Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard

Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard produces a slightly sweet, wheat-y loaf. Great as a side, for toast or sandwich bread. 


This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links, which can earn me a small commission, please see my policy page for details.

Sourdough is big. And although I admire bakers who regularly create perfectly folded and turned loaves, I have yet to master this.

Yes, I am a second kind of sourdough baker. The type that uses sourdough discard with the addition of yeast to make baked goods. This way you get some of the sourdough flavor… but with no more effort than ordinary breads or baked goods.  And having a collection of sourdough discard bread recipes helps you use up the starter. 

But even if you don’t have a starter you can still enjoy this tasty honey wheat bread since a substitution is included. Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard produces a slightly sweet, wheat-y loaf. Great as a side, for toast or sandwich bread.

Recipe History

Today’s recipe is based on a homemade bread that I’ve been baking for years, adapted from a Red Star Yeast cookbook. I thought it was the best whole wheat bread recipe I had ever tried so I was motivated to adapt the recipe, with three goals. First, I needed use up my starter, which multiplies incessantly. Second, I hoped to add even more flavor to an already tasty recipe, and third I wanted to cut down this recipe to make a single sandwich loaf.

The resulting bread had all the honey-sweet, wheat-y goodness of the original with a hint of sourdough flavor and a bit more lightness! Talk about exceeding expectations!

honey wheat bread

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  The honey and whole wheat flavors complement each other perfectly, making this a flavorful and appealing bread. And even though it’s 100% whole wheat, it’s light and moist.

Healthy.  This is a 100% whole wheat bread (other than a smidge of all purpose in the sourdough discard when I use that), so is healthier than many other options that are half white flour.

Can Use Sourdough Discard.  Do you feel you’re always contending with a mountain of sourdough discard?  Well there’s nothing like a good sourdough discard bread to help you get through it! 

honey wheat bread

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Honey.  This adds sweetness and provides food for the yeast.
  • Yeast.  This helps the bread rise and lighten.
  • Oil.  This adds moisture and delays staling.
  • Sourdough Discard.  This helps the bread rise and lighten, and adds flavor.  You can also use additional flour and water.
  • Whole Wheat Flour.  This provides volume and structure.
  • Salt.  This moderates the rising, enhances flavor and reduces bitterness.

Special Tools

A stand mixer is nice but not a requirement.

Step by Step Highlights

Combine water, honey and oil and yeast to proof at around 110 F (lukewarm)

Combine ingredients in mixer bowl. Mix with dough hook until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Cover dough and let rise.

Punch down dough then form into a loaf and place in pan.

Let rise again until almost double

Bake 30 minutes until golden. Remove from pan to cool (or eat warm)."Honey

What is Proofing?

In bread-making the term “proof” is used to refer to two different processes. The first is to “proof the yeast,” where you dissolve yeast in water plus sugar to activate and test it. The second is to “proof the bread (or dough)” in which case you let the dough rise and lighten.

Now some people consider proofing yeast a little out of date. Originally this served dual purposes—to dissolve the dried yeast and to make sure that it was still alive. Today’s yeast (versus the 80s when I learned to bake), is milled smaller and dissolves more easily so proofing the yeast is less important.

But I buy my yeast in bulk (much more economical than the packets), and sometimes the last bits will have gone bad (albeit rarely), so I still proof my yeast to be extra sure it will work.

How to Serve

This works well as a honey wheat sandwich bread and is especially good with any type of filling that can handle a little sweetness.  Ham and PB&J are two of my favorites.  And it’s delicious as whole wheat toast–even better topped with peanut butter.  In that case I always add a glass of milk!

My other favorite way to eat this is to cut a slice, sprinkle it with garlic powder, top with sliced or grated sharp cheddar, then broil to melt the cheese.  It’s so tasty–and then I get some calcium with my whole grain!

It also has enough flavor to stand on it’s own.  It is good with a smear of butter or even plain.  And it makes a wonderful starchy side at dinner time.

Honey Wheat Bread with dinner

Tips & FAQs

Can I lighten the recipe with some all purpose flour?  You could but you don’t really need to.  If fact when the original recipe won a prize (in a general bread category at the Wisconsin State Fair), the judge noted that it was amazingly light for a 100% wheat bread. Yes, it even beat out a number of lofty white breads! 

