Granny’s Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

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All Whole Wheat Bread start to finish only 1 hour (and oh so yummy!) |
Eight years ago, our family began learning about eating healthier and since then we have moved from store-bought white bread to homemade home-ground whole wheat bread (wow–that’s a mouthfull!).

To tell you a bit about the Granny behind this bread…she is Ty’s mother’s mother. She chose the name “Granny” as her preferred term of endearment and I’ve never known her by anything else. She is the matriarch of this family. She has always been an incredible cook and still bakes everyone’s birthday cakes even at the age of 81 (almost 82)!

Granny’s recipe for whole wheat bread is now the ONLY bread recipe I use. Some of you who have been following the blog for years have tried it, but I thought I’d share the recipe with those of you who are new to the blog. You will not be disappointed!

Granny’s All Wheat Bread

In a small bowl:

Dissolve 2 heaping Tbsp yeast & 1 Tbsp sugar in 1/2 c. hot water.

In mixer (I use my Bosch):

Whisk at medium speed 1 1/2 c. flour & 2 1/2 c. hot water.

Add: 1/3 c. oil & 1/3 c. honey (or other sugar equivalent) & 1 Tbsp salt.

Add: yeast mixture

Change to dough hook.

Add: 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 c. flour

When combined, knead 8-10 minutes (if you are doing this without a mixer, knead about 20 mins)

Oil a clean surface and dump dough into oil. Shape into loaves or rolls and place in greased pans. (I use 3 medium pans)

Let rise 20 mins in a warmed oven that has been turned off.
**NOTE** A reader did an experiment for me and found out that ONLY the metal pans rose in 20 minutes.  Which is what I use.  If you are using glass or stoneware, it is going to take more time for your pans to warm and subsequently, for the dough to rise.

Take loaves out and preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 20-25 minutes for loaves and about 18 minutes for rolls. Brush tops with butter and cover with a towel to cool. (my oven situation has changed a bit since I wrote the original post, so that is why there is a discrepancy between the two recipes.)

And just a little note from someone who has been-there-done-that…Don’t cut into your bread right away (no matter how tempting!) because it will be a bit chewy and you’ll think you messed up. Bread continues to bake just a bit more once out of the oven, so let it! You’ll be much happier with your bread if you practice a bit of patience! *sigh*

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138 Comments on Granny’s Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

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138 thoughts on “Granny’s Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

  1. Mmmm… sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing. I wish I would have learned a few more things from my great-grandmas before they passed away.

  2. Really, one of the yummiest, moistest whole wheat breads I’ve made — and I’ve tried a LOT of recipes. We all really enjoyed this one – thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be making this again and again. 😀

  3. I have tried a LOT of whole wheat recipes. I WILL be trying this one! Mine always fall before I get a chance to bake them (or fall in the first few minutes in the oven). Could I let me bread machine do the kneading for me?! I don’t have a decent mixer and I just don’t have 20 minutes to knead bread with 5 kids at my feet.

  4. I love homemade bread- this is almost identical to what I’ve been making. I quit buying bread at the store- only make bread now! So much cheaper and so much healthier (especially with the whole wheat flour)

  5. Before we moved to our new(est) house I made our bread too. LOVE to smell the fresh bread baking in the oven and it’s much healthier than what we buy at the store. Now that we’re getting settled in, it’s time to get back to it! Thanks for motivating me, Amy! :)

  6. I have a few questions and don’t mean to sound stupid but I’m not sure about a few things. What type of flour do you use? What type of oil? Can this bread be used for sandwiches? I am really intersted.

    • I use all whole wheat. Most of the time I just use canola oil, but you use anything. And yes, use it for sandwiches all the time. Makes awesome grilled cheese!

    • Hi! I know we talked on Twitter, but in case anyone was reading comments, I wanted to say that the Bosch I use handles up to 6 loaves of whole wheat at a time. It is a workhorse and I’ve had it for close to 7 years now.

  7. I tried to let this rise only 10 minutes with one loaf and then baked it, but it definitely needed more rise time. I let the next two loaves rise almost an hour and they were perfect!
    I’m about to make it again, this time with Einkorn. This is my first time to try that grain, so I’m excited to see how it turns out!
    It’s a great recipe, thanks for sharing!

  8. Coconut oil is what I use with this recipe and it turns out great! I use refined since it’s cheaper and I’m going to cook it anyway. Raw CO would give it a subtle coconut flavor that might be really good though!

