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This bread recipe is one I came across years ago when I volunteered at a mountain summer camp for kids. I’ve made a few modifications to the recipe over the years and even came up with a way to make this bread recipe in our bread machine! What we love about this bread recipe is that it makes three loaves at once, is part whole wheat and is sweetened with honey we harvested from our bee hives. The bread is soft, fluffy, moist and so delicious! I’ve made other bread recipes that came out dry or dense. Not this one! This is by far our family’s favorite bread recipe and I’m going to share it with you today so you can make it too.
I recently shared a post with 70+ sourdough bread recipes so you might be wondering why I’m sharing a recipe for non-sourdough bread. To make a true sourdough bread, you need to mix up part of the recipe to make a “sponge” 8-12 hours in advance to let it fully ferment. I have a hard time remembering to mix up the sponge that far in advance so find myself always going back to this honey whole wheat bread recipe. This bread recipe can be made the night before and stuck in the refrigerator to rise over night and bake in the morning. Just like with sourdough, that doesn’t work for me since I often can’t remember to do that the night before but if it works for you that’s great!
Instead I always plan to bake bread on a day we’ll be home all day. With this bread recipe, we can have fresh, homemade bread in about 4-5 hours! Little A helps me mix up the dough in the morning and by mid afternoon we’re eating fresh, homemade bread! In the winter, I sit our bread pans of dough on a bench near the wood stove to rise since it is much warmer there than in our kitchen so the rise time is much quicker.
I previously wrote about whether we think a bread machine is worth the investment. When I first got my bread machine I used recipes from the booklet that came with the bread machine but the bread never turned out as tasty as this bread recipe. Then I got more confident with our bread machine once I figured out how it works and started converting my favorite recipes to be able to be used in the bread machine.
This recipe makes three nice size bread loves when baked in regular bread loaf pans. I like making bread in bulk like this so I can slice and freeze two loaves and keep one out for our family to eat right away. This bread recipe is a little too big to bake in the bread machine so instead I use my bread machine to mix up the dough and do the first rise. Then I split the dough in thirds, place one dough ball in each of our three glass bread loaf pans (these are the ones we use and love) greased with coconut oil and let them do their final rise before baking. If you want to fully mix, rise and bake this bread recipe in your bread machine you will need to cut the recipe in half.
Honey Wheat Bread Recipe
-1 TBS yeast
-3 cups whole wheat flour (this is the kind we use)
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (this is the kind we buy in bulk bags since it is grown in Montana and GMO free!)
-2 tsp salt
-3 TBS olive oil OR melted butter
-1/4 cup honey dissolved in 2 1/4 cups warm (not hot!) water
Directions if using a bread machine for the dough:
- Place all the ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order listed. Remember: if you plan to also bake the bread in the bread machine, you need to cut the recipe in half or it will overflow your machine!
- Turn the bread machine on to the dough setting. Once the dough is done mixing, let the dough sit inside for about an hour or more until the dough is doubled in size.
- Continue following the directions below starting with step #6.
Directions if making by hand:
- In a small bowl, mix 1 TBS of yeast with the 2 1/4 cups warm honey water.
- In a large bowl, combine the 3 cups whole wheat flour, and 2 tsp salt. Add the 3 TBS olive oil OR melted butter. Slowly stir in the water/honey/yeast mixture until well mixed.
- Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time until it forms a nice stiff dough that isn’t too sticky.
- Sprinkle a little flour on a counter or work space and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
- Form the dough into a big ball and place it in a large greased bowl. Cover it with a kitchen towel, sit it in a warm (but not too hot) space and let it rise until doubled in size. This should take about an hour or more depending on how warm it is.
- Grease two or three bread loaf pans depending on how big you want your loaves (I find that three loaves is just right for the size bread slices we like). We use this coconut oil to grease our bread loaf pans and the bread always pops right out every time when it is done baking and cooled off!
- Punch the dough down and remove it from the bowl. Separate the dough into thirds. Shape each piece into an oblong loaf shape and place one in each greased bread pan.
- Cover with a kitchen towel, sit in a warm (but not too hot) place and let it rise until doubled in size. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on how warm it is.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once the bread dough has doubled in size, bake the bread at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until the top is a golden brown.
- When done, remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the loaf pans. Once cool, remove the bread from the pans and sit them on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling off.
- Slice, eat and enjoy!
Do you bake homemade bread? What is your favorite type of bread to bake?