This easy multigrain bread is a lovely Norwegian-inspired amalgam of whole-wheat, barley, oat, and rye. The result is a nutty, oh-so-slightly-sweet, artisan-style loaf of homemade bread that’s practically begging to be toasted and smeared with butter, jam, avocado, nut butter, or whatever you want. Happily, the recipe makes a couple generously sized loaves—one for you to demolish and another to gift to a friend, if you can stand to part with it.–Nevada Berg

A partially sliced loaf of multigrain bread on a wooden board.

Multigrain Bread

5 / 5 votes
This multigrain bread, made with a mix of rye, barley, oat, and whole wheat flours along with milk and molasses, is a healthy yet irresistible loaf of homemade bread you’ll come back to again and again.
David Leite
Servings36 slices (2 loaves)
Calories146 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time4 hours


  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup barley flour
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting, sifted
  • 3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast or 1/3 ounce (8.5 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons Norwegian dark syrup* or light molasses
  • Butter, for the bowl


  • In a large bowl, combine the rye flour, barley flour, and oats. Add 2 cups lukewarm water and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk until just warm to the touch.
  • In the bowl of a large standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the white flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Add the warm milk, along with 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (195 ml) lukewarm water and the syrup or molasses and knead on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the oat mixture and continue kneading until the dough becomes sticky but workable, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • On a floured surface, knead the dough a few times then shape into a ball. Move it to a very large bowl that you’ve lightly buttered. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45 to 75 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. On a floured surface, knead each ball of dough a few times then gently form it into oval-shaped loaves. Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slits on the top of each loaf. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towels and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Dust the tops of the loaves with a little flour and bake until golden brown, 40 to 60 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool. Store at room temperature in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 days. Alternatively, place the cooled loaves in airtight plastic bags and freeze for up to 2 months.


*What is Norwegian dark syrup?

Dark syrup is a sugar beet and cane sugar syrup mixture that’s used in Scandinavian cooking and baking. Light syrup is used as a topping, while dark syrup is used as an ingredient. In North America, it’s most closely related to molasses, while in the UK it’s closest to treacle. You can use molasses as a 1:1 substitution or mix Lyle’s dark treacle syrup with Lyle’s golden syrup in a 50/50 blend.
North Wild Kitchen Cookbook

Adapted From

North Wild Kitchen

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Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 146 kcalCarbohydrates: 31 gProtein: 5 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 1 mgSodium: 105 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Nevada Berg. Photo © 2018 Nevada Berg. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I was curious to try this multigrain bread recipe because of the mix of whole-grain flours. I’ve never used barley flour. I must say it was a beautiful loaf. It had a nice crumb, a lovely crisp crust, and was not as dense as I thought it might have been. And it was delicious. None of the different flours’ tastes were predominant—in a good way.

The recipe came together quite easily. I used whole milk, light molasses (Grandma’s brand), and active dry yeast. Kneading the dough for 5 minutes after combining all the ingredients made it workable, but I did have to add another 1/4 cup of water. I made half the recipe. It makes a very large loaf.

I cut the round loaf into quarters and then sliced it into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. We liked it best toasted with butter and jam. It was also tasty with almond butter. I think it would be even better with another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (I used Morton Kosher) and another 2 teaspoons molasses.

This multigrain bread recipe produces 2 large loaves of very hearty multigrain bread. The combination of the 4 types of flour plus oats gives this bread fantastic flavor and color. It looks very artisan, has a tight crumb, and is absolutely lovely toasted and slathered with butter or jam.

It’s not going to be the type of bread you make a sandwich on, though, because it’s so dense and hearty, you’ll be full after one slice! We enjoyed it for several days without any change to flavor or texture.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Very much like what my Grandmother called Horse Bread.
    Always on the table for lunch or supper. I don’t think Gramma bought a loaf of bread until after Grandpa passed in 1970.
    Since the dark syrup is hard to find here in AL. I used Sorghum Molasses. worked out very well with just a slight hint of the minerally bitterness of the molasses.
    Am going to make it again using standard cane molasses next time.

    1. Your Grandmother sounds like a wonderful person, Vincent. We’re so pleased that this recipe brought back those wonderful memories. Please let us know how your next loaf turns out.