Everyday Whole Grain Bread

Nothing beats a hearty sandwich, and whole wheat bread is a natural place to start. But what about those who say they don't like whole wheat? This recipe walks a tasty line between hearty and mild, using equal parts all-purpose and white whole wheat flours to produce a high-rising, tender loaf. It can be baked in a loaf pan; or made into a freeform loaf, for more of a "grip and rip" bread. Either way, it's simply delicious.

Through our Bake for Good: Kids program, more than 300,000 students across the country have baked this flavorful, wholesome recipe, and shared it with people in need in their communities. The recipe makes two loaves — we suggest you enjoy one, and share the other. Bake for good!
Prep
30 mins
Bake
28 to 32 mins
Total
3 hrs 2 mins
Yield
2 loaves
Everyday Whole Grain Bread

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the water, sugar, yeast, and 2 cups of the white whole wheat flour. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes, until bubbles form. Stir in the remaining 1 cup white whole wheat flour, the salt, and the oil.
  2. Stir in 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Sprinkle an additional 1/2 cup flour over the sticky dough, mixing it in with a spatula or your hands.
  3. Sprinkle some of the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour on a clean work surface. Place the dough onto the work surface and knead it for 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour if needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Alternatively, knead the dough in the bowl of your stand mixer; or in the bucket of a bread machine set on the dough cycle. Add the final 1/2 cup flour as needed to create a soft, smooth dough.
  5. Let the dough rest while you scrape out your mixing bowl and wipe it with oil.
  6. If you're kneading by hand, knead the dough a few minutes more; it should feel bouncy. Place it into the oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Place the dough somewhere warm (65°F to 75° is ideal) to rise until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Shape each piece into an 8" to 9" log. Place each log into a lightly greased loaf pan, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Tent the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  10. While the loaves are rising, preheat your oven to 375°F.
  11. Uncover the bread, and bake it for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. If you have a digital thermometer, the internal temperature at the center will be about 190°F.
  12. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool. Wrap completely cooled bread in plastic, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • What size loaf pan should you use? An 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pan will yield a taller loaf, one whose slices are closer to those of a normal-sized sandwich loaf; a 9" x 5" loaf pan, a shorter loaf with more rectangular slices.
  • The instructions above were written for middle-school kids, most of whom have probably never baked bread before. If you're a seasoned bread baker, feel free to put the ingredients together however you're most comfortable, be that following the directions as written; or simply "mix everything together and knead." Also, give the bread a few decorative slashes prior to baking if desired, as shown in the photo above.