July 05, 2006

Bread Baking 101 - Honey Whole Wheat Daily Bread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I use a Bosch for this but if you use another type of mixer I would recommend that you cut this recipe in half to experiment and see if your machine will hold and mix that amount. My old Kitchen Aid would not mix this full amount.

In Bosch Universal Mixer Bowl with Dough Hook:


6 cups warm water, approximately 115 degrees or about the temperature of a baby’s bathwater.

2/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup honey

2 Tbsp sea salt

3 Tbsp dough enhancer (optional) see below for explanation

2 cups high gluten bread flour (optional) see below for explanation

3 Tbsp SAF instant yeast

6 to 8 cups of fresh ground flour (this varies according to where you are and what you use so be willing to use more or less and watch for dough to pull away from bowl to indicate it is enough – if you get too much flour you can add a bit more water and make adjustments until you get the right consistency)

(10 to 11 cups of un-ground grain will make enough flour for this recipe)

I mix all the ingredients above and then set my machine to knead for about 7 minutes. You can tell that the gluten has developed if you take a piece of the dough and stretch it to see if it is elastic enough. I pull it pretty thin to test it. When it is ready, oil your counter and hands with the canola oil and pull dough out onto the counter. When working your dough DO NOT USE MORE FLOUR. It only makes it dry and harder to work. Always work with oil to keep dough from sticking to the counter and your hands. You want your dough to be a bit sticky so that it is not dry and crumbly when it is done.

Once the dough is out you can shape it or use however you desire. You can put about two to three cups worth of dough into individual bread pans and let rise for about 30 to 45 minutes. This is different for me sometimes because of outside temperature or when my kitchen is colder first thing in the day. Rising will vary based on temperature at which it rises. I will often make a pizza or Stromboli and a dessert braid or dinner rolls or hamburger buns depending on our needs. Also, depending on what size loaf pans you use you can get about 4 or 5 loaves out of this recipe. This is about 10 pounds of dough and each loaf is approximately 2 pounds or a little more.

Let dough rise for the 30 to 45 minutes or until double in size. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

If you are using store bought flour then you can use the all purpose or bread flour for the high gluten bread flour and then add the whole wheat flour for the remaining flour. You can just experiment with this until you get the texture and consistency you want. Bread making is all about your senses for me. I watch as I mix to see the consistency and feel the dough to see if it is ready, I listen to my mixer to hear the change in sound as the right amount of flour begins to loosen the dough from the side, I smell when the bread is ready and I taste it to make sure my family will enjoy it. It is a pleasure for me to bake bread because it touches all my senses. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Stay tuned for a multigrain bread recipe and a light dinner roll recipe as I can get them typed into the computer for you guys…


Oh yeah, the dough enhancer is merely for preserving the bread a day or two longer. I will share the recipe if anyone wants it but it is not necessary to use it.

I also do not use a high gluten flour but instead add about ¼ cup of wheat gluten to the freshly milled flour during the mixing process. You can obtain wheat gluten from some grocery stores and health food stores.

If you are having trouble with your dough being soft enough or rising like it should you may want to try something called a SPONGING PROCESS. This is when you get the first ingredients and two cups of flour started and then let it sit and rise for about 10 to 15 minutes before adding the remaining flour. This helps to activate your yeast and get the gluten going before you mix it all. I have used SAF yeast for about a year and have NEVER had the issue of it not working right. I highly recommend this yeast over all other brands. If you cannot find it in a store you can order it online. I get mine locally from a fellow bread baker. Check with your health food store, too.

The main thing is to experiment and write down what works for you so that you learn and grow. I can guarantee that my bread baking is SO MUCH BETTER NOW THAN IT WAS 18 MONTHS AGO. It takes time and patience but it is SO WORTH IT FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR FAMILY.

I have a friend with children that have gluten and wheat allergies and she makes all her bread with potato flour and other forms of grain. I do not know how to do all she does but if you are interested in this I can get some gluten and wheat free recipes for you for a variety of things by e-mailing her. Just let me know…


  1. I love to bake bread, but am just now trying my hand at whole wheat bread. I have two questions for you.

    1) This recipe looks like there's only one rise - in the pan. Is that correct? I'm used to letting the dough double before shaping.

    2) My browser is messing up whatever fraction you're using for how much wheat gluten to add to an all-wheat-flour loaf. I'd very much appreciate knowing how much you add. I'm keen on trying this in an all-wheat fashion.

    Thanks so much for this post - I'm excited about trying this bread for our family.

  2. Hi Stacy,

    To answer your questions...

    1. I will often let it double rise, once in the mixing bowl sprayed with a non stick spray and then shape it and put it in the pans for a second rise. When I am in a big hurry this recipe does work on one rise just fine. You get a little more of the bread fermented flavor with a second rise that is quite nice. So, either way one or two rises will work.

    2. The amount of gluten is 1/4 cup. I do not use that any longer in mine because of the quality of wheat I use... it does not seem to need it so you might try it without to see if it works for you. Just experiment and see what works for your family and then keep doing it. That is what I did and it took me some time to really master the right balance for us and every now and then the weather or some other factor throws me off a bit such as a substitute in ingredients which could be as small as a different sugar (turbinado, honey or regular white sugar if I am in a pinch). I just had to learn how to adjust.

    Just play with it and find your niche with it.

    Blessings and happy baking!