Entire Wheat Bread (Gentle & Hearty) (Gentle & Chewy!)


With step-by-step photos and loads of useful suggestions, discover ways to make comfortable complete wheat bread with this easy-to-follow recipe. You can also make this bread 100% complete wheat, or you need to use a mix of complete wheat and bread flour for a barely taller, fluffier loaf. It’s splendidly comfortable and flavorful both method! When you’re new to working with yeast, reference my Baking with Yeast Information for solutions to widespread yeast FAQs.

slices of whole wheat bread on marble surface with purple linen on the side.

I do know there’s main comfort with store-bought bread, however I encourage you to attempt making it from scratch no less than as soon as. (You is perhaps hooked after that!) This complete wheat bread takes just a few hours, however a lot of the work is hands-off whereas the dough rises. Recent-baked bread smells unimaginable and tastes even higher—store-bought sandwich bread simply can’t examine! Wait till you scent a slice popping up within the toaster.

Right here’s Why You’ll Love This Entire Wheat Bread

  • Chewy crust with comfortable texture inside
  • Flavorful & hearty
  • Frivolously sweetened with honey
  • Makes scrumptious toast and sandwiches, and can be utilized in recipes like French toast, breakfast casserole, & sausage herb stuffing
  • Simple to make forward or freeze
  • 8 easy elements
whole wheat bread loaf with two slices cut on black wire rack.
loaf of bread on black wire cooling rack with purple linen in foreground.

Behind the Recipe/Recipe Testing

Till now, I’ve shied away from trying 100% complete wheat bread, as a result of creating a recipe for a superbly comfortable and engaging loaf was a tall order. Why? As a result of complete wheat flour is finicky and might be troublesome to get proper in a bread recipe.

There are normally 2 key issues relating to utilizing 100% complete wheat flour in a bread recipe:

  1. Due to the bran layer of the wheat grain, bread utilizing 100% complete wheat flour can style bitter or bitter. (Nonetheless, at all times be certain your complete wheat flour is recent; it will possibly develop into rancid if saved for too lengthy.)
  2. Entire wheat flour doesn’t include the identical stage of gluten as white flours. This lacking gluten can produce a dense and/or flat loaf. Many complete wheat bread recipes name for the addition of significant wheat gluten to make up for it, however I don’t normally preserve that in my kitchen… and you could not both.

I skilled each points in my preliminary makes an attempt at this recipe. I discovered that including just a little acid to the dough helped offset the bitterness, and introducing a preferment “sponge” helped give the loaves higher taste, in addition to extra peak. Clearly complete wheat bread won’t ever be as comfortable, tender, and chewy as white sandwich bread, however this one comes fairly shut with my cautious recipe & options.

Finest Substances to Use in Entire Wheat Bread & Why:

ingredients measured in bowls on counter including butter, milk, honey, flour, yeast, and salt.
  1. Water: Heat liquid prompts yeast. I take advantage of principally water on this dough as a result of we want a bread that has construction. Utilizing all milk, like I do for my complete wheat dinner rolls, would yield a flimsy bread with out a lot texture, which isn’t superb for slicing as sandwich bread.
  2. Entire Milk: To yield a comfortable bread, you want fats within the dough, so be certain a few of the liquid is milk. Low-fat or nondairy milk works too, however complete milk produces phenomenal texture and I extremely suggest it.
  3. Yeast: You should use energetic dry yeast or instantaneous yeast. If utilizing energetic dry, the rise instances can be a bit longer. I examined it with each.
  4. Honey: Honey feeds the yeast, will increase its exercise, and calmly sweetens the bread. In our testing, my crew & I unanimously agreed honey was the tastier possibility over common granulated and brown sugar. I additionally use just a little honey when making complete wheat pizza dough.
  5. Butter: Butter guarantees a flavorful loaf.
  6. Lemon Juice: This ingredient could seem unusual, but it surely’s important for stopping the bread from tasting too bitter. When you don’t have lemon juice, apple cider vinegar is a good substitute.
  7. Salt: You may’t make flavorful bread with out salt!
  8. Flour: You should use all complete wheat flour, or swap 1 cup of complete wheat flour for 1 cup of bread flour. The bread is comfortable both method, however just a little bread flour yields a barely taller, fluffier, and lighter loaf. We get pleasure from it each methods.

Begin With Making the Sponge (It’s Simple)

For the sponge, you’ll use all the liquid (each the water and milk) and yeast within the dough, plus a few of the flour. Combine this all along with a spatula, cowl it calmly, and let it double in dimension for about 60 to 90 minutes.

Whereas this step does lengthen the overall time of the recipe, the sponge is essential for producing a extra complicated taste, and offers the bread a lighter texture. By skipping this step, your bread can be just a little flat. (In style and look!)

As soon as the sponge doubles in dimension, add the remaining elements and start mixing, which can deflate the air and make method for the ultimate dough.

That is the sponge earlier than rising:

thick wheat dough sponge mixture in glass bowl.

That is the sponge after rising:

sponge dough mixture in glass bowl shown straight on and from above.

