In further evidence that I am getting older and becoming a real grown up, I now like and voluntarily eat multigrain bread.  As a kid, I have vivid memories of my making myself sandwiches with various degrees of discontent depending on what bread we had available.  The only thing I ever wanted was white bread, the softer and whiter the better.  If wheat was the only option available I could usually tolerate it.  But man, if it had any kind of seed or nut in it?  Forget about it.  Of course if that was really all we had and I was truly hungry, I would improvise, meaning I would sit for several minutes, picking out every seed and nut I could find, leaving dozens of tiny holes in each slice and a resulting bread with questionable integrity.  My dad would laugh and laugh at me.  If only he could see me now.

A few weeks ago, we had lunch with our good friends and they made these amazing sandwiches using a multigrain bread.  I came home wanting 1) to eat that sandwich every day forever, and 2) to find a recipe for a good multigrain bread.  I didn’t have to look very long or hard, because I recalled seeing this recipe in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and decided to give it a try.  This ended up being just exactly what I was hoping for – a nice, hearty multigrain bread with a golden crust on the outside but still tender on the inside, the perfect consistency for making a good sandwich.  It’s also incredible toasted with an over easy egg on top.  I’ll be adding this to the list of homemade breads I have to keep on hand at all times in the freezer.  (In case you were wondering, that list includes baguettes, sourdough, burger buns, and now this.)  And I didn’t even pick out any seeds.


For the soaker: 
33 grams (6 tbsp. plus 1 tsp.) old-fashioned oats
33 grams (3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp.) sesame seeds
33 grams (¼ cup) hulled sunflower seeds
33 grams (¼ cup plus 1 tsp.) flaxseeds
33 grams (3 tbsp.) quinoa
100 grams (7 tbsp.) cold water

For the dough: 
311 grams (2 cups plus 3½ tbsp.) all-purpose flour
89 grams (¾ cup) whole wheat flour
44 grams (¼ cup plus 2 tbsp.) rye flour
3 grams (Scant 1 tsp.) instant yeast
89 grams (3.1 oz.) sourdough starter*
311 grams (1 cup plus 5 tbsp.) water at 75° F
10 grams (1¾ tsp.) fine sea salt
1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp. water, for brushing


  • 01

    To make the soaker, combine the oats and all the sides in a bowl.  Stir in the water until evenly combined.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

  • 02

    To make the dough, combine the all-purpose, whole wheat and rye flours as well as the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Mix briefly to combine.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the starter and the water.  Mix on low speed for 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the salt over the top.  Continue to mix on low speed for 20 minutes.  Add in the seed mixture and any remaining water in the bowl, and mix on low speed just until evenly incorporated into the dough.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour or until about doubled in bulk.

  • 03

    Place a baking stone in the oven on an upper-middle rack, and place a metal baking dish on a lower rack.  Preheat the oven to 460° F. (The oven preheats for a long time.  This is important to adequately heat the baking stone and ensure a consistent oven temperature for baking.)  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough in half and form each half into a rough oval shape.  Let rest for 15 minutes (no need to cover).  Shape the dough into batards.  Take a rimmed baking sheet and flip it so the bottom side is facing up.  Cover with a piece of parchment paper.  Place the shaped loaves onto the parchment paper.  Cover the loaves with a clean kitchen towel or loosely with plastic wrap.  Let rise once more, 1 hour or until the when the dough is lightly pressed with a finger, the impression remains.

  • 04

    Just before baking the bread, measure out 3-4 cups of hot water.  Set aside.  Uncover the loaves.  With a sharp knife, make three shallow scores in the top of each loaf at an angle.  Brush the loaves lightly with the egg wash.  Remove the baking stone from the oven and carefully slide the sheet of parchment with the loaves onto the baking stone.  Return the stone with the dough to the oven.  With caution, pour the hot water into the baking pan set on the lower rack.  This creates steam to help give the crust a nice texture.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the loaves is 200-210° F.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

  • 05

    *Even though I already have sourdough starter, I decided to make the Bouchon liquid levain for this recipe just out of curiosity.  It is a bit involved and smells quite…pungent…in the process, but the results were great and I would recommend it if you are so inclined.  Otherwise, you can use other fed starter that you have on hand.  Instructions for the Bouchon levain follow: 

