I am writing a kitchen romance novel.

A loaf of magic multigrain whole wheat sandwich bread with a slice cut off the end

Naturally, I am the heroine. My collection of adorable Anthropologie aprons in unparalleled, my apartment floods with natural light whenever I need to shoot a food photo, and my tall, dark, and handsome husband relishes washing the dishes. I possess imported olive oil on tap, a greenhouse roaring with fresh herbs, and, oh yeah, I bake all of our bread from scratch.

Three photos while forming whole wheat sandwich bread dough

Isn’t my life gorgeous? I can envision the glossy hard cover now.

Reality time. Though I buy my olive oil at Trader Joe’s, killed the one herb garden I had, and Ben doesn’t necessarily grin while scrubbing pots, thanks to Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, every PB&J from here on out will be on scratch-made bread.

The end cut off a loaf of multigrain whole wheat sandwich bread

Yeast breads have a reputation for being difficult, time-consuming, and all-around scary to bake. Sandwich breads are often viewed especially horrific, since they must walk a texture tightrope: study enough to withstand thin slicing and sloppy sauces, yet soft and tender enough to enjoy. Whole wheat is most challenging of all, since whole-wheat flours are heavier and can render the final product more “brick” than “bread.”

Ingredients being added to a mixing bowl

What if I told you that in a few short, almost exclusively unattended hours you could be enjoying your very own gooey grilled cheese, tempting peanut butter toast, or straight-up butter-topped slice of 100% from scratch, 100% whole wheat, perfect sandwich bread?

Carb fantasies do come true with Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

A loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread next to a jar of jam and butter dish

Whether this is your first or your five-hundredth loaf of homemade bread, you are going to adore and master Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. As I mentioned in my Rosemary Olive Oil Bread and 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough posts, bread baking is much more approachable than it seems, and the bread that you bake at home—even “bad” bread—will blow the crust off anything commercially produced.

Just think of our homesteading ancestors; my great-grandma turned out a decent loaf in a drafty hut with a wood-burning stove and no measuring cups. Surely we can manage with a pre-heatable oven and electricity on our side.

Ingredients to make magic whole wheat sandwich bread

With that pioneering perspective, bid Sara Lee goodbye and say hello to Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

Never ever have I been so in love with my toast as I have been since Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread entered my kitchen and stole my carb-craving heart. Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread nails the sweet-spot of being tender and fluffy, yet hearty. I call this bread “Magic” because it will both melt on your tongue with tenderness and hold up to whatever schmear of messy sauces and melty cheeses you desire, even when placed in a panini press. Slather with liberal abandon. Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread can take it.

Two slices cut off the end of a loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread on a wooden board

Now, let’s talk toast: Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread and your toaster are soul mates. Don’t keep them apart; it’s destiny. Bake Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, unite these lovers, then devour the best toast of your life. Anything else would be contrary to the wishes of the universe.

One slice of whole wheat sandwich bread with jam and one without next to a loaf of bread

To ensure your Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread is a loaf of baked glory, follow these tips:

  • USE VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN. In 100% whole grain breads like this one, vital wheat gluten is, well, vital. Think of it like magical fairy dust that will give your whole-wheat breads elasticity and rise. In science terms, vital wheat gluten adds protein, which low-protein flours (whole-wheat) desperately need to rise like their higher-protein counterparts (bread flour). I love this one from Bob’s Red Mill, and have seen it available in many grocery stores and the internet.
  • Plan ahead. This recipe calls for a “soaker.” Translation: The grains are soaked together overnight prior to being added to the dough. This process juices up the grain’s enzymes, frees sugar from starch, and gives you a loaf with perfect texture and flavor.
  • Be patient. Depending on the temperature of your home, on its first rise the bread may take up to 2 and ½ hours to double in size (cooler = longer). A full rise is critical for a fluffy loaf. Embrace the process. Give the yeast time to do its thang and use these moments to reflect with on the wonder of a few small granules breathing life into your dough. Or go shopping.
  • Put away your ruler. Not sure if your loaf has “doubled” in size? Lift two fingers, poke the dough gently, and see if your indent stays. If yes, your dough is ready to be shaped into a loaf.
  • Take your bread’s temperature. Instant-read thermometers (I love this one) are super inexpensive and make the processes of determining if your loaf is “done” much clearer. When you believe the bread is ready, insulate your hands with a dishtowel, carefully flip the loaf out of the pan so its bottom is facing you, and insert the thermometer into the center. Bread not ready yet? Flip it back into the pan, then check again in 5 minutes.
  • Freeze. Freshly baked bread tastes best when eaten within two days of baking. While this isn’t difficult to accomplish, if you are not going to go through the whole loaf that quickly, simple pre-slice the whole caboodle, then freeze what you don’t plan to use right away. When ready to eat, grab the slices right from the freezer, pop them right into the toaster or microwave, and voila. Instant homemade bread.