At this level, the method follows my sandwich bread fairly carefully. You’ll knead the dough, then let the dough rise twice. Lesson you’ll study at this time: making a scrumptious complete wheat bread shouldn’t be a race. We should have some persistence right here! (A tough ask when do-it-yourself bread is the reward…)

Step Pictures to Assist You

Make the dough: I like to recommend utilizing a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (most stand mixers are bought with it). When you don’t have a stand mixer, combine the dough along with a spatula or picket spoon (and just a little arm muscle!).

Knead the dough: You may proceed beating the dough with the dough hook, or you’ll be able to knead the dough by hand.

1st rise (about 2 hours): After you knead the dough, cowl it and let it rise in a comparatively heat spot. Entire wheat dough requires a barely longer rise time than white sandwich bread as a result of it’s weighed down with wheat germ and bran.

dough ball on marble surface and shown again risen in glass bowl.

As soon as it has doubled in dimension, punch it all the way down to launch the air.

Roll it out into an 8×15-inch rectangle:

rolled out dough on marble surface.

Roll it up tightly beginning with the 8-inch aspect, so you’ve gotten an 8-inch roll to suit into your greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. (In contrast to cinnamon rolls, the place you roll up the dough beginning with the bigger aspect.)

whole wheat dough being rolled up and shown again in loaf pan.

2nd rise (no less than 1 hour): Let it rise till it’s about an inch above the rim of the pan. Don’t rush this 2nd rise, except you need a flat loaf.

wheat loaf dough risen in gray loaf pan.

And bake! This complete wheat sandwich bread takes about 36–40 minutes within the oven.

Earlier than baking, be at liberty to prime the bread with oats. You’ll have to brush overwhelmed egg white on prime of the dough earlier than including the oats, in order that they stick. The oat topping is non-obligatory.

whole wheat loaf of bread with oats on top sitting in basket with purple linen.

Success Tricks to Hold in Thoughts

  1. You can also make this loaf of bread 100% complete wheat, or change 1 cup (about 125–130g) of the entire wheat flour with bread flour for a lighter, taller, fluffier loaf. The instructions stay the identical.
  2. Knead the dough for a very long time, no less than 8 minutes. If in case you have a stand mixer, use it for this recipe. This can be a heavy complete grain dough, so it requires quantity of kneading to assist produce a extra elastic construction.
  3. When kneading, keep away from including an excessive amount of flour; a barely cheesy and comfortable dough is OK.
  4. Use an instant-read thermometer to verify the interior temperature of the baked bread. This ensures you gained’t under-bake or over-bake the bread. It’s an extremely useful baking software! The bread is finished when the middle of the loaf is 195–200°F (90–93°C).
  5. When you’re new to working with yeast, please evaluation my Baking with Yeast Information the place I embrace sensible and easy-to-understand solutions to many yeast FAQs.

This complete wheat bread is phenomenal when sliced and served heat. The outside is crisp and crusty, and the inside is hearty, but comfortable.

close-up of whole wheat sandwich bread slice.
turkey, tomato, lettuce, and cheese sandwich cut open on gray plate with cut loaf of bread in background.

Turn into a Bread Baker with My Approachable Recipes:


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whole wheat bread loaf with two slices cut on black wire rack.

Entire Wheat Bread

  • Creator:

  • Prep Time:
    4 hours, half-hour (contains sponge and rises)

  • Prepare dinner Time:
    38 minutes

  • Complete Time:
    5 hours, 10 minutes

  • Yield:
    1 loaf

  • Class:

  • Methodology:

  • Delicacies:


You solely want 8 easy elements to make this complete wheat sandwich bread. Gentle with a chewy crust and oh-so-flavorful, store-bought sandwich bread simply doesn’t examine. You should use 100% complete wheat flour, or you’ll be able to swap in some bread flour. See recipe Notes for freezing and in a single day directions. You can even reference my Baking with Yeast Information for solutions to widespread yeast FAQs. 


