Honey Wheat Bread

When was the last time you baked your own bread at home? Well, here is a recipe for Honey Wheat Bread to start your new tradition of baking bread for your friends and family.

Just imagine the house filling with the scent of freshly baked warm homemade bread coming out of your very own oven. The wholesome whole wheat flavor in this bread is heightened by the addition of buttermilk, honey, and butter making for soft and tender slices of bread that no one will be able to resist. Perfect for sandwiches piled high or toasted and slathered with butter and jam. With just a few ingredients and a little time, you will find satisfaction in making your own Honey Wheat Bread at home.

The recipe for Honey Wheat Bread is perfect for those who are learning to make and bake yeasted bread. With this recipe, you’ll learn the basics of mixing, kneading, folding, preshaping, final shaping and baking the yeasted bread dough.

Understanding the basics: The method for this recipe is called the Straight-Dough Method in where all the ingredients are combined, mixed, kneaded, fermented, formed, proofed, and baked within 4 hours from start to finish. This style of bread is also known as an Enriched Bread. The addition of butter, honey, and whole fat buttermilk tenderizes the crumb structure and adds depth of flavor since we are not relying on long fermentation to develop flavors. The addition of bread flour in the recipe helps to lighten the loaves producing a soft and tender texture when baked. The dough hydration is at 67% due to the bran and germ in the whole wheat flour. This makes for a sticky dough when it first comes together but will become easy to knead once the bran and wheat germ completely absorb the water. *(See note below in step 5 of Mixing and Kneading)

NOTE: As with all baking recipe I recommend you weigh the ingredients for the Honey Wheat Bread. Weighing ensures you have a consistent dough each and every time. As bakers, we are always striving to remove any variables from the process of baking.

Equipment: (Shop my Amazon Page for Ingredients & Equipment)

  • Measuring Cup & Spoon/Electronic Baker’s Scale
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Plastic Bowl Scraper
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Non-Stick Spray or Oil
  • 10-inch x 6-inch Bread Pans (25mm x 15mm)
  • Cooling Rack

Honey Wheat Bread (2 Pan Loaves)©

  • Measured               Grams              Ingredients
  • 2 cups                           454 g.             Water (room temperature)
  • 1 cup                             227 g.             Buttermilk (Whole Fat, room temp.)
  • 2 tsp.                                 6 g.              Instant Yeast
  • 6 Tbsp.                            86 g.             Butter (unsalted, room temp.)
  • 1/3 cup                         114 g.             Honey
  • 4 cups                           567 g.             Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur Flour)
  • 3-¼ cups                       454 g.             Bread Flour (Unbleached, Unbromated)
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp.              26 g.             Sea Salt (fine)

Mixing and Kneading the Honey Wheat: (Straight Dough Method)

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the water, buttermilk, instant yeast, butter, honey, and whole wheat flour. Beat with a rubber spatula until smooth batter forms.
  2. To the mixing bowl add the sea salt and bread flour. Fold and stir until the dough becomes a shaggy mass. 
  3.  Use a plastic scraper to scrape off the rubber spatula.
  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and turn the dough onto the work surface.
  5. Use the plastic scraper to help fold and knead the ingredients until a cohesive dough forms. Using the plastic scraper the dough off your hand and to bring it back together from the work surface. *(Note: the dough will be sticky at this point. Do not add any extra flour)
  6. Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  7. Form the dough into a ball.
  8. Lightly spray or oil a clean bowl and place the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic.
  9. Ferment the dough for 1 hour at room temperature at 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC).
  10. After 1 hour. Uncover the dough and fold the dough. (see video timestamp 2:32)
  11. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and ferment the dough for 1 hour at 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC).
  12. After 1 hour, uncover the dough and turn out on to a lightly oiled work surface.
  13. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces weighing approximately 980 grams
  14. Form and preshape the dough into rounds.
  15. Cover the rounded dough pieces with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes before final shaping the loaves

Final Shaping and Baking the Honey Wheat Bread:

