100% Whole Wheat (and Honey) Bread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread is the “go to” bread at our house.  With its nutty wheat flavor and hint of sweetness, I can count on half a loaf disappearing as soon as it leaves the oven!

Honey Whole Wheat Loaf

Honey Whole Wheat Loaf

I have been baking this wholesome loaf for decades.   Back in my college days, I had a classmate who worked for Red Star Yeast and they had just published a bread cookbook.  They were giving away “2nds” (with recipe typos covered by stick-on corrections) and when she found out I was a fledgling baker she brought a copy for me.   It has been the source of many wonderful recipes over the years including the one that this is adapted from.  I no longer remember her name, but her thoughtfulness is still appreciated!

I started making this bread in fashionable round loaves.  As my kids got older they  wanted to use it for sandwiches and I discovered that rectangular loaves work beautifully as well.  Surprised to see this tagged as both a bread and a snack?  We don’t have candy and chips in our house, so when my kids get home from school, they grab a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter.  The only downside is that I am now baking six loaves at a time (yes, they freeze well)!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Round Loaf of Honey Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat and Honey Bread

Makes 2 round or 2-3 sandwich loaves

Ingredients

  • 8 c whole wheat flour (approximate)
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 2 t sea salt (optional)
  • 3 c water, approximately 115 degrees
  • 2 packets active dry yeast (or 2 scant T)

Directions

1.  Combine warm water, honey, oil and yeast.  Stir to dissolve yeast.  Let stand to “proof” (until it gets a bit bubbly)

Proof Yeast

Watch for Bubbles to Proof Yeast

2.  In a separate bowl (or freestanding mixer) combine salt and wheat flour (Note: I always use the full or slightly more than 8 cups of flour, but while you are getting a feel for this recipe, you may want to start with 7 cups and add the remainder in more slowly)

3.  Add liquid mixture to flour.  Stir to combine, then knead on floured surface (or in mixer with dough hooks) about 5-8 minutes until dough becomes hard to knead and  “pushes back” (I always knead by hand a few times after mixing in my mixer).

Dimension 2000 Freestanding Mixer

Freestanding Mixer

4.  Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a damp dish towel.  Let rise in warm place until doubled.  (In winter, when our house is in the 60s, I use the microwave with the light on. )

5.  Punch down dough and form into 2 round loaves or 2-3 rectangular loaves.

6.  Let rise again in a warm place until indentation remains after touching, about 20-30 minutes (bread will continue to rise a bit in the oven).

7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.  Remove from baking dish and cool on wire rack.

Money saving tip: If you are (or would like to be) a frequent bread baker, those little packets of yeast really add up.  I now buy 2 lb bulk bags which I store in the refrigerator.  There are also 4 oz jars  for those with a lesser commitment.  A scant tablespoon is equivalent to one packet.

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18 thoughts on “100% Whole Wheat (and Honey) Bread

  1. Alysha @Shesontherun

    That is so neat that you had a friend who worked for Red Star 🙂 We just made some sourdough rye bread with pecans and raisins this weekend, which we are still eating. Homemade bread is the best.

  2. Lynn

    This looks delicious! I have yet to bake a loaf of bread, but I really want to become a frequent bread baker (hopefully soon) so thanks for the tip about the yeast. 🙂

  3. Beth

    There’s nothing like homemade bread, is there? I made some a couple of weeks ago for the first time in ages, and it was absolutely wonderful.

  4. Kathy

    This bread looks so yummy, Inger. I can see why it’s a go-to bread recipe. Bread is my downfall. I could eat a loaf like this in one sitting. However, it’s been proven that’s not the wisest action…

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I think that by having it around all the time, it doesn’t seem special enough to overeat. That principle even seems to work on chocolate chips for me–which is really amazing! But give me something new (esp. brownies for a school event) and I am hopeless 😉

  5. Needful Things

    You have just reminded me that I really need to start making breads … it has been on my list of things to make in the fall & this recipe sounds like a pretty straightforward one to start with. I’m going to make this very, very soon!

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