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Soft and moist, this Homemade Whole Wheat Bread recipe is perfect for making sandwiches, toast, and more. It’s an easy homemade bread recipe that anyone can make.

Side view of a loaf of whole wheat bread with half of the loaf sliced

An Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

This whole wheat bread is adapted from my homemade bread recipe, with just a few swaps – the most obvious, of course, being that I swapped part of the bread flour for whole wheat flour.

While whole wheat bread, both homemade and store-bought, has a bit of a reputation for being dry and bland, this loaf is definitely an exception.

It’s kept surprisingly moist thanks to the vegetable oil, and the honey gives it a slightly sweet flavor. Plus the unsalted butter brushed on top adds just a hint of richness.

I love to use this homemade bread for making sandwiches, grilled cheese, and even toast, or anything else you’d use a loaf of freshly baked bread for.

Next you should try my whole wheat English muffins. They are made with 100% whole wheat flour and have become very popular here.

Front view of a loaf of whole wheat bread

What You’ll Need

This homemade whole wheat bread recipe requires just 9 easy ingredients.

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Bread flour – Bread flour is a must. If you try to use 100% whole wheat flour, the loaf will not bake up properly.
  • Yeast – You can use either instant yeast or rapid-rise yeast for this bread recipe.
    • You can also use active dry yeast but expect longer rise times.
  • Salt
  • Milk – Use milk that is warm, between 105-115°F. This helps to activate the yeast quicker than cold milk.
  • Honey – Adds a light sweetness to the bread.
  • Vegetable oil – Helps keep the loaf moist.
  • Egg – Adds structure to the loaf.
  • Unsalted butter – Brushed over the top of the bread, along with honey, for extra flavor.

How to Make Whole Wheat Bread

Making homemade wheat bread is much easier than you likely think, especially if you have a stand mixer to do all of the hard work. Just have patience with the rising times!

Make the bread dough. Whisk both flours, yeast, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, honey, oil, and egg.

Gradually incorporate the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed for 2 minutes using the dough hook. Increase the speed and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Knead and let rise. Knead by hand on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Be careful not to knead in too much additional flour or the bread may come out dense.

Form the loaf. Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured surface. Roll or press the dough into a rectangle. Starting at the short ends, tightly roll it into a log, pinching the seams as you go.

Allow rising. Place the dough in a greased pan. Cover and let sit for 30-35 minutes, until it rises about the rim of the pan.

Bake. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent browning.

Cool. Brush the remaining honey and melted butter over the hot bread. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Can I Make This Without A Mixer?

Yes, while this homemade wheat bread recipe calls for using a stand mixer, you can also make this homemade wheat bread by hand. Just mix the ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then knead the dough by hand. It will take a little more work on your end but the final product will be the same!

Overhead of sliced whole wheat bread loaf

Tips for Success

If this is your first time making homemade whole wheat bread, here are a few helpful tips.

  • Make sure your yeast is not expired. Packets of yeast do have an expiration date so take a peek at that. Expired yeast will not rise properly.
  • Pinch the seams tightly. When shaping the loaf, roll it tightly and pinch the seam. This will help the loaf hold its shape during baking.
  • Preheat the oven completely. Let your oven preheat for at least 30 minutes before you put the bread in. Otherwise, your loaf may rise and fall as it bakes.
  • Cool in the loaf pan first. Be sure to let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. The bread continues to cook after you remove it from the oven and cutting it too early can destroy the structure of your loaf.
  • Don’t worry about a crisp crust. The crust will be crisp immediately upon coming out of the oven but will soften as the bread cools.

Serving Suggestions

This soft whole wheat bread makes the most incredible sandwiches! Just pile it high with your favorite meat, cheese, and vegetables. It also makes beautiful grilled cheese sandwiches.

Whole wheat bread is also great for toast. Just pop a slice or two in the toaster and slather with butter or jam. You can even use this homemade bread to make avocado toast!


How to Store & Freeze

  • How to store homemade bread. You can store your bread at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week, in an airtight container.
  • Can I freeze homemade bread? Yes, you can freeze this whole wheat bread. I recommend slicing it first, so that you can thaw individual slices as desired. You can store the slices in a ziploc bag or the loaf wrapped in plastic wrap. It will last for up to a month.

More Bread Recipes:

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Front view of a loaf of whole wheat bread

Whole Wheat Bread

Yield: 1 loaf / 10 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Soft and moist, this Homemade Whole Wheat Bread recipe is perfect for making sandwiches, toast, and more. It's an easy homemade bread recipe that anyone can make.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (260 g) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (65 g) bread flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast, 1 packet
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) warm milk, 105-115°F
  • 3 tablespoon honey, divided
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the whole wheat flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine.
  2. In a large measuring cup, stir the warm milk, 2 tablespoons of the honey, vegetable oil, and egg together until well combined. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Continue to mix at low speed for 2 minutes, until combined.
  3. Turn the spread up to medium and mix for about 8 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It will still stick to the bottom. This is a very soft dough the will feel slightly tacky.
  4. Scrap the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and gently knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
  5. Generously grease a 9x5 loaf pan and set it aside.
  6. Gently punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll or press the dough into a rectangle, making sure the short end is slightly shorter than the length of your bread pan. Starting at the short end of the dough, tightly roll it into a log, pinching the seams as you go.
  7. Place the dough seam side down in the prepared pan. Cover lightly and let sit at room temperature for about 30-35 minutes. The bread should rise to about 1-inch above the rim of the pan in the center.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. It is best to have the oven preheating for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  9. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes, until lightly brown and hollow sounding or the internal temperature reaches 195°F on an instant-read thermometer. Halfway through baking, tent the bread with aluminum foil to prevent it from over-browning.
  10. Remove the bread from the oven. Stir the remaining tablespoon of honey with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and brush it over the hot bread. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Shaping loaf: When shaping the loaf, roll it tightly and pinch the seam. This will help the loaf hold its shape during baking.

Preheat oven: Let your oven preheat for at least 30 minutes before you put the bread in. Otherwise, your loaf may rise and fall as it bakes.

Cooling: Be sure to let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. The bread continues to cook after you remove it from the oven and cutting it too early can destroy the structure of your loaf.

Crisp crust: The crust will be crisp immediately upon coming out of the oven but will soften as the bread cools.

Make ahead tip

  1. Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 8 days.
  2. Or slice the bread and freeze it in zip-top bags for up to 1 month. Thaw slices as you need them.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 231mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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