Multigrain Sandwich Bread

Multigrain sandwich bread made with a variety of grains and sunflower seeds. A wonderful PB&J bread!

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There are just some recipes that are so good and work so well for one’s every day enjoyment, that it’s hard to move on and try something different.  This Multigrain Sandwich Bread is one of those recipes.  I started making it in the winter of 2012 and except for the 3 summer months when it’s just too hot to bake, I’ve been making at least two loaves a month.  It works great for just about any type of sandwich – turkey, grilled vegetable, grilled cheese – and Bobby says it’s his favorite bread for peanut butter and jelly.  I’m a big toast and jam person so I just love toasting a slice and slapping on a little homemade jam – like strawberry, apricot, or my other favorite – mixed berry jam.  YUM!

This multigrain sandwich bread uses spelt, rye, whole wheat, unbleached bread flour and sunflower seeds.  It gets its dark color mostly from blackstrap molasses, a wonderful sweet component, rich in iron.  Even though this bread used many different grains, it is very easy to make.  The amount of work you put into it is no more than 30 minutes; however, there are two rise times, so you should allow at least 3 hours from start to finish.   The recipe below makes one loaf and provides the bake times and oven temperatures for a high altitude as well as sea level baking recommended by the high altitude baking book Pie In the Sky.


Multigrain Sandwich Bread

Multigrain sandwich bread made with a variety of grains and sunflower seeds.

Multigrain sandwich bread made with a variety of grains and sunflower seeds. A wonderful PB&J bread!
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Multigrain Sandwich Bread Recipe
A healthy load of bread that is great for sandwiches, PB&Js, grilled cheese and just a nice piece of buttered toast with jam.

Because of its two rise times, allow at least 3 hours from start to finish to make this bread; however, if you live above 5000 ft in elevation, allow about 4 hours. (See Kitchen Notes)

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Yields: 1 loaf
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, about 110° F
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup spelt flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup rye flour
  • 1½ - 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour or all purpose flour + additional as needed
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
The instructions below are for manual processing, however, you can use an electric appliance if you choose.
  1. Combine water and molasses in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve the molasses.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for about 10 minutes or until the yeast starts to activate (looks foamy).
  3. Add the olive oil. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the salt, spelt flour, whole flour, rye flour and 1 cup of the unbleached flour . Stir to combine into a dough.
  5. Spread ¼ cup flour onto countertop or other kneading surface.
  6. Dump the dough onto the flour, sprinkle with flour, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, and knead. Add additional flour about 1 Tbsp. at a time until you have a somewhat tacky and stiff dough (one that holds its shape and doesn’t want to constantly stick to your palms).

  7. Transfer the kneaded dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Roll around to coat the bread with oil.

  8. Cover with a damp, lightweight cloth and move to a warm spot in the house, but not necessarily the warmest spot. (See Kitchen Notes.)
  9. Let the dough rise until double in size.
    Multigrain sandwich bread made with a variety of grains and sunflower seeds.
  10. With a lightly flour hand, punch down and dump onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 1 minute.

  11. Shape into a log shaped dough that fits into a lightly buttered bread pan.
  12. Transfer dough to the pan, cover and let the bread rise 1” above the top of the bread pan. Before the bread finishes rising, preheat the oven to 400°F (for 5000 ft baking) or 375°F (for sea level baking). (This second rise takes 30 minutes to an hour.)
  13. Transfer the bread to the heated oven when you’re happy with the rise. Don't rush it.
  14. (@5000 ft.) Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F , then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and cook for 20 minutes or until the bread has an internal temperature of 190°F using an instant thermometer.
  15. (@sea level) Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F or until the bread has an internal temperature of 190°F using an instant thermometer.
  16. When done, remove the bread to a rack and let rest at least 5 minutes before removing it from the pan.

  17. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the bread. Using two hot pads, one in each hand, dump the bread out of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. If desired, rub a little butter over the top crust. This will remove the crustiness of the crust.

