Basic Whole Wheat Bread

Make fresh bread at home with this Basic Whole Wheat Bread recipe! This is a classic easy recipe that yields three loaves of soft, delicious bread. 

four slices of whole wheat bread on a cooling rack on the counter

Nothing beats fresh homemade bread. Not only does it smell amazing while it’s baking in the oven, but fresh homemade bread tastes better than anything you can buy at the store. Combine a few basic ingredients to make fluffy whole wheat bread.

Ingredients You Need

ingredients for whole wheat bread
  • Whole Wheat Flour – Look for flour that says “100% whole grain.”
  • Bread Flour – This flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. It helps create the gluten in bread.
  • Honey – You can use another sweetener, if desired. Brown sugar, maple syrup or agave are good choices.
  • Active Dry Yeast – You can find this in the baking aisle of your local store. Do not purchase rapid rise or instant yeast.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter. 100% grass fed butter is best.
  • Warm Water and Salt

Steps to Make Wheat Bread

mixing together wheat bread in a bowl
  1. Combine warm water, yeast and 1/3 cup of the honey in a large bowl. Add the bread flour and stir until combined.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes, or until it’s big and bubbly.
  3. Mix in the melted butter, honey and salt. Stir in 2 cups of whole wheat flour.
  4. Flour a flat surface and knead the dough with whole wheat flour until it pulls away from the counter and is slightly sticky to the touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a dishtowel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide into 3 loaves.
  7. Place the loaves in three greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow the dough to rise until it has topped the pans by one inch.
  8. Bake the bread at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
letting wheat bread rise in bread pan

Tips for Kneading Bread

  • To knead, use wet hands to fold the dough in half towards you. Use the heel of your hand to push the dough down and away from you. Fold the dough in half again toward you and press down. Use the heel of your hand to push down and outward, stretching the strands of gluten and dough fibers.
  • Turn the dough 45 degrees and continue kneading.
  • Add more flour if the dough gets sticky.
  • Knead until the bread starts to pull away from the counter but still feels slightly sticky. You may need an additional 2 to 4 cups of flour.
  • Stop kneading when the dough springs back when pressed with a finger.
  • If the dough tears when you pull it, it needs more kneading. Kneading for about 8 to 10 minutes is usually enough.
Two slices of wheat bread with a slice of butter on top

Wheat Bread Storage

Store the cooled loaves in a resealable plastic bag or container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Do not refrigerate as that will cause the bread to become stale faster.

To freeze, tightly wrap the whole loaf (not sliced) with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter before serving.

Other Homemade Bread Recipes

four slices of whole wheat bread on a cooling rack on the counter

Basic Whole Wheat Bread

Yield: 3 loaves
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Rising Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins
A basic recipe for fresh wheat bread that yields three loaves!
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups warm water, (110 degrees F or 45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup honey, divided
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together warm water, yeast and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups bread flour and stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  • Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour.
  • Flour a flat surface and knead the mixture with whole wheat flour until not too sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  • Punch down and divide into three loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of the loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter when done to prevent the crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is for one whole loaf. Each loaf yields about 16 slices of bread.
 
SUBSTITUTIONS:
  • Yeast: Each package of yeast yields about 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. Do not purchase rapid rise or instant yeast. 
  • Whole Wheat Flour – Look for flour that says “100% whole grain.”
  • Honey – You can use another sweetener, if desired. Brown sugar, maple syrup or agave are good choices.
STORAGE
  • Store in a sealed bag or container on the counter for up to 3 days. To freeze, tightly wrap the whole loaf (not sliced) with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 1616kcal, Carbohydrates: 321g, Protein: 51g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 2445mg, Potassium: 928mg, Fiber: 25g, Sugar: 63g, Vitamin A: 350IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 8mg
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

This recipe originally appeared on Yellow Bliss Road.

2 comments on “Basic Whole Wheat Bread”

  1. I love making bread at home but whole wheat has been tricky for me. This recipe came out great – so delicious with nutty flavor. Especially love the honey!

  2. Yum! This was perfect for lunch sandwiches, good toasted too 🙂

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