    • (Timing-wise, this is best started in the morning.)  To make the starter, combine 250 grams all-purpose flour and 250 grams of 75° F water in a plastic or glass container and stir until evenly combined.  Cover loosely.  Place in an area about 72° F.  Let stand for 24 hours. Some bubbles will appear, indicating the wild yeast that has been incorporated.
    • To feed, combine 250 grams of flour and 250 grams of water in a new plastic or glass container.  Stir in 150 grams of the starter, and discard the rest. Cover loosely and let sit for 12 hours.
    • Repeat the feeding process as described above every 12 hours for three days, for six total feedings.
    • The levain will be ready to use on the morning of the fifth day of the process, so to bake bread on a Saturday, start the levain on a Tuesday.
  • Alex

    This looks so perfect! I’ve actually never had a sourdough starter before—if I can keep kombucha alive, I can probably manage a starter too…

  • Louann Zundel

    Your bread looks beautiful! Did you have any issues with the levain? I have tried the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, but my area (Chicago) doesn’t seem to produce enough wild yeast to feed the starter. Also, in the ingredient list under whole wheat flour, you list a weight of 44 grams with no ingredient attached :)

  • annieseats

    Oops! Thanks for catching that. Fixed now. The levain worked just fine for me, other than smelling pretty stinky once it got started. I don’t think there should be major regional differences in wild yeast since they are everywhere. I’d just give it another go. Maybe this time it will work!

  • Sonja / A Couple Cooks

    Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed that sandwich so much! This bread! We might need to take bread making lessons from you – we’ve never tried anything with a sourdough starter. This looks just like the recipe we’ve been looking for to get our feet wet, though!

  • annieseats

    Yes! I would love to help you guys with bread baking. It is so worth the effort, and since it freezes well, it’s like having fresh homemade bread all the time. And there’s just nothing like the smell of fresh bread from the oven :)

  • Casey

    Love the Indiana cutting board! So cute!

  • dek2711

    I absolutely love baking bread..baking it in the loaf pan is easy peasy…but everytime i have to shape it freehand,i end up with a flatish loaf,not really the best for sandwiches:( .Annie,just a suggestion..i know ur crazy crazy busy but sometime in the future would you consider making a video on bread making?

  • Megan

    Beautiful Bread! For some reason this did not update in my reader. I am glad I saw it while looking for a cupcake recipe. I can’t wait to give this a try this weekend.

  • The Indiana cutting board is so fun! Where did you find it? If the source you purchased it from makes cutting boards in the shape of other states, I would love to buy one.

  • Amy Stringer-Mowat

    Thank you so much for using our Indiana board! how sweet is that. AHeirloom

  • annieseats

    It was a gift from a friend. I just checked with her and it’s from the Etsy shop AHeirloom (

  • annieseats

    I love it! Thank you for the wonderful product :)

  • Thanks!

  • Amy Stringer-Mowat

    our store…. thank you again!

  • carduelis

    Did you change something about the RSS feed? I haven’t recieved updates since the things i’m loving lately post.

  • I love making bread. The smell of yeast is intoxicating!

  • Audrey

    Delicious! Had this tonight with beef stew and mashed potatoes. We loved the stew and potatoes but the bread was the best part of the meal. I realized after soaking the grains that I should have thought ahead and fed my sourdough starter which I keep in the fridge. So, I made it with unfed starter and used about 1 1/2 tsp of instant yeast. The initial doubling took a bit longer than an hour. But the end product was AMAZING. My three year old never gets store bought white bread and loved this.

  • this looks so amazing. I am a huge homemade bread fan, so this might go straight to my recipes-to-make list. One question – the directions for making starter are quite typical, so I’m curious about how you made the starter you already had on hand?

  • This bread looks divine!

  • Brown Sugar

    I love your pictures. This bread looks awesome!

  • Love the cutting board! And the bread sounds delicious!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Oh wow! This looks perfect Annie!

