (much quicker overall process / proof)
    • OR
      • Incubate at 4C overnight / longer (best method according to Reinhart’s latest book - lots of flavour)
  4. Degas and fold
    • Remove dough from container carefully to avoid losing air.
    • Gently flatten to squeeze out large bubbles.
    • EITHER
      • Shape into Rounds.
      • Fold edges into centre several times to make even.
      • Tighten into a round using palms / table to tighten.
    • OR
      • Shape into Logs.
      • Tighten and fold ends inward if necessary to get del
      • Seam side down.
    • Dust with flour to prevent clingfilm sticking.
  5. Proof
    • Spray thin film of oil onto baking sheet / bread tin.
    • Place shaped dough with seam side down into container.
    • Allow to proof until passes finger test (doesn’t spring back quickly when lightly pressed) / doubles in size.
    • Time taken depends on temperature of the dough, incubation.
    • Should take 45min to 2 hours for the above.
    • Cover with film.
    • 30 minutes before end of proof - set oven to 230-250C / Max.
    • Use conventional oven setting with top and bottom heat.
    • Add baking tray to heat for steam later.
    • Add pizza stone / thick granite slab to oven. (Adds thermal mass and helps oven spring and crust.)
  6. Prep for Bake / Slashes
    • Check Proof with finger test / look & feel.
    • Dust with extra flour (White ok but Rye better contrast).
    • Use serrated knife / razor blade lame to slash. (Slashes allow expansion and enable oven spring.)
    • Should be fairly deep to accommodate expansion.
    • Should be longitudinal diagonal slashes.
    • Overlap each slash by 1/3rd.
    • EITHER: Add boiling water to baking tray for steam
    • OR: Spray water with a mister onto sides of the oven.
  7. Bake
    • Add slashed loaves to steamy oven onto stone.
    • Lower temperature setting from 250C to 200C after 5 minutes.
    • Bake for 10 minutes without opening the door.
    • Check browning - If too brown too soon
      • EITHER: change oven to lower heat only.
      • OR: can place tin foil on top.
    • After 10 minutes, insert in-oven temperature probe.
    • Monitor internal temperature until 97-98C.
      • Most suggest 94C but this seems wet to me.
    • Standard 900g loaf should take 30-40 minutes.
  8. Cool
    • Leave bread in for additional 2 minutes with door slightly open.
    • Allows steam to escape and dries crust.
    • Remove bread from oven and place on wire rack.
    • Leave to cool at RT until internal temp drops below 40C.
    • Do not cut before cools otherwise the steam escapes and structure deteriorates.
    • Should take about 1 hour.
  9. Freeze
    • Ideally freeze when fully cooled to RT.
    • Slice as required and place in freezer bags.
      • Ideally use 1 Gallon Zip-Lok bags.
    • Reassemble sliced pieces back to loaf shape.
    • Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
      • Can use a straw to suck last bit of air out.
    • Can be stored for 1-3 weeks before freezer burn sets in.
  10. Defrost
    • EITHER: For use in sandwiches later in the day:
      • Remove slices from freezer and prepare sandwiches.
      • Store in bag / box at RT for 3-4 hours.
      • Will thaw by lunch time.
    • OR: for immediate use:
      • Microwave on a plate (preferably standing).
      • Use Chaos / Defrost setting.
      • 100g bread ~= 1 slice.
    • OR: for toast:
      • toast directly from frozen.
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