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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


Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

2 loaves of bread in cast iron bread pans
5 from 14 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
  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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30 comments on “Homemade Honey Wheat Bread {Vegan Options Included}”

  1. Sarah, I found the pans in a clearance section of a chef’s outlet in Michigan City, IN. (Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cast iron outlet!)

  2. YUM ! 🙂

  3. I feel ‘sarah-esque’ because I just scored two of those cast iron lodge bread pans at an outlet for 6.98 each! I had been making all my bread recipes in one of my dutch ovens (it makes everything better, I just inherited my dear MIL’s oval dutchie…call it the magic pot). So, it’s been 90 degrees for two weeks and I’ll be making lots of bread!

    Jack is getting HUGE! I found you last year and went through all the prev. posts so I feel like I watched him grow up!

    • Hold the phone…Lodge has an outlet? OMG, where are you? Stay right there, I’m on my way. I think I would spend all my grocery budget on cast iron if given the chance!

      How much do you love your dutchie? So amazing, right?

      Jack is huge and has an attitude to match! Sigh. Four year olds.

      • If I remember correctly there is a Lodge cast iron store in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee right next to Smoky Mountain Knife works. I don’t know if it’s an outlet or just a store but if you’re ever on this half of the continent it may be worth checking out!

  4. We go through some bread at our house!!! PB toast in the morning x3 and then sandwiches x2 for lunches. It seems like I buy 4 loaves of bread every time I go to the store. I only buy the 100% whole wheat so by the time it is done it can get pricey. And no I don’t eat any of this bread. Hubby and 2 girls eat it like it is going out of style. I

    I have made my own bread in the past and they like it but they only like it fresh out of the oven and don’t like it for sandwiches.. because it falls apart. Or hubby doesn’t have time to slice it for sandwiches in the morning.

    I need to make homemade as easy as store bought for my hubby and girls to use and eat. Which means it needs to be sliced and ready to go and not fall apart.

    After your loaves have cooled do you slice them all before you store/freeze them?

    Do you use one of those slicing dealies so you don’t have super huge slices?

    What do you do about cooking in the summer? I normally don’t use my oven in the summer because don’t want to heat up my house that I am paying to cool down 🙁

    I just want to try baking my own again so I don’t have to buy…

    I have tons of old bread sacks so I was going to use them to store the bread in.

  5. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful boy! (Even if he is a less than willing model!)

  6. I’ve used so many of your recipes, and they always turn out great! So far, my favorite is the hamburger buns! I haven’t quite been successful with baking bread with my whole wheat flour yet… and so far one of the biggest problems I run into is… cutting it without making it look like a horror movie. Can you give some tips? Thanks!

  7. Question: Does “Quick like a bunny rabbit, flip the loaf over on the rack so that the top doesn’t cave in. Allow to cool completely before storing.” Mean flip it out and cool as is, upside down or turn it right side up?

    • So the part of the bread in the pan, let’s call that the butt. The part of the bread that rises from the top, let’s call that the head.

      You’d dump the loaf on to a cooling rack “head” down and then flip it over so that it cools on its butt.

      Clear as mud?

  8. Shut the front door! 30 min for yeast & roll up like a cinnamon roll! No wonder my bread turns out dense & kind of flat. Can’t wait to try these tips

  9. Wait, did you mean to say every 2-3 WEEKS? If not, how do you make 8 loaves of bread stretch for 3 months? Do you just not eat a lot of bread?

    That looks delicious, by the way. One of my absolute favorite “toys” is my bread machine. When I first got it (about 15 years ago) I was making a loaf every day. Oy! I had to eventually put the kibosh on that. My bread machine also churns butter, so we were REALLY in trouble! hahaha!

    • We used to eat a TON of bread until we went on the GF fast last July. After that, we slowed down our consumption. Also, we used to make Jack lunch to take to my aunt and uncle’s house, but now they provide that which means I’m not making a PB&J on the daily!

      Makes bread AND butter? Lord have mercy!

  10. Oh yum. Look at all of those beautiful loaves! And the beautiful kid too! How do you keep them? Do you freeze them? Plastic/zip lock bag it?

    • A combo of the two (from the post):

      Allow to cool completely before storing. We always store the loaf we’re currently eating in a bread bag (yes these things really do work). The others get wrapped in foil and then stored in a 1.5 gallon Ziploc.

      We can get 2 loaves in a 1.5 gallon bag.