Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Rise: 2 hrs 50 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 2 loaves
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
381 Calories
8g Fat
71g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 381
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 543mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 258mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This sweet and hearty honey whole wheat bread is a classic. The ingredients are simple, but you do need a little patience since the dough rises twice, first in the bowl, then in the loaf pans. The secret to moist and tender whole wheat bread is brushing the tops with butter before placing them in the oven. Slice this honey wheat bread for your morning toast with butter and jam, or use it to make a sandwich at lunchtime. Once you enjoy this loaf, you may never purchase store-bought bread again.


  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 (0.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 F to 115 F)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 5 cups whole wheat flour, divided

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Honey Wheat Bread ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat. Add the honey, butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until the butter melts. Cool to lukewarm.

    Melt butter in milk
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water (105 to 115 F), stirring until dissolved. 

    Mix warm water and yeast
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture.

    Mix wet ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Add the all-purpose flour and 2 1/2 cups of the whole wheat flour. Stir until smooth, about 2 minutes.

    Start adding flour
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Gradually add the remaining whole wheat flour, stirring until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 

    Mix in all flour
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with the bowl and allow to rest 10 minutes. 

    Let dough rest
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

    Knead dough for 10 minutes
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Place in a large lightly greased bowl and turn the dough to coat all sides. Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place (about 85 F), free from drafts, until it has doubled in bulk—about 1 hour and 15 minutes. When two fingers poked into the dough leave indentations, the rising is sufficient. 

    Let dough rise
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a smooth ball. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 

    Divide dough into two
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. Shape each portion into a loaf and place each in a lightly greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan

    Form loaves
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  12. Brush the top of each loaf with the melted butter. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until double in bulk, or until the sides of the dough reach the tops of the pans, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Let honey wheat dough rise
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  13. Bake the loaves for 40 to 50 minutes. The tops should be well browned and sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Remove from the pans immediately and cool on a wire rack.

    Bake Honey Wheat Bread
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  14. Slice and enjoy.


If your bread doesn't develop a dome shape and comes out flat, it may mean that the flour didn't have enough gluten. Switch from all-purpose to bread flour (which has more gluten) for a better rise. A flat-topped bread could also mean the dough was too wet or poorly shaped, or that not enough salt was added.

Recipe Variations

  • Lighter crust: Cover the top of the loaves with foil after baking for 25 minutes. 
  • Honey-Nut Bread: Add 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts with the first addition of flours.
  • Molasses Whole Wheat Bread: Substitute 1/2 cup molasses for the honey.
  • Honey-Raisin Bread: Add 1 1/2 cups seedless raisins with the first addition of flours. Increase the rising time to 1 1/2 hours. Before baking, brush each of the loaves with 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon sugar.