10 Honey Whole Wheat Bread

If your family is accustomed to whole wheat in their diets and you have had success with my 1/2 & 1/2 wheat bread recipe, it would be a good time to switch over!

The major difference between this recipe and my 1/2 & 1/2 is that the sponging process is 30 minutes long and the kneading time is 7-10 minutes long.

Sponging your wheat flour will soften the bran, resulting in a much lighter loaf of bread. Kneading your dough longer will develop more gluten, also ensuring a lighter loaf and less stickiness in handling the dough.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)
2 1/3 c. room temperature water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. honey
5-6 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, divided
1 T. salt
1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten
2 T. active dry yeast

In a large 4.5 mixing bowl, combine first 3 ingredients. Stir til honey is dissolved. Put 5 cups of whole wheat flour on TOP of wet ingredients. Do not stir. Sprinkle salt, gluten and yeast on top. Mix until no flour is visible. Lumps are o.k. Cover and let mixture sponge for 30 min.

Add rest of wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and sides are almost clean. Touch dough lightly. It should feel wet, but not overly sticky. (A little tiny bit of dough stuck to your fingers is o.k.) Knead for 7-10 minutes.

Oil top of dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft free place for 20-30 min., till double in size.

Turn dough out onto clean, lightly oiled surface and divide into 2-3 piles (2 for large loaves, 3 for medium loaves). Shape into mounds, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Shape dough for loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm draft free place for 20 minutes, or until dough reaches almost 1" above the pan.

Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes, covering the loaves loosely with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Immediately turn out onto cooling rack.


  1. I'm going to try this one. Maybe it turns out better than the BBA whole-wheat bread. What is the size of your loaf pan for big loaves or medium loaves?

  2. Hi Frieda - to help make a lighter loaf, you can also add white vinegar and potato flakes, or use potato water like they used way back when. Personally, I use the vinegar and flakes.

    Have never tried it with veggie oil, will be doing some experimenting I see! :o)


  3. I have tried it with vinegar, but can taste it. Potato flakes do make a more tender loaf, but I seem to never have it on hand.

    Soaking the grain, the addition of vital wheat gluten, and not adding too much flour seem to be pretty much the secrets to a light loaf for me.

    You can use butter, shortening, or oil. Butter will contribute taste, where as shortening will contribute tendersness to the loaf. I don't have to melt the oil, is room temperature and mixes easily with the ingredients. Give it a try!

  4. Thank you soooo much for the recipe!!! This is the first 100% whole wheat recipe that has worked down in this arid desert where I live!! Woohoo! And it turned out awesome!!! Thank you!!!

  5. Realized that I didn't let it get that last rise in enough before I baked it. Already in the oven, so we'll see. Darn my impatience and hasty reading!

  6. I bet it still tasted wonderful!! I made PLENTY of mistakes in making whole wheat bread and learned something new each time.

    Keep on baking!

  7. I made this bread today trying as best I could to follow your exact instructions and also use your 12 tips post about making great breads.
    A couple questions:
    1. How do you "shape" your loaves? In other recipes I've used the instructions said to roll it out into a rectangle and then roll it up, pressing the ends together and folding them over. What do you do to shape?
    2. My bread doubled very nicely during the 2nd rising time. But after I shaped it (rolling it out with a rolling pin, then rolling it up and sealing the edges underneath and putting it into the bread pan) it didn't rise as high during the last rise. I had it in the oven (off) with a pan of hot water. I checked it after 30 minutes then 45, then 1 hour and it never got very high. At an hour I switched out the hot water and let it rise 20 more minutes before baking it... after cutting into the bread I found there was a HUGE GAPING HOLE down the entire top of my loaf. What am I doing wrong? (P.S. we live at low altitude, about 250 ft. above sea level)

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Danielle! First, you will probably find some helpful visuals for shaping in my Multigrain post (http://tinyurl.com/ax6nxs4) or in my Outback bread post (http://tinyurl.com/a3zotfa).

      After you rolled it, how much did it fill the pan? A medium sized loaf pan is 8x4 and a large is 9x5 or so. Your rolled dough should fill at least half the pan in order to rise above the rim.

      The hole in your bread is due to either too much oil on your counter or rolling your dough too loosely. Again, take a look at the above posts for shaping and see if you have a better idea of how to do it.

      At low altitudes, it can take up to 2 hours for your bread to rise, so that is an important factor to remember in making the bread.

      How did it taste? That is the most important thing...your loaves may not be pretty, but I am sure everyone loved it! Don't give up, with practice, you will soon be a master at making bread!


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