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This homemade soft multigrain bread is prepared with multigrain hot cereal mix, such as 5 grain, 7 grain or 10 grain cereal. Whole or quick oats are an excellent option, too. It’s soft and fluffy like regular white sandwich bread, but has a hearty and satisfying flavor. Either instant or active-dry yeast work and you can even turn this dough into multigrain rolls.

slice of whole wheat multigrain bread

Learn to bake homemade bread. I’ve noticed that’s a common baking goal at the start of each year. Today I’m sharing a new homemade bread recipe, one I’ve been perfecting for months. Using my regular white sandwich bread as the starting point for this new variation, I finally mastered a multigrain bread that’s both soft and sturdy. If you love homemade bread and crave added texture, you’ll enjoy this multigrain loaf. Bonus: You can use this dough for homemade rolls, too!

Soft Multigrain Bread Details

  • Flavor: Slightly nutty with an earthy, satisfying flavor similar to whole wheat bread. A little brown sugar adds mild sweetness.
  • Texture: This wholesome bread is wonderfully soft without being flimsy. It’s great for sandwiches, but perfectly satisfying plain or with a spread of butter.
  • Ease: I categorize this as an intermediate baking recipe. The dough requires an extra step in the very beginning– soaking those grains in water. If you read the directions before starting, you’ll be set for success. Take your time and if you’re new to baking with yeast, review my Baking with Yeast Guide first. Lots of helpful information there.
  • Time: Between preparing the dough, both rises, and baking, set aside at least 4-5 hours to complete this recipe. But keep in mind that most of the time is hands off as the dough rises. You can even get started on the dough the night before.

If you love wholesome, hearty homemade bread like this, you’ll enjoy this no knead honey oat bread recipe too.

slices of multigrain bread

Video Tutorial: How to Make Soft Multigrain Bread

We need a careful blend & ratio of ingredients to produce a grain loaf that (1) rises tall, (2) maintains a soft fluffy texture, and (3) has legitimate structure for sturdy slices. The ingredients are practically the same as this sandwich bread, but we’re skipping the milk, using hot boiling water, adding grain cereal mix and seeds, slightly reducing the butter, and swapping regular sugar for brown sugar. Took lots of tweaking to perfect.

Key Ingredients You Need & Why

  1. Multigrain Hot Cereal Mix or Oats: If you read anything in this post, have it be this. This recipe starts with multigrain cereal, such as 5 grain, 7 grain or 10 grain cereal. You can also use whole or quick oats, but I do not recommend steel cut. There are many variations of hot cereal available in grocery stores– a multigrain version may include rye, barley, oats, whole wheat, and/or more. Honestly any grain cereal you mix with hot water works assuming there’s no flavors or sugars added (for example, don’t use brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal mix). If you can’t find any multigrain hot cereals at the store, you can purchase online– or just use plain oats. I really like this 7 grain + flax seed hot cereal. Multigrain baby cereal works too.
  2. Boiling Water: Just as you would make the hot cereal to eat, mix it with hot water. Use 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) boiling water, then let the mixture cool until a digital thermometer reads about 110°F (43°C). This usually takes 20 minutes. If it’s too hot, the heat will kill the yeast.
  3. Brown Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough. You can use regular white granulated sugar, but brown sugar was especially tasty in this loaf.
  4. Butter: To make a soft bread, you need fat in the dough. Butter promises a soft and flavorful loaf. 3 Tablespoons is plenty.
  5. Flour: If you have both bread flour and all-purpose flour on hand, I recommend using bread flour. All-purpose flour definitely works, but you get a sturdier and more bread-like texture from bread flour. I love using whole wheat flour when I can, but this dough is not fit for all whole wheat flour. In my recipe testing, I found that similar to homemade English muffins, replacing up to 1 cup of the bread/all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour worked just fine. The bread was a bit denser, but had great flavor. I usually make it with 3 cups of bread flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour.

Add-In Options

Add-ins are completely optional, but I encourage seeds and/or nuts for a little texture. I usually use sunflower seeds. Other options include chopped pecans or walnuts, pepitas, raisins, dried cranberries, or a blend of these. You could also throw in smaller seeds such as chia, flax, or sesame. See recipe note below before starting.

Step-by-Step Photos

ingredients for dough and hot cereal mix with water in glass liquid measuring cup

Soak the grain cereal in the boiling water, as pictured above.