  9. Hi Amy – I want to try this one out, but it is sooo different from most bread recipes I had a couple of questions. When you say hot water – how hot? Are you using the usual bathwater temp for yeast, or is it hotter? Main reason I was wondering is because I am baffled by the short rise time. Are you using quick rise yeast?

    Thanks so much-

    • Just to let you know my experience with this recipe: I used the hottest water I could that wouldn’t kill the yeast. Probably a nice hot bath temp would be about right.
      And for me, I’ve had to let it rise longer. I let it go about 30 minutes, which is still pretty quick. I use SAF yeast. Not sure how it’s different, but I see a lot of other bread recipes (especially on real food websites) call for it, so that’s what I have.

    • I’m using SAF yeast that I buy in bulk. I make sure it is room temp and the hot water is the typical yeast temp water. I can’t explain why it works, but it does!

  10. I love this bread!! Finally I found recipe that does not have milk and is super yummy!! My questions is how would I soak the grains for this recipe? I’ve never done it before but I know I can use vinegar or lemon juice I just don’t know how. :)

  11. Hi Amy! I realize this comment is a little “late.” I so wanted you to know how great it worked for us! We’ve been grinding wheat/breadmaking for almost 3 years. I make great sandwich buns, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, pizza dough, french bread…you get the idea! My ONE struggle for all this time has been a plain old loaf of bread. I’d occasionally try a new recipe, but they never turned out quite right, so I’d turn right back to the buns for sandwiches. Thankfully, my family loves them! BUT today, the tides have turned!!!! Alleluia. 3 beautiful, fluffy, delish loaves of bread! Thank you. And thank the Granny for me too!
    I’d seriously bring you guys some if I weren’t in Tennessee. Sounds like you might need some extra nourishment with all that nesting you are doing! (: Many blessings to you and yours.

  12. After years and years of searching I have FINALLY found THE perfect whole wheat bread recipe!! Thank you so much!!! After being out of bread for several days (with 6 kids during Christmas break, ahhh!) I figured I’d give homemade one more shot and started browsing recipes on Pinterest. That’s when I came across yours! After looking at several others I settled on this one and I couldn’t be happier! I don’t think I have ever had loaves turn out this beautiful!! Simple recipe, simple ingredients, glorious outcome!! I will be sharing this with everyone I know!

  13. Just tried the recipe for the whole wheat bread. My bread did not rise and does not look like your pictures. I followed the recipe exactly. Any thoughts on what might have went wrong?

      • IT may have been the water because the yeast was room temp. I put my water in the microwave for 1 min and 10 secs. Any suggestions on how to know for sure what temp to get it at? I’ve never made homemade bread before to know.

        • Even hot water from my tap would be too hot, mine gets up to about 150 degrees. Yeast is living, so you have to have the water warm enough to activate it (wake it up :), but not so hot that it kills it. Around 100 degrees is the general rule for yeast as well as anything else you want to keep alive like yogurt, raw foods, etc.
          Basically a warm body temp. You can use a thermometer the first time or two to get an idea, but after that you can just feel of it and know if it’s right.

          • America’s Test Kitchen recommends 115 deg for all their bread recipes, and I’ve never had a problem, LOVE this bread.

  14. Hi Amy, I’m anxious to try this recipe, since it makes 3 loaves and seems so easy. I’ve been making all of our bread for a year now, and love it! I’m wondering about the single rise in this recipe? Every other recipe I’ve seen says to let it rise twice. Just one, 10-20 minute rise is enough?

    Thank you, and Congratulations for your precious new baby!

      • You’re so right, that really was all it took. I made this bread last night and I am THRILLED with how great it turned out! I followed the recipe exactly – just the one, quick rise in my warm oven (I used instant yeast) – and I’m so impressed with how moist and delicious this bread is. In fact, I’ve rarely had whole wheat bread rise that high! I will be making this again and again. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!

  15. Amy, has anyone shared with you if they had success in soaking the flour in yogurt, or other acidic medium overnight? I have made this recipe once with regular flour (I didn’t have any ground then!) and would like to try it with our fresh-ground and soaked!

  16. how do i know how warm to have my oven for rising? i have had horrible success at making any kind of bread ever but i am game to try again.. i hope it turns out! also i store my yeast in the fridge.. not sure why maybe i shouldn’t?? but took it out so it can be room temp before using. also can i substitute maple syrup for the honey?

    • Melissa,
      Yes, I would think you could substitute the syrup for the honey. As for the oven, I warm it to about 200 and then shut it off before putting the loaves in. Let me know how it turns out!

