100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

I know 100% whole wheat bread is probably not going to be my most popular post ever.  It’s not a new idea, there’s nothing too exciting about it.  But considering the health benefits of using 100% whole wheat(freshly ground is best of course!), not to mention the savings of making your own bread – it’s definitely worth the effort.  I don’t consider my bread especially amazing, there is always room for improvement, but I have come a long way from wondering whether my bread was going to turn out or not and I’ve learned so many things on the way that I can hopefully pass on in a post like this.

In my latest column I wrote about hard wheat that’s used for making bread.  I found I didn’t have nearly the amount of room I needed just for the recipe alone, so in this post I’ve included a short version of this recipe with just a basic description of the steps – for someone who is more experienced at making bread.  And I’ve also included a longer version where I describe each step in greater detail with a few pictures included(that you can click to see a bigger version, be sure to click the picture twice to see the large version).  Both are the same recipe.  I’ve tried to include step-by-step pictures in the more detailed version – without going too Pioneer Woman on you all – to hopefully give you an idea of what most steps should look like.  This was fairly difficult as the whole process took nearly all the naturally lightened hours of the day, so please forgive the less than perfect pictures 🙂  Keep in mind that I doubled the recipe and made 4 loaves instead of 2, that’s why it looks like more dough.  If you do want to double it, don’t double the yeast unless you want the bread to rise faster.  You can increase the yeast to a point – but if your bread rises too fast, it wont have time to develop the flavors and wont taste as good so consider letting it rise as long as you can afford.

This recipe makes 2 loaves.  Like with just about any yeast bread, this freezes well.  If you end up baking it in the late afternoon or evening I recommend letting it sit out overnight before freezing it, or slicing and then freezing.  As soon as the bread is completely cool after baking it you want to wrap it well as it will dry out.

This recipe was originally adapted from Guilty Kitchens Whole Wheat Machine Bread Recipe.  If you’d rather use a bread machine check there!

If you have any questions about making whole grain bread or even whole grain flours please leave a comment or send an email to fooddoodles at gmail dot com.  I’m by no means an expert, but would love to help if I can!

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan August 31, 2013 at

I have baked my own bread for many years. These days (or the last time I baked bread – I now much prefer tortillas), I use the King Arthur Flour 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe. I would also try yours, as I like the idea of add=ins. The most interesting part for me, though, is putting the oil in the bowl in a quantity larger than I would have expected, for the purpose of greasing the dough. If I ever bake bread again (read: if I ever manage to move beyond tortillas), I will try that. I’m definitely saving this recipe.


2 Charlotte Moore August 31, 2013 at

I clicked on the Whole Wheat Machine Bread site. How amazing to realize this is the same recipe I have been using for a good while. Love this bread!!!! I have a double recipe going now.


3 Zara March 2, 2013 at

I tried this today, and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!


4 Becky @ TOHG January 25, 2012 at

Ah ha! I found your detailed bread recipe! I’m doing a little reading about bread making before attempting again. Thanks for directing me here! Love the details and pictures!


5 Alicia @ Bakeaholic January 25, 2012 at

I’m definitely going to have to try making whole wheat bread! I’ve never made bread before, and my boyfriend keeps asking for it!


6 Curlsz January 12, 2012 at

I keep fresh wheat bread in the house every week, I have bought bread in the store in forever – some variations I do is – add oat bran, wheat bran, cracked wheat and sometimes I put in carrot pulp from when I juice – it’s awesome!


7 Kat January 10, 2012 at

I switched my family to almost everything whole wheat in the last year. It really makes a difference! I think we’ve been sick less, look better and feel healthier. With a new baby I’m excited to teach her to eat healthy from the get-go.


8 brighteyedbaker January 9, 2012 at

This bread looks really good and hearty! I also took a look at your no-bake granola bars and mocha oatmeal. Both are on my to-make list now. I’ll be back to see more soon!


9 Allison January 9, 2012 at

Wow, I haven’t made homemade bread in a long time. You have inspired me. The loaves look great and I love that the recipe makes 4. Thanks for sharing.


10 Mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry January 9, 2012 at

Heidi I love all the photos – its the perfect tutorial for baking bread! This does look excellent for sandwiches and I’m going to try it! I have made some great breads from the healthy artisan bread in five minutes a day cookbook which is great but none of them have really been soft enough for my picky four year old to have his favorite almond butter and homemade strawberry preserves sandwich on. Maybe this bread will be the one that meets his stringent (read: picky!) requirements! Thanks for sharing!


11 Scott at Real Epicurean January 8, 2012 at

I love making my own bread on a Sunday and this looks like a perfect recipe.


12 Lyn @LovelyPantry January 8, 2012 at

Well, I’ve wanting to try this for so long… you’ve made it so simple. Now is the time to try. This was an awesome post – thank you! Bread is so awesome 🙂


13 kyleen January 7, 2012 at

Your loaf is so round on top! I’ve made whole wheat bread once before, but the loaf came out wonky so I made rolls with the other half of the recipe. I love the step by step photos; I’m always too lazy to pull my camera out for those shots.


