Soft Wholemeal Multigrain Bread (sponge dough method 中种)

A very healthy recipe that will take a longer time, but totally worth it. You will get a softer texture that even the kids will not mind consuming the whole meal and multi-grains. The bread was soft for 2 days and didn’t survive a third day for me to assess.

The original recipe was meant for my diabetic parents and was Low in sugar, on the bland side. I have suggested some increase if you want a more flavourful bread.

Recipe

Sponge Dough

  • 175 g bread flour
  • 2g yeast
  • 112 g water

Main Dough

  • 75g wholemeal with multigrain flour
  • 2 tbsp bread flour (optional, depends on the type of wholemeal flour)
  • 63 g water
  • 5 g coffee mate or milk powder (optional)
  • 15 g sugar (or up to 30g)
  • 15 g butter (or up to 30g)
  • 5g salt

Method

Mix the sponge dough ingredients into a rough dough, cover with a cloth or cling wrap and set aside to proof for 3-4 hours. Mix the wholemeal flour with the water in the main dough and also soak for 3 hours.

After the prescribed time, the sponge dough will look bubbly and soft like the above. Now mix all the ingredients except butter and knead with dough hook. Dough will be very wet, so add the optional 2 tbsp slowly until the dough becomes more elastic. Add in the butter and knead some more until window pane.

A perfect window pane is not required because multigrains will weigh your bread down when your dough is too soft, something like the below will be good enough.

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Now proof for 30 – 40 min until double in size. Pour out dough onto surface and flatten to release gas. Roll into a ball and rest for 15 min (important).

After resting, roll out, fold the dough 1/3 parts up and 1/3 parts down. Roll out length-wise and swiss roll it up. Place in bread tin to proof for another 40 min.

Bake at 175 deg C for about 35 min. Cool completely before slicing.

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