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:

Follow me for more great recipes

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
Save Recipe

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer (Optional)

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

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Search Our Recipes

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

*Recipe adapted from Bosch.

This post contains affiliate links. I love to share the products I use. 

Related Posts

Share Recipe

Categories

About The Author

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.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a number of whole wheat bread recipes lately and this one is definitely one of the best! The dough was easy to work with and the bread was very tasty. I added dates and dried cherries as my husband likes fruit in his bread. I am planning on keeping this as a “go to” recipe. Thank you!

  3. I only have one bread pan right now. Can I freeze the other half before final rising for later use? Or does it have to be made immediately? I’m somewhat new to baking bread and I’m still learning all the rules and tricks.

  4. From what I’ve read, the recipe for the bread making seems like I would try it. Also, it’s not complicated, and I will definitely try it.
    Thanks a bunch.

  5. 5 stars
    Nice recipe resource, I just signed up. I’ve been baking bread for over 35 years and am always on the lookout for new ideas. In perusing your Honey Whole Wheat recipe I noticed you appear to be using a Bosch Concept 7 for kneading your dough. If so, congratulations you own the best kneading device EVER for home use. I’ve been using mine for about 20 years and it’s still going strong. Too bad Bosch discontinued it.

  6. 3 stars
    My daughter tried making this and it turned out poorly. We had to add a huge amount of extra flour so that it wasn’t incredibly sticky. I decided to give it one more try. I thought maybe she didn’t add hot enough water to the flour and yeast. So I was careful about this. I still found that to get the dough to kneeding consistency we had to add a total of 8 cups rather than the 6-7 suggested. Otherwise I followed the directions exactly. It was much better but still not as light as I would have wished. A little heavy – had to drink water when eating. Can anyone tell me why you don’t need to proof the yeast in this recipe but you do in the white bread?

    1. 5 stars
      Kristen,
      “Instant” active dry yeast has been produced with small enough granule size that it doesn’t need to be proofed. With “Active” dry yeast it’s a toss up. The granule size is larger and I personally would proof it. If the label says “Rapid Rise”, run the other way. Please understand that the longer the rise time the more the flavor your dough will develop due to the enzymes developing natural sugars in your dough. Rapid rise defeats that purpose.

      As to adding extra flour, there are many factors that effect the hydration level of your dough. The predominant one being the moisture level or dryness of your flour. In short, whenever trying a new recipe plan on correcting the hydration by either adding flour if adding water as necessary. Keep careful track of your corrections so you can edit your recipe accordingly.

  7. i searched the internet for a while in hopes for a good honey wheat bread recipe. This recipe really out did my expectations
    i didn’t t have yogurt so i used buttermilk and it still turned out absolutely amazing !!!! We (my husband and I) have eaten
    almost half the first loaf already. Thank very much!!! I will keep this as my go to honey wheat bread recipe .

    P.S.
    Looking for a pumpernickel bread recipe to hint hint lol

  8. 5 stars
    I have never made whole wheat bread before and my first time it turned out great!! It was delicious and perfect for sandwiches too.

  9. 5 stars
    Simply Amazing!!! I have tried SO many whole wheat bread recipes trying to find one where it wasn’t dry the next day and wasn’t so dense. This was it! My whole family was really impressed with the bread and said it was the best they have every had! I feel like I can give them something healthy without it tasting like cardboard. This recipe went into my keeper book. Thank you so much for the recipe! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I used 4.5 cups whole wheat flour and 1.5 cups bread flour because I did not have vital wheat gluten and it still came out wonderfully.

  11. 4 stars
    I have made bread for many years. The amount of water in this recipe seems excessive. When I put it on the counter, I had to “pour” it onto the counter. I then put another whole cup of flour into the second half left in the mixer bowl. Before that there was no way I could “press it into a rectangle”. Do you mean two and three quarters cups water? (plus the 2 Tbsps.)? I have tasted both loaves, and the end pieces taste okay. I don’t know about the middle yet. I followed the recipe exactly as given. Thanks for the help.

  12. 5 stars
    This 100% whole wheat bread is totally yummy! I followed directions exactly but did have to add just a bit more flour than the directions stated in order to get it to come together properly. I used Ikea VARDAGEN loaf pans and they made perfect loaves. Thank you so much for the recipe! I will be making this again and again.

  13. Is the calorie count quoted here “269” for one slice or one loaf? It’ll be helpful to know out of the 12 slices, how much calories would each slice be. Thank you! Also, would you consider a recipe for healthy wholewheat yogurt/milk loaf?

    1. Thanks for noticing the error–It was calculating for 12 slices, when the recipe actually makes 2 loaves. It’s now calculating for 2 loaves with about 10 slices in each loaf. So around 150 calories a slice.

  14. 5 stars
    Do you not LOVE your Bosch mixer ? There is not another mixer like it. I love all of your recipes! They are truly wonderful!

  15. I love your recipes! I’m having a problem getting my bread to rise using this recipe. Any suggestions?

  16. 5 stars
    Loved it! So easy and delicious! The first whole wheat recipe that actually turned out for me! Thanks!
    I made it into 4 small loaves and baked it about 25 minutes and it was perfect.

  17. Hi! I just wanted to stop by and say how much I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice already and my husband and baby love it! I just wanted to ask if it would Change anything if I added like 2more tbsp of wheat gluten? I’m hoping a fluffier more bouncy bread?

    1. Hi Penny, All I can say is I always have a really hard time making great wheat bread without it…

        1. Yes, you should be able to find it at your local grocery store. Several common brands make it, including Hodgson Mill and Bob’s Red Mill. I know walmart carries it. Good luck–I’d love to hear how you like it!

      1. Hello, Lauren.
        In instruction 2 you mention that I can add more flour later. When are you referring to? This process skips the traditional one of a first rising in the bowl and a second in the bread pans. Can you please address this? I am in the process of making some now….

        1. Hi Katie, thanks–I clarified that. You can use extra flour to flour your countertop, if the dough is still sticky, to make it more manageable to work with. It only needs to rise once, inside the bread pans. Hope you enjoy it!