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Wednesday Baking | Whole Wheat Bread


This is a very altered version of a Cook’s recipe for whole wheat bread. Theirs has wheat germ and rye in it because they were going for a very nutty, wheaty flavor. I prefer a milder bread, so I leave those ingredients out.

Whole wheat bread can sometimes be heavy because whole wheat flour doesn’t have as much gluten as white flour does(gluten helps yeast doughs to rise well). Because of this, I like to use a combination of white and whole wheat flours which helps the end product to be softer and lighter. You can use more whole wheat flour or less according to your preference.

I usually make three loaves of this at a time because three loaf pans can fit comfortably in my oven with plenty of room for air circulation. However, I’m going to post the ingredient amounts for two loaves and you can multiply the recipe according to the number of loaves you wish to make.

I use a stand mixer to make the dough, but you can mix it up by hand if you wish…you just may need to knead the dough a bit longer.

Printable Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Whole Wheat Bread


2 1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons butter , melted
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface


1. Combine 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup white flour, the yeast, and the salt in the bowl of a mixer.


2. Add warm water, honey, and melted butter. Mix on low speed until ingredients are combined, then beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.


3. Mix in the remaining whole wheat flour, and add enough of the white flour to make a kneadable dough(it should still be fairly soft, though).


4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic(if you mixed the dough by hand, you may need to knead it a bit longer).


5. Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes(an hour if your house is cold).


6. Punch the dough down, divide it in half, and roll each half out into a rectangular shape. Starting from the short end, roll each loaf up, and place into a greased 9×5 inch bread pan. The rolling may seem like a fussy step, but it produces a loaf with a better crumb and structure, and it also will make your loaves look better.


7. Cover the loaf with a wet tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled. Here’s mine before rising(sans the tea towel, obviously):


And here it is after rising.


8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Alternatively, you can insert an instant read thermometer into the long side of the loaf…when it reads 205 degrees, the bread is done. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing. I highly recommend slathering a warm slice with butter. 😉


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Nancy Stewart

Tuesday 20th of June 2023

I also love to make bread. I discovered a method in "Peter Reinhard's Artisan Breads Every Day" cookbook that makes it so much easier. Basically, he uses the same ingredients as you do, Kirsten, but, first, he brings 2 cups milk to lukewarm and adds 1 Tbsp. yeast to soften. Leave for 1 - 5 min. Then he puts the flour, salt, sugar (or honey) in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter/oil (whatever you are using) and mix. He also adds 1 egg at this point. Lastly, add the milk/yeast mix. Mix with the paddle attachment for 2 min; switch to the dough hook and mix on med-low speed for 4 - 5 min. or knead by hand on a floured board. Either method, knead by hand on a floured board for 1 min. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled board, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. On baking day, remove the dough from the fridge about 2 1/2 hours before you plan to bake and divide by half. Shape loaves, place in loaf pans; cover with plastic wrap and cover with plastic wrap until it domes about 1" above pans. About 15 min before baking, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 min.; then rotate pans and bake for another 20 - 30 min. Tops should be golden brown, sides firm and brown. Remove from oven, remove loaves from pans, cool on a rack for at least an hour.

My note: I think the bread tastes better when it has had at least an over night refrigeration. One could stagger baking times--make a loaf one day and save the other portion till the next day or so. Using this method, the guess work of how much flour to use is taken off the plate and the dough always comes out right. You can use all white flour, equal amounts of white and whole wheat, or substitute a portion of the whole wheat with rye flour. Also, he uses this same dough to make rolls, so that is another option for a portion or all of the dough.


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Hi Frugal Girl, your recipe was everything I was hoping for. Hubby was happy too. Thank you!


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Oh, I am so glad. Yay!


Sunday 16th of September 2018

I've made this bread several times. It always turns out delicious, but I do have to let it rise much longer than 30 minutes on the second prove (even in a warm house).

Emily M

Friday 4th of November 2016

Hey Kristen! Curious to know if you're able to make any part of this recipe ahead of time the night before? Like maybe the dough together, knead, and then put in the fridge? I have some events that I'd love to bring this to, but I'd have to wake up pretty early to get er done, yowza!


Friday 4th of November 2016

Yep, you can do that and it'll rise overnight in the fridge. Then in the morning you can let it warm up, shape it into loaves, let it rise, and bake.

You could also knead it, give it a 20 minute rest at room temp, then shape it into loaves and refrigerate those overnight. Then in the morning let the loaves come to room temp and bake.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

Hi, I would like to try this in my bread machine (for the dough). I have to add wet ingredients and then dry according to my machine's instructions. Do you think this will turn out okay?


Friday 22nd of April 2016

Yes, I think it will work'd just want to make sure that you scale the ingredients to fit the size of your bread machine. How many cups of flour can you usually use for dough in your bread machine?

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