Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

 This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

Sharing is caring!

Whole wheat bread or brown bread, made with pantry ingredients. This homemade bread recipe is simple, easy, and tastes amazing. If this is your first time baking a bread, bake this soft and fluffy whole wheat bread in just 5 easy steps.

 

 

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD [BROWN BREAD]

Delicate, yet strong enough to hold all your favorite toppings. This homemade whole wheat bread is soft from the inside, and crusty from the outside. My kids love veggies sandwich for their lunch, and this bread makes an excellent choice. It’s hearty, filling and honestly nothing beats the fresh taste and flavor of freshly baked homemade bread.

If you are new to baking, try this recipe, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to make homemade whole wheat bread. Made with simple pantry ingredients, this bread is easy to make at home and tastes amazing. You don’t have to be a pro, to make this café style brown bread at home.
I used stand mixer for this recipe. However, the dough can be made by hands. It just takes extra few minutes to knead the dough, that’s all. You can proof the dough using traditional method or Instant Pot. I live in cold climate and therefore I prefer to use Instant Pot for consistent results. I have shared both techniques of proofing the bread in details in the post and also in the recipe card. Be sure to check it out.

Let me know in the comments section how this homemade whole wheat bread turned out. Tag me on Instagram @livingsmartandhealthy or #livingsmartandhealthy, I would love to see your creations. Happy baking!!

INGREDIENTS FOR WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

5 1/2 cups (712 g) whole wheat flour, spoon & leveled;

2 cups (500 ml) lukewarm water [100 F – 110 F]

1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or sugar

2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter or olive oil

3 1/2 teaspoon (10 g) active dry yeast

Pic Shown: Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

DIRECTIONS FOR WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Making homemade bread can sometimes feel a bit intimidating, specially if you are a beginner. This recipe of mine is so easy, and is perfect even if this is your first time baking any kind of bread. Trust me, if you try this once, you will never go back to store bought bread!

STEP 1: PROOF YEAST

Into the bowl of stand mixer, stir in lukewarm water [100*F – 110* F], honey, and yeast. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, or until it turns frothy, and doubles in volume.

Note: If the yeast is active, the mixture turns frothy, and doubles in volume. If the mixture does not double in size, start the process again with fresh yeast.

STEP 2: PREPARE THE DOUGH [BY HAND OR USING STAND MIXER]

Add whole wheat flour, salt and butter or olive oil to the yeast mixture. With the back of a wooden spatula, combine the ingredients to form a shaggy mass of dough.

Using dough hook attachment, knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and pliable (dough will start to leave the sides of the bowl and form into a smooth ball).

Note: If you are kneading by hand, mix the dough with back of a spatula until all the ingredients are just combined. Transfer the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is soft, pliable, springs back when pressed and is not sticky, around 8-10 minutes.

STEP 3: FIRST PROOFING USING INSTANT POT

Place the dough in the greased inner pot. Place lid, and cover the pot. Turn ON YOGURT (less) for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, dough will have risen and double in volume.

Note: I used a glass lid that fits, to cover the inner pot.

Note: First Proofing Using Traditional Method – Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and place it

in a warm place, for 60-90 minutes or until it doubles in volume.

STEP 4: SHAPE THE BREAD LOAF

Grease two, 9-by-5 inch loaf pans with some softened butter or oil.

Transfer the dough onto work surface and deflate it.

Using a bench cutter, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.

Take a piece of dough ball, flatten it into a rectangle with the width equivalent to the loaf pan.

Roll the dough into a shape of a log, starting with a shorter end. Place the shaped dough, seam side down, into the greased loaf pan.

Dust some flour over the shaped loafs. Cover with a plastic wrap and place it in a warm place to rise again, around 45-60 minutes or until it’s slightly over the rim of the pan.

STEP 5: BAKE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

Towards the end of the second rise, pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

At around 22 minutes of baking, tent the bread with some aluminum foil to prevent the top of the bread over browning.

Remove from the oven, and transfer the bread bowls on a cooling rack.

Let the bread come to the room temperature, using a serrated or bread knife slice the bread into desired pieces. Enjoy slice of warm, soft whole wheat bread with some butter.

Wrap the leftover bread into a paper towel. Place it into a Ziploc bag and store it into the refrigerator for up to a week.

Pic Shown: Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Click on the image (Amazon links) for details.

DIRECTIONS FOR MAKE AHEAD DOUGH

Follow STEP1 & STEP2 and prepare the dough. Place the dough in an lightly greased, air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. The dough will rise slow overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, remove the dough and let it sit at room temperature for around 30 minutes or until double in volume. Continue with STEP 4.

DIRECTIONS TO FREEZE THE DOUGH

Follow the recipe through STEP 3. After first proofing, deflate the dough, wrap it tightly in a plastic wrap, and then with aluminum foil. Place it in a freezer safe, Ziploc bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or on a kitchen counter. Continue with STEP 4.

DIRECTIONS FOR FREEZING BREAD

You can freeze the baked bread for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator or on kitchen counter. Allow the bread to come to room temperature or warm it up in the oven for 1-2 minutes, before serving.

TIPS FOR SOFT HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

For measuring the flour, do not scoop the flour, instead lightly fill the measuring cup with the flour, and level it with back of the spoon. See FAQ – HOW TO MEASURE FLOUR RIGHT WAY

If the yeast is active, the mixture turns frothy, and doubles in volume. If the mixture does not double in size, start the process again with fresh yeast.

Check the consistency of the dough after kneading it for 4-5 minutes. If it feels too sticky, add some flour and if it is too dry, add 1-2 teaspoon of warm water, and knead the dough, until it is nice, and soft.

Do not over-knead the dough. As soon as the dough is soft, elastic, springs back when pressed, and is not sticky. You know the dough is kneaded well.

Proof the dough until it becomes double in volume, do not over proof it.

Grease the baking pan or else the bread might stick to the baking pan.

After around 22 minutes of bread baking, make sure to tent the bread with a aluminum foil to prevent over browning of the top.

Once done baking, tap the bottom of the bread, if it sounds hollow the bread is baked fully. You can also check the internal temperature of the bread. Simply insert an instant read thermometer in the center of the bread, it should read 190F.

Allow bread to come to room temperature before slicing it into desired pieces.

Pic Shown: Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW TO MEASURE FLOUR RIGHT WAY

It is important to measure the flour using a right method. To avoid over-measuring, do not scoop the flour straight from the container. First loosen the flour by giving it a good stir with a spoon or a spatula. Next, spoon the flour into the measuring cup, fill the cup slightly over the rim. Now, level the flour using back of the spoon or a knife.

CONSISTENCY OF THE DOUGH

The consistency of the dough is soft, elastic, and non-sticky. When you poke the dough, it springs back and does not stick.

Check the consistency of the dough after kneading it for 4-5 minutes. If it feels too sticky, add some flour and if it is too dry, add 1-2 teaspoon of warm water, and knead the dough, until it is nice, and soft.

HOW LONG DO YOU KNEAD DOUGH

Depending upon the method used for kneading, the time will vary. If you are using a stand mixer to knead the dough, it takes somewhere from 5-7 minutes to knead the dough. If kneading the dough by hand, it takes around 10-15 minutes for a soft, pliable dough.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THE DOUGH IS KNEADED ENOUGH

A well kneaded dough will be soft, elastic, springs back when you poke your finger, and it won’t be sticky. If the dough does not pass this simple test, it means it needs more kneading.

Here are few ways you can tell that the dough is kneaded well:

First, it forms into a nice smooth dough, the dough will start to leave the sides of the bowl.

Secondly, poke a finger, and if the dough springs back, and is not sticky, the dough is kneaded well.

Lastly, you can also do a windowpane test. Take a small piece of dough, and stretch it as thin as possible. If the dough does not tear, and you can see a thin layer of dough, it means the dough is kneaded well.

