Multigrain Bread Machine Loaves

Table of Contents


Multigrain means a blend of bread flour and whole wheat, or another flour. These recipes involve 15% -50 % whole wheat flour by weight.

The basic bake program works in most machines for these recipes. When bread flour is less than 50% of total flour, recipes may suggest a whole wheat program, or a machine’s multigrain program.


Adaptions – records, methods, tables

I adapted recipes, mainly from the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”). I wrote the recipes as tables using the WordPress TablePress plugin. I made the tables available online by putting the tables into posts. This was not a good way to record information that was mainly of interest to me, and subject to many internet connections. I changed my use of tables. I kept recipe tables for my own use as worksheets in a few spreadsheets that I use when I load my bread machine. I use the worksheets to calculate adjustments of recipes. I focussed on salt measurement and yeast measurement, and reformulated recipes to reduce my consumption of sodium. I considered how much yeast is necessary to ferment a few cups of a multigrain flour blend, to get a loaf that rises and bakes into a palatable bread. I had to find the correct amount of instant yeast, by weight, for recipes for medium (1½ lb.) loaves in a Zojirushi machine with a horizontal pan that is capable of baking a large (2 lb.) loaf.


I started with the BLBMC numbers for the ratio of flour. Increasing the whole wheat flour in these recipes would require adjustments to hydration and fermentation. I use some vital wheat gluten, but often less than BLBMC suggests. These loaves get gluten from blending high protein bread flour with whole wheat flour. Some added vital wheat gluten helps to enhance elasticity but too much affects pan flow and rise.

Some regular baking, with some observations

  • Buttermilk Whole Wheat. BLBMC p. 108. A sandwich loaf; 50% Whole Wheat with buttermilk and maple syrup;
  • 33% Whole Wheat. BLBMC p. 105. The source recipe uses skim milk. I did the math and found an equivalent amount of dry milk powder and water;
  • 3 Seed Bread 50% Whole Wheat, Brown Sugar, Seeds. BLBMC p. 116;
  • Pembina Bread. Flavour and texture in a white bread. Half a cup of whole wheat, bulgur and seeds, based in BLBMC Dakota Bread (p. 119). Named for Pembina, North Dakota, the gateway to Fargo and Grand Forks; the site of KCND, the first American TV network affiliate transmitter that reached antennas in Winnipeg (later purchased by Canadian owners and moved north of the border to the southern edge of Winnipeg as CKND).
  • Cornell Bread. A brown bread. 50% whole wheat. A touch less than 50% bread flour Slightly sweet, and rich. BLBMC recipe p. 161, based on Cornell bread. The BLBMC bread machine version has been emulated and published on the Web e.g. here.
    • The recipe for Cornell bread was first published in 1955 in The Cornell Bread Book by Clive McCay of Cornell University. This bread uses an egg, milk powder, and soy flour for protein, and wheat germ for fiber.  Dr. McCay is reported to have believed that this bread, with butter, was a sufficient healthy and nutrious diet. A nearly vegetarian scientific health food, 30 years before the vegetarian prescriptions of Diet for a Small Planet. Dr. McCay, a scientist in animal nutrition, experimented on mice to prove that bread made with bleached white flour was not as healthy as bread made with unbleached flour.  The 1980 edition of the Cornell Bread Book is still available.
    • The recipe is presented in recipes  and articles on prepper and counterculture sites.  The recipe  was developed during the Great Depression.  Food security was recognized as an issue in America more clearly then than now. Eleanor Roosevelt’s Kitchen, a 2010 article in the New Yorker, looked back at the campaigns by home economists at Cornell to  promote economical recipes for American kitchens in hard times.  Americans were persuaded that hard times ended by 1945, and food writers began to treat the austerity diet (e.g. recipes for Bulldog Gravy or Depression Cake in M.F.K. Fisher‘s How to Cook a Wolf) as as a memory.
    • A lesson about hydration. On my first attempt at the medium loaf. I missed a digit in entering the water in the calculator. I used 1.25 cups x 237 g. = 297 g. The correct amount was 1.125 cups x 237 g. = 267 g. The dough was sloppy. I shook some white flour in (not measured, 3 or 3 tbsp) with about 10 minute of mixing time left to get a dough that held up. Too late and too little. The loaf had an open crumb and cratered.
  • Flax Seed Multigrain. The BLBMC (p. 118) calls this Flax Seed Whole Wheat and makes it a multigrain with 33% whole wheat flour.  Also see a formula on the web, also called Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread.
    • I used the web version, with a shift to a little whole wheat flour.
    • The BLBMC said 1.125 (1 ⅛) cups water. This is slightly high for a dough with 2 cups of bread flour. The dough finds a couple of teaspoons of water in 3 tablespoons of honey. It is a tad low for 2 cups of WW and 1 cup of bread flour. It has a firm crust and a dense crumb that holds up for firm sandwich slices.


One response to “Multigrain Bread Machine Loaves”

  1. […] is an adaptation of a BLBMC recipe (p. 118), with several changes discussed in my post on Multigrain Recipes, and changes for low sodium. I give the BLBMC recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *