A close up image of a whole grain bread with a knife on the on top of a white chopping board.

Soaked Whole Grain Bread: Soft, Sweet, and Pure Comfort

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 loaves of about 40 total slices 1x


A dark and golden whole grain bread that’s tasty and easy to digest thanks to the grains being soaked before baking which helps break down starches and neutralize the phytic acid. Get more nutrition and better gut health by soaking your grains with this easy recipe.



Step One:

  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 3 cups water
  • 9 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose, or whole wheat)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/8 cups honey
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (or coconut oil, or melted butter)

Step Two:

  • 1/2 cup water (between room temperature and slightly warm, or between 100115 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (or 2 packages)

Step Three:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt or regular table salt
  • 24 tablespoons vital wheat gluten**
  • 1 cup flour (unbleached all-purpose, or whole wheat pastry) only if the dough seems overly sticky


  1. Combine all the ingredients from step one, cover, and let sit for 12–24 hours.
  2. After soaking, activate the yeast by combining the ingredients from step two and letting it sit for 5 minutes, or until fully proofed (bubbly and foamy).
  3. After activating the yeast, combine the yeast mixture with the soaked flour and add the remaining ingredients from step three. Knead for approximately 8–10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Remove to a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let sit until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Punch down and divide into 4 loaves. Roll each of the 4 portions with a rolling pin into a rectangle and roll up into a loaf. Place seam-side down in greased bread pans and let them rise again until doubled, about 30–45 minutes. (The best place is the oven! Just turn it on low 150–170 degrees until heated and then turn it off prior to putting the loaves in).
  5. After rising, turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake for 30–45 minutes. Bread is done when it is golden brown on all sides. Remove from oven and rest in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans.


*Or you can substitute with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice plus 3/4 cup water, which is what I did.

**What gluten is super cheap in the bulk bins at the grocery store. This helps with the bread’s texture. I used the maximum amount this past time, and the bread came out nice and light and fluffy.

You can also use the dough to make dinner rolls, which is what I did for the fourth loaf. They were great!

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Keywords: soaked grains, homemade bread, whole wheat