The Best Whole Wheat Bread Ever!

IMG_0530I love baking my own bread.  I started probably about 5 years ago out of sheer desperation to lower my grocery bill.  I believe in eating good bread and it can be very expensive at the store. After reading the ingredients on the budget-friendly stuff, I decided there must be a better way so I got out an old cookbook and gave it “the old college try”. Below is the best recipe for 100% whole wheat bread that I have ever tried. There is no extra gluten or white flour.  It was very successful and the family loved it!  So I obsessively continued.  Then I got lazy when we moved to our current home where decent bread is affordable so I quit. IMG_0523 The other day while I was decluttering my cookbook shelf I found my favorite bread cookbook, Beautiful Breads by Margeaux Sky, and got inspired.  I didn’t realize how much I missed it! IMG_0507 I even made it a family affair this time and got the kids to help out.  The whole wheat bread (which if any of you have ever baked it know it is quite tricky) recipe is the very best.  No extra gluten to buy, it rises, and it tastes good.  The kids and husband loved it.  As a matter of fact as I write this I am baking 2 more loaves.  For those of you that don’t own the book, but would love a great whole wheat recipe here it is.

Best Whole Wheat Bread Ever Recipe:

  • 2T yeast (or 2packets)
  • 5c. warm water
  • 2c. warm milk
  • 2c warm half and half
  • 3/4c packed brown sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3/4c honey
  • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 18c whole wheat flour (approximately)
  • 3 1/2T salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2T water


  1. Generously grease a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a VERY large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water, milk, and half and half.   Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.  Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, and vanilla to the yeast mixture and mix well.
  3. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well.  If you’re using a stand mixer, knead for 3 to 4 minutes.  If you’re kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a floured countertop or board, and knead for 4 to 7 minutes.  Keep the dough moist for a soft, tender bread.
  4. Place the kneaded dough in the prepared bowl.  Place the bowl in a warm, dry place and let the dough rise for 60 minutes.
  5. Punch down the dough with your fist and divide it into 4 portions.
  6. Generously butter four 9-inch loaf pans, form the dough into loaves and place them in the pans.  Let them rise another 60 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Beat together the egg and water to make an egg wash.  Brush the egg wash over the dough and bake the loaves for approximately 1 hour.
  9. Carefully remove a loaf from the pan and tap the bottom.  If it sounds hollow, it’s done.  If not, continue to bake, checking the loaves every few minutes.  When a loaf is done, return it to the pan, remove all pans from the oven, and let them cool for 30 minutes.  Remove the loaves from the pans and transfer them to a wire rack.  Cool for another 30 minutes before slicing.

Please note: This recipe makes 4 loaves and requires a VERY large bowl.  I usually underestimate the size of bowl needed for this recipe.  My largest bowl, which I thought was VERY large, isn’t big enough. I actually get 6 nice sized loaves out of it to help stretch your pennies a little further!


Now I know that eating carbs is no longer trendy, but I believe there is a reason people have been eating whole grain bread for so long-it really is good for you!  But I also believe all things in moderation. I have used a bread machine, but very much prefer to do it the old-fashioned way so I can better stock the pantry for the week.  I use good ingredients, but not the most expensive and it really is less expensive than the bread I was buying. I estimated that this recipe costs $3 to make.  That is  the price of one loaf of  “quality” commercial whole grain bread. I highly encourage anyone trying to be self-sustaining or attempting to eat cleaner to bake their own bread.  It may seem like a daunting and laborious task at first, but just go ahead and do it once. I don’t think you will be disappointed!  What is your favorite type of bread to make or eat?



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11 thoughts on “The Best Whole Wheat Bread Ever!”

  1. Writer Mom says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Making bread is somewhere I haven’t ventured yet. I always thought you needed a bread cooker or something, but I see you used a good old fashion meatloaf pan.

    1. NaturallyPersnickety says:

      Yes, it really is pretty simple and basic, but you do need a few hours of time. I often mix my dough in the morning before breakfast and let is rise during breakfast and morning preparations. Do the 2nd rise around mid morning and have fresh baked bread cooling for supper right after lunch! That’s on an ideal day (they are few).I will say that it takes some planning and prep, but it is well worth the extra effort. Blessings to you and let me know how your bread turns out!

  2. Your bread looks beautiful! I am also a bread lover and I make sourdough bread for my family. There is no sugar and no yeast and you can make it out of spelt flour which is a great nutritious whole grain. If you interested in learning more I will be starting a Behind the Scenes series on June 1.

    1. NaturallyPersnickety says:

      Thank you for the compliment. I love sourdough bread! I actually have my first starter on kitchen counter that will be ready tomorrow. I have never made bread with spelt although I like the grain very much. Please give details for your Behind the Scenes project in June. Happy baking!

  3. Thanks for the recipe! We baked our first bread last night and all of a sudden my husband and I are obsessed with finding recipes for bread. We need to improve on ours (a LOT) because the bread came out quite dense and doughy. I will try your recipe next time (probably this week).

    1. NaturallyPersnickety says:

      I am so glad to meet a fellow baker! Good bread is definitely addictive-both to make and eat. Please check back with me soon as I am developing some really awesome things to help newbie bread bakers like yourself. And please let me know how this bread recipe works for you!

  4. I sure will (newbie bakers here).

    1. NaturallyPersnickety says:

      Great thanks for sharing! My starter is ready to go so I am looking for some great recipes 🙂

  5. That bread looks tasty, and since you made it, you know what’s in it!

    1. NaturallyPersnickety says:

      Thank you, Ellen. I love making my own foods for that very reason, I can pronounce every ingredient 🙂

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