Whole Wheat Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12 slices

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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.

whole loaf of whole wheat bread on cooling rack

This post is generously sponsored by Canola Eat Well and I was compensated for my time in creating this recipe. Thank you for supporting those that make The Recipe Rebel possible!

While I spend a lot of time here sharing easy dinner ideas, homemade bread one of those things that I just love to make.

It is a somewhat slow process, but watching the progress in each step is so rewarding. (My Mom’s Homemade Buns and these Cinnamon Buns are two of our other favorites to bake!)

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.

loaf of whole wheat bread with canola oil bottle in the background

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.

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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.

whole wheat bread with two slices cut

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.

four slices of whole wheat bread on plate with butter

More baking with yeast!

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Whole Wheat Bread

4.66 from 40 votes
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.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Cuisine American
Course Bread and Baked Goods
Servings 12 slices
Calories 155cal


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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 155cal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords sandwich bread, whole wheat bread

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Shannon says

    For those saying their bread came out dense, you’re doing something wrong. I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and my bread comes out perfect, soft, fluffy, and delicious. Thank you for this great recipe!

  2. A says

    This recipe comes out super dense and not fluffy whatsoever. The dough rose just fine and didn’t deflate but this is just a brick. Been trying new whole wheat bread recipes and I’ll keep looking.

  3. Tonya says

    This made my home smell amazing! Love the whole wheat and honey! My family loves it and made the best sandwich. This will be a staple for sure and it was so easy. Mine took about all the three cups of whole wheat flour. I used avocado oil in place of canola oil. Amazing.

  4. David Kester says

    Came out great. Made BLT’S and French toast along with other sandwiches. Going to make it again and again.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Rich says

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious. The problem I have is that it seems a little flaky when it’s sliced. What can I do to make it a little stiffer for sandwiches?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Heather. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would have been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

  6. Janessa says

    Hello, I’ve tried making this twice, and each time it ends up really dense. I’ve even let it rise longer than the description, but even when it looks puffy, as soon as it goes it the oven it deflates and comes out really dense. Any help?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Janessa, a few things. Make sure your yeast is proofing correctly, Try not to overmix the dough too much, and make sure it is rising it a warm spot. Hope this helps!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Maggie, I haven’t tested it myself so it would be hard to say. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

4.66 from 40 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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