Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wholemeal Bread Using Prefermented/Sponge Dough


This is a two-step bread making process; the first step is to prepare the sponge dough and leave to ferment (rise and doubled in volume) and the second step is to incorporate the fermented sponge into the final dough. Taking the extra step is totally worth it when you bite into the soft and airy texture of the bread.  Since this is a small dough, it took me about 25 minutes  kneading (with hands) to achieve window pane stage.

Step 1:  Prepare Sponge Dough
35g lukewarm water
2g (1/4 tsp) caster sugar
2g (1/2 tsp) instant yeast
50g bread flour
  • Dissolve sugar in the water.  Add in yeast and stir until completely dissolved.  
  • Add yeast mixture into the flour and mix into a dough.  Then knead dough until smooth.  Place in a bowl or container and cover.  Leave to ferment until double in volume.

Step 2:  Main Dough
160g bread flour
40g plain flour (or bread flour)
5g wheat germ
5g wheat bran
15g milk powder
20g caster sugar
2g (1/2 tsp) sea salt
140g liquid (water + 1 egg)
all of the above prefermented dough
30g butter, softened

20g walnuts, chopped
10g chia seeds
20g sunflower & pumpkin seeds
  • In a mixing bowl, combine everything together, except butter.  With a wooden spoon mix until a soft and shaggy dough is formed.
  • Turn the dough onto the benchtop and knead for about 10 minutes or until it is less sticky and smoother.
  • Add in butter gradually.  Keep kneading until you get a smooth and elastic dough which doesn't stick to your hands and pull away from the benchtop.  Take a little dough and stretch to a very thin and almost transparent membrane without tearing to achieve the window pane stage.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with clingfilm.  Leave it to rise until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to release trapped air.  Gently flatten the dough into a rough rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process. Or you can roll up the dough similar to a swiss roll after flattening it. 
  • With seam side down, place the dough into a lined loaf pan (20.5 x 10.5 x 7.5 cm).  Loosely cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until almost doubled in size. (To check if the dough is ready for the oven, gently press the dough with a finger; the indentation should spring back slowly but remain visible. If it springs back quickly, that means the dough needs to proof a little longer).
  • In a preheated oven at 180°C, bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

[Weight of dough:  500g]


  1. Perfect for a wholesome lunch sandwich!

  2. Good day Veronica ! Its been awhile since I baked any bread. Love you loaf of bread so much.
    Enjoy your day dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  3. Hi Veronica. Very nice looking loaf. How many eggs did u use for this recipie? Thanks for sharing. Chloe

    1. Hi Chloe, I use only 1 egg and top up with water to make 140g.


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