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Growing Good Food at Home

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

This whole wheat bread recipe is simple yet yields three delicious loaves ready to welcome butter and jam or your favorite sandwich filling.

If you’ve never baked your own whole wheat bread, you’re in for a treat. There is nothing like the aroma of bread baking in the oven—not to mention tasting a slice of bread you made with your own hands. Bread baking is the quintessential “homey” activity—it’s the reason why realtors often recommend their clients bake fresh bread before an open house.

Baking bread offers other sensual pleasures besides the smell and taste. Kneading bread by hand is a great stress reliever and you can shape loaves and add decorative details that provides that artisanal touch, literally. And wait until you hear the compliments for your home-baked bread!

The best part—besides eating—is that you can control the quality of the ingredients in bread you bake yourself. From choosing the type of flour and sweetener to adding mix-ins, you can bake a loaf that’s nutritious and uniquely yours.

This whole wheat bread recipe is simple yet yields three delicious loaves ready to welcome butter and jam or your favorite sandwich filling. It features a combination of white bread flour and whole wheat flour—perfect if your family or friends prefer a slightly lighter loaf or are new to whole wheat bread.

If you’re nervous about working with yeast, a food thermometer will help you make sure the water is the right temperature. If you don’t eat honey, you can substitute molasses, but you need some form of sweetener to activate the yeast.

Here’s a handy baking tip: When dividing the dough among the three pans, a food scale will help you make sure you have the same amount of dough in each one, helping them bake uniformly.

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Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

This is a simple version of the classic whole wheat bread recipe—the perfect pairing with a bowl of soup, as the base for your favorite sandwich, or simply toasted with butter and jam.

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Additional Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 36 (3 loaves) 1x
  • Category: Bakery

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup honey, divided
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Stir the yeast with the honey and water. Add 5 cups white bread flour and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky—just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place 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.
  3. Punch down and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by 1 inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

Have you tried this classic whole wheat bread recipe? Loaves of bread make great gifts—please tell us how they turned out for you.

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