A loaf of magic whole wheat sandwich bread on a wooden board

My final secret to perfect homemade bread: Think positive! You’ve got this. Be the author of your own kitchen romance with Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

A slice removed from a loaf of magic multigrain whole wheat sandwich bread

Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

5 from 8 votes
Fluffy, fragrant, and loaded with whole grains, Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread nails the sweet-spot of being tender, yet hearty. This bread will both melt on your tongue with tenderness and hold up to messy sauces, even in a panini press.
Don't be deterred by the long prep time. Nearly all of it is entirely unattended while the grains soak and dough rises.

Prep: 12 hrs 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 13 hrs

Servings: 1 loaf


For the Soaker:

  • 3 tablespoons coarse ground cornmeal or millet, quinoa, or amaranth
  • 3 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Dough:

  • 3/4 cup warm not hot water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour plus a few additional tablespoons as needed
  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds or rolled oats for sprinkling


  • The day before baking, prepare the soaker: In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, rolled oats, and wheat bran. Pour the 1/4 cup water over the top of the grains, stir, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the soaker sit overnight at room temperature.
  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Let stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast does not foam, it did not activate properly and this step will need to be repeated.)
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon), stir together the whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, brown sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the soaker, brown rice, honey, and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients. Add the yeast and water mixture to the dry ingredients, then mix with the paddle attachment (or a wooden spoon) on low speed until combined and the dough forms a rough, shaggy ball.
  • If using a stand mixer, switch to your dough hook. If making by hand, turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. On medium-low speed (or by hand) knead the bread for 6 minutes. If using a dough hook, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Finish kneading by hand for an additional 2-4 minutes, until dough is smooth and tacky, but no longer sticky, adding a bit of extra flour as needed. (Total knead time will be 8-10 minutes). 
  • Coat a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 90 minutes to 2 and 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled in bulk. (Press two fingers gently into the dough. If the indent stays and does not spring back, the dough is ready).
  • Lightly grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rectangle that is about 6-inches wide and 10-inches long. Press out any large bubbles. 
  • Starting with the short (6-inch) end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log, pulling the dough tightly as you go. To shape the log to fit the pan, fold each end of the log towards the roll seam so that the log is the same length as the loaf pan. Pinch ends into place. Place log in the pan, seam side down, and gently press the dough down with the back of your hand so that it is evenly spread. Mist the top of dough with water (or brush lightly using a pastry brush) and sprinkle with poppy seeds or oats. Cover the pan with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let it rise again until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
  • Arrange your oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake dough for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped (internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F).
  • Remove loaf from pan and let cool 1 to 2 hours before slicing. Use a bread knife or the sharpest knife you own. Toast (or not), top liberally with butter as desired, and enjoy your handiwork.


*Ingredient Note: Don’t have (or want to purchase) buttermilk? Combine 1/2 cup regular milk with 1/2 tablespoon (1 and 1/2 teaspoons) white vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes, then use in the recipe as directed.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. This looks like such a perfect healthy bread recipe! I usually don’t make my own bread because I always mess it up but I wouldn’t mind trying again using this recipe! Love the added poppy seeds too.

    1. You will be far more sucessful than you think Natalie! Pulling homemade bread out of the oven is just the best feeling. You should totally go for it :)

  2. Homemade bread scares the pants off me but this recipe seems manageable due to the tips you outlined. Fingers crossed!

    1. Nicole, you can totally do this! Yeast breads used to scare me too, until I gave them a go and saw how truly easy bread baking can be. I’m sure you’d rock this recipe!

  3. Gooorgeous loaf of bread! This came out perfectly. I love your tips…makes me feel like I might actually be able to make this :D5 stars

      1. Hi Maureen!
        Just checked — It is a “TruTemp” meat thermometer that I originally purchased at Target. Any old brand will do though! Glad you asked :)

  4. What a great idea to use cornmeal in your soaker! I’ve never done that before, but I’m tempted to try it because this bread sure looks delicious!! :)

    1. The cornmeal is fantastic Yvonne. It disperses all throughout and makes for a killer slice of bread. You should totally go for it! Thanks so much for your comment. Hope you enjoy!

  5. This is such a pretty dough….I love how dark and wheaty it is and like you said, you have to be patient with wheat and give it time. And the rewards are worth it!

  6. This recipe is basically exactly what I’m looking for, except I loooove my bread machine (okay.. and walking away and totally forgetting I was making bread until it’s magically done). What are your thoughts on this in a bread machine? I have a whole wheat setting with an extended rise time.

    1. Hey Kelly!
      To be honest, I have never used a bread machine. Are you usually able to translate recipes directly? If yes, so long as you stick with the long rise time and include the vital gluten + the soaker, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. This bread is so crazy good, I would say it is worth a shot! Let me know how it goes for you. I’d love the info for future reference!