WHY DO YOU KNEAD THE DOUGH

It is important to knead the dough before rising, as kneading develops the gluten in the dough. Gluten is made of long strands of protein, which makes the dough stretchy. The stretchy dough can hold the bubbles created by the yeast, thus making the dough to rise.

Pic Shown: Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

HOW DO I CHECK FOR THE DONENESS OF THE BREAD

Different oven work differently. Baking time may vary depending upon the oven, size of the baking pan. Here are few ways you can tell if the bread is baked right, as follows:

1. Appearance: Visually just looking at the bread one can tell if its baked right or not. If all the sides and top of the bread are golden brown, 90% of the bread is baked. I would allow 5-7 minutes of additional baking time just to be on safe side, so the inside of the bread is baked well.

2. Tap The Bottom – Take the bread out of the pan and tap at the bottom of it. If it sounds hollow, means it’s baked.

3. Check The Internal Temperature – With practice one can tell if the the bread is baked well by simply using the first two clues. However, if you are new to baking, I would highly recommend using a instant read thermometer. Simply insert the thermometer in the center of the bread. If the temperature is around 190 F, the bread is fully baked.

4. Rule Of Thumb – If in doubt, just bake for extra few minutes. It’s better to eat an overbaked bread than under-baked.

WHY IS MY BREAD DENSE

For a soft and fluffy bread it is important for the yeast to rise well. If the rising time is too short or too long, chances are the bread will turn dense and heavy.

When the dough is proofed, depending upon how many gas bubbles are produced, the more will result in a soft bread. If the dough is proofed for long, more than double it’s size, chances are that the rapid rise dough will collapse once it hits the hot oven, resulting in a dense and heavy loaf of bread. Ideally proof the dough until its double in volume, anything less or more than it will result in dense, heavy bread.

WHY IS THE CENTER OF THE BREAD NOT BAKED

The whole wheat bread browns quickly from sides and top. It can sometimes be misleading because based on the outer crust, we might think the bread is baked. Therefore, it is important to tent the bread around 22 minutes of baking, to allow the center of the bread to be baked fully.

Make sure you tap the bottom of the loaf, if it sounds hollow means the bread is baked, else allow it for additional few minutes of baking.

If you think your oven is too hot, and the bread is browning too quickly, reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake it for longer period of time.

WHY DID THE BREAD NOT RISE

Failure for the bread to rise is due to lack of gas molecules produced by the yeast. If the yeast is old, or if the temperature of the water, when the yeast is added to it, is higher than 110F, yeast will not bloom. Resulting in failure to rise during the baking.

Make sure the yeast is fresh or is alive. The temperature of the water must be around 110F for the yeast to bloom. Add the honey or sugar, acts as a food for the yeast to grow, resulting in more gas bubbles. Avoid adding salt while blooming the yeast, salt hinders the growth of the yeast.

WHY DOES BREAD COLLAPSE AFTER IT IS BAKED

If the dough is proofed for long, either during the first rise or second rise of the shaped loaf, chances are that as soon as the bread loaf hits the hot oven it will collapse.

To assure that the dough is structurally strong and can hold it’s shape do as follows. First, proof the dough until it’s double in volume. And secondly, allow the shaped loaf to rise slightly higher than the rim of the pan.

MY BREAD SMELLS YEASTY

When the bread is not baked fully it will smell yeasty. Bake the bread fully, the center of the bread must be baked fully and if using the instant read thermometer must read 190F in the center.

HOW TO STORE BREAD

Once the bread cools completely, place it in a Ziploc bag, or in a air-tight container. Bread lasts for few days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator.

Bread freezes beautifully. Store it in a freezer friendly storage bags or container, and it will last for couple of months. Defrost, toast, and enjoy homemade bread with your favorite topping.

Pic Shown: Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

★ If you tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Facebook Pinterest Instagram for all the latest on my blog!! Subscribe to my YoutubeChannel for easy and delicious video recipes. Happy Baking!!

Enjoy baking, here’s some more recipes from blog!

