The best Whole Wheat Bread recipe is made with whole grains, sweetened with honey, and extra moist from the addition of Greek yogurt. It’s healthy, soft, and absolutely delicious!!

I’m not shy about my love for homemade breads, and some of my other favorites include perfect White Bread, Artisan No Knead Bread, and Oatmeal Bread.

Whole wheat bread on a wire cooling rack with two slices cut from it.

The smell of freshly baked bread will always bring me back to my mom’s kitchen as a kid. I don’t know if there’s anything more delicious than a slice right from the oven, with Homemade Raspberry or Strawberry Jam.

This recipe makes two loaves, perfect for giving one away or freezing for another day. Enjoy it plain, with butter or jam, in sandwiches, or toast. You can use leftover, stale bread in lots of ways; more about this, below.

A slice iof homemade wheat bread with strawberry jam on top.

Whole Wheat Bread, is some of the healthiest bread to choose because it’s made from whole grains. When a grain of flour is “milled” it is put through a refining process where the grain is striped apart, removing nutrients and resulting in “white” flour. When the grain is left whole, it still contains the bran, germ, and endosperm, and is rich in vitamins and minerals; particularly FIBER!

The biggest struggle people have when making whole wheat bread is that it’s dense. Not here my friends! This recipe makes the BEST soft and fluffy whole wheat bread!

About the Ingredients:

  • Whole Wheat Flour: I recommend White Whole Wheat Flour (it has the same nutrients of hard/red whole wheat, with lighter taste and texture). I prefer Bob’s Red Mill or Gold Medal brands. You could also use all-purpose flour, or bread flour with this recipe, but you may need a little less or more than is called for. Just pay attention to the texture of the dough; make sure it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, is smooth and elastic, and soft, but not overly sticky.
  • Vital Wheat Gluten: can be found in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Since whole wheat flour is a low-protein flour, the gluten helps to enhance the elasticity and give structure and softness to the bread. I think it’s essential in making really good whole wheat bread. If you use other types of flour for this recipe (non-wheat flour), then you can leave out the added gluten.
  • Yeast: Make sure you are using fresh yeast, or the bread will not rise properly. Instant yeast or active dry yeast will work.
  • Honey: To feed the yeast, tenderize the bread, and I love the flavor the honey adds to whole wheat bread. You could substitute agave or granulated sugar.
  • Salt: add flavor.
  • Butter: Unsalted or salted butter will work. If using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt added to the recipe, by a pinch.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt: I add just a little, to give even more moisture to the bread. You could substitute sour cream.

How to Make Whole Wheat Bread:

In a Stand Mixer of Mixing bowl: Add 4.5 cups wheat flour and yeast to the bowl and stir to combine. Add warm water and mix. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Add: Add vital wheat gluten, salt, melted butter, honey, Greek yogurt and mix well. 

Knead: Add 1 ½ cups of flour and mix. Mix well and watch the dough; it should begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If needed, add more flour, a little at a time, until it does. Knead the dough with your stand mixer for 5 minutes (or by hand for 10 minutes). The dough should be smooth and elastic, but still slightly sticky when touched.

Process photos for making whole wheat bread in a stand mixer and then dividing the dough into two loaves.

Shape: Spray bread pans* with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Spray your clean counter and hands with cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it into two equal pieces. Press each portion into a rectangle about 9 inches on the long side. Roll them into logs and place in prepared pans.

Dough for whole wheat bread being rolled into a log and another photo of two loaf pans with whole wheat bread ready to be baked.

Rise: Spray plastic wrap with non-stick cook spray and gently cover the pans. Allow the bread to rise for about an hour, or until the dough is rounded over the tops of the pans. *See notes for quick rise trick.

Bake: Place both bread pans on the middle rack of your cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30-38 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and smooth a stick of cold butter over the tops of the hot bread. Remove bread onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

A loaf pan with baked whole wheat bread in it.

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

Store leftover bread in a bread bag on the countertop for up to 3 days, or in the fridge.

To Freeze: Place cooled bread in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, allow to come to room temperature on the countertop (about 3 hours).

Pro Tips:

Stand Mixer vs Kneading by Hand: A stand mixer takes the muscle work out of kneading bread (I always use my Bosch mixer for making bread) but you can make this bread by hand! Mix the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then once the dough begins to come together, scoop it onto a greased or floured countertop and knead it with your hands for 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic.

