Baking bread at home is like magic. It requires just a few ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, your house will smell amazing while it's baking, and the flavor can't be matched with packaged bread varieties.
Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich bread is a wonderful refined sugar free whole wheat bread recipe packed with flavor and can be made start to finish in a few hours. This bread recipe makes for the perfect weekend baking project.
And it will make for the very best toast and sandwiches all week long!
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Why Make Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread?
Why make your own bread when you can buy it at the store or local bakery, you ask? Well, for one, making it yourself is super rewarding. There's nothing quite like mixing up flour and water and honey and yeast and coming out a few hours later with a gorgeous lofty loaf of bread.
Secondly, the aroma is probably reason enough to bake your own bread. But probably most importantly, homemade honey wheat bread is super flavorful from the whole wheat flour and honey and you know exactly what ingredients went into the making of.
Packaged breads are fine and dandy for convenience, of course. I certainly buy them when I need to. They can be made with loads of sugar, however.
This sugar free whole wheat bread recipe is simply perfect. You will not miss store-bought bread, or all that sugar, one bit!
My Condensed Milk Bread, my take on Japanese Milk Bread, a fluffy, soft, slightly sweet bread is worth filling your home with the delicious smells of bread baking too!
How to Make Homemade Sandwich Bread
Making your own homemade sandwich bread is not as difficult as it may seem. I would recommend using a stand mixer to make this recipe, however, if you do not have one, you can certainly knead the bread by hand.
To start, bloom the yeast by letting it sit in warm water for about 5 minutes. the yeast should begin to smell yeasty (yes, that's a word) and it should get foamy. If it does not, throw it away, run to the store to buy a fresh bag of yeast and begin again. The bread will not rise without active yeast.
Instant yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast in this Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe. Skip the first step of blooming the yeast and instead mix all ingredients together and follow the rest of the instructions as stated. Keep an eye on the proofing (aka, rising) times when using instant yeast, as they may be shorter than stated in the recipe.
One the dough has come together, allow it to proof or rise until doubled in size. Punch it down and form it into a rectangle the length of your loaf pan. Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder, beginning with the long end, and press the dough at the seam to seal. Place in the loaf pan to rise again then bake.
I have made this recipe successfully using good quality vegan butter. If you do not eat honey, you can try omitting it as well. I have not tried omitting the honey myself, so cannot be sure that the baked bread will have the same texture as the bread in the photos.
I have not tried making this bread using gluten-free flour. There are whole grain gluten-free flour varieties available at some supermarkets, however, I have read many times that these varieties do not act consistently in recipes to produce consistent results. I would recommend trying this recipe with a whole wheat or whole grain flour that you have used before and playing with the proportion of water to yield the desired result.
I would not recommend substituting gluten-free flour (white gluten-free flour, not whole wheat or whole grain) in this recipe, as it absorbs moisture differently than does whole wheat flour.
Yes! This bread freezes really well and I would recommend doing so if you have not consumed the entire loaf after 3 days. Simply slice the bread, place in an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Place frozen slices in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Remove by the slice when ready to eat. Thaw at room temperature and toast or place a slice in the microwave at 50% for 30-45 seconds then toast.
I have used both a 9x5 inch loaf pan and an 8x4 inch loaf pan to make this honey wheat bread. I tend to like the 8x4 inch pan better for this recipe, as the bread is taller and has a nice big dome top. Either size loaf pan will work and the baking time is about the same for both. Check doneness with a thermometer starting at 40 minutes if this is your first time making this recipe.
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Looking for more homemade bread recipes? Give these a try:
- 1 ½ cups warm water (90-90ºF / 32-35ºC)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (see note below if using instant yeast)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 4 - 4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- vegetable oil for coating the bowl
- Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top.
- Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom (it should get foamy and smell yeasty. If it doesn’t, throw out the water/yeast and start over with fresh yeast).
- To the bowl, add the honey, melted butter, 4 cups of flour and salt.
- With the paddle attachment affixed, mix on low until combined.
- Switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 10 minutes* (see note if you do not have a stand mixer)
- Place dough in a large, clean bowl that’s been coated lightly in vegetable oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, 45 – 60 minutes.
- Lightly brush a loaf pan with vegetable oil or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- Punch down the proofed dough and turn out onto a clean work surface.
- Gently press the dough into a rectangle, one inch thick and no wider than the length of the loaf pan.
- Starting with the long end, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself.
- Turn the dough seam side up and pinch it closed.
- Tuck the ends underneath the rolled loaf, as pictured.
- Place dough in the loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan, if needed.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
- Remove plastic wrap from the proofed dough and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the loaf reaches 205 degrees (when a thermometer is inserted in to the center).
- Remove bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then turn dough out onto a wire rack, turn right side up and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing
- If you do not have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand on a clean counter or work space. Be sure to knead for the full ten minutes, until the dough is soft and it should not stick to your hands
- Store cooled bread in a clean bread bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Slice and freeze in a single layer on a baking tray then store in the freezer in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the microwave on 50% power for 30-45 seconds then toast
- To make using instant yeast, skip the first step and just combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine. Continue with the recipe as instructed. Keep an eye on the proofing (aka, rising) times when using instant yeast, as they may be shorter than stated in the recipe
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