This homemade Whole Wheat Bread recipe is so much better than anything you can buy at the store! Made with oats, brown sugar and honey for a hearty texture and subtly sweet flavor that’s perfect for sandwiches, soups and toast!
Honey Wheat Bread Recipe
Homemade bread is one of life’s simple pleasures. Nothing beats freshly baked bread, straight from the oven and this honey wheat bread recipe is one of our favorites. We make homemade bread a lot in our home and there is just something special about this whole wheat bread with it’s delightful notes of honey and brown sugar, the heartiness of the oats and the nuttiness of the wheat flour.
A little rustic, a lot delicious, this easy wheat bread recipe creates two delectable loaves of bread that are rich in flavor and have amazing texture. Heartwarming and wholesome, this bread is the perfect pairing for jams, butters and your favorite sandwich fillings.
Why You’ll Love This Honey Wheat Bread
Nothing compares to the aroma of freshly baked bread! There are so many reasons to love this recipe:
- Versatile. This bread is delicious fresh from the oven with a smear of butter but it’s also perfect for toast, sandwiches or as a side with a hot bowl of soup.
- Pantry Staples. This recipe comes together quickly with pantry staples. It does call for bread flour which is readily available at grocery stores. In a pinch, all purpose flour can be substituted.
- Balanced Flavor. The combination of honey and brown sugar gives this hearty bread just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. The brown sugar and honey can both be cut in half or one eliminated if you prefer to cut back the sweetness.
How To Enjoy This Wheat Bread Recipe
Straight from the oven with a little Honey Butter is my favorite way to enjoy this bread but here are so more many delicious ways to enjoy this homemade bread:
- Classic Breakfast: Slather a warm slice with butter, jam or honey for a heartwarming addition to your morning coffee or tea.
- Sandwiches: Turn an ordinary PB&J into something extra special or use this whole wheat sandwich bread recipe as a base for your favorite cold cut sandwiches or even a grilled cheese sandwich. Its hearty texture and mild sweetness complement a wide range of fillings.
- Toast: This bread toasts beautifully. Pair it with avocado, a sprinkle of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil for a modern twist on avocado toast.
- French Toast: One of our favorite weekend treats! Use thick slices to make the best French toast! The oats and whole wheat flour give it an extra dimension of flavor that pairs perfectly with maple syrup, fresh berries and whipped cream.
- Soup Companion: A slice of this bread is perfect for serving alongside your favorite soups or stews. In fact, we usually plan to make soup the day I bake this bread so we can enjoy them together.
We love this whole wheat bread recipe so much! The oats provide a hearty texture, the honey gives a hint of sweetness, and the brown sugar ties everything together. Two freshly baked loaves of bread are perfect for sharing with family and friends. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
- yeast – The leavening agent that helps the bread rice. I used active dry yeast but instant yeast can also be used in this recipe. There is no need to proof instant yeast.
- granulated sugar – Helps activate and proof the yeast.
- warm water – Added to the yeast and sugar to proof the yeast. The water should be about 110°F.
- whole milk – The milk contributes to the rich flavor and tender crumb. The milk should be warmed to 110°F.
- unsalted butter – Adds richness and flavor to the bread.
- brown sugar and honey – Add a lovely sweetness and golden color to the bread. You can omit one or the other or cut the amounts in half for a less sweet loaf.
- oats – Creates a heartier bread with a lovely texture. I add a few oats to the top of the bread – love the look!
- whole wheat flour – I like to use about half whole wheat flour. I think it’s the perfect amount but if you want to increase the amount, you can. Simply reduce the bread flour amount by the same amount.
- salt – Enhances the flavor of all the ingredients and balances the sweetness.
- bread flour – I love the texture you get with bread flour. The added protein does make a difference. That being said, all purpose flour can be substituted in this recipe but anticipate a slightly different texture. Consider adding 2 tablespoons of gluten to the recipe if using all purpose flour.
How To Make Wheat Bread
If you’ve never experienced homemade bread before, boy, are you in for a treat! It is so much better than anything you can buy at the store and takes very minimal effort. You’ll need to account for a couple hours of rise time but the actual hands on time is less than 15 minutes. You can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Make the Dough
- Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- The mixture should have bubbles or foam on the top. If the mixture does not bubble or foam, your yeast may be bad.
- Stir in the warm milk, melted butter, brown sugar, honey and oats until combined.
- Add the whole wheat flour and salt to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the all purpose flour, about ⅓ cup at a time, mixing on medium-low speed until all of the flour is well incorporated. Start with 2⅓ cups of flour and add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, as needed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently.
