Honey Whole Wheat Bread

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This honey whole wheat bread is a healthy recipe for a bakery-quality loaf that will save you money.

One lesson I learned from our 10 days of real food experiment was how easy and economical it is to make your own bread. While I don’t eat a lot of whole wheat bread because of my mild gluten intolerance, my family does love their bread for sandwiches and toast. Most bread at the grocery store is unacceptable from a “real food” perspective, because even the “organic” and “all-natural” varieties tend have at least 20 ingredients, including added sweeteners, refined oils, and other mysterious ingredients.

We enjoy the honey whole wheat bread from Great Harvest, but it costs $5 a loaf. I’d rather not have to keep up with that price tag since my family goes through 2 loaves of bread a week. Lisa of 100 Days of Real Food created a good copy of this bread, but hers calls for a bread machine. I make it in the oven with a couple adjustments.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

This honey whole wheat bread is delicious and easy to make.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Rise Time:3 hrs
Total Time:3 hrs 55 mins


  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water give or take


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with olive oil.
  • Measure 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and mix it together with the yeast and honey. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and olive oil. Slowly add the yeast/water mixture, and then slowly add about a cup of lukewarm water. Stop when the dough begins to come together into a ball.
  • Put the ball of dough in a non-reactive bowl and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes (use the longer time if the air temperature is cool).
  • Form the ball into a rectangle and transfer it into the loaf pan. Allow it to rise close to the top of the pan (about another 60 to 90 minutes).
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 12
Calories: 178kcal
Cost: $1.75 per loaf

Honey Whole Wheat Bread Price Breakdown

This loaf of bread weighs 2.2 pounds, the same as the Great Harvest loaf. Here is what I paid for each of the ingredients:
2 tsp. yeast:  $.37
4 cups white whole wheat flour:  $.75
½ tsp. salt:  $.01
¼ cup honey:  $.50
2 tbs. olive oil:  $.12
Total cost:  $1.75

The Great Harvest store is 30 minutes away from our house, so it takes us a lot more time to buy a loaf from Great Harvest than to make it ourselves. It takes me 10 minutes to mix the ingredients at a moderate pace, and the rest of the work is just watching the clock and doing things at the necessary times. Going through 2 loaves of bread a week, a homemade batch costs $3.50 compared to $10 for a similar amount of bread from Great Harvest. It’s definitely worth it to me!

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    1. Yes, Smoki, you can mix the ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon. Once the ingredients come together, knead the dough for a couple minutes. It’s more of a workout this way than with a stand mixer, but you can definitely do it. 🙂

    1. You can, Erin, but it may come out a bit more dense. It will still be good right out of the oven and it tastes great toasted. You may want to look into ordering white whole wheat flour online to give it a try. Whole wheat pastry flour is another good option.

  1. Thank you so much for the recipe! I just baked my first loaf of homemade bread and it was great. I had to stop my kids from ‘sampling’. They already want to make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch boxes tomorrow. I don’t think we will be purchasing store bought bread again.

  2. Mine turned out super hard and chewy. Clearly I did something wrong. I let it rise 90 minutes both times too.

    1. Candice, I’m guessing your yeast was bad or else your house was too cold for a proper rise. Did the dough seem to rise at all?

  3. I love this recipe. I have a really hard time getting Lisa’s version to turn out in my bread maker. I love making it by hand so I can see exactly how much water to put in. The first batch was wonderful and I just set my second one on the counter to rise. Thanks for publishing this modification!

    1. I’m so glad it turned out for you, Amber. Making bread can be stressful if you don’t have a recipe that works well.

  4. After you let it rise the first time, then you “form the ball into a rectangle” and let it rise again… I’m assuming you punch it down at this point? Is that right?

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