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Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread is the perfect sandwich loaf. This easy whole wheat bread recipe makes a soft and slightly sweet bread that you’ll love.

milk & honey whole wheat bread 16a

With it’s soft texture, hint of honey and hearty whole wheat flavor, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread tastes fantastic and will keep fresh for several days.

You can start the dough the night before and finish the bread in the morning to have fresh bread for lunch.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread:

two side by photos showing a bread sponge before and after 30 minute rise

After just 30 minutes on a warm spring day the sponge is active and ready.

two side by side photos showing whole wheat bread dough before and after rising

Allow the dough to double in volume before shaping.

milk & honey whole wheat bread before and after rising in the pan

The bread is ready to bake when it’s about doubled in volume and fills up the pan. If you poke the dough the dent should slowly fill-in. If the dough springs right back it’s not quite ready.

an unbaked loaf of whole wheat bread ready for the oven

Make a deep slash down the middle of the loaf before baking.

A timeline for making this Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe:

  • If you plan to bake the same day, start the sponge early in the morning.
  • By the early afternoon your bread should be ready to bake.
  • To start your bread the day before, start mixing the dough late in the afternoon or early evening.
  • Make the dough up until the point that it goes into the pan.
  • Cover the pan in plastic wrap and allow it to rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next morning, take the loaf out of the refrigerator. It should have risen to fill the pan over night. 
  • Leave the loaf at room temperature while the oven preheats. If it hasn’t risen enough, give it a little extra time at room temperature to finish rising.
  • You’ll have fresh bread by lunch time.
  • If you find at any point the dough has over-risen, you can knead the dough, reshape and let it rise again.

milk & honey whole wheat bread 8a

milk & honey whole wheat bread 9a

milk & honey whole wheat bread 13a


I always mix bread dough in my Kitchen Aid Mixer, but the dough can certainly be made by hand. Start mixing with a wooden spoon and switch to your hands when the dough gets too thick to stir.

Bread dough is much more forgiving and less scary than it seems. And of course nothing smells or tastes as good as a freshly baked loaf of bread.

Looking to make a great submarine sandwich? You can make Homemade Hoagie Rolls!

If you’ve got a sourdough starter, you can make Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread with Milk & Honey.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

With it's soft texture, hint of honey and hearty whole wheat flavor, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread tastes fantastic and will keep fresh for several days. You can start the dough the night before and finish the bread in the morning to have fresh bread for lunch.


  • 3/4 cup (6 oz, 180ml) warm water 
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) dry yeast 
  • 2 cups (10 oz, 280g) bread flour
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 240ml) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz, 210g) stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and 1/2 cup of the bread flour to form a smooth batter. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to rise for 1/2 hour.
  2. Warm the milk in the microwave to about 100°F, close to body temperature. Add the milk, honey and salt to the sponge. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of the bread flour. Stir until the batter looks like thick pancake batter. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook.
  4. With the mixer running, slowly add another 1/2 cup of the bread flour. Continue adding bread flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough will begin gather on the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. You may not need the last 1/4 cup of flour. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes. If mixing by hand, add as much of the flour as you can in the bowl then finish kneading in the rest of the flour by hand.
  5. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead to form a smooth ball. If the dough is very sticky sprinkle a little more flour as you knead.
  6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover and set aside in a warm spot to rise for about 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan with a very light film of vegetable oil or with baking spray.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Without kneading out the air, gently push the dough to a 9" rectangle. Tightly roll the dough from top to bottom to form a log shape. As you roll pinch the ends of the dough to form a tight roll.
  9. Set the dough into the pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and rise until the dough almost doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  10. Use a sharp knife or razor to cut a 1/2" deep slash down the center of the loaf. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds.
  11. Bake about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The interior temp should be about 190°F.
  12. Cool in the pan about 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 14th of December 2020

Like many others, I had to add A LOT of extra bread flour and ultimately I gave up on the dough because I thought that I must have done something wrong despite being very careful about weighing the flour and following directions precisely. I wish I would have read these comments before tossing out the dough. :(


Monday 14th of December 2020

I gave this a second try with some modifications. Since my first dough was very wet and sticky even with the addition of extra flour, I started off the second batch with 1/2 C water rather than 3/4. I also used whole wheat flour for the sponge. I ended up with a great loaf!

Kiwi @ Kiwi Recipes

Thursday 15th of October 2020

It looks delicious. I can imagine the smell of it, thank u for sharing such a recipe, can I add grains like rolled oats, flax seed and Shea seeds to it?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 15th of October 2020

You could fold in some seeds. If you add oats you'll have to compensate by reducing the flour since oat absorb lots of moisture.


Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

Hi: Your bread looks delicious and I’m saving it to my board so that I can make it ASAP lol. My question is, I have SAF instant yeast - would I use the same amount as with regular yeast?


Eileen Gray

Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

Instant yeast will work fine in this recipe. Yes, use the same amount.


Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Would it be possible to use sour milk in this recipe? Probably need baking soda also, I should think. Thanks

Eileen Gray

Friday 4th of September 2020

Do you mean regular milk that has gone sour or something like buttermilk. I have made this recipe with buttermilk with great results. No need for the baking soda unless you want to neutralize the sour flavor.


Monday 8th of June 2020

My bread more than doubled after an hour, and when in the loaf pan it was almost to the top already. After proofing 45 mins in the pan it was over the top..... I purchased some really good yeast so maybe I should use less next time? Lol

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