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Homemade Honey Wheat Bread {Vegan Options Included}

A simple Homemade Honey Wheat Bread recipe that can be made without a bread maker. Homemade sandwich bread is easy to make (and freeze) and can save you so much money at the grocery store!

2 loaves of bread in cast iron bread pans

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This simple homemade sandwich bread can be made for around $1.25-1.75 per loaf and is easily frozen. If you compare that with whole wheat sandwich bread at the store, the savings can be huge!

I have made all the mistakes over the years with baking whole wheat bread. Picture me hanging out in your kitchen, walking you step by step through the correct process. We’re in this together so that you can make your own amazing homemade bread!

If you’re low on yeast or want a recipe that doesn’t require kneading, check out this Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

What’s in this recipe:

  • Whole wheat flour – I grind my own flour (nerd alert!), but you can also buy it from any grocery store or through Thrive.
  • Vital wheat gluten – the key ingredient to make this fluffy and soft
  • Yeast – I prefer active dry, but you can also use instant/rapid rise
  • Sea/table salt
  • Olive oil

bowls of ingredients for making whole wheat bread

How to Make Bread Rise in a Cold House

If your kitchen is cold, the ideal place for rising bread is on heat registers if your furnace is running (yes, I put bread pans on the floor!), or in front of a fireplace. You can also put it in your oven with the light on and the heat off.

In a pinch, I have turned the oven to the lowest temperature and waited until the preheat was over. After about 10 minutes, I put the mixing bowl or bread pans in there and closed the door to take advantage of the extra heat.

You can also rise bread dough in an Instant Pot using a glass lid! Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the Instant Pot insert and add the dough. Cover with the glass lid and press “yogurt” and adjust the time for 30 minutes. 

9 photos showing step by step how to make whole wheat bread

How to Store Homemade Bread

We store each loaf in a gallon ziploc bag. We usually prefer reusable silicone bags for zero waste storage, but have yet to find one large enough to store a whole loaf of bread. For sustainability purposes, we do reuse the bags over and over, washing after it has held a few loaves.

Homemade bread will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for five days. If you live in hot climates, you can store in the fridge for up to eight days.

How to Freeze Bread

We wrap each loaf in foil and then put them in jumbo freezer bags. You can fit two loaves per bag. We always have a few loaves stashed away as part of our freezer essentials.

To thaw, keep in foil, and leave at room temperature for a few hours. Save the foil as it works great as a pan liner when roasting frozen vegetables or baking bacon in the oven.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix the dough by hand. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, and knead until the dough is easy to work with and pliable. And invest in tank tops because your arms are going to look A-MAZING!
  • Sub in 1/3 cup of white sugar if you don’t have access to or don’t consume honey because you follow a vegan diet.
  • If you want to create a basic white bread recipe, replace the whole wheat with all-purpose or bread flour and leave out the vital wheat gluten. All measurements remain the same.
  • I prefer metal, ceramic, or cast iron bread pans to glass. I find the glass prevents the bottom and sides of the bread from crisping up during baking.
  • I purchase all my baking supplies and wheat berries for grinding in bulk from Azure Standard.
  • Top with homemade jam like Low Sugar Strawberry Jam, Peach Freezer Jam, Low-Sugar Blackberry Jam, No Cook Raspberry Freezer Jam, or Strawberry Freezer Jam.

A loaf of honey wheat bread on a cutting board with a dish of jam

MORE DELICIOUS BREAD RECIPES

Making this recipe or others?

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2 loaves of bread in cast iron bread pans
Print
5 from 13 votes
Homemade Honey Wheat Bread
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
37 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 7 mins
 

Homemade wheat sandwich bread is easy to make (and freeze) and can save you so much money at the grocery store!

Course: Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread in kitchen aid mixer, bread without a bread machine, whole wheat bread
Servings: 30 servings
Calories: 123 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the hot water and 1/3 cup honey. Stir to dissolve the honey. Add the yeast, and stir to combine.

  2. Set aside for about 30 minutes, or until the yeast has activated and more than tripled in size.

  3. Add the salt, olive oil, vital wheat gluten, and whole wheat flour to the proofed yeast.

  4. Using the bread hook on your mixer, mix the dough at speed "2" until it clings to the hook and almost all the dough is off the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems "shaggy" or is still sticking to the bowl, slowly add more whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time.

  5. Gather the kneaded dough into a ball. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the mixer bowl and turn the dough to coat with the oil.

  6. Cover the bowl with a clean wet kitchen towel, and set aside until the dough has doubled in size (about ~1 hour). Rising time will depend on the temp in your house. (See cold house notes in post above)

  7. Once the dough has doubled in size, mix the dough again using the bread hook at speed "2" for about 30 seconds. 

  8. Grease two 9x5 bread pans, paying special attention to the corners of the pan.

  9. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, and break it in two equal pieces. Flatten out each portion. 

  10. Like you're rolling a sleeping bag, take the long side of the dough and roll it up, tucking the short edges underneath to fit the length of the bread pan. 

  11. Let the dough rise in the pans until doubled in size. Rise time will depend on the temp of your house. (See cold house notes in post above)

  12. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake both loaves at the same time for 35 minutes, or until the loaf makes a hollow sound if you "thump" the top of it. 

  13. Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then, remove the loaf from the pan and allow to fully cool on the baking rack.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix the dough by hand. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, and knead until the dough is easy to work with and pliable.

 

Sub in 1/3 cup of white sugar if you don't have access to or don't consume honey.

 

If you want to create a basic white bread recipe, replace with all-purpose or bread flour and leave out the vital wheat gluten. All measurements remain the same.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Honey Wheat Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 123 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 80mg3%
Potassium 96mg3%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 2IU0%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This recipe was originally published in June 2017. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

Simple Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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29 comments on “Homemade Honey Wheat Bread {Vegan Options Included}”

  1. How much would this suffer without the vital wheat gluten? I’ve been making whole wheat no-knead bread, and I don’t especially *need* sandwich bread at the moment, but I am trying to get a little more adept at baking since it’s so much more precise than just throwing together things that taste good with each other. I’m not planning to grocery shop again until I really have to, so maybe I just need to wait until then when I can get some of it from the bulk section.

    • It will definitely be denser, but the flavor will still be great without it. You likely won’t get tall loaves but if you’re ok with that, the taste will be fine.

  2. I have been trying to find a good sandwich bread bread and this one may just fit the bill!

  3. Just got a grinding attachment for my Kitchen Aid and am excited to get started. Do you use the hard white berries for your bread in this recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread?

  4. Could I use this recipe in my bread machine?

  5. Always on the lookout for good bread recipes. Thanks for sharing! And I will be trying those bread bags. Perfect!