14 Brandon January 7, 2012 at

Your bread looks delicious! I love that you share so many images in your post, thank you for sharing!



15 Jill | Dulce Dough January 7, 2012 at

Your bread looks perfect! One of my goals this year is to make more of my own bread. I am going to give this recipe a try!


16 Sonia The Healthy Foodie January 6, 2012 at

What are you talking about? This is a GRAND post! Brilliant! And that recipe looks super good. I love making bread at home and haven’t been doing that in way too long. I think I’m gonna have to give your recipe a try, perhaps I’ll even do that this week-end.

And seriously, talk about taking us by the hand, here. Your step by step instructions are plain incredible.

I repeat, this is a GRAND post! Worthy of framing! 😉 Good job, Heidi!


17 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes January 6, 2012 at

Hey making bread is awesome and no simple task so it may be more popular than you think. This is a REALLY good explanation of it so thanks!


18 Erin @ Texanerin Baking January 6, 2012 at

Hey now! Why wouldn’t 100% whole wheat bread be popular? Okay, it’s not super duper exciting, but it’s bread. And people should be eating 100% whole grain bread every day. You’ve just provided us with a recipe, with awesomely clear directions, that should be a staple for us all. 🙂

Anyway, your bread looks super. I used to make German vollkornbrot every few days but then I got lazy and just went back to picking it up from the store. Sourdough is kind of a pain. This looks way less maintenance, which is a definite plus!


19 The Elegant Eggplant January 6, 2012 at

Ive never even thought to make my own sandwich bread before!!! Yours looks uber perfect 🙂


20 Nora @ Natural noshing January 6, 2012 at

Gorgeous bread! Oh how I wish I could eat wheat 🙁 I can still look in amazement though, I love how hearty the loafs look. There’s nothing like homemade bread – especially when you can make large batches and freeze it for quick serving!


21 Kelly January 6, 2012 at

Mmm there is NOTHING better than making homemade bread , this looks so delicious! So glad I came across your blog, new follower! xoxo


22 Alexis @ There She Goes January 6, 2012 at

wow – you made bread! i think this has inspired me to consider doing this in the future- im too scared still!


23 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 6, 2012 at

I don’t blame you! It’s very intimidating!


24 Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes January 6, 2012 at

I love homemade wheat bread! Looks like a delicious recipe! I’m glad I found your blog. 🙂


25 Paula January 6, 2012 at

I love wholemeal bread, especially toasted with butter and jam or honey. Yummy!


26 Kathryn January 6, 2012 at

Wow, your bread looks perfect! Thank you for the step by step guide as well, I really want to get into making my own bread and this will be so helpful!


27 Nami | Just One Cookbook January 6, 2012 at

What a beautiful whole wheat bread. I have to admit that I don’t usually buy whole wheat bread as a choice of sandwich bread….I didn’t grow up with it so it’s just something new to me. But now that I have two kids, I always think about making them used to eat healthy food. This looks like a great recipe. I’d love to try this.


28 Lachelle January 5, 2012 at

I have been making whole wheat bread for many, many years now and I don’t think it ever makes it 1-2 hours after coming out of the oven before we slice into it. I love fresh, warm home made bread! My recipe uses applesauce (and some oil) and it comes out so moist. It is my Grandma’s recipe and I love it!


29 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 6, 2012 at

That sounds great! I know what you mean, the smell of bread baking is amazing, it’s so hard to resist!


30 Emily @LivingLongfellow January 5, 2012 at

I might attempt this on Sunday. The last few times I’ve tried to bake bread (minus beer bread), it’s turned out really dry. This looks excellent. Thanks!


31 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 6, 2012 at

I know what you mean! Just be sure not too add too much flour, that will make it dry. The dough will still be sticky when you’re done kneading. I hope it goes well! 😀


32 Nicole, RD January 5, 2012 at

I love sandwich bread and therefore love this post 🙂 Your loaves look incredible! I will definitely, definitely be making some myself 🙂


33 Eat Good 4 Life January 5, 2012 at

Wow, the bread looks really good. The pictures are awesome. I have actually never made 100% whole wheat bread believe it or not so maybe now I will 🙂


34 jeralyn January 5, 2012 at

I make 5 loaves of whole wheat bread every Monday…I’ve been looking to change things up…can’t wait to try this recipe!


35 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 5, 2012 at

That should say “so I am” not “some”. Autocorrect. 🙂


36 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 5, 2012 at

I have been on the lookout for a whole grain bread recipe. I’m so intimidated, but determined to stop buying store bought sandwhich bread. I do have a question-Luke seems to have a dairy sensitivity some am avoiding it right now. Would non-dairy milk and butter work in this recipe? If the answer is yes I may give this a try tomorrow!


37 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 5, 2012 at

Absolutely! You could even use oil if you want in place of the butter. And any kind of milk or even more water would work – the bread might not be as soft because dairy milk is richer which makes it softer, but I don’t really think it’ll make that big of a difference really, it should work just fine 🙂


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