Recipe: Honey Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread (for bread machine)

Honey Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread from 100 Days of Real FoodIt is no secret that I’ve been working to perfect a whole-wheat sandwich bread recipe for months now. I was not only looking for a recipe that was reliable and tasted good of course, but that also didn’t contain any “unusual” ingredients like dried milk powder or wheat gluten. We absolutely LOVE the honey whole-wheat loaf from Great Harvest, and if they can make it with only five simple ingredients (freshly ground whole-wheat flour, water, honey, salt & yeast) then I should be able to do it too!

So after months of experimenting I am thrilled to finally have something to share. And while this recipe comes out just right 9 times out of 10 I’ve learned that things can’t always be “perfect” when it comes to making bread in your bread machine. If you aren’t weighing your ingredients and instead just measuring them out like me, and if you live in a place where the humidity might change from time to time…well then, expect some occasional surprises with the outcome of your bread. I have learned one valuable trick though (from a blog reader!), and that is to check on the bread once or twice during the kneading process to make sure the dough looks “right.” I’ve caught mine looking too wet and sticky a couple times so I’ve added a few sprinkles of flour to get things back on track before the baking started. That’s exactly why the picture loaf looks a little “floury.”

I also want to share that this particular recipe makes a loaf that is on the larger side, which I like because then I don’t have to replenish our bread supply every two days. This loaf also comes out with a lighter crust due to its big size and that is a plus in my book as well. If you have any good bread making tips or recipes that you’d like to share please do so in the comments below!


4.7 from 58 reviews
Honey Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread (for bread machine)
Serves: Makes 1 loaf
  • 4 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1 packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  1. Follow your bread machine’s directions for making a whole-wheat sandwich loaf. For me that means putting in the dry ingredients first with the wet ingredients on top. I have the Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker and it takes the machine five hours to make this loaf.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.


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  • Comments

    1. Lisa |

      The bread turned out great but more like a bread you butter and eat with a meal. Before changing my eating habits I made a white sandwich loaf and the texture was that of a loaf of bread I would buy at the store. This bread was not soft like sandwich bread. Am I doing something wrong or is this how it is supposed to be? My bread maker has a wheat bread options and a sandwich bread option but not a combination of the two. Should I make it as sandwich bread? (Again, it’s good, just hoping for softer and easier to cut for sandwiches)

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi. Lisa uses the wheat setting. The texture is not going to be the same as store bought breads because it does not have all the additives and conditioners. You could try using 100% white whole wheat. It cooks up a little lighter but is still 100% whole grain.

      • Dawn |

        Hi. I use the basic bread option as opposed to the wheat option and my bread was incredibly soft! P.S. I also used an organic unbleached white wheat flour. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it.

    2. Mary Ellen |

      How many ounces of flour? This much flour would easier and faster to weigh it – and more accurate.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi there. We do not typically weigh our flour.

    3. Clarise |

      I really want to try this recipe, where can I purchase a bread machine at a decent price? Thanks

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Clarise. Several readers have found them at stores such as Odd Lots or thrift stores for really great prices.

    4. Karen |

      My bread machine asks me to select loaf size. Does this make 1, 1 1/2 or 2 lb loaf? These are my choices. Thanks.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi. It makes a 2 lb loaf.

    5. jody |

      Hi there
      Can you do this without honey.. so its just a regular whole wheat bread?
      if so, anything i need to add liquid wise?

      • Sara |

        Hi Jody, it’s my understanding that the yeast needs some sugar to “munch on” to create the gas needed to rise the bread. I also read in another place on the blog that honey can help to preserve the bread (which I never knew before, but now that I think about it, it makes some sense!). ( With these benefits of the honey then, I would leave it in. Or if it’s really bothersome reduce it to 3 Tbsp and see what it does. I think if you were to take it out all together you’d have to increase the rising time or you’ll end up with a brick. Just my 2 cents! :)

    6. John Sims |

      My bread came out way too dense and did not rise enough, any suggestions how to improve? How warm does the water need to be? My bread maker instructions said room temperature.

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi there. Each machine will have slightly different instructions for their whole wheat setting. We use warm water between 95* and 115*.

    7. Stephanie |

      My whole wheat bread finally worked!!! I have made this bread 4 or 5 times over the last couple of weeks the results of which were a couple of bricks and finally bread that rose, but fell after it started baking. What finally worked was reducing the yeast 25% to 2 tsp. I also use kosher salt, so I upped that to 1 tsp as well. For sure, my bread isn’t as tall as it is in the pic, but it is soft and tall enough that I can make sandwiches out of it for my kids. Yay!! Thanks to Lisa for her encouraging remarks in the recipe and thanks to everyone’s suggestions in the comments.

    8. Jessica T |

      Can I make this bread without a bread machine? How long would I knead the dough? And how many times would I let it rise in bowl and bread pan? Thanks!

    9. Katie |

      Just wanted to let everyone know you can make this (and the whole wheat cinnamon raison loaf) easily by hand if you do not have a bread machine.

      I just mix the dry ingredients, with wet (oil etc), dissolve the yeast in the warm water and then add to flour mixture and combine. Take it out of the bowl and kneed it.
      Then form the kneeded mixture into a loaf shape and place it into prepared tin (the one you plan to bake it in). Pre heat your oven to the lowest possible temperature (some have a keep-warm setting) mine is 60 degrees celcius and once the oven has reached temperature, turn it off and place the loaf in the oven to rise.
      Once risen remove loaf, preheat oven to desired cooking temperature and then return to oven once ready and cook.

      You just have to be extremely careful when you are removing the loaf (from the rising stage) and placing it back in the oven. If you bump the tin at all the mixture will sink and the bread won’t work!

    10. Jennifer |

      Any suggestions for those of us at high altitude (6,000 ft.)? My first try at this is presently finishing up and it fell. I adjusted the water and the yeast per the instructions for my machine.

    11. Amy |

      Absolutely, just mix by hand. It is more of a workout! The stand mixer just gets the dough to come together quicker.

    12. Tasha |

      What setting should b used? Express? Whole wheat? Basic?etc……

    13. KATRINA |

      She says in the instructions “Follow your bread machine’s directions for making a whole-wheat sandwich loaf.”

      So please use the setting on YOUR bread maker for a whole wheat bread.

    14. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill) |

      Hi Mandy. You should let it rise twice and it’s generally about 30 minutes each time. Jill

    15. Erin |

      I found an oat bread recipe that looks like it would work for you:

      Here’s another gluten/dairy free recipe:

      Here’s a pizza dough:

      I haven’t tried these but did look at comments from people who did. Hope these help.

    16. Michelle |

      How do I improve on my slicing skills lol?? The bread tastes great, but I can’t slice it into nice enough slices for a sandwich…it is very soft in the middle. Help!!

    17. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy) |

      Hi Michelle. Good slicing takes practice and a really good bread knife! :) ~Amy

    18. Mary Ellen |

      Electric knife. It will create a sawing motion like that in the professional bakeries to slice the soft bread.

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