We used to make homemade bread almost weekly around here. And it makes me sad that it gets such a bad wrap! I think if your body can handle gluten, BRING IT ON. This honey whole wheat bread is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my carbs… and it’s definitely the default food for my kids, finding its’ way into just about every meal.
- Toasted and buttered…
- Under fried eggs for breakfast.
- Piled with sandwich fixings for lunch
- ALWAYS layered with peanut butter and banana for an after school snack…
- And drizzled with honey or jam occasionally for dessert (but not to be mistaken for – “we don’t give our kids real dessert”… because we do.)
The White Whole Wheat Flour
White whole wheat flour makes for a lighter and softer wheat bread, a little more like white flour… but still has all the nutrients of whole what. We love it. But feel free to use any flour you like!
You can EASILY buy your white whole wheat at the grocery store. We love King Arthur’s. .. but Ross got me a wheat grinder several years ago, so I love to grind my own! I order the wheat berries online from Costco and I just love knowing my kids are getting all of the extra vitamins that come with fresh ground wheat. We’re fans.
But then sometimes we choose to use white all-purpose flour because… yum. So don’t get me wrong.
But here’s the truth about homemade bread and macros:
If I’m eating in a deficit at all, it doesn’t fit them well. Homemade honey whole wheat bread, while I do believe it’s nutritious, is deliciously dense and heavy.. and then there’s the honey .. all of which make it so much higher in carbs for so much less surface area! I love it and die over over the smell and have a little heel when it’s fresh. But then I let it go and move on to the breads I’ve learned can stretch farther and make me feel way more satisfied… the bigger and lighter and fluffier the better! There’s just simply less food packed into more space which means a bigger sandwich for way fewer carbs without having to use a low-carb bread or sandwich thin — when you just want the real deal.
I’ve learned with bread, they’re actually all so so similar since most are made up of the same few simple ingredients.. that if I log 70 g of a bolillo roll (my go-to sandwich roll), or 70 g of this bread, or a bagel, or wonder bread (does that still exist?) or Dave’s killer bread… chances are the macros are gonna be really close. A little over 30 carbs.
The main difference is that 70 g of a bolillo roll can make you a big sub, while 70 g of a bagel gives you about half a bagel. Sometimes worth it when you want that dense chewy texture… but, for me, mostly not…. because BIGGER SANDWICHES ARE BETTER!
I’m just saying.
But this is why I still make homemade honey whole wheat bread while counting macros:
And now that I’ve completely UNSOLD this bread. Here’s why I’m posting it.
I’m still a living, breathing human, a mom, an amateur baker… a LOVER of comfort food and cozy smells when the kids come home from school and all the good feelings. I ENJOY the kitchen and I want my kids to share that same love of homemade, from scratch cooking. And I’m all of those things before I’m a macro-counter.
But when I first started tracking, I stopped pulling fresh fragrant loaves out of my oven every Monday. And recently the kids revolted. So it’s back.
AND — I realized I’m used to this macro-counting thing now, and it’s not such a huge deal to log a slice when it’s fresh and make it count! And then I can enjoy feeding it to my kids the rest of the week if I don’t want to spend that many carbs daily. It’s not a big deal. And it’s true a lot of good feelings come from feeling disciplined and on track with my diet… but sometimes my BEST feelings come from feeling like a (positively UNpolitically correct) fifties homemaker. It’s true.
Thanks to Lizzy, Honey Whole Wheat Bread Is Here To Stay
Anyway. Homemade Honey Whole Wheat Bread is back in business. And this is our favorite homemade bread recipe! Adapted just slightly from Lizzie, one of my best friends and one of the best bakers I know…. who shared those first precious new-mommy years with me, and taught me to cook anything my mom hadn’t!
She’s the one who inspired me to get the wheat grinder… taught me to make homemade pizza, and to always chop a Trader Joe’s pound plus milk chocolate bar for dipping candy or making toffee. She had a pantry full of quinoa and spelt way before anyone knew what they were besides Chef Brad, (the BYU Grain Guy.) And she’s the one that made homemade biscotti back when I thought that just came as it was. Already made. I don’t know. I just did.
Anyway… sharing a piece of Lizzie (aka, this honey whole wheat bread recipe) with you!
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
- 5 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 tbs yeast*
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cup white flour
- 1 1/2 cup oat flour just blend oats in blender and measure after.*
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup melted better 1 stick
- 1 1/2 tbs salt
- 9-11 cups WHITE whole wheat flour** I grind hard white wheat berries I get online from Costco, but you can of course buy white whole wheat flour. If I don’t have berries to grind, I like the King Arthur.
- *You can use instant or non-instant yeast. Just read #1 below carefully. I get a large package of instant yeast from Smart and Final and keep it in my freezer. SOOO much cheaper than the little packs from the store.
- **The great thing about bread it’s good with all kinds of flour! So this is what I shoot for, but any time I’m out of oat flour, I sub with wheat flour. If I run out of wheat flour, I sub with white flour. And sometimes we just want it to be extra yummy and choose to do all white flour. If so, NO NEED FOR GLUTEN FLOUR. That’s just to assist the wheat flour in rising and achieving the right consistency in your bread. Macros will be almost the same regardless of the flour you use.
- Add water to your KitchenAid and sprinkle with yeast. Mix in honey and let sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly and frothy. (If using instant yeast, don’t let it sit, just continue on to number 2.)
- Add in the white flour, wheat gluten, and about half of the whole wheat flour. Mix with paddle attachment. Then add in melted butter and salt. Mix well.
- Switch to dough hook and add in a few more cups of whole wheat flour. Keep adding as you mix until the dough pulls away from the sides. I usually do about 10 cups of whole wheat flour total. But it depends on the weather etc. “Knead” the dough on medium speed for ten minutes.
- Transfer dough into a large greased bowl. Mist top of dough as well with cooking spray, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise about an hour or until doubled in size. But I often let mine sit for a few hours until I get around to it. Either works! (I’ve also been known to let mine rise in the Kitchen-aid bowl covered with a light towel until it overflows all of the my counter. I don’t think that’s the proper way.
- Spray your clean counter with cooking spray or dust with flour. ( I prefer spray for easier clean up.) Dump out your dough and punch it down. Separate into four equal rounds and form them into loaves by gently pulling and tucking the sides down and underneath to get the top nice and smooth. Drop into greased bread pans.
- Let rise in pans until they’re an inch or so above the rim of the pan, 30 minutes to an hour. They should look almost like beautiful loaves of bread already. Nice and puffy. Make sure you start preheating your oven when they’re getting close.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. To fit all four at once, I put one loaf horizontally in the back and three side by side in front of it. Of course you could half it.
- I suggest halving it: Again, I use a large 6 qt Kitchen-aid to make my bread, and we love to freeze our extra loaves and pull them out as needed. It’s not JUST as soft and delicious as when it’s fresh. But we’re mostly toasting it after day one, and for that, it’s hardly any different! Still so amazing. But I know not everyone likes to be as stocked up as me. And a smaller mixer might not be able to handle all this dough.
- If you count macros, I didn’t give you gram measurements because with bread, you just really have to go by the look and feel of the dough. It won’t be exactly the same each time. I’ve found the macros to be SO CLOSE regardless… so I don’t think it’s worth stressing about. Even if you add a lot more flour, your loaves will just be bigger… but your 65 gram slice will consist of a VERY similar break down keeping your macros almost the same. To log my recipe directly from MFP, just search “Lillie Eats and Tells Honey Whole Wheat Bread.” You’ll be able slice your bread as thin or as thick as you like and log in grams.