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Homemade Whole Wheat Bread is easy to make and tastes better than store-bought. Combine a few simple ingredients to create this healthy, whole grain bread. This recipe makes 3 loaves.
Making homemade bread is easier than you think! You don’t need any fancy tools or kitchen appliances. Gather a few ingredients and your bread pan, prep the dough, then bake and enjoy fresh bread from your own oven. Fresh, homemade wheat bread is great for sandwiches like our jacked up BLT or Chicken Salad Sandwich, or even just for simple toast! Be sure to try our homemade dinner rolls, too!
Wheat Bread Ingredients
- Active dry yeast – Find this in the baking aisle of your local store. You can purchase the individual packets or small glass jars. Do not purchase rapid rise or instant yeast.
- Honey – The honey adds a subtle sweetness and flavor. You can use another sweetener, if desired. Brown sugar, maple syrup, or agave are good choices, too.
- Bread flour – This is essential because it has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. It helps produce the gluten in bread to create the best consistency and texture.
- Whole wheat flour – Look for flour that says “100% whole grain.”
- Butter – Use unsalted butter.
- You will also need warm water and salt.
How to Make Wheat Bread
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, active dry yeast and some honey. Add 5 cups bread flour and stir to combine. Let the dough mixture rest for about 30 minutes, and it will begin to increase in size and get all big and bubbly. (See images A and B). Then mix in melted butter, a little more honey and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour, and get ready to knead your wheat bread dough.
Once the bread has been kneaded and risen twice, divide into 3 9-inch bread loaf pans and bake!
How to Knead Dough
- Use a countertop or tabletop with plenty of space. Sprinkle the counter with flour then transfer the dough to the counter.
- To knead, fold the dough in half towards you. Using the heel of your hand, push the dough down and away from you.
- Fold dough in half again toward you and press down (see fold over in photo E and F below). Use the heel of your hand to push down an outward, stretching the strands of gluten and dough fibers.
- Turn the dough about 45 degrees and continue kneading.
- If the dough gets sticky, add more flour.
- Slowly continue kneading the whole wheat flour into the mixture. You knead until the bread starts to pull away from the counter, but still feels slightly sticky. This may require an additional 2 to 4 cups of flour.
- You can stop kneading when the dough springs back when pressed with a finger. If the dough tears when you pull it, then it needs more kneading. Kneading for around 8 to 10 minutes usually does the trick.
- Take your time and measure the ingredients accurately.
- Knead with wet hands. This helps prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- If you purchase yeast in jars, refrigerate it after opening so that it stays fresh and active.
- For texture, add oats or sesame seeds to the top fo the bread after brushing with melted butter.
Storing and Freezing wheat bread
Wrap cooled loaves tightly and store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. Do not refrigerate – it will actually cause the bread to become stale much faster. If you don’t think you’ll consume within the first few days, store in the freezer.
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.
Other Homemade Bread Recipes
- Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Naan Bread
- Blueberry Banana Bread
- Honey Oat Quick Bread
- Soft Onion Rolls
Baking bread at home is easier than you think and tastes better than anything you buy at the store. Try it and let us know what you think!
Whole Wheat Bread
- 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
- 2 (0.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup honey divided
- 5 cups bread flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast and ⅓ 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, ⅓ cup honey and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not really sticky and just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to the touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour.
- Place the dough 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 3 loaves. Place in a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and allow to rise until the 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 hardening. Cool completely.