Six simple ingredients are all you need for a wholesome loaf of homemade wheat bread. With a blend of whole wheat and all purpose flour, it’s great for slicing to make sandwiches or for breakfast toast. You can’t go wrong with this easy recipe!
I love making homemade bread – it’s so easy! I never thought it would be, but it is. For many years I avoided making bread, so sure I was that making bread was way to difficult to do right.
This was back when the regular grocery stores had yet to shift into more gourmet bakery items like you can get these days. At that time, the only wheat bread you could find at the big grocery stores was filled with a huge list of ingredients like dough conditioner (what???) and a bunch of chemical additives that were totally unnecessary. And the taste was just… blech.
But after seeing the prices for a loaf of 100% natural wheat bread at the natural food stores, I decided that I had to do it myself.
Am I glad I did!! There are so many good bread recipe ideas, varieties and types… and I enjoy trying out new ones all the time.
Over the years I have honed this simple recipe for my go-to natural wheat bread loaf. It only has a few ingredients and I like to use a mix of whole wheat flour and white all purpose flour. That makes sure that the crumb is soft enough to slice nicely and it isn’t too heavy.
How to Make this No-fail Wheat Bread
This wheat bread requires very little time to mix up. It’s really a one dish deal – mix all the ingredients into one bowl and wait for the magic of proofing. (You can do anything you want during this time; it doesn’t require your watchful eye in the kitchen.)
Then punch down, knead again and form your loaf. Place it in the loaf pan and entertain yourself while it rises again. (Just don’t over-proof on the final proofing, or you may find that your bread bursts open in the baking. It will still taste fantastic, but won’t look as pretty.)
Then all you have to do is pop it in the oven and get ready be enchanted with the fabulous aroma of home cooked bread filling your kitchen.
Jay has this wheat bread for his breakfast toast almost every day… it’s his favorite, too. Sometimes he has it with dinner also, like this tahini and plum jam toast that he also loves:
Occasionally I’ll make grilled cheese and it is amazing with this bread! Or French toast. It doesn’t last long in our kitchen, but sometimes I’ll use up the last bit of a loaf by making homemade croutons (which truly there is no replacement for, they’re so delish!) or dried bread crumbs, if I have a casserole in mind.
See? One simple recipe – many diverse uses! This recipe also works well as white sandwich bread if you simple use all white all -purpose flour instead of part whole wheat. Because sometimes you just need white bread and… you might as well make it as healthy as possible – no added artificial ingredients!
You can also fancy up this wheat bread by adding in seeds, like poppy seeds, caraway seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds – you name it. Just recently I found ground caraway seed powder at the store, so I added that (a couple of teaspoons) into a loaf. It was really good, but I kind of draw the line on having sweet jam on toast that tastes like savory rye. But that’s just me. Sometimes I do add seeds to my wheat bread, but for every day, I like to keep it simple. Then whatever else you want to put on your toast or sandwich is not overpowered by the flavor of the crunchy add-ins.
So, have fun! It’s a great recipe, if you are new to making homemade bread or even if you’ve tried it all, but still don’t have a favorite you can rely on…
Oh, and to add in to the “how many ingredients make up this recipe” debate… yes, I do count water as an ingredient because…
We’ve lived in areas of the world where water did not just come gushing out of a faucet whenever you wanted it, and each drop was precious… in those cultures, they recognized from practical experience that water is life – so I have a very real respect for water.
Therefore, I’m willing to bump up this recipe into the “only 6 ingredients” category instead of the coveted “only 5 ingredients” category because… this bread has 6 ingredients! Including water, without which you could not make this bread!! 😉
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6 Ingredient No-fail Wheat Bread
- 1½ cups warm water not so warm that you can't comfortably put your finger in and stir the water
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 TBSP turbinado sugar, agave syrup or other sweetener
- 2½ cups white all purpose flour
- 1¼ cups whole wheat flour (finely ground, or pastry flour)
- Pour warm water into a mixing bowl
- Add sugar and yeast to the warm water and wait about 10-15 minutes for the yeast to bubble up and get foamy
- In a separate bowl, stir salt and flours together, then add to yeast mixture
- Knead on a floured board for about 5-8 minutes
- Return dough to mixing bowl and cover with a dry towel. Place bowl in a warm area for about 30-45 minutes, or until dough has roughly doubled in size
- Punch down the dough, knead again for another 5-8 minutes. When finger is pressed into dough, the dough should bounce back about halfway – this is the sign that you have kneaded enough, yet not over kneaded 🙂
- Form dough into a loaf shape. Place formed loaf into a lightly greased or non-stick loaf pan and again cover with a dry towel.
- Return to warm place to proof until bread has risen again – approx ½ hour or more, depending on area, heat, etc. See notes below about proofing times.
- Optional: For darker crust color, you can oil or butter the top of the loaf at this point.
- With a sharp and lightly oiled knife, quickly make light diagonal slashes along top of loaf. (this will help your loaf to rise high and not burst around the edges or crack.
- Place loaf into oven preheated to 375°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes checking for doneness at 15 minutes.
- Remove loaf from oven and (try to!) let cool before slicing. If you don't wait, your slices will be gummy and sticky and not pretty.
- If the dough bounces back immediately, you need more proofing
- If the impression does not bounce back at all, you have over-proofed. (your bread will still taste great, but may not keep its shape; in this case, don’t bother slashing the top before baking)
- If the impression bounces about halfway back, you’re ready!