Preheat the oven to 375℉ (190℃) 30 minutes before baking the Honey Wheat Bread

  1. Lightly spray the Bread Pans with non-stick spray or oil.
  2. Working with one piece of dough at a time. Turn the dough over onto the smooth side and degas the dough. Knock out any large air pockets with the palms of your hands.
  3. Form the dough into a rectangle 10-inches x 12-inches (25mm x 30mm) with your hands. Lift the dough from the surface if necessary during shaping. (video timestamp 4:12 to 4:18)
  4. Starting at the 10-inch edge (25mm) tightly roll and press the dough using your fingertips. Continue to roll the dough into a tight log shape and seal the seam. (video timestamp 4:19 to 4:34)
  5. Place the shaped dough seam side down into the prepared Bread Pan. (video timestamp 4:35)
  6. Continue and final shape the second piece of dough.
  7. Cover the Bread Pans loosely with plastic wrap and final proof the shaped loaves for 1-½ to 2 hours at 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC) or until the loaves have doubled in volume. Use the finger test to check loaves.
  8. After 1-½ to 2 hours or when the dough has doubled remove the plastic wrap from the top of the loaf bread pans.
  9. Place the loaf bread pans into the lower third of the oven spacing the pans evenly.
  10. Bake at 375ºF (190ºC) for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn and move the loaf bread pans around once to ensure even baking and color on the loaves. Bake until the tops of the loaves are rich golden brown.
  11. Remove the baked loaves from the oven and immediately remove the Honey Wheat Bread from the baking pans and place on the cooling rack.
  12. Brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over each loaf of warm bread and let the loaves cool completely to room temperature before slicing.
  13. Slice the cooled loaves using a serrated bread knife.
  14. Enjoy!

Note: Store the Honey Wheat Bread in a plastic bag for up to 5 days or double wrap with plastic wrap and freeze for 2 months. Thaw the frozen loaf in the plastic wrap to room temperature before slicing and eating.

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9 thoughts on “Honey Wheat Bread

  1. Katanahamon

    Stores don’t carry some flours, so I ordered some organic flours from King Arthur. I think you’d really like their organic white whole wheat in this recipe. I made a similar one to this, with an overnight “soak” of the mixed flours, milk, tiny bit of yeast and water. Something like 2 1/2 cups unbleached either bread or all purpose plus 3 cups white whole wheat. Softest bread I’ve ever had..you add the butter, honey and remaining yeast the second day and proceed normally. The overnight soak is similar to an old brewing technique, the “phytase” rest which would help solubilize and lower the ph of the mash. I think this technique is good for any recipes using whole grains, oats etc.

  2. Sara

    First off, I just want to say your recipes are amazing! I use your bun and bread recipes daily at my small town cafe and get rave reviews. I can’t thank you enough for being an inspiration in my baking! Onto my question, can I make this bread in a Pullman pan with half the dough?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Sara,
      Congratulations on your baking success! I really appreciate you for taking the time to write me and share your thoughts and experience making the Honey Wheat Bread recipe. Yes, you can bake this recipe in a Pullman Pan. Here is the pan that I use and that fits the divided dough and uses 980 grams of dough for each pan: https://amzn.to/2ImgLBs
      I would love to support and promote your business on my Just One Bite, Please? Facebook page. Would you mind sharing some pictures of the bread and how you use it in your business (sandwiches, toast, etc.) and I’m happy to link your website or business address to the post? Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you and have a great day!

  3. Pat

    Ok, I didn’t wait till it cooled before slicing into it. So sue me!

    Yummy. But a couple of questions…I found steps 10,11 of the second section confusing. It almost sounds like you’re saying to bake for 30 minute, turn, then bake another 30 minutes. This seemed long, so I turned after 15 minutes. At 35 min, the internal temp was 200F, so I pulled them out.

    You specify 6×10 pans. I only have 5×9, which I think is pretty typical for non-professionals. I did the math and determined that I needed 25% less ingredients. But after rising in the pan for 2 hours, the dough still hadn’t reached the top of the pan. The cooked nicely and I’m fairly happy with the texture, but the finished result was a lot shorter than in your video. It’s summer and my house is about 80 degrees. I sort of thought that might make them rise even higher, but could that be the cause of smaller loaf? Or should I just stick with the original ingredient amounts?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Pat,
      I appreciate your feedback on the steps 10 and 11. I’ve clarified the baking time to be a total of 30 to 35 minutes.

      I would recommend using the original ingredient amounts. It will produce loaves that are nice and tall. Your ambient room temperature is perfect for fermenting yeasted doughs.

      Thank you for taking the time to write and please let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Diane

    Made this today and it was terrific! I used sprouted wheat flour from Lindley Mills rather than regular KA whole wheat. It makes a much softer dough and you don’t knead at all. Stir together, and then stretch and fold every 20 minutes (3X) before bulk fermentation. Also no resting before you shape it. I will keep this in my regular rotation for sandwich breads.

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Diane, Thank you so much for sharing your suggestion using sprouted wheat flour in place of the whole wheat flour in the recipe. I’m sure your friends and family are happily enjoying the fruits of your labor.

    2. Katanahamon

      Try the King Arthur White While Wheat, organic..like I said above, that coupled with an overnight rest of the flours and liquids made the softest bread I’ve ever had..

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