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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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • Nutritional information is for one whole loaf. Each loaf yields about 16 slices of bread.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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.