This 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe makes healthy loaves of soft, incredibly flavorful homemade bread. Sweetened with honey, it’s absolutely perfect for toast, sandwiches, or snacking. It also happens to be my favorite homemade bread.
If you bake bread, you know that the aroma coming from homemade bread baking in the oven is almost indescribable. It lifts the mood in the whole house and builds expectations for delicious things to come.
Think sandwiches and morning toast. Think soup, like our Ribolitta, served with slices of homemade bread, drizzled in honey.
My mouth is watering as I think of it.
Truly, it’s a gift to yourself and those you live with.
I try to make homemade bread every week, often this 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I don’t always get to it, but it’s a worthy and delicious goal.
Especially when you pair it with an easy, small-batch Refrigerated Strawberry Jam.
This recipe makes two loaves, which is perfect for freezing one ahead. But in my house… it never seems to last into the next week.
What to Love About 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Honestly, there is very little NOT to love about homemade bread. Especially warm from the oven. But here are some more favorites.
- Incredibly soft and delicious sandwich bread
- Healthy and satisfying
- Easy to make with few ingredients
- The aroma of home-baked bread
- Perfect for sandwiches, toast, and snacks!
WHAT KIND OF WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR SHOULD YOU USE?
You can use standard whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread flour, white whole wheat flour, or stone-ground whole wheat flour.
I prefer and always use stone-ground whole wheat flour unless I’m fortunate enough to have some of my sister’s home-milled flour.
The difference between stone-ground whole wheat flour and whole wheat flour is in the processing, and it may contain more fiber and healthy fats.
100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD INGREDIENTS
Gather these ingredients to make this superb, utterly delicious homemade bread.
- whole wheat flour
- instant yeast (although active dry yeast works too)
- cooking oil
HOW TO MAKE 100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
This bread dough is incredibly easy to make. With few ingredients, it comes together quickly. The time involved is mostly inactive as it will rise two times.
STEP 1: PROOF THE YEAST:
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit for 5 minutes.
STEP 2: MIXING THE DOUGH:
To the yeast mixture, add 4 cups of flour, oil, and salt; stir until incorporated. Then add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
STEP 3: KNEADING THE DOUGH:
If kneading the dough by hand, transfer it to a very lightly floured surface. With oiled hands, knead for 6 to 7 minutes. To knead the dough using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook, and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed.
STEP 4: LET THE BREAD RISE
Transfer the dough to an oil-coated bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down, cover, and let rise another 30 minutes.
STEP 5: SHAPING THE LOAVES:
Divide in the dough half and form 2 loaves. I like to make a log and pinch the seam and the ends together tightly.
Transfer to two 9 x 5-inch, well-greased loaf pans with the seam side down. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the center has crowned; about 1-inch above the loaf rim; about 30 minutes.
BAKING THE LOAVES:
While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Once risen, place the loaves in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a digital thermometer reads between 180° and 200°F.
Immediately remove the loaves from the oven and also from the loaf pans. Let cool on a rack completely before slicing.
For an extra delicious, soft crust, brush melted butter over the loaves as they are cooling.
- 5 1/2 to 6 cups whole wheat flour*
- 2½ cups warm water
- 1½ tablespoons instant yeast (or 2 packages active dry yeast)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of flour, oil, and salt to the yeast mixture; stir until incorporated. Then add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead the Dough: If kneading by hand, transfer the bread dough to a very lightly floured surface, oil your hands, and knead for 6 to 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth. If kneading in a stand mixer, using the dough hook, knead for 4 minutes at medium speed until the dough is smooth. Adjust the dough as needed with additional flour or water if necessary.
- Transfer the dough to an oil-coated bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled. Punch the dough down, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and set them aside. Divide the dough in half and form it into 2 loaves. I like to make a log and then pinch the seam and the ends together tightly. Place seam side down in prepared pans, cover loosely and let rise in a warm place until the center of the loaf has crowned; about 1-inch above the loaf rim. About 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Uncover the loaves and place them in the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a digital thermometer reaches between 180° - 200°F. Tent a sheet of foil over the loaves after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning if desired.
- Remove the bread from the oven and from the loaf pans. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before slicing. Brush melted butter over the warm bread for a delicious crust as it cools.
Whole Wheat Flour
- Regular whole wheat, whole wheat bread flour, white whole wheat flour all work great. I always use Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour.
- Adjust the flour amount as necessary so that it pulls away from the bowl and is easily handled.
- Wrap bread and store it at room temperature for several days or freeze it for longer storage.
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