This Whole Wheat Bread is light and fluffy, and easier to make than you might think! A hearty and healthy loaf for sandwiches, toast and more.
See the step by step recipe video in the recipe card below.
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While I spend a lot of time here sharing easy dinner ideas, homemade bread one of those things that I just love to make.
This Whole Wheat Bread is made almost entirely with whole wheat flour (and you can choose to use 100% whole wheat flour in this recipe if you choose — see my notes below) and it is still light and fluffy.
Canola oil is our go-to in the kitchen.
I know how much good stuff is in it, and it’s easy just to grab the bottle and drizzle a little in a pan, or into a measuring cup. I have found that butter just doesn’t compare to canola oil when adding moisture to baking — canola oil baked goods, cakes and muffins always turn out way better!
Another reason I choose canola oil over melted butter is because it is a healthy fat that is rich in Omega-3 — in fact, it has the most planted based Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat of common culinary oils!
If that wasn’t enough, it also saves me a step since I don’t have to use the microwave, which means we are that much closer to enjoying that smell of fresh bread wafting from our ovens 😉
It’s perfect for sandwiches, your morning toast and so many other things!
What are the ingredients in Whole Wheat Bread?
- Warm water: 110-115 degrees F is best for activating yeast, but I just run the warm water tap until it is noticeably warm, never hot. A touch above lukewarm is great!
- Honey: a little sweetness helps to activate our yeast and to balance out the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour — you can swap for another sugar if you prefer, and increase up to ¼ cup per loaf of bread
- Instant Yeast: I always use quick rising yeast in my yeast breads, but you can use active dry yeast in this recipe without changing a thing other than rise time — active dry yeast may require additional time to rise.
- Milk: milk adds flavor, sweetness, and softness to bread. You can swap the milk with water if you wish to make this bread vegan — it will work just fine!
- Canola Oil: along with all of the reasons for adding a healthy fat to our diets, canola oil helps the bread to bake up soft, moist and fluffy.
- Salt: salt is flavor! End of story 🙂 (I mean, it also helps to strengthen your bread and control the rate at which your dough rises)
- All purpose flour: I tested this recipe many (many, many) times, and I found that my family enjoyed it more with some all purpose flour added in — a little ensures that our loaf is light and fluffy, and is a little less nutty tasting (although I promise it has all the flavor of whole wheat bread!)
- Whole Wheat Flour: it is richer in fibre, folate, iron, protein, and other vitamins and minerals than all purpose flour, with a rich and nutty flavor.
*I choose not to use any bread flour in my yeast bread recipes, because I want the recipe to be accessible to everyone without having to have 10 different bags of flour 😉 I haven’t tested this recipe with bread flour, so I can’t say what kind of results you would have.
Can I use 100% whole wheat flour?
I created this recipe to take advantage of all the benefits of whole wheat flour with the light and fluffy texture of white bread.
Using 100% whole wheat flour is absolutely fine, but it will be slightly denser and have a richer whole grain flavor — which you may love!
How long does Whole Wheat Bread last?
While it’s true that homemade bread won’t last as long out on the counter as most store-bought breads (thanks to a simple ingredient list!), this bread will stay light and fluffy for a few days — and by that time it is usually gone around here!
You can leave it at room temperature for a longer period, but it may begin to dry out. This is fine if you are using the bread for toast, French toast, etc.
If you want to store your bread for longer than a few days, simply slice (use a serrated knife or electric knife to avoid flattening it), and store in an old bread bag in the freezer. This way, you can grab just one or two slices as you need them!
Whole Wheat Bread will stay fresh in the freezer for about 6 months.
How to store homemade bread:
After baking your bread, remove from the pan as soon as you can handle it and place on a wire baking rack to cool completely — this will keep it from getting soggy.
Allowing the bread to cool can take some time, often several hours, so don’t rush it. You want it to cool completely before slicing so that it stays fresh!
I like to place my cooled loaf in an old bread bag or another plastic bag, and twist to seal tightly.
More baking with yeast!
- This Easy Pizza Dough is a family favorite!
- Homemade Breadsticks are perfect for dunking.
- Homemade Hot Dog Buns will take your next barbecue up a notch!
- This Monkey Bread is a decadent treat for any day of the week!
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Whole Wheat Bread
To Proof Yeast
- ½ cup warm water (not hot)
- 3 tablespoons liquid honey (not creamed)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons Instant yeast (or sub active dry)
Whole Wheat Bread
- ¾ cup warm milk (microwave for 30-40 seconds)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2-3 cups whole wheat flour
Proof the yeast
- In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together warm water, honey and yeast.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly.
- If it does not become bubbly, your yeast is dead and the loaf will not rise. Start again with new yeast.
Whole Wheat Bread
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also mix this dough by hand, it will just require a little more muscle!), stir together warm milk, oil and salt.
- Whisk in frothy yeast mixture and all purpose flour.
- Place the bowl in the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
- Turn the mixer on low and knead until combined, scraping the flour off the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Gradually add just enough flour to form a tacky dough — a few tablespoons at a time. Allow the flour to be worked into the dough completely before adding more.
- When the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer and is tacky but not sticky, it is ready. When you touch it, the dough should not come off onto your fingers, but it will feel tacky.
- Drizzle canola oil around the edges of the bowl and over the dough, twisting and turning until the ball of dough is lightly coated in oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled, about 1 and a half hours.
- Punch dough down and dust lightly with flour (not too much! Just enough so that you can work with it). Roll out into an 8" wide strip, pressing it out with your hands or use a rolling pin. It's important to pop any large bubbles so you do not get air holes in your baked loaf.
- Roll the dough up tightly and pinch the seam to seal. Place dough seam-side down in a lightly greased 4.5 x 8.5" loaf pan (8" or 9" will work fine) and cover with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap — this will ensure it does not stick.
- Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until light golden brown — it should sound hollow when tapped. For a golden brown loaf, brush the top lightly with canola oil in the last 10 minutes of baking.
- Remove from the oven and let bread cool 5-10 minutes in loaf pan before removing it and placing it on a wire rack — you cannot leave it in the pan or it will become soggy!
- Let cool completely (3-4 hours) before slicing.
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