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Homemade Honey Wheat Bread {Vegan Options Included}

Homemade wheat 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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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

If you love delicious food, try using a day-old loaf of this bread for making Sage Sausage Stuffing.

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!
  • A reader let me know that she cut the recipe in half and proofed it in a bread maker on the dough setting for 90 minutes and had great results. I have not tested this myself, but love to offer options.
  • 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


2 loaves of bread in cast iron bread pans
Print Recipe
5 from 19 ratings

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time37 minutes
Total Time2 hours 7 minutes
Homemade wheat sandwich bread is easy to make (and freeze) and can save you so much money at the grocery store!



  • 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.
  • Set aside for about 30 minutes, or until the yeast has activated and more than tripled in size.
  • Add the salt, olive oil, vital wheat gluten, and whole wheat flour to the proofed yeast.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, mix the dough again using the bread hook at speed "2" for about 30 seconds. 
  • Grease two 9x5 bread pans, paying special attention to the corners of the pan.
  • Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, and break it in two equal pieces. Flatten out each portion. 
  • 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. 
  • 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)
  • 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. 
  • 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.


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

  1. Such a great bread recipe that is SO MUCH EASIER than our family recipe. I used it to make my delicious wheat bread toast each morning (with a little pb and honey-so good!) and to make small rolls last week. DELICIOUS every time!5 stars

  2. Can I dump the ingredients in a bread maker on the dough setting, then bake in the oven? Thinking it would this recipe cut in half for one loaf? Thanks!

    • Mary, I have not tried this because I don’t have a bread machine and am not really familiar with them. If you try it, please report back and let me know how it went and I can add details to the notes.

      • OK I tried it twice with the bread maker and it worked perfectly both times! I ground my own wheat—hard red winter berries, used the vital wheat gluten (thank you for the game-changing tip) and followed the recipe, just cut in half.

        For the bread maker, I used the dough setting which took 1 1/2 hours and then I baked the loaf in the oven, following the recipe. 

        Thank you, Sarah!5 stars

      • Yahoo, so glad it worked! Thanks for the details; I have added your notes to the post!

        And yes, vital wheat gluten is the best! Try it in pancakes, muffins, and any other whole wheat baked goods.

  3. Thank you for this. I have a successful first run????????????5 stars

  4. Ok, sooo the dough is 15 minutes into its rise. The dough took no time to come together in the KitchenAid on 2 as instructed. Maybe a few minutes. Is that right?? I’m paranoid because I’m used to bread making being a little more laborious. I mean I trust you because I’ve been following your blog like a creeper for years and you’re like a hardcore kitchen lady, but I’m dubious of my own yeast bread skills. Fingers crossed. Eek!

    • Haha at the creeper! Yep, a few minutes sounds just about right to me.

      Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. 🙂

      • They turned out great! Don’t think I can post a pic, but really lovely and suspiciously easy. I was like, it can’t be THIS easy. And then it was. Also, I did an experiment w one glass pan and one of your coolio cast iron pans I bought, and dude. The cast iron is FAR superior. Amazing release and perfectly perfect loaf. So double thank you for an easy recipe and the loaf pan rec. game changers. I wanted to ask, can I increase the salt content slightly (maybe 1/2 t?) without affecting the bread chemistry? I do love just a bit more salt in my bread. 5 stars

      • Cast iron for the win! You can email me a pic at I’d love to see it!

        Yep, you can totally increase the salt without it being an issue.

  5. I’ve been making basically this recipe except I use 1/3 cup honey with the yeast mixture then another 1/3 cup honey when i mixed in the flour. I use 5 cups bread flour and 3 cups whole wheat flour. This makes 3 loaves. It is honestly delicious.

  6. 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.

    • FYI – I made it without the wheat gluten (I didn’t have any). I used 2 whole eggs instead and it worked beautifully. You’ll need to adjust/increase the flour as the eggs add moisture (I added flour but didn’t measure… just kinda eyeballed it until the dough was the right texture… sorry!), but it works in a pinch. My family DEVOURED this and I’m making another batch today.5 stars

  7. I have been trying to find a good sandwich bread bread and this one may just fit the bill!5 stars

  8. 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?5 stars

  9. Could I use this recipe in my bread machine?5 stars

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