Honey Wheat Bread
Soft and fluffy, nothing compares to the slightly sweet, nutty taste of a loaf of homemade Honey Wheat Bread!
Servings 2 loaves (about 16 slices each)
- 3 cups whole wheat bread flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 ¾ teaspoons instant (“rapid rise”) yeast
- 2 ¼ cups warm milk (110 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for brushing the crust (if desired)
- 3 - 3 ½ cups white bread flour
- 2 teaspoons canola oil, for greasing the bowl
In a large bowl, whisk together the 3 cups of whole wheat bread flour, salt and instant yeast. Stir in warm milk, honey and melted butter. Beat until smooth. Stir in white bread flour (or additional whole wheat bread flour), ½ cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or on a floured surface, knead the dough until elastic and smooth, 8-10 minutes.
Use the oil to grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 ½ - 2 hours.
Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and cut the dough into two equal parts. Shape each piece of dough into a loaf. Place in two greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Tip: for a super-soft crust, brush the tops of the bread with melted butter while the bread is still warm.
- The Best Flour for Honey Wheat Bread: I always recommend using bread flour (rather than all-purpose flour or regular whole wheat flour) when baking bread. Regular all-purpose flour has between 8 and 11 percent protein, while bread flour contains between 12 and 14 percent protein. The extra protein in bread flour results in a higher rise and a lighter loaf. For this recipe, I suggest a combination of whole wheat bread flour and white bread flour. I do not recommend using regular whole wheat flour, which has very little gluten and will yield a dense, heavy loaf.
- Instant Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast: This recipe calls for instant (or rapid-rise) yeast, which you can add directly to your dough. By contrast, active dry yeast must be dissolved in warm liquid (“proofed”) before combining with other ingredients. If you prefer to use active dry yeast, you can find helpful instructions for making that substitution in this article from Cook's Illustrated.
- Make sure that you use warm milk when preparing the dough — not too hot and not too cold. You want the milk to feel like warm bath water (about 110-115 degrees F). If it’s too hot you will kill the yeast; too cold and the yeast will not be activated. While it’s not necessary, I usually use a thermometer to test the milk’s temperature before adding it to my dough (you’d be surprised by how warm 110 degrees actually feels).
- I recommend using 2% milk or whole milk (not a reduced-fat version such as skim milk). The fat in the milk helps to keep the bread soft.
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg