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 recipes 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 them 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.

61 thoughts on “Honey Wheat Bread

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hola Rajamim, es un placer conocerte. Te agradezco que esperes mi respuesta. Muchas gracias por sus amables palabras de apoyo para mi trabajo. Avíseme si tiene alguna pregunta sobre esta o alguna de mis otras recetas. ¡Que tengas un gran día!

  1. Kristy Wong

    hi alejandro, if i don’t have the full fat buttermilk on hand can i substitute it with full cream milk + acid (lemon/vinegar)??

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Kristy, Yes, you can. 1 cup of milk and 1 Tablespoon of Vinegar or Lemon Juice. Wait 5 minutes and then add it to the recipe.

  2. Samantha

    Hi Alejandro! I’ve made this bread multiple times and your recipe is delicious. I am a beginner baker and I’m having trouble with the kneading, the dough continues to have a grainy sticky consistency even after 10min of kneading and I have to continue using the scraper. I do live in Hawaii and I keep my house at 72, if that may have any consequences? Thank you!

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Samantha, It is nice to meet you. Due to the hydration, fat content, and whole grain in the dough tends to be sticky throughout the mixing and kneading phase of making the bread. It should gather strength as the dough ferments and after the fold. How did your bread turn out for you?

    2. Bert R.

      Hi Samantha, I’m located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico…similar climate. I have learned to reserve around 60g (1/4 cup) of my water and mIx with the remainder, only adding from the reserve a tablespoon at a time as necessary. Ended my sticky dough issues!

  3. paris

    hi , made this today it turned out great ! so soft so tender , just for me was a bit salty , I d like to ask how many percentage of salt is possible to reduce ? thanks

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Paris, The formulation of salt for this recipe is 2.5% You can reduce the salt to 22 grams for a 2.2% salt and see if that suits your taste better. Thank you for writing and have a great day!

      1. David Lewis

        Hi. I also thought it seems a bit salty, though very nice bread. I do a lot of cooking, but very little baking because I’m generally not a fan of the precision or using recipes. You say the salt in this recipe is at 2.5%, but can be reduced to 2.2%. I’m curious what the importance of what seems so specific values?

        1. Alejandro Ramon

          Hello David, It is nice to meet you. Baking is a science with formulation that creates the final results we are wanting in our baked goods. Being precise in our weighting keeps the formulation consistent no matter if we are making 2 loaves or 200 loaves. The salt content for my recipes is based on what ingredients are in the dough. They range between 2% to 2.5%. The whole wheat and whole grain bread tend to need more salt to provide a better flavor profile once the bread is cooled to room temperature. As with all baking recipes I recommend you weigh the ingredients. Weighing ensures you have a consistent dough each and every time. As a baker, we are always striving to remove any variables from the process of baking.

  4. Alvin Ee

    Hi Alejandro:
    Thanks for posting this recipe! I was wondering if it’s possible to add seeds/nuts such as sunflower seeds or chopped almonds to this recipe

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Alvin, It is nice to meet you. You can add unsalted toasted seeds and nuts to the recipe with good results. I’d love to hear about your baking experiences. Thank you for writing. Happy Baking!

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