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!
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)!
100% Whole Wheat and Honey Bread
Makes 2 round or 2-3 sandwich loaves
- 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)
1. Combine warm water, honey, oil and yeast. Stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand to “proof” (until it gets a bit bubbly)
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).
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.