  7. This bread was astonishingly easy and delicious. I especially appreciated that you included the temperature for doneness. The “thump” method has never worked for me, but my 190 degree loaf was perfect. Do you think this same temp. would work for the rosemary olive oil bread? Thank you!5 stars

    1. Kathryn, this made my day! I adore this bread, and I’m so happy that you enjoyed it too. I agree that temperature is the best method, and I’m glad you asked about my Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. 190 degrees is perfect, and I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. If you make the Rosemary bread, prepare yourself: your kitchen will smell like heaven :) Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

  8. can you leave out the brown rice? Seems like a lot of extra time to cook rice just for this recipe only to use 3 tbsp of it

    1. Hi Heather! Great question. You can simply substitute the rice for an equal amount of rolled oats. I usually use leftover rice, and if I don’t have any, go the oat route or make a small amount of rice in the microwave. I hope that helps and that you enjoy the bread!

  9. I am trying this recipe in my bread machine right now…a few more hours to go! I will let you know how it turns out. Probably not quite as good as made with your own two hands but I had to try it. Thanks Erin!

    1. I’m sure it’s going to be delicious Erin! I can’t wait to hear what you think. Have a great day and enjoy the bread!

  10. It tastes awesome but I don’t think it rose completely because it did not fill the loaf pan and was a little misshapen; maybe the yeast needs to be adjusted when using a bread machine or the extended rise time wasn’t quite enough in the machine! Anyway, thanks for the soaking tip and the recipe! I will play with the yeast a little and see what happens next time, or just try making it by hand :)5 stars

  11. well, it doesn’t look as pretty as yours :) but it smells delish! I used quinoa instead of cornmeal (wasn’t sure if it needed to be cooked quinoa or not & the only cooked I had was cooked with veggie broth so I used uncooked & hoped it would poof up during the soaker stage…not so much) & rolled oats on top (next time i’ll press them in as they just fall off). But i’m sure it tastes great!

    Mine was also only 1 1/2 hours for first rise & less than 1/2 hour for second! I checked it at half an hour and it was already 1 1/2 inches above the rim!5 stars

    1. Heather, I’m so so so excited that you tried this bread! Every kitchen and rising environment is different—I’m actually jealous that your dough rise more quickly than mine will! I think the raw quinoa will be great and add nice texture. Enjoy every bite, and thanks again :)

  12. Looks similar to the process we use in our bakery, very good, we love it, Old Mission Multigrain Traverse City MI

    1. Pete, thank you so much for telling me that! Makes me feel like I am in good company :-) I will come visit if I’m ever in the area!

  13. I have been looking for a good 100% whole wheat multi grain bread recipe for a while now…and this one is perfect!! I used quinoa instead of the cornmeal. And I also subbed in some golden flax seeds, sesame seeds, buck wheat groats, and chia seeds in the soaker. And I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Topped it with some of the flax, sesame, and chia seeds and it’s AMAZING!! 

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to put together some of the orange coconut chia pudding for in the morning!5 stars

    1. Kateland, I am so, so excited to hear this, and I think the swaps you made sound delicious. Thanks for trying the recipe and taking time to leave your review. I truly appreciate it!

  14. I make this in my bread maker and it turns out great. I substitute almond milk for the buttermilk.  I also omit the brown sugar and just add a teaspoon of agave or honey and it tastes great toasted with avocado or almond butter. Thanks for the recipe! 5 stars

    1. Heather, I’m so happy to hear that, and it’s great that it worked in your bread machine too. Thanks so much for trying the recipe and taking time to leave your review. I truly appreciate it!

  15. This was delicious!!!  I love chili, and I have a mean recipe, but I’m trying to avoid red meat.  I think this is even better than the traditional!  I’ll admit, I toyed with the recipe a bit.  I only had one can of enchilada sauce, so I substituted veggie broth, and I really love spicy, so put in two large jalapenos (unseeded), and I added dried red pepper flakes.  This is going to become a semi-weekly meal.  Thank you!!!5 stars

  16. OOPS.  I thought this was the quinoa chili recipe I just made.  But I also made this amazing Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Bread, and it is ALSO on my list of weekly recipes.  The bread was great with the aforementioned chili, and I know it will be great alone, as toast, for a sandwich, or any other way I eat it.  Great recipe!  Thanks!

  17. Looks great !! But I am allergic to wheat  rice. Potato  and corn. I have experimented with your oat bread it really good. But need a good sandwich bread. Can you help ??  Any  would
    Be appreciated.  Thanks

    1. Hi Vanessa! I apologize, but I haven’t been baking bread as much the past few years, and I don’t have experience making one from scratch without these ingredients. I would suggest an online recipe search, and use a recipe from a source that is reliable. King Arthur Flour is a great example, so I would start there. I hope that is at least a little helpful!

  18. Made this yesterday with no changes and it turned out beautiful and very tasty! I’m still a novice with yeast bread, but the instructions made it foolproof!5 stars