Soft Whole Wheat Bread
You won’t believe how easy it is to make homemade whole wheat bread! This recipe bakes up soft and is perfect for sandwiches.
Have you ever made homemade bread?
I have to say I find it one of the most rewarding things to do. It can be a labor of love, but there is something so satisfying about it. It’s guaranteed to make you feel super-proud of yourself!
And honestly the taste can’t be beat. So much better than store bought!
I have a handful of great bread recipes on this site, like these homemade crescent rolls, this cinnamon bread, and these soft overnight brioche buns, but the most versatile, every day recipe of all would have to be this soft whole wheat bread. In my family, it’s our go-to!
We love it because it’s so soft, pillow-y, and moist, with just a slight bit of nuttiness from the whole grains. It’s really a perfect everyday loaf!
IS WHOLE WHEAT BREAD HEALTHY?
Bread is carbs, there’s no way around that. Even when it’s 100% whole wheat!
But wheat bread is definitely a healthier alternative, because whole wheat flour has a lot more fiber and nutrition than the more processed white flours.
HOW TO MAKE SOFT WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
Making homemade bread can often seem a little intimidating, but I promise you, this recipe is so easy. It’ll have you making your own bread every week!
Start by dissolving your yeast in a little warm water. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
Once that’s looking kinda frothy, throw in the honey and butter. Then add just 2 cups of the flour.
Beat that in for about 3 minutes, then gradually add in more flour until you see the dough forming a ball. Once that ball of dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl cleanly, it’s time to knead.
You can knead this bread dough by hand, or let your mixer do the work for you. I kind of like kneading by hand. But sometimes I’m too busy and I just leave it in the mixer so I can do other things. Either way will work!
After about 10 minutes of kneading, you’ll see that the dough looks really smooth and elastic. Just mist your mixing bowl with non-stick spray, pop in the dough, mist the top of that too, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to proof (aka: rise).
About 30 to 45 minutes later, you’ll see that the dough has grown to almost double what it was before. Punch it down, form it into a loaf shape, cover, and let it rise a second time.
Bake the bread until it’s puffy, golden brown, and gives a hollow sound when tapped.
HOW TO SERVE 100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
Besides just eating it warm from the oven, this homemade bread can be enjoyed in so many ways.
It’s perfect for sandwiches, because of it’s soft, pillow-y texture.
And it toasts beautifully! I love to slather it with butter and give it a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, or a swipe of jam. That plus a cup of hot, milky tea and I’m in heaven.
You could also use it as a base for your avocado toast!
If you find your leftovers are starting to get a bit dry, use them for French toast or bread pudding, or whiz them up in the food processor to make bread crumbs.
VEGAN WHEAT BREAD
To make a vegan version of this soft wheat bread, just sub out the butter for a vegan butter substitute. Look for one that swaps 1:1 for dairy butter.
And the honey can be replaced with an equal amount of brown sugar or agave nectar.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE WHEAT BREAD LAST?
Homemade bread doesn’t last quite as long as store bought, and that’s because it doesn’t have all those same preservatives to keep it shelf-stable.
Once this bread is completely cool, slip it into a plastic bag to keep it from drying out. Then keep in in the fridge. It should last for at least a week.
You can also freeze it! I’d recommend slicing it first, that way you can just grab a slice or two from the freezer whenever you need it. It thaws very quickly. At room temp it would probably only take a half hour or so, or pop it into the microwave for around 10 or 15 seconds.
Treat your family to a homemade loaf this week! It’s easy, fun, and so delish!
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Soft Whole Wheat Bread
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) warm water
- 1/4 ounce (7.09 g) active dry yeast* , (1 packet)
- 1/4 cup (84.75 ml) honey
- 3 tablespoons (3 tablespoons ) unsalted butter,, softened
- 3 3/4 cups (450 g) whole wheat flour, (you may need as much as 4 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
- Add the honey and butter.
- Blend in 2 cups of the flour and the salt until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Stir in an additional 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups flour, until dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead on floured surface, adding 1/2 to 3/4 cup additional flour, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Place dough in large greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Lightly mist a 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- Punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf.
- Place in prepared pan, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Uncover dough, and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
My go to recipe. I’ve made it as written and then made with add ons. Each time a flavorful adventure. Thank you
I discovered your recipe back in 2020 when we were in lockdown during the pandemic. It was my first time making bread and it turned out wonderfully. Soft and deliciously moist bread – I melted the butter and may have added a tad more than the recipe called for – that you could eat without adding anything to it! …. I found myself baking every day because the 12 – 15 rolls that the 4 cups yielded never lasted. I’d resumed buying bread from the bakery in mid-2021 because it was more convenient, but the difference in taste and texture were quite discernible. But here I am today, scouring the internet for your recipe, as we have no bread for breakfast, and I didn’t feel like making a store run. I especially like that this bread has no preservatives, chemicals, or artificial ingredients. Thanks for sharing. This recipe has been, and will continue to be a keeper in our household.
Great whole wheat bread recipe, it’s the only one I will use. It comes out perfect every time! I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this now. It’s so fresh and clean tasting. I get compliments on it all the time. It’s not very sweet which I love. I can’t go back to store bought bread.
Whats the Purpose in the butter and the honey? I made bread with bread flour before and didnt use butter or honey, i made a very simple bread recipe. Can i do the same with this recipe and take out the honey and butter?