Below left: After it cools down, whisk in the yeast and brown sugar. Below right: After 5-10 minutes, you’ll notice foam or bubbles on the surface. This means the yeast is active and ready. Note that the hot cereal I use contains flax seeds so that’s what you’re seeing floating on top!

yeast mixture in glass bowl with flax seeds

The dough will feel heavy. As instructed in the recipe below, knead it before letting it rise.

dough in glass bowl

Below left: After you make and knead the dough, let it rise until doubled in size. Below right: Punch it down to release the air, then place on a lightly floured work surface.

homemade multigrain dough after 1st rise

Roll it out into an 8×15 inch rectangle:

rolled out bread dough

Below left: Roll it up tightly starting with the 8-inch side, so you have an 8-inch roll to fit into your 9×5 inch loaf pan. (Unlike cinnamon rolls where you roll up the dough starting with the larger side.) Below right: Let it rise until it’s 1-2 inches above the rim of the pan.

Look at this height!

two photos of bread dough showing it before and after rising in loaf pan
multigrain bread in loaf pan on pink linen napkin

Bake until golden brown:

How do I test for doneness? Give the loaf a light tap. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. For a more accurate test, the bread is done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the loaf as 195°F-200°F (90°C-93°C).

This multigrain bread is phenomenal when sliced and served warm. The exterior is crisp and crusty while cloaking a hearty, yet fluffy crumb inside. The whole slice is just so, so satisfying and cozy. This is definitely a homemade bread to try!

If you happen to have any leftovers, day old bread is perfect so soak up flavors in an easy breakfast casserole.


Can I Make This Into Rolls?

I thought you’d ask! I tested this dough to make multigrain rolls and it worked wonderfully. Not quite as soft as regular dinner rolls and not quite as heavy as whole wheat dinner rolls. I will say that I preferred the multigrain sandwich bread because it had a little more texture from the crust. Served warm with a pat of butter, however, the rolls were fantastic. See recipe note for instructions. Though I haven’t tested it, I imagine you could use this dough to make 3-4 bread bowls, too.

Multigrain AND multipurpose!

multigrain rolls before and after rising
multigrain rolls in glass baking pan

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Browse all of my yeast bread recipes.

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slice of whole wheat multigrain bread

Soft Multigrain Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 34 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is wholesome multigrain bread with an irresistibly soft and fluffy interior. For best success, take the time to review the recipe notes before starting. Though not required, an instant read thermometer is helpful in a few of these steps.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup (60g) dry multigrain cereal mix or rolled oats (see note)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (410ml) boiling water
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) instant or active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 3 Tablespoons (37g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 and 1/3 cups (433g) bread flour, plus more as needed and for hands/work surface
  • optional: 1/2 cup (60g) sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, pepitas, raisins, or dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Place cereal mix in a large heatproof bowl (you can also use the bowl of your stand mixer). Pour boiling water on top. Let the mixture cool until a digital thermometer reads about 110°F (43°C). This usually takes 20 minutes. Pay attention to the temperature because if it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it became too cool, however, it’s not a problem– the dough may just take a few extra minutes to rise.
  2. Whisk the yeast, sugar, and all of the warm water/cereal mixture in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until foamy and bubbly on the surface.
  3. Add the butter, salt, and 1 cup (about 130g) flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add another cup of flour. Beat on medium speed until relatively incorporated (there may still be chunks of butter). Add all of the remaining flour and the seeds/nuts (if using), then beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. *If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle!*
  4. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer (and switch to the dough hook if you used the paddle) and beat for an additional 2 minutes OR knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes. Dough is soft, yet heavy.
  5. 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. Takes about 2 hours. For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
  6. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  7. Shape the bread: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Lightly flour a work surface, your hands, and a rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 8×15 inches. It does not have to be perfect– in fact, it will probably be rounded on the edges. That’s ok! Roll it up into an 8 inch log and place in the prepared loaf pan.
  8. 2nd Rise: Cover shaped loaf with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until it’s about 1-2 inches above the top of the loaf pan, about 1 hour. (See photo above for a visual.)
  9. Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It’s best to bake the bread towards the bottom of the oven so the top doesn’t burn.)
  10. Bake the bread: Bake for 35-40 minutes– if you notice the top browning too quickly during bake time, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. How to test for doneness– give the loaf a light tap. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. For a more accurate test, the bread is done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the loaf as 195°F-200°F (90°C-93°C).
  11. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Feel free to let it cool completely before slicing, too.
  12. Cover leftover bread tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 7. Place shaped loaf in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan or disposable loaf pan, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. On the day you serve it, let the loaf thaw and rise for about 4-5 hours at room temperature. Bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked bread loaf. Allow the bread to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.
  2. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the recipe through step 7. Cover the shaped bread tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 2 hours before you need the bread the next day, remove  from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1 hour before baking. Alternatively, you can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. Continue with step 6.
  3. Grain Cereal: Use dry multigrain cereal that you would use to make hot cereal, such as 5 grain, 7 grain, or 10 grain cereal. You can also use quick or whole oats, but I do not recommend steel cut oats. There are many variations of hot cereal available in grocery stores– a multigrain version may include rye, barley, oats, whole wheat, and/or more. Honestly any grain cereal you mix with hot water works assuming there’s no flavors or sugars added (for example, don’t use brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal mix). If you can’t find any multigrain hot cereals at the store, you can purchase online– or just use plain oats. I really like this 7 grain + flax seed hot cereal. Multigrain baby cereal works too.
  4. Yeast: You can use active-dry or instant yeast. The instructions are the same no matter which you use.
  5. Flours: If you have both bread flour and all-purpose flour on hand, I recommend using bread flour. All-purpose flour definitely works, but you get a sturdier and more bread-like texture from bread flour. I love using whole wheat flour when I can, but this dough is not fit for all whole wheat flour. In my recipe testing, I found that replacing up to 1 cup (around 130g) of the bread/all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour worked just fine. The bread was a bit denser, but had great flavor. I usually make it with 3 cups of bread flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour.
  6. Seeds/Add-Ins: The pictured loaf was prepared with 1/2 cup (60g) of sunflower seeds. I love extra flavor and texture, so I’ve been increasing that amount to 2/3 cup (80g). Use any of the suggested add-ins like sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, pepitas, raisins, dried cranberries, or a blend of these. If you want to use smaller seeds, such as poppy, chia, flax, or sesame, I recommend reducing the amount to 2 or 3 Tablespoons. You could, however, blend these smaller seeds with larger seeds/nuts/dried fruit for a total of 1/2 or 2/3 cup (60 or 80g).
  7. Multigrain rolls: Make the dough as written above through the first rise (steps 1-5), then follow steps 5-10 in my dinner rolls recipe. Bake time is 25-26 minutes.
  8. If You Want to Top with Oats or Seeds: If you want to top the dough with oats or seeds prior to baking, carefully brush the dough after the 2nd rise (step 8) with 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tbsp water, then sprinkle 2 Tbsp of oats or seeds on top. Neither will stick without the egg white brushed on first. I did this with the pictured rolls.
  9. Doubling this recipe: For best results, I recommend making two separate batches of dough. However, if you want to double the recipe all in 1 mixing bowl, double all of the ingredients except for the yeast. Use 3 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast. This amount of dough may overwhelm your stand mixer, so I recommend mixing the dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula instead. It will take a bit of arm muscle.