But if you really feel you must, I recommend that you go with half white whole wheat flour instead of half all-purpose to retain more nutrition.

Do I need a stand mixer?  You don’t need a stand mixer for this bread, though it is nice. Originally, I used a hand mixer then finished the dough by kneading by hand. This is a good option for someone on a budget or who doesn’t cook a lot.  If you are more active in the kitchen and can afford it, a good freestanding mixer is a joy!

Spectacular Sourdough

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you’re at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

honey wheat bread

Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard

Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard produces a slightly sweet, wheat-y loaf. Great as a side, for toast or sandwich bread. 
Author: Inger
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Breads & Muffins
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 166 kcal


  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¼ c honey
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 scant T yeast (this is equivalent to 1 packet yeast)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter see note for sub
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Combine water, honey and oil and heat to about 110 F. Dissolve yeast in mixture and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add flour, sourdough discard and salt to mixer bowl, then pour in yeast mixture. Mix with dough hook until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead in the machine for 5-10 minutes until dough pushes back/doesn't dent when pressed. Add a little additional water or flour if needed to make a nice consistency.
  • Cover dough with a wet dish towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1-2 hours.
  • Spray an 8 x 4 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Punch down dough then form into a loaf and place in pan.
  • Let rise until almost double, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Bake 30 minutes at 350 F until golden. Remove from pan to cool.


Instead of the sourdough starter you can use an an extra half cup each water and flour.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 5gFat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 90mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6g
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Updated from the Jun 6, 2021 post

29 thoughts on “Honey Wheat Bread with Optional Sourdough Discard

  1. Marie

    5 stars
    Do you have the measurements for the ingredients by weight in grams, by chance?
    It would be very helpful!

    1. Inger Post author

      Sorry I don’t, the majority of my readers are in the US where kitchen scales aren’t common. Yes, I often wish we baked by weight as well.

  2. linda

    5 stars
    I love the recipe but every time I make it I struggle with whether it’s combination of both a tablespoon of yeast and a packet of yeastpacket OR if it’s one or the other? “1 scant T yeast 1 individual packet”. could you please advise

    1. Inger Post author

      It’s one or the other. The packet of yeast is one scant tablespoon in volume so the tablespoon measurement is for bulk yeast buyers and the packet is for packet buyers.

      BTW, it’s a deal to buy the bigger packages of yeast if you start to bake a lot–this is the recipe that got me started doing that! But I can see how this can be confusing so I’ll try to reword it better. Thanks for commenting and happy to hear you’re enjoying the bread.

  3. Marlene S.

    5 stars
    This was the best loaf of bread I have ever made. It’s rise was really good and the loaf was tender and slightly sweet. I’m making a second one right now because the first one didn’t last long.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks, I love the combo of honey and wheat! Interesting on the cooking time. I do know my oven runs a little hot, but I just checked a half dozen other online recipes and almost all went for about 30 minutes. If you used the starter option, perhaps your starter was a bit wetter? Glad you didn’t take it out too early–gummy bread is awful!

  4. Mary D

    5 stars
    I’ve been stocking up sourdough in my freezer and was looking for something different. This tasty loaf was a hit with my family. It has nice texture and flavor. It makes a good contrast for those of us who had been eating sourdough pretty much exclusively!

  5. Melanie

    I looked through more than once for a suggested oven temp for baking and could not find one.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks for catching this Melanie. The temp is 350 F and I have updated the recipe. I hope you enjoy!

  6. Thao @ In Good Flavor

    This loaf looks perfect!! I have never worked with sourdough starter, so I’m glad you included substitution alternative. I love to use my stand mixer to do the kneading (it makes life so much easier).

  7. David Scott Allen

    I look forward to trying this. I’ve never been a huge fan of wheat bread, but I think I’m getting ready to give it another try! Sad to say, I’m just a white bread kind of boy… Since Mark is the bread baker in the family, I’m passing this on to him with hopes that will see a loaf of whole wheat honey bread soon. (Without the sourdough starter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating