Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Here’s the BEST whole wheat bread recipe! This homemade sandwich bread is quick and easy to make: no special equipment needed.

Whole wheat bread recipe

Want to make bread at home? Here’s our very best whole wheat bread! This one is perfect for sandwiches and toast, made with your own two hands and no store-bought preservatives! It’s so easy to make: with no special equipment needed. All you need is a loaf pan and a passion for homemade bread. Your kitchen will smell incredible…and you’ll never need to buy bread again! This one is Alex and my go-to for weekly toast and sandwiches (and our son Larson loves it). We hope it becomes a favorite in your house, too!

How to make whole wheat bread: an overview!

Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with whole wheat bread. The process takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours total, then 1.5 hours to cool the bread. This is pretty short for bread (our sourdough bread takes 2.5 days!) Even so, it’s a project you’ll probably want to save for days off of work like weekends. Here are the basic steps:

Mix & knead the dough15 minutes active time
Proof 140 to 60 minutes, hands off
Shape10 minutes active time
Proof 240 to 50 minutes, hands off
Bake30 minutes, hands off
Cool90 minutes, hands off
Whole wheat bread

Ingredients in whole wheat bread

This homemade whole wheat bread is full of flavor and hearty ingredients! Like most whole wheat bread recipes, it also has all purpose flour. Why? Using a little all purpose flour gives the texture and fluffy lift you expect. What’s the ratio in this recipe? This bread recipe uses about 2/3 whole wheat flour. It’s got 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. It’s also got some oats and optional seeds on top for contrasting texture. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Whole wheat flour and all purpose flour
  • Oats
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Yeast
  • Poppy seeds and sunflower seeds (optional)
Whole wheat bread

Equipment list

This whole wheat bread is so easy to make: it requires no special equipment at all! You’ll probably have the pan you need. There are two optional ingredients that make the recipe easier, but aren’t required. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 8 or 9-inch loaf pan
  2. Kitchen scale (optional) for measuring the ingredients by weight*
  3. Instant read thermometer (optional) for measuring the internal temperature**

*Weighing out ingredients is the most accurate way to measure flour. Its volume varies based on the environment! But for this homemade bread recipe, exact precision is not as important as something like sourdough. So you can get away with cup measures!

**Reading the bread’s internal temperature is the best way to determine whether the bread is fully baked. But you can get away with baking without it! Just judge whether the top is nicely golden brown.

Homemade whole wheat bread

How to proof bread

What is proofing? Proofing is letting the bread dough rest so that the yeast makes it rise. This creates the desired fluffy texture of the whole wheat bread (also called the crumb). To proof the bread, you’ll simply place the dough ball in a bowl and cover it with a towel. Then you can proof it using either of the following temperatures:

  • Proofing setting in oven or warm place: For best results, the proofing temperature should be between 80°F and 90°F. Many ovens have a proofing setting you can use for this step.
  • Room temperature: You can also proof this bread at room temperature! The proofing temperature for sourdough bread is more important since it’s a little more touchy. Luckily, this whole wheat bread bread can be proofed at either temperature.

Tips on storing homemade whole wheat bread

Homemade whole wheat bread doesn’t have preservatives like the store-bought variety, so storing the bread is a little different! There are a few different easy ways to store this bread:

  • Room temperature: Store the bread at room temperature wrapped in plastic for 2 to 3 days.
  • Refrigerator: Store refrigerated wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week (we don’t recommend this with artisan bread, but it works here!).
  • Freeze: Slice the bread into pieces, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Toast with almond butter
It’s perfect for toast!

Recipes to use whole wheat bread!

This whole wheat bread is so delicious! You’ll love it straight from the oven, or stored to make sandwiches throughout the week. It’s especially good with:

This whole wheat bread recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, go to Vegan Bread.

Print
Vegan bread

Easy Whole Wheat Bread


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf (12 to 14 pieces) 1x

Description

Here’s the BEST whole wheat bread recipe! This homemade sandwich bread is quick and easy to make: no special equipment needed.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (20 grams)
  • 1/2 cup milk (118 grams)
  • 3/4 cups warm water (177 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (15 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (8 grams)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (250 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (156 grams)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (45 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (8 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons seeds: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, etc (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the milk so it is just warm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and milk with the maple syrup, warm water, and yeast and mix with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until just combined. In a separate bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, oats and kosher salt. Add the flours and oats to the bowl and stir with the spoon until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured countertop and form the dough into a ball.
  3. Knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  4. Proof 1: Place the dough ball in a clean bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Allow the dough to stand in a warm place (proof) until it rises to double in size, about 40 minutes to an 1 hour.
  5. Shape the dough: Once proofed, grease an 8 to 9-inch loaf pan. Turn the dough onto a counter and gently press the dough into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. The short side of the rectangle should be about the width of the long edge of the loaf pan. Roll the dough into a log (the width of the loaf pan). Pinch the seams on the sides and bottom of the roll and then place it into the greased pan seam-side down. Gently press the dough to fill the bottom of the pan.
  6. Proof 2: Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to proof for 40 to 50 minutes until the dough doubles in size.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Bake the bread: Once proofed, brush with the top of the loaf with water. If desired, sprinkle the seeds on the top. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. The bread is done when the top is golden brown and the inside of the bread reaches 190°F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the bread to a cooling on a rack and cool completely, at least 90 minutes. (However tempting, cutting the bread while warm will ruin its texture!)
  9. Serve (+ storage info): Slice the bread and serve. Store the bread at room temperature for 2 to 3 days wrapped in plastic, or refrigerator for up to a week. The bread can also be frozen, sliced into pieces and wrapped in plastic, for 3 months.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Bread

Keywords: Whole Wheat Bread

More bread recipes

Here are some favorite homemade bread recipes:

  • Easy Homemade Bread Here’s our classic sandwich loaf, with a little more white flour than whole wheat. Or, try the Whole Wheat Bread version!
  • Artisan Bread This authentic artisan bread has just the right crispy crust, soft interior, and robust flavor: and it’s faster & easier than sourdough.
  • Vegan Banana Bread This deliciously moist vegan banana bread will become a favorite in no time! It’s easy to make and has just the right banana flavor.
  • Best Homemade Cornbread Meet your new go-to recipe. This tender, moist homemade cornbread is easy to make and tastes like box mix, but 100 times tastier.

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    caro
    April 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    If I cant find whole weat flour can I swap for something else? Thanks!

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