Homemade Bread Bowls 

Easy Garlic Knots

New York Style Bagels

Homemade Pizza from scratch

Honey Oat Bread

Chocolate Babka-post includes 16 different sweet and savory filling ideas

Star Bread-post includes 16 different sweet and savory filling ideas 

 

 

Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

This homemade bread recipe is simple, easy, and tastes amazing. If this is your first time baking a bread, bake this soft and fluffy whole wheat bread in just 5 easy steps.
Course Breakfast, Breakfast/Brunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, British, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Thai
Keyword brown bread recipe, honey wheat bread, soft whole wheat bread, wheat bread, wheat bread recipe, whole wheat bread, whole wheat bread recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proof Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 2 loaf; 9*5 inch
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups (712 g) whole wheat flour, spoon & leveled;
  • 2 cups (500 ml) lukewarm water [100 F – 110 F]
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 3 1/2 teaspoon (10 g) active dry yeast

Instructions

STEP 1: PROOF YEAST

  • Into the bowl of stand mixer, stir in lukewarm water [100*F – 110* F], honey, and yeast. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, or until it turns frothy, and doubles in volume.
    Note: If the yeast is active, the mixture turns frothy, and doubles in volume. If the mixture does not double in size, start the process again with fresh yeast.

STEP 2: PREPARE THE DOUGH [BY HAND OR USING STAND MIXER]

  • Add whole wheat flour, salt and butter or olive oil to the yeast mixture. With the back of a wooden spatula, combine the ingredients to form a shaggy mass of dough.
  • Using dough hook attachment, knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and pliable (dough will start to leave the sides of the bowl and form into a smooth ball).
    Note: If you are kneading by hand, mix the dough with back of a spatula until all the ingredients are just combined. Transfer the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is soft, pliable, springs back when pressed and is not sticky, around 8-10 minutes.

STEP 3: FIRST PROOFING USING INSTANT POT

  • Place the dough in the greased inner pot. Place lid, and cover the pot. Turn ON YOGURT (less) for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, dough will have risen and double in volume.
    Note: I used a glass lid that fits, to cover the inner pot.
    Note: First Proofing Using Traditional Method – Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and place it in a warm place, for 60-90 minutes or until it doubles in volume.

STEP 4: SHAPE THE BREAD LOAF

  • Grease two, 9-by-5 inch loaf pans with some softened butter or oil.
  • Transfer the dough onto work surface and deflate it.
  • Using a bench cutter, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.
  • Take a piece of dough ball, flatten it into a rectangle with the width equivalent to the loaf pan.
  • Roll the dough into a shape of a log, starting with a shorter end. Place the shaped dough, seam side down, into the greased loaf pan.
  • Dust some flour over the shaped loafs. Cover with a plastic wrap and place it in a warm place to rise again, around 45-60 minutes or until it’s slightly over the rim of the pan.

STEP 5: BAKE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

  • Towards the end of the second rise, pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
  • At around 22 minutes of baking, tent the bread with some aluminum foil to prevent the top of the bread over browning.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the bread on a cooling rack.
  • Let the bread come to the room temperature. Using a serrated or bread knife slice the bread loaf into desired pieces. Enjoy slice of warm, soft whole wheat bread with some butter.
  • Wrap the leftover bread into a paper towel. Place it into a Ziploc bag and store it into the refrigerator for up to a week.

Video

Notes

Please refer to the post for the following:
  1. Directions For Make Ahead Dough
  2. Directions To Freeze The Dough
  3. Directions For Freezing Bread
  4. Tips For Soft Whole Wheat Bread
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sara

    5 stars
    Hi, Thanks for sharing this whole wheat bread recipe. My bread always used to turn out dense, I tried your recipe and it was perfect. Thanks for all the tips and for the recipe video, helped me a lot. 💕

    1. Jyoti Behrani

      Wonderful! Glad to hear that the bread turned out good 🙂

  2. Tina

    5 stars
    This was fabulous! It turned out so soft and had perfect texture. I also added some mixed seeds and it added a nice crunch to the bread. Thanks for an amazing recipe 👍🏾 👌🏾

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating