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Horizontal image of a stack of bread slices on a gray table next to oats and a white towel.

Soaked Whole Grain Bread

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 standard bread loaves 1x


Learn how to make wholesome homemade soaked whole grain bread. It’s a labor of love to bake, but the results are worth every hearty bite. Read more now.



For the Soaked Dough:

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups room temperature water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing

For the Yeast Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-115°F)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1/4 ounce or 1 small package) active dry yeast

For the Final Dough:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup all-purpose flour, as needed


For the Soaked Grains:

  • Whisk together the whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and the oats until combined in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups room temperature water, buttermilk, honey, and oil.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and combine with a sturdy spoon, a plastic bench scraper, or your hands. Continue mixing together until a dense and slightly sticky dough forms.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let soak for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.

For the Yeast Mixture:

  • Once the mixture has soaked for the appropriate amount of time, continue with the recipe.
  • Activate the yeast by whisking together the 1/4 cup warm water and honey in a small bowl until the honey is completely dissolved. Evenly sprinkle the yeast onto the water, and whisk to blend. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and the mixture looks frothy.

For Mixing the Final Dough:

  • Add the activated yeast mixture, about 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour to start, and the salt to the bowl with the soaked dough. Knead by hand to combine the ingredients.*
  • Once combined, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for approximately 8 to 10 minutes by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding the remaining flour as needed if the dough seems too sticky.
  • Form the dough into a ball, transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with olive oil, and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Lightly grease two standard loaf pans with olive oil. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time and keeping the other under a clean kitchen towel, roll it to fit inside the loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Gently cover the loaf pans with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • As the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Transfer the pans to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bread has risen significantly and is golden brown on the top and sides.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and rest in the pans for 15 minutes before removing from the pans and cooling completely on cooling racks.


You can also make the dough using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Baked Goods
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Bread

Keywords: soaked, whole wheat, grain, bread, oats