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 63 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. |

      Have any of you tried doing this on a dough cycle and baking it on your own? I don’t like machine-baked bread for sandwich loaves, but am not sure what to use for time and temp.

    2. Helen |

      I am making this at least every other day, sometimes every day! My family LOVES it and will not eat any store bought bread anymore. I have a teenaged son and I think he could eat a whole loaf alone, especially whent it is fresh out of the machine and he smears it with honey or some peanut butter.

      The humidity will affect how it turns out, so that may be the reason some people are having problems with it. The whole wheat setting on my bread machine takes 4 hours and the bread has always turned out beautifully with it, although it doesn’t rise as much when it’s really humid out.

    3. Vivian |

      Is this recipe ok out of the bread machine?I have a food processor and make my own pizza dough in it, so I am going to try this like regular bread. Now you can buy gluten flour in Walmart. btw the water should be 105-110*.

    4. Zoe |

      Can this be done in the oven and not a bread machine?? Thank you!

    5. Erin |

      Hey, tip for those on a budget: people always buy bread machines, don’t use them, and give them away. Before you invest $200 on a machine, keep an eye on the shelves at your local thrift store or yard sales. They show up so often, if one doesn’t work well, it’s not a big loss to try another one. I checked to see that the interior of the pan wasn’t very scratched or used looking, that it had it’s mixing blade, and plugged it in to see that the buttons all worked. Found the owner’s manual online, and wa-la! a $10 bread machine! Thanks for the recipe, I will be trying it very soon. Also, w.w. pizza dough is up next, can’t wait.

    6. Amanda |

      I tried this recipe for the first time this weekend with my bread machine (only the second time I have ever used it, 1st attempt at bread!) and it turned out great! I let my 4 year old “help” me… she didn’t click the pan all the way down into the machine (silly me for not knowing i would need to hear 2 clicks instead of one to know it was in there good!) so it went through the whole kneading process the first time with out actually mixing anything… Once I clicked the pan into place and restarted the process I noticed that it was a little dry 1/2 way throught the kneeding process. I just sprinkled a tsp of water in the machine and it was smooth sailing from there. My machine’s whole-wheat setting is only 3 hrs 40 minutes long, so I think every machine is different! My husband and 4 year old are super picky eaters, and both loved the bread! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

    7. |

      I use the cookbook Artisian Bread in Five minutes a Day. We love it and make 99% of all our own bread. It is quick easy, healthy and my 2 year old twins LOVE helping! I bake what I need, and put the rest in the freezer or keep the dough in the fridge for up to 14 days! This is the light whole wheat recipe:
      Whole Wheat Bread
      Makes 4 1 pound loaves. Can be doubled or halved…

      3 c warm water
      1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
      1 1/2 tablespoons salt
      1 cup whole wheat flour
      5 1/2 cup white flour
      (to make white bread, just add more white flour instead of whole wheat)

      1. Mix salt, yeast and water
      2. Mix in rest of dry ingredients without kneading, use a spoon or mixer with dough hook.
      3. Cover and allow to rise (about two hours – or put in fridge overnight and use next day)
      4. To bake: cut off a 1 pound -grapefruit size piece. Dust piece with flour and shape.
      5. Let rise 40 minutes
      6. twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450.
      7. Slide loaf in, pour one cup hot water into a broiler pan (I use a second loaf pan) on the bottom rack)
      8. Bake for 35 minutes
      9. Cool, slice and enjoy!

    8. Bobbi Winters |

      I used agave instead of honey just to see what it would taste like. It was good. Im new to this baking thing and i wish there were more yummy whole wheat breads like sun dried tomato. Why does whole wheat have to be just whole wheat? lol If anyone knows how to add to whole wheat bread, please tell me. I miss Penera bread. LOL

    9. Kelly |

      What brand flour (white whole wheat and whole wheat) do you buy?? I think I have seen it on here before but could not locate it — sorry if it has been asked and answered :)

    10. Stephanie |

      I had trouble with this recipe my bread machine is 1 – 1 1/2 lb loaf and I think the recipe was for 2 lb. It came out extremely dense. Any suggestions? Thank you, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your website and how much it has helped my little family of four.

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        I am so glad you like the blog, and I’m also sorry to hear the bread didn’t turn out! It sounds like this recipe has been hit or miss especially between all the different types of bread machines out there and the weather can also have a big impact. Did you check it during the kneading process to make sure the dough looked okay?

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