The most AMAZING homemade whole wheat bread recipe that guarantees each slice will be soft, fluffy and baked to perfection. Top with a dollop of butter and drizzle of honey and you have yourself a game changer!
This honey wheat bread recipe is adapted slightly from my favorite homemade white bread, which has gotten thousands of rave reviews over the years. The whole wheat version is a tad healthier, without skimping on flavor!
I am SO excited about today’s post! You guys have been asking for a whole wheat bread recipe for a long time and it’s finally here! It’s taken quite a few rounds of tweaking, but I’m happy to say the recipe has been perfected.
I know making your own bread can seem intimidating, but this recipe has easy-to-follow instructions that will leave you with delicious honey wheat bread in no time. It will be hard to go back to store-bought bread after trying this homemade version! My family loves it served with a dollop of butter and drizzle of honey. Seriously what dreams are made of!!
The key to amazing wheat bread
I’ve found that the key to create the perfect flavor is by adding 2 cups of white flour to the whole wheat flour. If you’d prefer to use all whole wheat flour – I’ve made it several times that way and it’s still delicious, just a little more dense in texture. One tip that a friend gave me is adding vital wheat gluten to the mix, especially if using all whole wheat flour. I was so grateful for this tip, because it really does help to make the bread much softer.
If you’re wondering what vital wheat gluten is, it’s basically a natural protein made in wheat. It has been hydrated to activate the gluten (helps the bread rise and gives elasticity to the dough). By adding a small amount, it really helps to lighten up the texture.
How to make whole wheat bread
PROOF. Add yeast and sugar to a small bowl, then pour warm water on top. Let sit until the mixture begins to foam and bubble, about 10 minutes.
MIX. Add melted butter, honey, evaporated milk and salt in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture once bubbly and mix. Add 3 cups flour (and wheat gluten if using) and knead with your hands or use a bread hook. Keep adding 1 cup flour in at a time and mix. When you get to 5 cups of flour in the bowl, add flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough no longer sticks to the sides.
LET RISE. Coat the dough ball with butter, as well as the sides of the bowl. Cover with a warm towel and let rise by a window for about 1 to 1.5 hours. When it has risen over the bowl, punch it down and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes.
SHAPE. Cut the dough into two pieces and roll both out into the shape of a rectangle. Then roll the dough up and tuck the ends under. Place into 2 greased bread pans. Let rise again until both look like a good loaf size.
BAKE. Place both loaves in the oven and bake at 375°F for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden. Coat the top with butter, then move to a cooling rack.
Tips for helping the dough rise faster
- Make sure to let the yeast bubble up and foam before adding the mix.
- While you’re letting the dough rise, cover the bowl with a warm towel and set by a window.
- You can also place on top of a heating pad.
- Place the dough in the oven at 170°F with a small pan of hot water.
- Make sure the dough has doubled in size before touching it.
Favorite ways to serve
- With butter and honey
- Spread jam on top
- Make a PB&J
- Avocado toast
- Make any type of sandwich (we especially love to make an egg salad sandwich)
Storage + freezing
To store: Place in a zip top bag or airtight container and store for up to 1 week. You can also wrap the loaf in foil, just make sure it’s wrapped tightly so that it doesn’t get stale.
To freeze: Wrap in foil or plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipes to enjoy with whole wheat bread:
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar (can substitute with white sugar)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 3-4 cups whole wheat flour , more as needed
- 2 cups all purpose or bread flour (can also use all whole wheat flour)
- 3 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten , optional
- 2 Tablespoons butter (for topping)
- Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the warm water (not too hot) over the yeast mixture and let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.
- Combine the melted butter, honey, evaporated milk and salt into a large mixing bowl. When your yeast mixture is ready, add them together and mix.
- If you are using a stand mixer, attach the bread hook and then pour in 3 cups of flour (and the wheat gluten if using). Stir/knead it as well. Then add in 1 cup of flour at a time and mix. When you get to 5 cups of flour in the bowl, add in 1/2 cup more of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides. You’ll know it’s ready when your fingers no longer stick to the dough.
- Then coat the ball of dough and sides of the bowl with butter and cover the bowl with a warm towel. Set by the window and allow it it rise (about 1-1.5 hours). When it has risen over the bowl, punch it down and place on a floured surface.
- Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
- Cut dough into two pieces and roll both out into a rectangle. Roll the dough up and tuck the ends under. Then place into 2 greased bread pans.
- Let the bread rise again, and when it looks like a good loaf size, place them in the oven at 375°F for 25-35 minutes. When the bread is done, it will sound hollow when tapped on. Coat the top with butter and remove onto a cooling rack.