  17. Wanted to let you know that I finally got around to trying this out. It turned out beautifully! I am pretty sure the reason it rises so rapidly is the large amount of yeast – much more than the usual. Did you say you buy it in bulk?

    • You have to be super careful with bread, no one touching it, no sudden movements, etc. I have only been able to keep the bread in the oven while it heated with gas ovens. Electric don’t do so well, so I just set it carefully on the stove top and tell everyone not to touch while the oven heats. :)

  18. I FINALLY got a chance to try this out today. Everything wad going perfectly, until 10 minutes into the baking when the bread just collapsed. Any idea what caused it to fall so late in the process? It was handled super carefully when it was transferred in and out of the oven. :/

  19. I just made this today and it came out FABULOUS!! Since it’s a really warm day today I put the loaves in my car to rise (it works great!) this way I can be heating my oven while the bread is rising and when the loaves are ready I can immediately put them in the oven and not have them sitting on the counter (possibly deflating) while the oven heats. I also used two large loaf pans instead of three medium ones and baked them for 25 minutes then turned off the oven and left them for an additional 5 minutes. I waited until they were no longer hot but still warm before slicing and oh! my! gosh! this is good bread!! I love that it is only an hour from start to finish. This will be my go-to recipe for whole wheat bread from now on. Oh, one other change I made was to add a bit of vital wheat gluten to help it stay light and rise well and it definitely did. Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe!

  20. Hi Amy!
    I would love to halve this recipe and convert it to use in a bread maker. Do you think I could just cut it directly in half? Using only Tablespoon of yeast???

    Thank you,

  21. This looks amazing! I’ve tried making bread a few times and have mixed results. I’ll need to try out your recipe and see if I can have better luck. I would love it if you would share this recipe on our weekly Meatless Monday link up. Thank you for sharing your recipes- there are so many that we’ll be trying out soon.
    Thank you so much!

  22. Made this yesterday! So light! It really needed another few min in the oven but I figure I can just pop them back into the loaf pans for a minute before I need them. They were such a perfect golden brown that I didnt want to risk overcooking them. This recipe is a keeper!

  23. I just found this page and am looking forward to trying it! The recipe I have takes forever with multiple risings. (However, my husband likes it because it is so dense.) I am curious if you’ve ever added anything to your bread? I.e. oatmeal, flax, etc.? And if you did, did you just off set the flour amounts? Thanks for sharing!

    • I don’t know if you’ve tried it in the mixer but I have the smallest kitchen aid and have managed to pull this off, I use the minimum flour added usually at 5.5 cups and it does it, probably works it harder than it should but I have 4 boys under 5 and have to make it work for now :-) I do this recipe often and a few others that are large and I’ve had my mixer for over 2 years with no problem :-) I know this was a while ago, just thought I’d let you know my success so maybe you could try it again!

  24. I have never made homemade bread before but want to so very badly! The yeast intimidates me. As for the kneading, do I just continue to “stir” the bread in my Kitchen Aid with dough hook (is that kneading?)?

  25. I feel so silly – but I have never attempted to make bread. It just seems like such a big chore. BUT after reading this….I am going to try it!! My 7 year old and I love to cook together and I think she would love this. Thank you for making it seem doable. Thanks to Granny for sharing this. Blessings for you and your family.

  26. Hi! So I’m very new at making home made bread, I just made this recipe with fresh ground hard wheat and it is in the oven now “trying” to rise. My 20 minutes in a heated up oven is just about over, I don’t think it’s risen at all! Do you have any advice??

    • Was your yeast and water warm enough? Sometimes certain conditions create a “brick” of bread and the best thing you can do from there is make bread pudding or croutons or bread crumbs from it. Of course, my family still eats it, but it truly is a “brick” and happens even to the best of bread-makers every so often. I’d check to make sure your yeast is room temp before you use it and your water is warm (not hot) and give it a bit of time to sponge before you start mixing in flour.

      • Thanks for emailing me back!
        I’m thinking maybe water was too hot. Bread was a TOTAL flop, SO frustrating!!! A friend of mine loves your recipe tho so I will give it another shot, I really want to be a bread maker! :)

  27. What temperature does this mean?
    “Let rise 20 mins in a warmed oven that has been turned off.”
    Do I start my oven, let it warm up to 350, then turn it off?
    This is the only part that confuses me :)

  28. Thank you for this recipe! I was so excited to find a recipe that didn’t have dough enhancers or other add ins, just wheat, sugar, salt and yeast! We love this bread and I tripled the recipe so I can make 6 big loaves to freeze. Do you have any tips for holes forming in the loaves? I’ve only had it happen using loaf pans and only after I started using a gas stove..any advice?

