Light Honey Wheat Bread

Sliced Light Honey Wheat

Replace that store bought loaf with homemade! This is an easy sandwich bread double loaf recipe. I like to change up one loaf, adding cinnamon sugar or cheese and herbs.

You could also divide the second loaf for making sandwich buns or dinner rolls. These you would bake separately and for less time (10-20 minutes depending on size).

Leave them plain or brush with egg white or cream, adding seeds or sprinkled sugar if desired. They are also lovely brushed with melted butter and honey right after removing them from the oven.

As with any baked good, you want a nice light golden brown crust so watch them and if they begin to brown too much, drape foil over the tops. As you can see from the photos, my cinnamon swirl loaf burned after just 15 minutes in the oven!

Think you don’t have time for this? Get the whole family off their devices and into the kitchen, everyone loves freshly baked bread!

Light Honey Wheat Loaf

Light Honey Wheat Bread

1 package or 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (check expiration date)

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

Warm the milk in a saucepan or microwave safe bowl on low until warm to the touch (not more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit). If it is too hot to touch, it will kill the yeast and your bread won’t rise.

Add the butter and honey to the milk and stir.

Whisk yeast, whole wheat flour and salt together in the large bowl of your mixer with the dough attachment. Add the milk, butter and honey mixture and mix on low just until combined.

Add the egg to the mixer bowl with 1/2 cup of the unbleached flour and mix for 1-2 minutes. Continue adding the unbleached flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing for 1-2 minutes after each addition until flour is incorporated and dough is smooth but still slightly sticky.

Form dough into a ball in the mixer bowl, turning to coat with about a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled, about 30 or 40 minutes.

Punch dough down, cover again and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half and roll gently on a lightly floured surface with hands into a ball or loaf shape, or flatten with hands to about 1 inch thickness and roll into loaf.

Place in greased loaf pans (I use 8 x 4 x 2), seam side down, cover and let rise another 30 to 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Proofing Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

~Proofing Cinnamon Swirl Loaf~

Bake in oven (preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 40 minutes, draping with foil if loaves brown too quickly.

Remove from oven, turn out of the baking pans immediately and cool on wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing.

I have found that rolling the dough out with a rolling pin compresses the dough more than gently applied hand pressure, and too much additional flour gets incorporated during the rolling process. This leads to a denser texture in the finished loaf. 

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

For my second loaf, I divided that half of the dough into 6 equal pieces (just eyeball it and cut with a knife or kitchen shears). Then I flattened each piece one by one to about an 8 by 6 loose rectangle.

Top each layer, one by one with a little softened butter, drizzled honey and cinnamon. Leave the last layer plain and put it on top. Squish it down a little to flatten and roll it from the short (6 inch) end into a loaf.

Place in your greased loaf pan and let rise and bake as outlined above. You will want to drape this loaf with foil after 10 minutes in the oven to prevent burning.