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
Table of Contents
  1. What are the ingredients in Whole Wheat Bread?
  2. Can I use 100% whole wheat flour?
  3. How long does Whole Wheat Bread last?
  4. How to store homemade bread:
  5. More baking with yeast!
  6. Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

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.

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

4.67 from 30 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. Rachel says

    I’ve made this about 6 times and each time it gets better. I’m just wondering how to go about making a full loaf instead of just half a loaf. Any help???

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Rachel, do you mean like a full loaf you would find at the grocery store? This is a full loaf for this type of bread. Maybe try doubling the recipe and using a longer pan?

  2. Sidney says

    I’ve made this recipe three times now and it has earned its way into my bread rotation! It hasn’t failed me. I don’t have honey on hand, so I subbed it for agave. It works great! This loaf is perfect for sandwiches and tasty toast.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Trey, it’s build into the recipe card. I don’t actually do the calculation. Hope this helps!

  3. Kiersten Gascon says

    Hi there,
    I’m anxious to see if mine turns out. It’s on the 2nd rise now, but I didn’t see in the directions when to add the all purpose flour, so I thought it was just for dusting the dough. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. Sara says

    I made this today, and though it rose some, it didn’t get that beautiful dome on top like I expected. It made a flat-topped loaf, however it was still 5 inches high and tastes great. I’m a pretty new bread maker living in the Midwest. So I’ll attribute this to my own inexperience, and try it again sometime. Thank you for the recipe!

  5. Bill M says

    I haven’t tried it yet, but as a veteran bread maker it looks fine.
    I often don’t have dairy milk on hand but have had satisfactory results using plant based (e.g. soya) milk in bread recipes, or powdered milk in with the dry ingredients and maybe a few extra tablespoons of water.
    Puzzled by the folks who have had it fall. It is possible to over proof bread in the rising stages. I would say don’t try to get it extra fluffy. Scant doubling in size might help.

  6. Julie says

    Tried this in my bread maker tonight with success! I have a Cuisinart compact. Added wet then dry and yeast on top like normal. Wheat setting 1.5 lb and the darkest crust. Turned out great. Next time I’ll try the medium or light crust. It’s so light and fluffy!!

  7. Amber says

    I am not a novice baker and I also had a weird loaf. Won’t be making again.
    Was fun trying a new recipe though.

    Funny, I read the negative reviews and just assumed it was beginner bread baker issues and then it happened to me 😂

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe. It’s hard to know what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you.

  8. Joan says

    I have tried this recipe twice and both times the bread has fallen after the second rise and makes small dense loaves. I made sure to use new yeast the second time baking it and to push out any air bubbles. I am at kind of a high altitude and wondered if that could make a difference. I have it extra rose time for first and second rise too.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m not sure why you are having that issue Joan but high altitude baking does require some adjustments.

  9. Erin says

    I just made this and it is currently cooling, but, I wish I could post a picture because it looks so beautiful!!
    I substituted the canola oil for vegetable oil and I used 100% whole wheat flour, no all purpose flour, so I did end up increasing first rise time to 2 hours and 2nd rise time for over an hour so it fluffed up enough!
    Excited to try it once it is completely cool! If it is tasty(which it looks like it will be delicious!) I will definitely be making this often! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  10. Penny says

    There is no kneading in this recipe? I am making it now and the bread is not rising the second time. And yes, my yeast was good.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Penny, the kneading process happened during steps 4, 5 & 6, but that’s all the kneading required for this dough. If it is not rising that could be ingredients or temperature. It would be hard to say without being in the kitchen with you.

      • Robin says

        I agree with Penny. I’ve made this twice and once I remove the cover from rise #2 it falls to a dense loaf only about 2 inches high. I won’t be making this again

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Sorry to hear you had problems with this recipe, Robin. Also your comment is listed twice.

  11. Kathy Reilly says

    Just trying the recipe now. Just wondered why you proofed instant yeast. I used the ingredients but I put the liquid into the dry.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Kathy! It’s preference of mine. I want to make sure my yeast is actually going to activate.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Audrey, I think to get two loaves you would just need to make the recipe twice. I think trying to double it would not work out during the rising process.

  12. Melissa says

    Just tried this in my bread maker and it was PERFECT! I’ve tried a few different whole wheat bread recipes made for the bread maker and they never turn out fluffy like this one did. I just added all the wet ingredients then dry ingredients like my bread maker calls for and it turned out lovely!

    One note is that you have to watch the dough a bit, I ended up starting with 3 cups of flour but had to add an extra 1/4 cup (or thereabouts) because the dough was too wet at first.

    I also added chopped nuts in my bread maker’s “Add in” stage and it’s sooo good. Highly recommend in the bread maker!

  13. Angie says

    Hi there! Can wait to make this! But wondering also can this be made in a bread maker? Thank you for all ur awesome recipes!!

  14. h_lane@yahoo.com says

    Just making this recipe, and I believe you have yeast listed twice. Just watched the video to confirm and the yeast that is listed the second time should be salt.

    Looking forward to popping this out of the oven in a couple of hours!

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