Thursday, May 7, 2015

Very Soft Hokkaido Wholemeal Milk Loaf - using 90% Wholemeal Flour

I am very excited as I am writing this post... My 4th attempt at the Hokkaido Wholemeal Milk Loaf seems to be on its way to success.. It is currently rising high and baking in my Song-Cho Breadmaker.

I thought I have absolutely no luck with this recipe, which Miss B from Everybody Eats Well in Flanders described as the wholemeal bread that can do yoga, as 3 unsuccessful attempts were really disheartening. Let me bring you through my heart-aching journey...

1st attempt
When I first saw this recipe, I was really keen on trying out as I was looking for a wholemeal bread uses almost 100% wholemeal flour. This is all because my parents had switched to eating wholemeal bread to watch their sugar level. But I see the wholemeal bread selling in the market, I am really quite skeptical about the percentage of wholemeal flour that they used in the bread. Whenever I do any recipe for the first time, I always test out recipe by doing half portion so that if it fails, I don't waste too much of the ingredients.  Anyway, it didn't end up well... The bread did not raise at all and was as hard as rock...

2nd attempt
A few days later... I decided to attempt the recipe again.. I thought my first failure was due to my halving of ingredients and this recipe to meant to follow 100%. And so I followed everything in the recipe, BUT history repeated itself... same results...

3rd attempt
A few weeks later... I am still dreaming about this recipe.. so I decided to give it another go... This time I tried the 'Wholemeal' mode on my breadmaker instead of the 'Sweet Bread' mode using 100% recipe. And nope.. the issue is not about the mode used either... I gave up...

A few months passed... during a conversation with a baker friend who used to live in UK, she told me that the wholemeal flour in Singapore is very different from those in UK. Those in UK are very fine.. whereas the ones sold in Singapore are very coarse. We are of course referring the most common wholemeal flour available in supermarket starting with P.

Hm... perhaps it's the wholemeal flour... but I can't seem to get any other brand of wholemeal flour... Finally, just a few days ago, I spotted organic wholemeal flour hiding among the organic items of my neighbourhood supermarket. The flour seems to be as fine as our normal bread flour. Excitedly, I bought it for my 4th attempt!

:: Organic Wholemeal Flour ::

4th attempt
After adding all the ingredients into the breadmaker and starting it, I can see that this time is different. The ingredients quickly formed into a soft, sticky but together dough. During my previous attempt, even after 10 minutes of kneading, it was still a very fluid, shapeless mess.

Recipe adapted from  Everybody Eats Well in Flanders 

This bread is baked in my Song-Cho Breadmaker.


270g organic wholemeal flour
30g cake flour
2 + 1/2 tbsp milk powder
40g sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 + 2/3 tsp instant yeast
1 large egg (mine was 65g)
110g milk (I used low fat milk)
75g plain yoghurt (original recipe calls for heavy whipping cream)

How to do:

1. Pour the wet ingredients into the bread barrel 1st, followed by the flour(s) & lastly the yeast.
2. Select menu '5. Sweet' on the breadmaker & press start.
And about 2 hours 50 min later...

:: The loaf is ready!! ::

I personally disliked thick bread crust so I wrap my bread barrel with aluminum foil (shiny faced inwards). Thank you this wonderful piece of tip, Miss B!

:: The loaf is ready for cutting :

I could never imagine that a 90% wholemeal flour bread could be this soft.. I am glad I preserve and finally succeed in making this bread. Eating wholemeal bread would never be the same again!

:: Yoga Wholemeal Bread ::

**Update on 19 Jun 2015
Have been using this recipe for quite a few times and my family absolutely loves it!
But then one day, the recipe just stopped working for me. The bread collapsed in the breadmaker when it started to bake.

I suspected that the bread has been overproofed. Not sure why because I use the same ingredients and same baking mode. After a few failures, I decided to manually stop my BM proofing time when I feel that the bread is proof enough and start baking mode. But this will defeat the purpose of using a BM as the whole idea of having a BM is just put everything in and a nice bread comes out at the end of the cycle.

Somehow, the dough feels much warmer in the BM recently. Could it be that the temperature of my BM has somewhat increased?

In any case, I experimented for a few times and now I only use 1 tsp of yeast and this allows me to use the 'sweet' mode on my Song-Cho BM without overproofing the bread.


  1. Tried this today. It was a success. Bread was very soft. Hope it will still be soft tom. Will add cranberries or some nuts for the next loaf.

    1. Hi Sok Gek,

      Glad that the recipe works for you! My family loves it so much that it is our staple loaf... =)

  2. Hi Xinxl, can let me know the name of yr neighbourhood supermarket? Thanks 😊 ( Marcia)

    1. Hi Marcia,

      I bought the flour at NTUC. :)

  3. Thanks Xinxl. Does the bread stay soft after the 1st day?

    1. It will not be as soft as when u initially have it out of the BM but it is still soft.. :)

  4. Thank you. Will try this recipe soon 😆

    1. Do let me know if it works for u, yah? Hope u like it! :)

  5. Hi Xinxl, I just finished baked using the organic Wholemeal flour. Followed your recipe exactly. But bread not that soft. Maybe still warm?

    1. It should be even softer when it is hot. Hm.. u using BM? Different BM kneading and proofing cycle different.. maybe din knead or proof enough.. is the bread dense?

  6. I am using tesco bm. The bread is dense but not very soft. If I increase the liquid will it help?

    1. If it is dense then it won't be soft.
      Did u check your dough when it is proofing/rising?
      If the dough rises high during proofing but when u bake it collapse, most likely overproof, u need to cut down the proofing time or reduce the yeast.
      For my latest bake,I reduce yeast to 1 tsp as the dough is rising too fast in my BM. My BM is behaving weirdly, hotter than usual.

  7. Thanks Xinxl. Ya i used 1 + 2/3 tsp yeast. I am noob in baking bread. Still not sure how to visually see whether proofing is correct or overproofed. Feeling sad 😢

    1. Don't be sad. We all learn from experience. I also dunno throw away how many breads.
      To check the dough, use the finger poke test, read here:
      I think u can try to reduce the yeast to 1tsp.
      I feel that Wholemeal bread is less forgiving so u might wan to start w white bread 1st. Or try those w 50% bread flour.
      Hope this helps!
      Jia you!

  8. Thk you Xinxl for your encouragement? I will read the link you gave me. 😆😆

  9. Thk you Xinxl for your encouragement. I will read the link you gave me. 😆😆