They are there for flavor. You can do anything you like with this recipe! Feel free to make it your own.
my i have tryed yours and other whole wheat bread recipies i have even used my oster bread maker it seems like every time it comes out the same dense and course and crumbly just like a 5 day old bread please tell me what i am doing wrong
How long are you kneading it for? Are you familiar with the windowpane test? Have you tried using bread flour or are you using all-purpose flour? What about rise times? Over or under-proofing can often cause these kinds of issues, as well as not kneading enough. If you’d like me to troubleshoot I’d be happy to! Just need a little more info.
Hi there! I am a first time bread maker and everything went well except the center didn’t rise in the oven much! It didn’t deflate but didn’t really get any bigger. I did use instant yeast because that’s all I had but I don’t know if that would change anything. Other than that I loved it and will try again!
I just saw the part at the bottom about rising time. That would probably be my issue! I will try again once this is gone!!
Glad you were able to get it figured out! Good luck!
Hi, can we use a substitute for honey? What is the role in honey in making this dough? (Gonna try this, i have everything except honey!)
Yes, it’s for flavor and also to feed the yeast. You can use sugar or any other kind of natural sweetener. Good Luck!
I’ve been looking for a fluffy, sandwich-ready, go-to whole wheat bread and this is absolutely IT! Beautiful crumb and a great crust, and very easy to make. The video was very helpful, especially in showing what the best texture of the dough is while it’s being kneaded. NB I did this without a stand mixer, Thank you!
I am in the middle of making this recipe when I notice the salt measurement. In all my other bread recipes ,this is about half of the amount of salt ( kiefer) than I would normally use I did add a bit more salt, a scant 1 tsp and since I doubled the recipe it then the total is a scant 2x the original.. I will let you kenos how it turns out. I grind my own wheat so that helps to make it super delicious
I have never liked home made whole wheat bread until your recipe! This recipe is wonderful- the bread is soft and the crust has an especially good nutty flavour and I don’t usually like bread crust either! Thank you so much for sharing!
My pleasure! Thank you for the positive review!
First time baking a whole wheat loaf and I am IN LOVE with how it turned out. It’s so soft, it’s unbelievable. I will be making this on repeat.
Hi there. Can I use table salt instead of kosher since that’s all I have? If so, how much table salt? Thank you!
You’ll want to use a bit less since the granules are smaller and therefore more salt by volume. Here’s more info: https://www.google.com/search?q=table+salt+vs+kosher+salt&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS832US832&oq=table+salt+vs&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i512l9.5341j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8.
This is a GREAT recipe eventhough I messed it up my first time. I read the ingredients wrong and only put in 1/4 tsp of yeast. I discovered this after my first rise, which of course didn’t go too well. I checked the internet for help and found info that I could still add the yeast to the dough.
Anyway, I did that and it got a better rise the second time. I separated the dough into two loaves because I can’t eat a full loaf within a week. My plan was to freeze the other loaf. Well the baked loaf came out OK. It was edible but I’m sure it would have tasted better if I had not forgotten to add the correct amount of yeast.
But all was not lost! Again I checked the internet to see if I could salvage the other half of dough. Yes! It suggested that I could make Flatbread because it didn’t need to rise.Flatbread. They are delicious! They were the best Flatbread that I have made. I have several recipes but this is going to be my new go to recipe for Flatbread.
So glad you were able to make it work! Way to think outside the box!
This turns out amazing! they tastes really good and soft, better than I expected actually. Will come back to this recipe in the future, bet it tastes even better if I actually use butter (I used avocado oil and table syrup this time)
Thanks for the recipe!
What a treasurehouse of recipes and method. I want to make everything here as part of my learning (or relearning) goals for 2022. How else are we going to get through this pandemic: we have to set ourself goals. I have read through, watched most videos, and admire the simplicity of the recipes and presentation of method. Well done! A real stand-out blog.
Thank you so much! This really means so much to me. Happy New Year! and best of luck with your goals.
My dough started stretching in the oven. Like tearing upper part was tearing apart from lower part. Can you please help why did that happen? Thanks 😊
From the lower part? Do you mean like the bottom of the loaf, the part that’s inside the loaf pan?
Tearing can be the result of overproofing. If you allow the dough to rise too high on the initial rise or in the pan it weakens the gluten structure and the dough may tear when the ovenspring happens. For the initial rise don’t let the dough rise any more than double and for the pan rise, put the bread in the oven as soon as the top of the log is about 1 inch above the rim of the pan. It may also help to put the bread in a cold oven and then turn it to 350. This will add 4-5 minutes to your bake time but the temperature of the dough will rise more gently.
Perfect recipe! I’m a beginner and I did take it out a little bit too early (I thought it sounded hollow.) Then I was so excited to share I cut into it way too soon. Recipe really is easy and perfect and bread doesn’t have the feel of heavy wheat bread. I’m still learning how to do this so I’ll have to be more patient!
This bread is famous in my house and among my friends, it is super easy to make and stays fresh and moist for days. I always have to make a double batch. You can even eat it just plain, I call it my Cake Bread.
Wow this recipe of wholemeal bread is fantastic, I have made this 3 times & it has come out perfect every time & so easy to make.
So I don’t go around tweaking perfectly good recipes and then telling everyone how I improved it – but if you have peach jam that needs to be used up- it totally works in lieu of the honey. And if by chance you have some milk that was turning – you can heat that and use it instead of the water too. This recipe handles minor tweaks well and as others have said is soft fluffy and delicious