Keywords: multigrain, bread, homemade bread

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally and Team:
    I love this bread and have made many loaves. My problem is always sticky dough. I always use 1/3 cup of ww flour and 3 cups of bread flour, hence extra flour right at the start. My bread always turns out okay, but is very sticky and hard to handle. I use oats instead of cereal. What could be my issue here? The website is awesome, thank you!

    1. Hi Janice! So glad you love this bread. There are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.

  2. After this recipe was initially posted, I bought 5 bags of multigrain/oat hot cereal and froze it. I’m still using this as my go-to sandwich bread recipe and have adapted it for sourdough. I simply use 1 cup of fed and active sourdough starter in place of 1 package of yeast. It works perfectly! I don’t adjust the other ingredients, but just keep adding flour until it is the tacky texture you look for in bread. Just wanted to share in case anyone has sourdough starter!

  3. This bread sounded so delicious . I decided to use only the Oatmeal as the grain. I checked my yeast and it was active, however, my bread’s second rising did not go well and I finally baked it after 2.5 hours of rising. It was like a brick. Any suggestions for me . Thank you !!

    1. Hi Denise! I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with this dough rising after shaping. Was the bread in a cold environment during that 2nd rise? Any change of temperature from the 1st rise? If you try the recipe again, see if adding a little more yeast helps, perhaps increase to 2 and 1/2 teaspoons or 2 and 3/4 teaspoons.

    2. Turn the light on in your oven just before you start and place it in the oven with plastic wrap over bowl , this is my best place for any bread I make to rise, out of drafts and overly hot humid days.

  4. This is an amazing recipe! Made rolls yesterday and today I am making the bread!
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  5. This recipe sounds so good that I would like to try it. Can I make it in a bread machine? I have only made 2 loaves of bread in my bread maker so I’m spoiled already. New to bread making.

    1. Hi Beverly, we haven’t tested this recipe in a bread machine but let us know if you do!

      1. I just made the recipe using my bread machine and it came out great. I added the water with the 7 grains first, then added the butter which I melted and let it cool to room temperature, the salt and sugar. Then added the bread flour and the yeast on top and only used 2 tsp of yeast. I set the machine to dough level. Took it out and did the next steps as above. It came out beautiful.

