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.

75 thoughts on “Honey Wheat Bread

  1. Stephanie

    I love this recipe and have been making it just as written. I mill my own wheat and I would like to try the recipe with 100% whole wheat. I know I would need to up the hydration but I’m not sure how much. Can you explain how you came up with 67% hydration and how you would go about adapting that to all whole wheat? Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe.

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Stephanie, It is nice to meet you. Congratulations on your baking success making the Honey Wheat Bread. The hydration of the dough takes into account the wheat germ and bran in the whole wheat flour. The bread flour creates the gluten structure that produces a lighter crumb structure in the baked loaf but also absorbs more water also. To create a loaf that uses 100% whole wheat flour we want to use a new formulation (recipe) to take into account the change of flour. I’ll be publishing a recipe that uses 100% whole wheat flour and still produces a soft and tender crumb structure this fall. The recipe with detailed instructions and instructional YouTube video is on the schedule for November release. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you for taking the time to write. Have a great day!

  2. Anna

    Thank you so much for this recipe ! I tried many recipes and this was amazing even though I made substitutions and ended with a whole meal bread as I don’t get regular bread flour where I live ! Thank you again !

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Anna, It is nice to meet you. I’m so happy you liked the recipe for the Honey Wheat Bread. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your experience making the recipe and how you made an adjustment to create your bread. Thank you for your kind words of support. Have a wonderful day!

  3. EM P

    Hi there,
    I love this recipe! I’m hesitant to ask this question but I will anyway: 1. What is the nutrition info for this bread, including calories? 2. per how many slices in a loaf?
    I’m just starting this recipe again this morning (4th or 5th time). I’ve been using low fat buttermilk with no problem at all but today, reading all the comments, I saw you suggested adding another tbsp of butter. So I will try that today and see if there’s any difference. *Also, I have cut back on the salt every time to approx 18-20 grams total and haven’t noticed any lack of flavor.
    **If anyone is interested: I have a regular bread loaf pan, 8 1/2″ and a 4″x9″ Pullman (with a lid). When using the Pullman and lid the bread not only turns out with square edges but the loaf can’t rise above the top so, the bread is a little denser (before, when making a sandwich, I would just cut the sides off top (where the loaf rises above the pan) and eat them to square off the bread, yummm:). It’s impossible to choose which is better because both are perfect. I suppose the Pullman loaf, being denser, is a little stronger to support a blt or pb&j (one moist and the peanut-butter firm to spread) and the like but, either way and no matter what, THIS BREAD IS AMAZING. This week I’m getting some sprouted grain flour (spelt and whole wheat) and would like to incorporate some into this recipe. If you have any helpful suggestions to give me a better chance for success I would be most appreciative (again:). Thanks again and again for this winner of a recipe. *Ps. on another note, I made your triple chocolate brownies as a gift for a birthday the other day and they turned out great. She doesn’t like nuts so I put half the batter in half the pan then put walnuts in the bowl to the remaining batter, mixed it and poured it in the other half the pan. This actually worked, both sides were terrific!. So, thanks for the brownies too!.

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello EM P, It is wonderful to hear from you. I appreciate you waiting for my response. I don’t have the nutritional information for the recipe. Although I sure there are formulation calculators that could give you the information you are looking for. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your experience and results with the Just One Bite, Please? community. Have a great day!

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  5. Maire

    Hello, I made the bread it was delicious!!! But instead of 1 tsp salt I added 1/2 tsp plus 1 tbsp, it was perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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