Whole Wheat Bread Recipe & Tutorial

by Mama Chocolate on September 14, 2012

I had this post almost ready to publish about 2 weeks ago. And then my computer had a fit and ate it all. In my frustration, I dumped the post into my drafts and left it there to rot a little longer.

 

I’m finally getting my rear in gear and getting back to it, but blogging is still low on my list of priorities. I’d be getting a lot more done if I was better at typing one-handed. I keep getting distracted by this sweet morsel, and end up shutting down the computer again without having accomplished anything. There are seasons to our lives, and this is Baby Season. ;-)

 

Enough jabber.

 

This recipe was shared with me by my sister-in-law, Katelyn, who is always finding delicious new things to bake. I’ve tried many whole wheat bread recipes, and most of them have been disappointing, or required some all-purpose flour to make them palatable.

 

Not only is this version delicious, (and great for sandwiches!) but it’s easy, takes only a few simple ingredients and is a thrifty alternative to store-bought bread!

 

5.0 from 2 reviews

Whole Wheat Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • 3 T yeast
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 T salt
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 cup olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 4 eggs
  • 12-15 cups whole wheat flour (preferably fresh-ground)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  3. Add salt, honey, olive oil and eggs. Beat until combined.
  4. Mix in 12 cups flour, and then add more as needed until dough is stretchy and not too sticky.
  5. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes. Form dough into ball.
  6. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and turn dough once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap or towel.
  7. TURN OFF oven and place the bowl of dough inside to rise for 1 hour.
  8. Punch dough down, divide into 4 pieces, form each piece into a loaf shape, and place in greased loaf pans.
  9. Cover with towel and let rise for 30 minutes (or until approximately doubled in size.)
  10. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  11. Turn loaves out of pans and on to cooling racks immediately and brush tops with butter.

 

Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees.

Next, dissolve the yeast in the warm water:

Grind your wheat if you are using fresh-ground flour. I highly recommend doing this if at all possible. Fresh-ground flour is not only more delicious, but it also has significantly higher nutrient and vitamin content, making this recipe even more healthy!

Check out that purty flour…it smells amazing, too.

Add the oil (or butter), salt, eggs, and honey:

Dump in 12 cups of flour to start off with, and then slowly add more until the dough is stretchy and not too sticky.

It may take a little practice to know when your dough is just right. Try pinching up a bit and if it’s smooth and doesn’t leave sticky dough on your fingers, you’ll know you’ve got enough flour. It usually takes me at least 15-16 cups of flour.

Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by hand or in your mixer (love my Bosch for this project!)

Turn the dough out onto the counter and form it into a pretty ball.

Grease a large bowl with spray oil or by pouring a small amount in the bottom:

Then you can plop your ball of dough into the bowl, turning it once to make sure all sides are greased so you won’t have any sticking when you take it out after rising.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and then TURN OFF the preheated oven and place the bowl inside where it is now nice and warm.

After about an hour, the dough will have doubled in size and is ready to be made into loaves!

Punch it down to deflate (my girls love to take care of this step for me!)

Turn your dough back out onto the counter and grease four loaf pans with oil.

Divide the dough into four sections. I find it easiest to get uniform loaves when I cut it into equal portions with a big knife.

Shape each section into loaves, pinching the seams shut on the bottom side:

Place them into the loaf pans, seam side down.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let them rise on the counter for about 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

About 20 minutes into their rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees so it’ll be ready to put the loaves in right away.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes:

Turn the loaves out of the pans immediately and place them on a cooling rack.

For a nice, shiny crust, brush (or smear!) with butter. My method makes a mess of a stick of butter, but it sure is quick and easy!

Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes (or as long as you can stand it before the intoxicating smell overcomes you,) before slicing.

Enjoy!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda September 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Yum that looks good! So where would I find a grinder to make fresh ground flour?
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Mama Chocolate September 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm

This is the one I have: http://www.kitchenkneads.com/catalog/product/14
I think Amazon has it, too.
It’s a little pricey, but well worth the investment, IMO!

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Candace M. September 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Wonderful post and great step by step…and the recipe was just what I was looking for. My question is Do you let them just sit “as they are” to cool with no towel over them? Do they dry out? and how do you store the loaves once cooled/sliced? ( I made my very first ever loaf of bread last night, it was good but my 2 yr old killed it.)

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Mama Chocolate September 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Yes, I just let them cool as is and once they are completely cooled, I store them in a large plastic container or in ziploc bag. Since this recipe makes so many loaves, I often freeze one or two of them (slice them first for easy thawing). Hope that helps! Good luck on your bread-making! :-)

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IdaBaker September 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Your bread looks yummy. I like whole wheat bread, but have just recently started using white whole grain flour. Love the texture of this flour.

Unfortunately, I don’t have my own grinder. :(
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Kelley Johnsen September 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Just what I was looking for! PINNED!

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Vanessa T September 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

This looks fabulous!!! And healthy! I cannot wait to try it out-it also looks so pretty!

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Nicole September 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Making homemade bread is on my lists of things to attempt. Hopefully when I finally do, it will look as delicious as yours does. Great step by step photo tutorial.
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Sarah @ Nature's Nurture September 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Oh my, this looks absolutely amazing! And your step by step tutorial is JUST what I needed. I’m feeling really confident in making bread now ;) Thanks for sharing this at Tiny Tip Tuesday!
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femmefrugality September 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Love homemade bread! I’ve never ground my own wheat though….will have to try!
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Vanessa @ See Vanessa Craft September 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm

This looks yummy! I’d love for you to link up your recipe to Do Something Crafty Friday: http://seevanessacraft.com/2012/09/do-something-crafty-58/
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Heidi in Hawaii September 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

sounds yummy! What is the finished texture like? I like bread that’s a bit firmer and has a bit of bite.
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Mama Chocolate September 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

The texture is more firm than a lot of breads, but I’m not sure I could say it has that “bite.” Are you thinking almost like a sourdough kind of flavor? The main recipe in the book “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” has more of that flavor, (and I love it!)

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Heidi in Hawaii September 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Thanks for responding! I’ll take a look – Aloha!
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Anne @ Authentic Simplicity September 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Those are some awesome-looking loaves of bread! Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday!
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Vicki @ Happy Green Mama October 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm

That looks amazing! My MIL makes whole wheat bread all the time but flat and round for dipping with food. She doesn’t mill the wheat, though! :)
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Brittany S. November 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

This is so neat!! And I just love the pictures!

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Melanie November 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

This bread looks delicious!! Thank you for the step-by-step photos!

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Leslie January 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Could this be halved?

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Summer June 30, 2014 at 10:41 am

I want to try this. Is this instant dry yeast or active? Thank you

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