  • I have a longstanding goal to cook my way through Bouchon and this has just moved up on my list! Multigrain bread is definitely an acquired taste of my twenties…I remember HATING eat before then. But now that crunch from seeds and nuts is somehow comforting.

  • I’ve recently begun to like multigrain bread too! Does that mean I’m becoming a grown up?

    Love this homemade version – it would go so well in my favorite BLT Avocado sandwich!

  • Rebecca Duckworth

    I would love to try this bread. I need, however, measurements other than metric as I have o way to measure grams of flour, water or starter to feed it. Thanks for the amazing sounding bread.

  • Becky Kosidowski

    This recipe sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing. I will have to make it on a cold Winter day that is inevitably around the corner here in Minnesota.

  • Jenn V

    Once you bake with the levain can you keep the rest in the fridge and feed it like a basic sourdough starter? Just wondering if you have to do anything different with it.

  • Jacqueline

    Love the Indiana cutting board!!!!

  • Cara

    I think I may have to purchase the MI one…thanks for sharing!

  • Carly

    Your first paragraph was me as a child.

    Just this week I was talking to my mother and made a comment about my favourite bread at the moment was a ‘harvest seed & grain’. She nearly died of shock =)

    Pinning this to try later! Thank you!


  • Homemade bread is just the best. This looks great!

  • annieseats

    Oh yes, it’s similar to the sourdough starter. I believe there are slightly more involved suggestions for feeding from Thomas Keller in the Bouchon book but I haven’t gotten to do anything else with mine yet.

  • annieseats

    The volume measurements are also provided here. Enjoy!

  • annieseats

    I believe it does indeed. But I’ll forever be 10 at heart, no matter what!

  • annieseats

    That is a very excellent goal. I could (and do) look at that book for hours.

  • annieseats

    Thank you! You are too kind.

  • annieseats

    You can see how I made the original starter by following the link in the post. They are quite different in process.

  • annieseats

    Awesome! I’m so glad to hear it turned out well.

  • annieseats

    There was a glitch but it has been fixed now. Sorry about that!

  • Ahh – I see now. I’ve never made a starter by adding yeast or sugar, so that’s why I was confused..thanks for the clarification.

  • Rebecca Duckworth

    What I was wanting was measurements for feeding starter: “To feed combine 250 grams of flour and 250 grams of water in new .. container. Stir in 150 grams of starter and discard rest.” How much is 250 grams of flour and water and how much is 150 grams of starter?

  • Jenn V

    Baked the bread last night and was so happy with the results! I’m still feeding the levain to see how the taste changes when I bake another batch next week. Thanks for sharing this one, it’s a keeper :)

  • Nancy

    Buy a scale. Results consistent with a scale. Also saves a lot of time! Get one that measures ounces, grams, pounds.

  • Georgia Mulyukina

    Tried it with rye starter, poppy, pumpkin seeds and black sesame… Great! And the flavour reminded me of those Greek bakeries… Thank you for the recipe!

  • blissmamaof3

    This looks really good! Yeast and I have a rocky relationship so I’ll have to psych myself out.

  • Lidia Barela

    Can we pretty please have a printer friendly version. Thanks.

  • clara segú

    That looks absolutely delish!! Going to try this very soon…your food photography is superb :)

  • annieseats

    You can just click on the “print friendly” button at the bottom of the posts. Hope that helps :)

  • annieseats

    Oh, I don’t have volume measurements for that unfortunately. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale. It is inexpensive and yields much more consistent results in baking.

  • ErinsFoodFiles

    I was the weird kid who loved to eat the wheat bread at my grandparent’s house. They were healthier eaters than my parents! This bread looks fantastic!

  • Lynn Marie Collver

    beautiful bread recipe !

  • Robyn

    Hi Annie, I have never commented but made a Disqus account just for this specific recipe! I had it bookmarked for about a year before I finally made it and it was awesome. After a few goes I actually modified it to remove the seeds, went half and half on the whole wheat and white flours, and overnight 90 g of starter with 200g each of the flour and water to give it more of a sourdough flavour. I’ve been making it for a couple years now as my “staple” bread – thanks for inspiring the starting point!