Best Loaf Pans for Baking Bread: My favorite are these 8.5×4.5 inch bread loaf pans to make a taller, fuller loaf, but a 9×5 inch loaf pan will also work great.

Bread Machine: You can cut this recipe in half, and bake the bread in a bread machine.

Uses for Leftover Bread:

Homemade bread will dry out after 2-3 days, but I have many recipes to use stale bread including:

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Recipe

Whole wheat bread on a wire cooling rack with two slices cut from it.
Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 1 hr 50 mins
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Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 6-7 cups white whole wheat flour*
  • 2 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons instant yeast* , or active dry yeast
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon vital wheat gluten*
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt , or sour cream

Instructions
 

  • To a Mixing Bowl or Stand Mixer: Add 4.5 cups wheat flour and yeast and stir to combine. Add warm water and mix.
  • Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Add vital wheat gluten, salt, melted butter, honey, Greek yogurt and mix well. 
  • Knead: Add 1 ½ cups of flour and mix. Mix well and watch the dough; it should begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If needed, add more flour, a little at a time, until it does. Knead the dough with your stand mixer for 5 minutes (or by hand for 10 minutes). The dough should be smooth and elastic, but still slightly sticky when touched.
  • Prepare Pans: Spray bread pans* with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pans with parchment or wax paper.
  • Shape: Spray your clean counter and hands with cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it into two equal pieces. Press each portion into a rectangle about 9 inches on the long side. Roll them into logs and place in prepared pans.
  • Rise: Spray plastic wrap with non-stick cook spray and gently cover the pans. Allow the bread to rise for about an hour, or until the dough is rounded over the tops of the pans. *See notes for quick rise trick.
  • Bake: Place both bread pans on the middle rack of your cold oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30-38 minutes, until the tops are golden. 
  • Remove from oven and smooth a stick of cold butter over the tops of the hot bread. Remove bread onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store leftover bread in a bread bag on the countertop for up to 3 days, or in the fridge. See notes, for freezing instructions.

Notes

Whole Wheat Flour: I recommend White Whole Wheat Flour (has the same nutrients of hard/red whole wheat, with lighter taste and texture). You could also use all-purpose flour or bread flour but you may need a little less or more than called for. Just pay attention to the texture of the dough; make sure it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, is smooth and elastic, and soft, but not overly sticky.
Vital Wheat Gluten: can be found in the baking aisle at the grocery store and helps enhance the elasticity and give structure and softness to wheat bread. If using non-wheat flour, you can omit the gluten.
Yeast: Make sure you are using fresh yeast, or the bread will not rise properly. Instant yeast or active dry yeast will work.
Honey: You could substitute agave or granulated sugar.
Bread Pans: Either 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch or 9×5 inch bread pans will work. I like the smaller size, for a taller loaf. 
Quick Rise Tip: Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Once it’s at temperature, turn it off. Place bread pans in the oven (without plastic wrap) and leave the oven door open a crack. Allow bread to rise for 20-30 minutes, until domed just above the top of the pans. Leave the bread in the oven while you preheat it to 350 degrees F. Bake bread for about 30 minutes.
Freezing Instructions: Place cooled bread in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, allow to come to room temperature on the countertop (about 3 hours).

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 352mgPotassium: 139mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 74IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg

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*I originally shared this recipe February 2015. Updated February 2019 and January 2022.

*Recipe adapted from Bosch.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    Will there be a benefit in giving this dough 2 rises?

    My family LOVED this bread. They don’t want supermarket bread any more

  2. 5 stars
    Perfect and easy recipes.

    I don’t have vital wheat gluten so I used 250 g of high protein instead and less 50 g of water because of the weather, I learned this from other bakers that we need to be careful with liquid during humidity.

    I follow every thing exactly the same, and the results is wonderful. Will keep this recipe as a quick baking.

    For those who having issues, please know that every country had different flour, yeast and most importantly is the weather.

    Today we have wet, damp weather from raining nonstop, I leave my bread fought to rise in a closed room with dehumidifier, it work better than many who says about using the steam, oven or microwave. And remember to put less water during humid weather.

  3. I would like to try this recipe but my question is what could you use instead of yogurt? We are dairy free in our house.

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