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This white whole wheat bread recipe is a soft, homemade whole grain white bread ideal for sandwiches, toast and more! A combination of white whole wheat flour and bread flour result in a lovely, light bread that slices beautifully.
I love bread. I love kneading bread, the slow rise of the dough and the smell of fresh bread filling the house. I make it A LOT. I’ve shared some fun recipes like Garlic Bread Rolls and Asiago Cheese Bread. But I figured it was probably good share a staple in my house, a simple, but delicious White Whole Wheat Bread recipe that has held together many a sandwich in my kitchen.
It’s a simple combo of flours and basic bread ingredients and it’s a delicious mix of white bread and whole wheat bread. Some of the nutrition of whole grain bread, with the appearance of white bread. Your kids will never know…
Wheat Bread vs. White Bread
I know, this bread looks like white sandwich bread, but it’s not! One third of the flour is made up of a white whole wheat flour. But what really is the difference?
Simply put whole wheat flour is just that, whole. Unlike white flour, which is heavily refined, whole wheat flours still contain the germ and the bran, meaning they have a lot more nutritional value, and in my opinion, flavor. White whole wheat is simply a whole grain flour made from white wheat berries. Your typical whole wheat is made from red wheat berries that aren’t as sweet.
So if wheat flour is so much better, why use any refined flours in this recipe? The fact of the mater is that I’ve yet to get a wheat flour to behave like my white flours do. A combination creates a happy texture, flavor, and rise.
Ingredients For Sandwich Bread
Like most breads, this loaf of homemade sandwich bread is a simple combination of easy to find, common ingredients.
- Bread Flour – 2/3 of the flour for this recipe, and essential for developing the strong gluten that gives the bread it’s texture.
- White Whole Wheat Flour – White whole wheat gives the bread an added natural sweetness that whole wheat flours don’t otherwise have, and it’s the reason this loaf still looks like a classic sandwich loaf.
- Salt – ALWAYS, just always.
- Sugar – Just a bit helps the yeast thrive, and adds flavor.
- Yeast – Creates all that lovely air!
- Butter – Fat equal richness and helps with texture.
- Milk – I like milk for it’s added richness and flavor in this homemade sandwich bread.
How to Make Whole Grain White Bread
As with most bread recipes, the hardest part is the waiting! While this recipe does require some mixing and kneading, it’s all very simple and I’m going to walk you through every step!
- Heat your milk to lukewarm, a max of 110°F, like a baby’s bottle. Add in half the sugar, stir, and then the yeast, stir again. This will activate your yeast, and get very bubbly and foamy in about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Melt your butter, and set aside to cool slightly. Then mix all of your white whole wheat flour, and the same amount (5 ounces, a cup plus two tablespoons) of bread flour in a bowl and set aside.
- If you don’t own a kitchen scale, but like to bake….INVEST. Accuracy, ease, and consistent baking is enough to be worth a 12 dollar scale!
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, pour in your proofed (foamy) yeast. Add in the remaining half of the sugar, salt, and the melted butter. Stir together.
- Add in your bowl of combined flour. Either by hand or with your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, on low, fold the dough together until all the flour is absorbed.
- The dough will still be sticky, so add in the remaining bread flour a few tablespoons at a time and knead until the dough is tacky, but no longer sticks to the bowl or your hands. This is up to about 2/3 cup but you may not need it all.
- Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and begin to knead it. Push forward with the heels of your hands then fold it back on itself. Turn the dough and repeat. Continue this for about 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth soft ball of dough.
- Place in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When your dough has risen, gently punch it down and turn it out onto a clean work surface. Press the dough with your hands to form a rectangle. The dough should be pliant and soft. If it snaps back when you push it, let it rest for 10 minutes and try again.
- Starting on the long side, roll your dough up into a cylinder, keeping it as tight as possible without squeezing the dough.
- Place your rolled up dough into a 9×5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise again until doubled or puffy and higher than the edge of the pan, anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F after about 35 minutes. When your dough has risen fully, brush the top gently with a little milk and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and carefully tip the pan onto a cooling rack to remove the bread loaf from the pan. Quickly turn the bread right side up, and allow to cool completely before slicing.
- Slice as needed and store remaining bread in an airtight container for up to 4 to 5 days. Or, freeze for up to 4 months.
Pro Tip: Kneading is essential to this recipe. By pushing and pulling the dough you’re working the flour and creating gluten bonds that hold the bread together. Knead too little and you won’t have the close textured crumb of sandwich bread.
Step 6 – Bake!