    2. Hi Beverly, I made this bread using the dough cycle on my bread machine. Excellent recipe thank you Sally. I make most of my bread that way. The machine does the kneading and 1st rise. Remove punch down shape into buttered bread pan for 2nd rise. The 2nd rise tends to be faster when using the dough cycle. I much prefer baking the loaf in the oven, better crust and shape. I use the dough cycle for bread and pizza dough. I hope you try it.

  6. Hi I’m new to bread making and loved this recipe. As I’m baking for one and don’t want to freeze the bread. Can you let me know if I can split this recipe into 2x 1lb pans and how long it should be in the oven?
    The method, photos and video were a great help thanks again.

    1. Hi Avril, we’re so glad you tried and enjoyed the bread recipe. You can divide the dough in half for 2 smaller pans. The size of the rolled out dough rectangles should be smaller. We’re unsure of the best size and bake time– it depends on the size of the loaf pans, so keep a close eye on the baking bread.

  7. I recently made this recipe for the first time, and it turned out really well, it’s a far superior sandwich grain bread that the other wheat I was making prior. It rose beautifully each time and I ended up with a nice tall loaf, a good sandwich bread height. The only thing is it seemed a bit crumbly when slicing and eating. I didn’t have bread flour, so I used AP, and I replaced about 3/4 of a cup of AP with whole wheat, and added in the multigrain cereal as instructed. Anything I can try to have it be less crumbly?
    Thanks very much for the recipe.

    1. Hi Borg, thanks so much for giving this bread recipe a try. The combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour could be contributing to the crumbly texture of the bread. Be sure to spoon and level your flours to ensure just the right amount, otherwise any excess flour could dry out your bread and make it crumbly. Was the bread war when you sliced it? If it’s not fully cooled before slicing, the slices can crumble a bit. Hope these tips help for next time!

  8. Love this recipe. Always turns out great. But wondering if it matters if I soak the grain for about 10 hours (forgot I had an appointment). Or should I just start from scratch when I get home?

    1. Hi Sue, You may want to just start over with the grains. Feel them and see if they have become too mushy before using them. We are happy to hear how much you love the recipe!

  9. Thank you for this recipe! I’m so happy to have finally found a very tasty multigrain bread that is also light and not just a dense brick. I used oatmeal and oat bran for the cereal (it’s what I had). And your recommended amount of whole wheat flour. I also doubled the recipe but didn’t see your note about adjusting the yeast first. Thankfully it still rose perfectly! I baked the double batch in a 4″ x 13″ pan. The bread looks like a tall mushroom 🙂 Texture, moistness, taste–perfect! Thank you so much!

  10. Your recipies are always amazing. I made a big mistake making this bread, but decided to keep going and hope it worked out. It did, I have a pan of rolls and 2 loaves of delicious bread!! See, your recipies are so good that even when a mistake is made it turns out:)

  11. Really good bread recipe and so easy to make. I love that all your recipes are fairly easy to make and oh so yummy!

  12. I have been baking this loaf since the first time I ever read your recipe and it is my weekly staple. I love incorporating my roasted pumpkin seeds it adds another dimension of flavour. I also substitute the butter for olive or avocado oil at 2 tbsp per loaf. I cut the brown sugar to 1 tbsp per loaf as well.
    An awesome loaf, thank you so much! I also use many of your other recipes, you are just the best!
    I

  13. Is this recipe suitable for diabetics? I am a type 2 diabetic and have been advised to eat heavy mixed grain breads.

  14. I use many of your recipes. I really like this recipe. However, After baking this bread 5 times, I have altered it a bit each time:
    Currently: I dissolve 2.5 tsps of yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water with 1 tsp of brown sugar added.
    I soak the cereal in 1 1/4 cups of boiling water and rest until 110 degrees is reached.
    I add 1-1.5. cups of whole wheat flour plus the regular flour. Usually add 1 Tblsp (or 2-3) of flour while my mixer is kneading the dough – until dough pulls away from the bowl.
    I now add 1 cup of add ins (flax seed, chopped walnuts and pecans.)
    The raising occurs in my oven with several small pans of hot water underneath the bread pans.
    I make two loaves: 8.5 x 4. They bake at 375 for 30 minutes. I run a stick of butter over the top of the hot bread when they come out of the oven. Two pans makes the bread just the right size for a sandwich and the sliced bread now fits our toaster. One loaf – sliced – was too large for toasting. The top crust often pulled apart from the rest of the bread. Nan

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