Favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread

We discovered what we consider to be the best all-purpose bread recipe. We try other bread recipes, but we always return to this one.

The original recipe included walnuts and sunflower seeds, but after protests from certain parties, we omitted them. The recipe also called for over 1/4 cup of sweetener per loaf. This produces a very sweet loaf, so I reduced this amount to 2 tablespoons. I also added 2 tablespoons flax meal, which gives a more rustic look. For an extra special touch, I like to brush the top with milk and sprinkle with oatmeal.


:: 100% Whole Wheat Bread ::

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Note: This recipe makes a very large loaf. I usually double the recipe and make three 9×5 inch loaves.


  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey, molasses or maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups (18 3/8 oz) Hard Red (traditional) or Hard White (17.5 oz) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal, optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

To prepare the dough:

(Hand Method) Combine all of the ingredients, and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes, then knead till  smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.

(Mixer Method) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all ingredients and mix them till you have a shaggy dough. The dough will seem wet, but remember: wetter is better. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, then knead by machine until fairly smooth, about 10 minutes. Allow dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.

(Bread Machine Method) Place all ingredients in bread machine pan and set to dough cycle.

To Shape the Loaves

After the dough has risen, gently deflate the dough, shape it into a log, and place it in a lightly greased large (9×5 inch) bread pan or two small bread pans. Cover the pan with a towel or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes-1 hour, till it’s crowned about 2 inches over the rim of the pan. Preheat your oven to 350°F about halfway through the rising time.

To Bake the Loaves

If desired, brush top of loaf with milk or egg white and sprinkle with oatmeal, poppy seeds, nuts, etc. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until it turns a deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Yield: 1 large or 2 small loaves.


67 thoughts on “Favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread

  1. Hi!

    Just made this yesterday with whole wheat flour!!! It was amazing, chewy bread!!!!!! mmm The addition of flax really makes a difference!


  2. Me again 🙂 I have a question…you said that the original recipe included seeds…if I want to add seeds or walnuts for example, at what stage of kneading do I add them? Do I need to also add more water?

    Thank you!

  3. This is my first successful bread making and it’s wonderful! My problem is storing the bread. I know it won’t last as long as store bought bread, but how do you store it to keep it from drying out? Thank you!

    • Jill: I usually just store the bread in a plastic bag and use if for toast when it dries out. You can also slice the bread and freeze it. You can just pull out and thaw as many slices as you need. I don’t recommend storing bread in the refrigerator as that can make it stale and dry.

  4. This was my very first yeast bread recipe and I am so pleased! They were out of instant yeast at my Target, so I bought regular dry active yeast. I was a little intimidated, because my mom was scared away from making bread by it, but it came out beautifully! I’m also glad I took a trip down to the health food store for the gluten. It turned out really well, although I think I could have kneaded it more. I will be making instead of buying bread as much as possible from now on! It turned out so well, that I have the confidence to make a double batch next time :]

  5. Pingback: the whole wheat flours study « just blither blather

  6. Pingback: Pinterest Review: 100% Whole Wheat Bread « Chocolate & Life

  7. Great taste! Mine didn’t rise over the pan, though. I was hoping that it would rise more while baking, but it didn’t. I used active dry – didn’t realize I was not using the yeast called for. Any suggestions before doing it again?

  8. I was browsing the net for some bread recipies as I want to make bread at home. I often make pizza and its bread turns out to be excellent. And substituting all purpose flour with whole wheat flour seems good to me. Its my first time and I have seen a bunch of videos to teach myself. Any suggestions or pointers please?

  9. I made this bread yesterday and it turned out amazing! The first time a loaf of bread (especially 100% whole wheat bread) has risen beautifully and looked and sliced just like the store bought stuff. Of course it tastes so much better and I love knowing exactly what is in it.

    I used butter and 2 1/2 T of honey. Had to add a bit more water and it came together beautifully in my stand mixer (kneaded with dough hook on #2 for about 10 minutes). Had to put in the fridge halfway through the second rise since I didn’t plan very well and we had appointments to get to. When I opened the fridge it was well over 2″ above the pan and looked so light and airy. I let it get to room temp before baking and it was perfect.

    My husband and almost 2 yr old gobbled it up. My daughter actually was ripping pieces off of the still hot bread on the counter. Now if that doesn’t convince you this bread is special nothing will 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and tips. This will definitely be a staple in our house going forward!

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