- Increase the speed to medium high and continue kneading the dough for 8 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a clean bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. over with plastic wrap or a tea towel.
- Place in a warm place and allow to rise for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Roll or pat out the dough into a rectangle roughly 8 by 12 inches making sure to press out any air pockets you see.
- Roll the dough up, starting at the short end, and pinch the seam together to seal. Place each loaf in a prepared loaf pan. (Prepare 2 loaf pans by spraying with nonstick cooking spray and then line with a piece of parchment paper. I like to make this recipe in 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans but it also works in 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.) Sprinkle each loaf with a tablespoon of oats, optional.
- Cover the loaves and let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven, or until golden brown on top (the interior temperature should be around 210°F).
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into them.
This bread stays fresh for 3 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. I like to store in a large ziploc bag. Refrigerate bread for up to 1 week.
To freeze, wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. (Consider slicing before freezing as it allows you to thaw however many slices you need at a time.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Short answer is yes, although be aware that it will slightly alter the texture.
Check the expiration date of the yeast first. Make sure the dough is rising in a warm, draft free place. Also ensure that the water and milk are not above 110°F as that can kill the yeast.
You can. Bread made with all purpose flour will still be delicious but the texture might be slightly different. You can also use all purpose flour and add 2 tablespoons of gluten.
This dough is stickier than most due to the honey. If your dough is so sticky that it’s sticking to the bowl and isn’t forming a ball of any sort, start adding flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it begins to pull away from the bowl.
You can reduce them each by half or omit one or the other. I recommend trying it as written and then reduce the amount as needed based on your preferences.
Yes, the flavor and texture will change slightly but the bread will still be delicious.
Yes, this recipe can easily be halved!
Tap the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow, it’s done. The crust should be golden brown and the internal temperature should be around 210°F.
Of course! Hand kneading the bread works just as well!
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
This bread recipe is really straight forward but here are some tips for the best results:
- Try adding nuts or seeds to this recipe for added crunch and flavor. Sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, flax seeds or any other will work beautifully. Start with half a cup chopped nuts or seeds and add more if needed.
- Considering adding dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or apricots for a sweet surprise in every bite.
- This recipe can be halved easily so if you only need one loaf, no problem!
- This bread can be made in in 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans but it also works in 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
- Don’t skip the proofing! This is the initial step of activating the yeast and is a surefire way to test if your yeast is good. If you don’t see bubbles or foaming after 5 minutes, it’s best to get fresh yeast and try again.
- While kneading, if the dough feels too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency. Keep in mind that this dough IS sticky and will be sticking to the bowl somewhat. But if it’s looking liquidy in any way, add additional flour as needed.
- If the loaves are starting to get too brown, tent a piece of foil over the top of the loaves.
- Let the bread rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing. It’s the same idea as letting meat rest after cooking. It ensure the bread sets completely and slices more easily.
- Brush the top of the loaves with butter right after it comes out of the oven for a glossy crust!
More Delicious Bread Recipes
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast or instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup warm water 110°F
- 1 cup whole milk 110°F
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ to 2¼ cups bread flour all purpose flour can be substituted
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until you see bubbles form on the top. **This softens the yeast and will also test to see if your yeast is active. If the mixture does not bubble or foam, your yeast may be bad.
- Add the warm milk, melted butter, brown sugar, honey and oats. Stir until well combined.
- Add the whole wheat flour and salt to the mixture and stir to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Slowly add in the all purpose flour, adding in about ⅓ cup at a time, mixing on medium-low speed until all of the flour is well incorporated. Start with 2⅓ cups of flour and add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, as needed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently.
- Increase the speed to medium high for 8 minutes to knead the dough. You will notice that the dough is pulling from the edge of the bowl.
- Lightly spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Place in a warm place and allow to rise for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 2 equal portions.
- Roll or pat out the dough into a rectangle roughly 8 by 12 inches making sure to press out any air pockets you see. (Air pockets will create actual pockets in the bread which we don’t want – this isn’t sourdough!)
- Roll the dough up, starting at the short end, and pinch the seam together to seal. Place each loaf in a prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle each loaf with a tablespoon of oats, optional.
- Cover the loaves and let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- About 10 minutes before the dough is finished rising a second time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on top (the interior temperature should be around 210°F). If the loaves are starting to get too brown, tent a piece of foil over the top of the loaves.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into them. Serve with honey, jam, butter, or in a sandwich!