Yes! It won’t have the pure white bread appearance, and may have a slightly nuttier flavor, but it’s perfectly delicious to use as a 1 to 1 replacement.
Yes! I’ve made it both with milk and water. I do think milk provides a richer flavor, but water won’t ruin the bread flavor or texture. If prefer to use no milk at all, you’ll have to brush the top of the bread with something else, like an egg wash.
The egg wash can be made with 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water.
You can also use non-dairy milks, but please be advised that they will affect flavor of the final result.
In the years before pasteurization this was true. Bacteria, proteins, and some enzymes present in natural milk can inhibit the growth of yeast. Scalding the milk, or bringing it to a point of steaming, but not boiling, kills the bacteria, denatures the proteins, and stops those pesky enzymes from getting in the way of yeast.
Nowadays the pasteurization process most of our milks go through solves this problem for us and we can skip the scorching step. However, if you use unpasteurized milk, please follow this guide to scalding milk. Then allow it to cool to at least 110°F before adding your yeast.
Yes! If you’re not a fan of weekly bread baking like myself, go ahead and double away. You’ll need 2 loaf pans of course to baking at the same time. If you don’t have 2 pans, and would still like to double this recipe, you’ll have to take an extra step.
Divide the dough in half after the first rise. Shape both, place one in the pan, and the other wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Follow the recipe for the first loaf. Once your first loaf is out and cooling, let the loaf pan cool and then add the refrigerated dough to it. Let it rise at room temperature, probably closer to 1 1/2 hours since the dough is cool, and then bake as directed.
Let the bread cool completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap. Slide the wrapped loaf into a plastic bag, or wrap with freezer paper, and freeze. It will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.
To use, simply remove from the freezer, unwrap, and leave on the counter until thaw. Then store in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
I don’t recommend baking this in the bread machine, but you can use it to make the dough. Simply follow your bread machine’s instructions for adding ingredients then set it to the dough cycle. When it’s done, remove and shape, then bake as directed.
Yes, you can use instant yeast. Replace the active dry with instant 1 for 1, then skip the activation step in warm milk. Instead, simply add the yeast, salt, and sugar to the flour. Then add in the milk and melted butter. Mix as directed.
Now you have a healthier, satisfying homemade sandwich bread recipe in your back pocket. It makes lovely french toast, especially if you slice it thick, but I also like enjoying any of the following recipes with it! Have fun, and as always Happy Eating!
- Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
- Homemade Nut Butter
- Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Homemade Pomegranate Jelly
- Homemade Loquat Jam
- Pear Butter
- 10 oz whole milk + 1/2 tbs for brushing
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- 1 tbs butter, melted plus extra for greasing the rise bowl
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 oz white whole wheat flour about 1 cup
- 9.5 oz bread flour about 2 cups, minus 2 tablespoons
- Microwave milk to between 95°F and 110°F. Add in yeast and 1 Tbs of sugar, stir and let sit until yeast is foamy and bubbled on top. About 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt butter and set aside. Measure white whole wheat flour and 5 ounces (about 1 cup) of bread flour into a bowl of a stand mixer* with the salt and remainder of sugar.
- When yeast/milk mixture is ready, add it to the flour mixture with the melted butter. Fit stand mixer with a dough hook and turn on to medium speed until dough comes together in a sticky shaggy dough.
- Begin adding remainder of bread flour 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands, and turn dough out onto surface. Begin kneading by pushing down and out with the palms of your hands. Rotate and fold and repeat. The dough will become less sticky as you knead, simply flour board and hands if dough sticks too much to handle, but do not over flour.
- Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, but slightly tacky. Grease a large bowl with a little bit of butter (or oil) and form dough into a ball. Place in bowl, rotate it to coat all sides with grease, and cover with plastic wrap. Rise until doubled, 45 mins to 1 hour.
- Get loaf pan ready by a lightly floured work surface. Turn dough out onto surface and gently press into a rectangle the same length as your loaf pan, and about 6 inches wide. Try to keep the dough even thickness.
- Roll dough up from the long edge, keeping it tight. Place dough into the loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until peeking up over the edge of the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- After 35 minutes, preheat oven to 350°F. Check dough at 45 minutes, dough should fill out the pan, and when gently touched have a bit of resistance, but not feel dense. If needed let rise longer. When ready, brush top of loaf with reserved milk.
- Place in oven on middle rack and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and carefully remove from loaf pan immediately onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing or storing.
- Store in a plastic bag in a cool cupboard for up to 5 days. When slicing use a sharp serrated knife.
Originally published 7/28/2019, Updated 3/31/2020
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.