  29. I tried this for the first time tonight after reading the rave reviews, and while mine tastes good, it didn’t rise as high as I expected it to. I’m new to homemade bread, so maybe I just didn’t know what to look for–my finished loaves are probably three inches high at the center. My yeast was activated with the water, but I’m afraid I might’ve screwed something up as I added it to the other mixture. I didn’t know whether to incorporate it with the whisk or go straight to the dough hook. I’m also wondering if I should have added the flour gradually or all at once. I did 5 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, and the dough was sticky. Should I have added more? Looking forward to making it again. My three-year-old and one-year-old are loving it.

    • It’s also possible I divided the dough incorrectly. I wasn’t sure whether my pans were medium or large, so I did three. If I split it between two instead, maybe they would rise higher?

      • That is quite possible that your pans are bigger than mine. And the dough shouldn’t be super sticky. Depending on the weather, you sometimes have to add a bit more flour.

  30. Hi. I just made the bread and the dough didn’t rise! I followed ur recipe to the dot but it didn’t turn out the way it should’ve. I used brown sugar. Do u think it could be the reason? Plz let me know.

  31. Hello! I’m trying this bread right now. I followed the recipe and even used fresh ground wheat flour. I have 3 different kinds of bread pans- they do not match! Lol! One is a stoneware, one is clear glass, and one is an antique metal one. Well I thought it might make a difference in baking time but to my surprise, it’s making a huge difference in rising! I did all 3 with the same amount of dough, at the same time, and put them all in the warm oven to rise, and the metal one was the only one that had risen noticeably in the 20 minutes. I had to let the glass and stoneware pans rise for 20 MORE minutes. So after scrolling through the post and comments again and seeing that the pans you use are metal and that some folks are having trouble with the rise, I thought I would mention this in case the type of pan is the answer to some of the not-rising mysteries.

  32. This bread is AMAZING! I was totally skeptical at first. I’ve tried to bake with whole wheat in the past and it always turned out tough and wouldn’t raise properly. This recipe seemed TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Well! I was wrong! I followed the recipe to the letter and the bread is the BEST I’ve ever baked! Thank you for sharing this :) My family and I will be enjoying it for a very long time to come!!
    Side note….do you ever bake in bulk and then freeze? If so, how do you wrap your bread so it stays delicious?
    Thanks a bunch!

    • Great! And as for baking in bulk – I wish! I always have great intentions of doing it, and then I don’t. My best guess on how to keep it yummy is to let it cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap and then put in a freezer bag or aluminum foil. I so need to do this!

  33. In your top photo it looks like you are using Stainless Steel Loaf Pans? I have some that look just like them, and I have found every time I try and bake with them, they don’t bake properly?? I’m so frustrated, as I replaced most of my baking pans with Stainless Steel recently, and wondering if you have any tips on using them? Lower the temp and cook longer perhaps? Any advise would be awesome!! :)

  34. I made this bread today. Ive been trying soooo many different whole wheat bread recipes to find one that the whole family likes. Until now…no luck. But this is a keeper!!!! It was delicious!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.

  35. Thank you for the recipe. I have switched to whole wheat bread by machine and haven’t made a regular loaf in so long because I couldn’t find the right recipe to make such wonderful bread in a pan. I would do rolls but not loaves… Thanks for posting.

  36. I’m almost 70 yrs old. This recipe is so simple and the best part….no mess. Thank you! Younger people enjoy this recipe.

  37. What kind/brand of yeast do you use? I’ve never made bread before so I don’t know anything about yeast and what the different kinds do.

  38. I just took 3 loaves out of the oven and they look heavenly. I used Gold Medal wheat flour and preheated my stone bakeware before I put in the loaves. I did not have any problems with the dough rising within the 20 minutes. I also used agave nectar in lieu of honey. Can’t wait to see how they taste.

  39. I only have one bread pan… Do you think the dough that isn’t baking will be ok while the first loaf is in the oven? And if so, what should I do with the bread that isn’t bet baking? Thank you!

    • Elizabeth – so glad you liked the bread! I actually put all 3 loaves in at one time. If you can’t them all in there, I’d suggest slowing the rise by putting it in the refrigerator for a bit.

  40. Ohhhh man, this is amazing bread! I’ve already eaten 3 slices with homemade strawberry jam. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will be making it over and over and it was very easy to make!

  41. I’ve never made yeast bread before…giving this a try! Do you know roughly how long it will take to rise in glass pans? And what is considered a warmed oven? Thanks in advance!