Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

This soft and fluffy honey whole wheat bread only takes 60 minutes to make and is pretty much the most amazing bread I've ever had. No special pans or bread machines. You won't believe how easy it is to make your own homemade whole wheat bread.
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Print Recipe
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Serves: 24 servings
loaf of honey whole wheat bread shot from above with three slices in front on a white background

Fast & easy honey whole wheat bread recipe ready in 60 minutes

Need a fast whole wheat bread recipe? After my fast bread recipe went viral, I had a ton of requests for a whole wheat version. This is the BEST whole wheat bread I’ve ever had. So soft, moist and a little bit sweet from the honey. 

loaf of honey whole wheat bread shot from above with three slices in front on a white background

What ingredients do you need to make this honey whole wheat bread recipe?

This honey whole wheat bread recipe is made from just a few simple ingredients. Note that I am using INSTANT yeast which is the secret to making bread in under an hour. 

You can use active dry yeast but it will take MUCH longer to proof your bread. See the notes at the bottom of the recipe card for using active dry yeast instead of instant. 

  • Whole wheat flour – healthier than all-purpose flour and has more fiber. 
  • Honey – I’m using some delicious local wildflower honey but you can use whatever you have on hand or even sugar
  • Instant yeast – Sav-Instant yeast is the brand that I use but any brand will be ok. It might also say rapid yeast. For using active dry yeast, please see the notes at the bottom of the recipe card below. 
  • Milk (or water) – Hydrates the wheat to develop texture. The milk needs to be heated to 110ºF-115º to help the yeast grow. 
  • Salt – Gives the bread flavor. If you skip the salt you’ll have a very bland loaf.
  • Melted butter – adds flavor and moisture to the wheat bread recipe. 

whole wheat bread

Is Whole Wheat Bread Healthy?

Whole wheat bread is considered healthier than white bread because it contains more fiber.

Fiber stops your body from processing carbs as quickly so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Fiber is also good for your digestive system. 

To make your whole wheat bread even healthier, you can add in 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal, 2 Tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds and 2 Tablespoons rolled oats (plus more for topping)

Add the flax, seeds, and oats with the salt. 

side view of whole wheat bread with seeds added sliced

How to make whole wheat bread soft

The honey, milk, and butter in this recipe help to keep the whole wheat bread soft. If you want your loaf to be even softer, replace one cup of the wheat flour with all-purpose or bread flour. 

top view of milk, honey, butter and wheat bread on a wooden platter

The bread flour helps to develop a good structure for the whole wheat bread, resulting in a softer and fluffier loaf. 

Place your flour, honey, and yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached. 

Add in your warm milk and mix for one minute. 

Now add in your salt and melted butter. If your dough is not sticking to the bowl from the butter, add in a little more flour. If your dough seems too dry, add in a little water (1-2 tablespoons)

Let your dough mix on medium-high for 5 minutes

whole wheat bread dough on floured wooden surface with rolling pin

When your dough is ready, it should clean the bowl and bounce back when you poke it with your finger. If it’s still soft then keep mixing for another 2-3 minutes. 

Place the dough into an oiled bowl in a warm area and let it proof (rise) until it doubles in size (about 30-40 minutes). 

I turn my oven on to 170ºF and place the bowl on the oven door in front.

If you’re using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast you will need to proof for 90 minutes. 

Easy whole wheat bread recipe with no pan

Once the dough has doubled in size you can cut it in half and form two loaves by tucking the rough edges underneath. No need for a pan. 

Place the two loaves on a parchment-lined pan, about 6″ apart. 

Let the loaves rest for 10 minutes.

Brush the loaves with egg wash (one egg whisked with one tablespoon water). This helps the loaves to brown properly. You can also use milk if you don’t want to use eggs. 

whole wheat bread loaf being egg washed and scored with a knife on a parchment lined baking sheet

Make four slices on top of the loaf 1/4″ deep at a 30º angle with a sharp knife. These slices help the loaf to rise evenly while baking. 

