There isn’t any better fragrance than a fresh loaf of bread baking in the oven. When I bake bread, my house smells like a bakery and I love it!
When my other half comes home from work, I see him smile as he walks through the door, but he smiles a lot bigger on the days I bake bread. He loves bread. And so do I.
We adore whole grain bread when we can make our own. This whole wheat bread recipe has delicious flavor and is moist, making it enjoyable to eat by the slice and preferably shortly after cooling.
This is a recipe I’ve been using for years and it makes awesome sandwiches, delicious toast and it’s great for French toast too. My other half likes to take a slice or two and eat it along with a hot cup of coffee. That’s it. No butter or anything. My favorite way to eat a slice of homemade bread is with a little butter and jam along with my own hot cup of coffee. Good bread doesn’t need much. The flavor is delicious on its own.
Bread baking is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever learned and in my opinion, homemade bread makes the best sandwiches! Have you ever tried to make your own bread? If you haven’t you really should! This whole wheat bread recipe is a great one to try for your first loaf. I’ve put together some bread baking tips for you to keep in mind. These will help you succeed with your bread baking adventures!
For the best flavor in your homemade breads, especially whole wheat bread, I recommend that you never skip or reduce the salt. I receive the best feedback from my family and friends when I use Alaea Hawaiian sea salt in my bread, so if you’re open to it and you can find it near you, definitely give it a try. If I could send you some just to show you how wonderful it is I totally would. That’s how much I love it. This is the brand I use.
Now, for a beautiful top crust I like to brush an egg white on top right before baking. It also seems to soften the top a little on must breads and it really makes the loaf even more beautiful. This can also give your loaf a good, sticky base if you’re going to sprinkle oats or seeds on top! Then after baking don’t forget to brush (or dab) cold milk onto the loaf. This will really help soften the top. I think this was the most helpful tip for me when I first started baking breads since I made a habit of slightly over-baking my loaves just to make sure they were done.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Are you ready to start baking?
Whole Grain Bread Recipe
- 3/4 cup milk, plus a little more for brushing on the hot loaf
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the bowl, the dough, and the loaf pan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds, plus more for topping
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, plus more for topping
- 1 egg white, whisked
Measure 3/4 cup of cold milk and pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Check to make sure the temperature is 90°F or below.
Pour the milk into a mixing bowl and add the active dry yeast, stirring to incorporate. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. The yeast should look foamy.
Add butter, salt, honey and instant coffee.
Now measure in the flour.
Add in the oats and sunflower seeds.
Add 4 teaspoons water and continue to add water by 1 teaspoon until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.
Knead for 7-8 minutes or until you can form dough into a smooth ball that feels moist to the touch but doesn't come off on your finger when you gently press it.
Butter or lightly oil the bottom half of a large bowl.
Rub a little butter or oil over your dough ball and place in the greased bowl.
Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours or more until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
Gently flatten the dough and press into a rectangle.
Fold in half and gently press into a rectangle again.
Roll the dough lengthwise so the shorter side is now the length of the dough. Pinch the seams together and fold the tips under after closing to form a tight loaf.
Rub about 1/2 tablespoon of butter on the outside of the dough, making sure the seams remain pinched together, and set in a greased loaf pan with the seam side down.
Let it rise for 60 minutes or until the dough is almost doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Brush egg white on top of your loaf.
Sprinkle with additional oats and sunflower seeds, if desired.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is brown and loaf sounds hollow when you tap the end with your finger.
Brush cold milk on top of the hot loaf and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool on a baking rack.
- I have successfully substituted almond milk and coconut milk for the cow's milk in this recipe.
- If your butter is cold, add butter for the dough to the milk while microwaving. It does not need to melt, but it should be soft.
- For the best flavor, don’t skip or reduce the salt. I highly recommend Alaea Hawaiian sea salt. This salt produces the best flavor in baked breads.
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
360 Bakeware Loaf Pan
USA Loaf Pans