  18. Let cool before cutting into the bread so you won’t crush it. (This is the hardest step of all!)
Kitchen Notes

The Grains – I’ve played with different grains and proportions but have found the ones listed in the recipe to yield the best results.  This recipe is easy to switch up the grains to your liking, so don't hesitate to play around to get the flavors you want.


Sugar and Yeast – Yeast feeds on simple sugar, fructose, and glucose; therefore, adding a sugar component to the warm water with the yeast helps to activate it. It’s fun to see this. Just for fun, add some yeast to warm water and let it rest for a couple of minutes then sprinkle some sugar on top. You’ll see an immediately activation of the yeast.


Salt and Yeast – Salt actually has the opposite effect on yeast as sugar does. As yeast activates, it releases moisture. Salt absorbs this moisture, slowing down yeast fermentation. If too much salt is used, it could prevent a good rise. Therefore, it is best to add the salt after yeast activation. If you choose to bypass the initial step of activating the yeast in warm water, then don’t add the salt until after the first rise. You can knead it into the bread before the second rise.


The Seeds – You can substitute the sunflower seeds with pumpkin seeds or use a mix of both. Other seeds like sesame seeds could also be used.  Toasting them first would also add another depth of flavor to the bread.


High Altitude Bread Baking – If you live at a high altitude (I’m right at a mile high), I would highly recommend the high altitude baking book Pie In the Sky.  One of the most significant things I learned from this book about bread baking at high altitude is, when it comes to the rise – patience my friend – patience. I have always made the mistake of forcing a fast rise by using the proofing temperature on the oven or placing the bread above a heater vent, but have learned that, at higher altitudes, slower rises yield the best results. My breads used to have holes and uneven densities from top to bottom, but not anymore. Therefore, if you live above 5000 ft, do allow the 3.5 or even 4 hours to make this bread. The first rise usually takes 1 ½ to 2 hours and the second rise – an hour. Putting the bread in a HOT oven, greatly reduces the amount of oven rise, yielding a denser bread throughout.


Multigrain sandwich bread made with a variety of grains and sunflower seeds. A wonderful PB&J bread!


For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, a great sandwich to have on Friday is this Multigrain Sandwich Bread with leftover turkey and cranberry sauce.

Another bread that makes a killer grilled cheese turkey sandwich is this Hatch Chile Fiesta Bread.

And if you are looking for a little sweeter bread to go with you morning or afternoon tea, try this Fruit and Nut Yeast Bread.




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65 Responses to “Multigrain Sandwich Bread”

  1. Adina January 13, 2017 at 1:17 am #

    Great looking bread! And I know what you mean with really good recipes. For me it happens to be a bread as well, I started making that after my son was born 8 years ago and although I bake a lot of bread generally, I have never stopped baking that one, at least twice a month as well, sometimes even more. I will definitily bake your bread as well, it looks so good.

    • mj January 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

      Thanks so much Adina! There really isn’t anything better than homemade bread!

  2. Sissi January 8, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    Gorgeous bread, MJ! It looks so professional! It reminds me of the type of bread very popular in Poland and which often has some whole seeds added (and I have always liked it a lot in sandwiches too. By the way, I am in an Indian cooking frenzy and have recently found (finally!) a naan recipe that works for me (it’s funny but certain yeast including recipes work for my friends but never for me…) and I’m now so happy to have my own “bread”! Unfortunately bread (all kinds, also naan) is the worst nightmare for my waistline… I cannot resist eating too much of it.
    I wish I had leftover turkey! The cranberry sauce and turkey sandwich with your bread sounds soooo good!

    • mj January 10, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      Thanks so much Sissi!! We don’t eat much bread either for the same reason, but when we do want bread, I make it. It’s so much better than storebought and I can control what goes it in. Seeds in a bread like this is a must IMO! This is actually Bobby’s favorite bread and when he is craving a PB&J, I have to make it. 🙂 I did make French baguettes this year for Christmas Eve. My BIL was making gumbo so I made the baguettes to go with it. First time and they turned out pretty darn good.