  1. Put together the sponge: In a big bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the water, complete milk, and yeast collectively. Add the two cups (260g) flour and stir with a spatula or picket spoon till a thick batter varieties. Cowl calmly and permit to double in dimension, about 60–90 minutes. Typically this could take as much as 2 hours. *I don’t suggest a hand mixer for this dough as a result of the dough is simply too thick and heavy.*
  2. Add the remaining dough elements together with the honey, butter, lemon juice, remaining flour, and the salt. With a dough hook attachment, or utilizing a spatula or picket spoon (and a few arm muscle!), beat on medium velocity/combine till the dough comes collectively and pulls away from the edges of the bowl, about 3 minutes. If the dough appears too moist to a degree the place kneading (subsequent step) could be not possible, beat in additional flour 1 Tablespoon at a time till you’ve gotten a workable dough, just like the photographs above. Dough ought to be comfortable and just a little sticky, however nonetheless manageable to knead with calmly floured arms.
  3. Knead the dough: Hold the dough within the mixer and beat for a further 8–10 full minutes, or knead by hand on a calmly floured floor for 8–10 full minutes. If the dough turns into too sticky throughout the kneading course of, add 1 extra Tablespoon of flour at a time to make a comfortable, barely cheesy dough. Don’t add extra flour than you want; you do not need a dry dough. After kneading, the dough ought to nonetheless really feel just a little comfortable. Poke it together with your finger—if it slowly bounces again, your dough is able to rise.
  4. 1st rise: Frivolously grease a big bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough within the bowl, turning it to coat all sides within the oil. Cowl the bowl and permit the dough to rise in a comparatively heat atmosphere for two hours or till double in dimension. (For a tiny discount in rise time, see my reply to The place Ought to Dough Rise? in my Baking With Yeast Information.)
  5. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  6. Form the dough: When the dough is prepared, punch it all the way down to launch the air. Frivolously flour a piece floor, your arms, and a rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a big rectangle, about 8×15 inches. It doesn’t should be good—actually, it’s going to most likely be rounded on the sides. That’s okay! Roll it up into an 8-inch log and place within the ready loaf pan.
  7. 2nd rise: Cowl formed loaf. Enable to rise till it’s about 1 inch above the highest of the loaf pan, about 1 hour.
  8. Regulate oven rack to a decrease place and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). It’s finest to bake the bread in direction of the underside of the oven so the highest doesn’t burn.
  9. Optionally available oat topping: If you wish to add the non-obligatory oat topping, add it proper earlier than baking the bread. With a pastry brush, brush the risen loaf with egg white, then sprinkle the oats on prime.
  10. Bake the bread: Bake for 36–40 minutes, or till golden brown on prime. When you discover the highest browning too rapidly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. (I normally add it across the 20-minute mark.) To check for doneness, in the event you gently faucet on the loaf, it ought to sound hole. For a extra correct check, the bread is finished when an instant-read thermometer reads the middle of the loaf as 195–200°F (90–93°C). Take away from the oven and permit bread to chill for a couple of minutes within the pan on a cooling rack earlier than eradicating the bread from the pan and slicing. Be happy to let it cool fully earlier than slicing, too.
  11. Cowl leftover bread tightly and retailer at room temperature for as much as 1 week.


  1. Freezing Directions: Put together recipe by means of step 6. Place formed loaf in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan or disposable loaf pan, cowl tightly, and freeze for as much as 3 months. On the day you serve it, let the loaf thaw and rise for about 4–5 hours at room temperature. Bake as directed. You can even freeze the baked bread loaf. Enable the bread to chill fully, then freeze for as much as 3 months. Thaw within the fridge or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.
  2. In a single day Directions: Put together the recipe by means of step 6. Cowl the formed loaf tightly and refrigerate for as much as about 15 hours. At the very least 3 hours earlier than you want the bread the following day, take away from the fridge, preserve coated, and permit to rise on the counter for about 1–2 hours earlier than baking. Alternatively, you’ll be able to let the dough have its 1st rise within the fridge in a single day. Put together the dough by means of step 3, then cowl the dough tightly and place within the fridge for as much as 12 hours. Take away from the fridge and permit the dough to completely rise for two extra hours. Proceed with step 5.
  3. Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Stand Mixer or Massive Glass Mixing Bowl with Picket Spoon or Silicone Spatula | 9×5-inch Loaf Pan | Rolling Pin | Pastry Brush for non-obligatory topping | Immediate-Learn Thermometer | Wire Cooling Rack
  4. Milk: Low-fat or nondairy milk work right here, however complete milk produces phenomenal texture and I extremely suggest it. 
  5. Yeast: I normally use instantaneous yeast. You should use energetic dry yeast as a substitute, with no modifications to the preparation. Rise instances can be barely longer. Reference my Baking With Yeast Information for solutions to widespread yeast FAQs.
  6. Flour: Be certain your complete wheat flour is recent. Examine the date on the bundle, and don’t retailer it uncovered. Entire wheat flour can develop into rancid if saved for too lengthy, and your bread will style bitter. You should use all complete wheat flour on this recipe, or substitute 1 cup (130g) of bread flour for a barely taller, fluffier loaf. You should use 1 cup of bread flour within the sponge in step 1 OR put it aside for the remaining dough in step 2. If utilizing 1 cup (130g) of bread flour in step 2, you’ll additionally want the 1/3 cup (43g) of complete wheat flour.
  7. Honey: Honey produced the perfect tasting bread. In a pinch, you need to use common granulated sugar or brown sugar. However you’ll miss out on that honey taste. I’ve not examined different sweeteners.
  8. Can I form this right into a spherical boule? No, this dough wants the construction of a loaf pan. As a substitute, you could like this no-knead seeded oat bread.
  9. Doubling this recipe: For finest outcomes, I like to recommend making two separate batches of dough. This can be a huge, heavy dough and the sponge will take a really very long time to rise, and so will the kneading step. It’s finest to make 2 separate doughs.
  10. Entire Wheat Rolls: I like to recommend my comfortable complete wheat rolls recipe, or you’ll be able to attempt my multigrain bread/rolls recipe as a substitute.
  11. Tailored from Sandwich Bread and Entire Wheat Rolls

Key phrases: complete wheat bread


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