Bake your loaves in the oven at 375ºF for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 195º-200ºF. 

Let your bread cool until it’s just warm before slicing or the inside can be gummy.

two loaves of whole wheat bread on a white background

How long does this homemade whole wheat bread last?

Homemade wheat bread is not meant to last a long time. It tastes best fresh but can be stored in plastic wrap or a ziplock bag for 3-4 days at room temperature. 

sliced whole wheat bread top view with butter spread on one slice on white background

I like to re-heat my bread in the microwave for 5 seconds to freshen it back up. 

You can also use this recipe to make rolls, hamburger buns, hoagies or even hotdog buns! It’s so versatile and delicious. 

More bread recipes

Homemade dinner rolls
Fast Bread Recipe
Sweet dough master recipe

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
loaf of honey whole wheat bread shot from above with three slices in front on a white background

Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

This soft and fluffy honey whole wheat bread only takes 60 minutes to make and is pretty much the most amazing bread I've ever had. No special pans or bread machines. You won't believe how easy it is to make your own homemade whole wheat bread.
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
proofing: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Serves: 24 servings
Calories: 122kcal

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces (680 g) Whole wheat flour
  • 10 grams (10 grams) instant yeast (needs to be instant)
  • 3 ounces (57 g) honey
  • 16 ounces (454 g) warm milk (110ºF) or water
  • 1 1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2 ounces (57 g) melted butter

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with dough hook

Instructions

  • Heat milk to 110ºF-115ºF
  • Combine whole wheat flour, instant yeast, honey, and milk in the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached and mix for one minute
  • Add in salt and melted butter
  • Add in a little more flour if the dough is not sticking to the bowl. Add a little water if it seems too dry. Make sure the dough is mixing and not just spinning in the bowl.
  • Mix for 5 minutes on speed 2. The dough will start out sticking to the bowl but then gradually "clean" the sides of the bowl and form into a ball
  • After 5 minutes, check to see if the dough bounces back when you poke it. If it's still too soft then keep mixing for another 2 minutes or until the dough bounces back when you poke it.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 4-5 turns until you can form a smooth ball
  • Coat a large bowl in a little vegetable oil
  • Place the dough top side down into the bowl to get the top of the dough covered in oil then flip it over. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm area for 30-40 minutes to rise until the dough doubles in size *see notes*
  • Preheat your oven to 375ºF
  • Divide your dough into two loaves (or more if you want to make hoagie's or rolls)
  • Let your loaves rest for 10 minutes
  • Brush your loaves with egg wash to promote a nice golden brown color
  • Use a sharp knife to make four slashes at a 30º angle in the top of the loaf, about 1/4" deep. These slashes make the loaves look nice and also keeps the crust from tearing while it bakes in the oven.
  • Bake your loaves for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. You can also use a thermometer to check the center of your bread. If the temperature reads 190º - 200ºF your bread is done.

Notes

  1. For softer bread, replace 3/4 cup whole wheat flour with 1 cup white flour (AP or bread flour)
  2. I turn my oven on to 170ºF and open the door then place my dough on the door near the opening of the oven to proof, not INSIDE the oven. 
  3. If you don't have instant yeast your can use regular active yeast but it will take longer to proof. 
    1. Let your dough proof for 90 minutes or until it doubles in size
    2. Divide the dough, shape, brush with egg wash, make cuts with the knife and let rest for 30 minutes before baking. 
  4. Egg wash - crack one egg and whisk with 1 Tablespoon of water. Use a soft pastry brush to brush it onto the loaves. If you don't use egg wash your bread will be very pale. You can also use milk instead of egg for the wash.  
  5. You can use oil instead of butter
  6. You can use water or almond milk in place of milk

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 122kcal (6%) | Carbohydrates: 23g (8%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 3g (5%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Cholesterol: 5mg (2%) | Sodium: 163mg (7%) | Potassium: 107mg (3%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 2g (2%) | Vitamin A: 62IU (1%) | Calcium: 10mg (1%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)