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook December 6, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Wow your dough rose double in size! I’m terrified by working with yeast. I guess a few of my experiments years ago didn’t turn out so well that at one point I gave up. I blame that my house is too cold (yeah just an excuse). 😀 I want to make my own sandwich bread though! Like this one! I know I have to work on my skills one day… I mean soon…I’m really jealous of your successful bread, MJ!

    • mj December 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Thanks Nami!! You really should give yeast bread another try. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy and the results are so much better than storebought bread. In reference to it being too cold in your house, check your oven for a “proofing” temperature. You can always use that for when you set the bread to rise.

  4. Debra December 4, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Do you think I could sub in some brown rice flour? I am anticipating a snow day on Friday so I am planning what I can bake! 🙂

    • mj December 4, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Hey Debra! We’re suppose to get cold moving through again this weekend. I can only hope for the snow. The winds kept it from falling in the city with the last storm. Snow or not, yep – a good weekend to bake. Sure – I don’t see why you couldn’t use brown rice flour. I probably would start with no more than 1/2 cup and if it works, then try increasing it with the next loaf. 🙂 The only thing it might affect is the texture a little? Let me know how your bread turns out and thanks for giving it a try! So you drove through NM. It is a pretty state isn’t it? What route did you drive? Was there snow anywhere? I heard that the northern part of the state got a lot of snow with the last storm. Some of the ski basins opened at Thanksgiving this year which was the earliest opening in over 20 years. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

      • Debra December 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

        We drove I-40 all the way. Got to spend one night in Albuquerque on our way to Phoenix. It was really hard for us not to turn north at Cline’s Corner to make our way to Santa Fe! 🙂 We saw snow on the side of the road.

  5. Treat and Trick December 4, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    What a gorgeous and perfect bread! You’ve inspired me to try it out…..

  6. Liz December 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I love, love a heavy seedy bread. Yours is perfect!!!

  7. Toni Kulma December 2, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Your recipe has a mistake although I assume you mean 1 1/2 “CUPS” of unbleached bread flour. The word cups is missing….. A person new to baking bread may be confused. Recipe looks awesome. I cannot wait to try it!

    • mj December 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Toni, thank you SO MUCH for letting me know about the error! Greatly appreciated. It’s been corrected! I hope you do get to try this bread. It’s really good. I made another loaf yesterday. 🙂

  8. Danielle December 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi – does anyone know if this can be made in a bread machine? I got one for Xmas, but after many very hard loaves of whole wheat bread I put it in the storage unit and that makes me sad it is being wasted. All the bread was just so hard (all the whole wheat bread I made in the oven is hard too). Any thoughts on making this in bread machine?

    • mj December 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Danielle, That is a very good question! I used a bread machine for a couple of years myself but then found myself missing the zen of kneading. 🙂 I did find a great article on eHow that explain exactly how to convert a regular bread recipe for a breadmachine. Here is the link: I hope this helps! Please let me know how this works out! Good luck!

  9. Bradford K. Fuller December 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Whole wheat flour contains about 12 to 14 percent protein, but the bits of bran it contains cut through the gluten strands in the dough; as a result, doughs that contain a significant amount of whole wheat flour rise less than yeasted doughs made without whole wheat flour. Specialty flours like millet, corn, and rye are low in protein and have no gluten-forming abilities; when using these in your yeasted doughs, add bread or all-purpose flour, or add some vital wheat gluten to compensate. A little trick: when using specialty flours such as rye or millet, dissolve instant yeast in a little liquid before adding it to the dry ingredients; this gives the yeast a head start, which helps to compensate for the lesser gluten-forming abilities of the flour.

  10. Elizabeth @ December 1, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    What a gorgeous loaf of bread! I used to bake my own bread all the time, but got out of the habit…this makes me want to jump back in in a major way. And I love how simple it is! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • mj December 1, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Thanks so much Elizabeth! I jumped back into it a couple of years ago and am having so much fun! Once you get started it’s hard to stop. 🙂

  11. Giulietta | Alterkitchen November 29, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    It’s like I could taste how this bread is perfect for a sandwich, sweet or savoury.
    Now (it’s 9AM) I’d prefer it with some butter and jam spread on it… but I bet you would prefer a different topping 😉
    Or maybe not?

    • mj December 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Actually Giulia, I have a slice of this with butter and jam for breakfast and afternoon snacks. 🙂

  12. Angie@Angie's Recipes November 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    MJ, that’s a perfect loaf of sandwich bread! Homemade bread tastes the best!

  13. Adri November 28, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    What a glorious loaf of bread! I love breads like this – with so much texture, taste and contrast, you can really savor them. I’ve got to try this one!

  14. cquek November 28, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    I am making this right now! I am so glad I thought I should take a second to see what you made! Delish!

    • mj November 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

      thanks Cquek! Hope you enjoy!

  15. Nilu A November 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    I love multigrain breads.. This looks pretty good dear.. Great recipe 🙂

  16. Karen (Back Road Journal) November 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Your bread sounds like some of the delicious ones we had while traveling in Germany and Austria.

    • mj November 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

      Thanks Karen! German and Austrian bread? I’m flattered. 🙂

  17. Terra November 27, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    If you love this recipe, I know I will love it! Homemade bread makes me happy….especially warm and slathered in butter:-) Sorry for my delay stopping by, life has been a bit crazy. I hope you are well. Have a very happy Thanksgiving, Hugs, Terra

    • mj November 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Thanks Terra! I agree, warm bread makes me very happy as well. 🙂

  18. Jodee Weiland November 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Love this recipe, especially with the use of sunflower seeds! I can’t wait to try this. I love a multigrain bread when making sandwiches. It always tastes better.

  19. swathi November 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Beautiful and delicious loaf I am in love it.

  20. Gintare @Gourmantine November 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I’ve been baking my own sourdough bread for years now, but every now and then it’s nice to try new ones. I know quite a few bread lovers who’ll love me for baking this for them!

  21. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen November 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    I should try making my own sandwich bread. I’ve always been intimidated when it comes to baking bread.Your bread looks perfect!

    • mj November 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Thanks Peachy! Working with yeast bread is really not that hard, but can be tricky. It’s a lot of fun and the more you do it, the easier and better it gets.

  22. Bill November 26, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I’m with you on the toast and jam thing. It’s one of my favorite breakfast foods. I love trying new bread recipes and this one looks so good. I haven’t done much with spelt flour and I’m anxious to try this recipe. Great post and I hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving!

    • mj November 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Thanks Bill! I hope you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

  23. Minnie@thelady8home November 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Such a great looking loaf of bread. I can ‘feel’ the aroma….I love multigrain bread though I don’t make much.

  24. Charles November 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    That’s a gorgeous loaf MJ – I love the crinkly top… looks so cute! It reminds me a little of an English granary loaf. If you ever get the chance to try a traditional granary loaf I can heartily recommend it. Based on this loaf, I think you’d really like it. I’m not entirely sure of the flours and grains used in it but it’s gorgeous!

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      Thanks so much Charles! I had never heard of a English Granary loaf so I looked it up. It uses malted wheat flakes and malted powder. Interesting. I’ve never had a bread with malted in it. Thanks for mentioning it. I definitely need to give it a try!

  25. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz November 25, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    This looks like a wonderful bread, love the sunflower seeds in there. I rarely have the time to make bread I admire those who do it consistently. I am just confused about one thing with this post: where are the chilis 😉 ?

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! Where’s the chilis? This bread makes a great grilled cheese and green chile sandwich! 🙂

  26. Abbe @ Abbe's Cooking Antics November 25, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    I need this bread in my life, MJ 😉 It looks perfect for dunking in soup – and my hubby loves bread in any guise, I’m pretty sure he’ll love this and it’s such a beautiful colour too 🙂

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks Abbe! That’s exactly what we did last night, dunk it in a homemade soup. So good!

