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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21 thoughts on “Honey Wheat Bread

  1. Marytest

    Do I have to use bread flour? What’s the reason for using it? Is it essential to use a stand mixer when baking bread? I have failed so much times baking bread

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Marytest, It is my pleasure to meet you. The bread flour contains the protein content that will produce a taller lighter loaf compared to All-Purpose Flour. I prefer mixing and kneading by hand as I show in the video but you can use a stand mixer for kneading. Mix the first part of the dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula then place on the mixer with a dough hook. Kneading time will be the same on speed 2 (Kitchen-Aid).
      What other questions or concerns do you have about baking bread?

  2. Matise

    I tried making this loaf and it came out fluffy and tasted great, but it was a little gummy, how do I prevent this in the future?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Matise, It is good to meet you. The results you describe can be from two variables;
      • The first is from under proofing the dough. I would recommend waiting until the dough is doubled in size. This can take up to 2 hours at 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC).
      • The second would be from the temperature of the oven is too hot. I would recommend using an oven thermometer to verify the oven temperature is accurate. Making sure to preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes before baking the loaves of bread.
      Please let me know if you should have any other questions. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with making the Honey Wheat Bread. Have a great day!

  3. Monica

    Dear Chef, thank you for taking the time to create this blog! As a beginner baker I struggled a lot trying to learn the science of bread making. Not anymore, I had my “Aha” moment when I have seen your first you tube video. These videos are amazing and wonderful filmed. I was able to produce today a great honey wheat bead and I could not be more happier.
    I have a question, I would like to make an olive bread, which if your recipes would be best to follow?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Monica, It is wonderful to meet you. Congratulations on your baking success making the Honey Wheat Bread! It is so great to hear about your “Aha” moment. I would recommend using the Italian Peasant Bread Recipe (Here is the link: https://justonebiteplease.com/2016/07/29/italian-peasant-bread/ )
      I would recommend adding the olives into the dough after you have kneaded it for at least 6 minutes. The dough will become sticky and then it will come back together. It should take another 2 minutes to knead the olives into the dough fully. Follow the recipe to ferment, stretch and fold, and final shape. Please let me know if you should have any other questions I may help you with. Thank you for writing and Happy Baking!

      1. Monica

        Good morning, Thank you for your reply. I followed your instructions and the bread turned out great, I wish I could add a photo. I used sliced kalamata olives which I patted dry and coated in a little flour. I did not know how much to use so I put around 100 grams. I was a little concerned about olives preparation, being too wet could sink, or too much flour will create flour pockets in the final product. I did not observe any of these in the bread.

        1. Alejandro Ramon

          Hi Monica, It so great to hear of your baking success with the addition of the olives in the bread. Thank you for sharing your experience making the recipe with the olives and how it turned out. If you would ever like to share pictures or contact me directly you can email me at justonebiteplease@hotmail.com
          Thank you again for sharing and have a great day!

  4. Sudeshna Saha

    Thank you for this wonderful whole wheat bread recipe, for which I’ve been looking for a very long time. I’m a non professional so I have a 81/2 × 41/2 loaf pan and also we are just a family of three so I scaled down your recipe to one third of your measurements and the bread turned out wonderful and delicious, its very soft. Thank you once again. I also want to ask you whether I can replace the butter with equal amount of olive oil. I wish I could send you a picture of the bread I made with your recipe.

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Sudeshna, I appreciate you waiting for my response to your message. It is wonderful to hear of your baking success making the Honey Wheat Bread. Congratulations! Feel free to replace the butter with olive oil your bread will be moist and soft and will keep a bit longer. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with me and the Just One Bite, Please? community. Thank you and have a great day!

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