  27. Sissi November 25, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Gorgeous photographs! I admire all those who bake their own bread. Yours looks impressive and delicious (especially since it contains sunflower seeds, the ingredient I have always appreciated in dark heavy bread). I think I’m going to have a sandwich snack… (but an open sandwich: I grew up on open sandwiches at home and “double” ones only for school lunch and travels 😉 ).You have made me so hungry!
    PS I really appreciate your tips for different altitudes. I still remember when I arrived to Switzerland I was so surprised water boiled at a lower temperature… but it was logical of course!

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Thanks so much Sissi! I’m a huge sunflower seed fan myself as well as an open-faced sandwich fan. In fact, the only way I eat sandwiches is either open-faced or hot and grilled. The water boiling at lower temperatures has always fascinated me as well. We did a lot of mountain backpacking in our younger years and it didn’t take long to boil water, but it also made it difficult to cook pasta at 10,000 ft. 🙂

  28. Judy @Savoring Today November 25, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    I really like molasses in bread, it complements the earthy flavor of multi-grain bread. Your loaf here is wonderful, perfect for leftover turkey sandwiches. I agree on the patience it requires for baking at high altitude — there is no substitute.

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks Judy! Totally agree with you on the molasses, but then I just love molasses. I’ve been know to just pour it into a spoon and eat. It took me a while to learn the patience thing, but once I did, it all came together. 🙂

  29. Debra November 25, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    Perfect for turkey saindwiches.

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      It sure is! 🙂

  30. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 25, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    When John’s dad came for a visit (he hasn’t gone home yet) I had to give up a few things just to cope and bread making was one. I hate that because I love making bread and how the house smells when it’s baking.

    I might have to see what I can do about making this bread – it looks superb.

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! Oh, I didn’t know that your FIL was just visiting. I hope you get back into breadbaking soon because it is fun and yes, the house smells wonderful!!!

  31. Choc Chip Uru November 25, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    A gorgeous bread I am loving the flavour 😀


  32. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise November 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    MJ I love everything that comes out of your kitchen!
    I just need to get some spelt flour! can’t wait to try this!

    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Thank you so much Sawsan! Hope you enjoy!

  33. Vicki Bensinger November 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Such a lovely bread. I like the molasses and sunflower seeds in it. I’d definitely enjoy this as my sandwich bread. Nice recipe!

    • Choc Chip Uru November 25, 2013 at 2:55 am #

      Hi Vicki, sorry but I wasn’t able to comment on your blog?
      The new system did not allow it 😛
      I loved your latest post 🙂


    • mj November 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Thanks Vicki! Does make a great turkey sandwich!

  34. Ramona November 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Really beautiful bread!! One of these days I will make something with yeast… I have got to get over my fear of making bread from scratch. This bread may just push me to do it. 🙂

    MJ, Wishing you and your family the very best Thanksgiving!!

    • mj November 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

      Thanks Ramona! You really do need to get over that fear. It’s a lot easier than you think it is. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

  35. Michelle@SimplifyLiveLove November 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    I have been making multigrain bread for years! I make 5 loaves almost every week to feed my family of 6. We lived at high altitude in Colorado when I first started baking bread and I remember the woman who taught me to bake said – just be patient with the rise. Wait until it’s doubled even if it takes longer than I think it should. 🙂 happy Thanksgiving, MJ!

    • mj November 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      5 loaves a week?!? That’s a lot of bread Michelle! It would take the two of us at least 2 months to go through that much bread! 🙂 I do remember your multigrain and it looks quite good.

  36. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) November 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Mmmm I love how hearty and delicious this bread looks!

    • mj November 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      Thanks Kayle!

  37. John@Kitchen Riffs November 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    What a wonderful looking loaf of bread! It’s been over a year since we’ve bought bread – we’ve been baking our own (we just crank up the AC in the summer). Lately we’ve been doing a lot of beer bread. This looks terrific – something we should definitely make. We lack a good multigrain recipe, and this one looks perfect!

    • mj November 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      Thanks so much John! I wish I had AC so I could crank it up. 🙂 In the summer I can use my little convectional oven for focaccia or flatbreads, but it’s not big enough for a loaf like this. I remember your beer bread and it’s at the top of my list of new bread recipes to try! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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