Whole Wheat Bread + Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls | A 50% whole wheat bread recipe for a soft and flavorful sandwich loaf. I use half white flour and half whole wheat flour in this bread recipe to keep this loaf from getting too dense and also to keep the flavor from being too overwhelming for some in my house. The result is a soft and fluffy delicious loaf of bread. I also give you an option for making whole wheat dinner rolls with this easy dough.
This homemade whole wheat bread recipe is based on my soft and fluffy white bread recipe.
At the beginning of last month, I wasn't able to find any white flour in stores for recipe development and home baking. I could only find whole wheat flour.
My kids aren't huge fans of 100% whole wheat bread or buns, but we all really like this recipe with half whole wheat flour and half white flour. You get the slightly nutty flavor of whole wheat but the white flour just kind of helps it from being too dense and having an overwhelming flavor.
You'll get a soft and fluffy sandwich loaf or dinner rolls - whichever you choose - with this dough. I like to double it and make both!
The simple ingredients for whole wheat bread dough:
- white flour - as I've said, this helps me keep this loaf from getting too dense and my kids just aren't huge fans of the taste of 100% whole wheat bread
- whole wheat flour - I use whole wheat flour (not white whole wheat flour)
- instant yeast - no need to proof the yeast when using instant, just toss it in with the flour
- oil - helps to achieve a soft dough
- brown sugar - I like to add some brown sugar or honey in my whole wheat loaves, sometimes whole wheat can taste bitter to me without this
- salt - you need salt to give bread flavor
How to Make Whole Wheat Bread or Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
To make the dough, mix together the warm water, brown sugar, and the oil. I use canola oil or corn oil, whatever I oil I have on hand that has a mild flavor.
Next add the salt, yeast, and most of the flour. I usually add about 75% of the flour needed for a recipe, mix it together, and then add more flour if needed. So for this recipe, I would add about 200 grams of each flour, mix everything together, and then sprinkle in more as needed.
Note: I usually need all 500 grams plus a little bit to need it together - maybe a tablespoon or two. I live between 500 and 1,000 feet above sea level, in Manitoba, Canada. If you're in a higher elevation check the FAQ's on my Brioche Buns post for some tips for baking bread.
Lightly dust your countertop and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Just push it and pull it and turn it and fold until it gets a bit smoother. Add a little flour here and there if the dough is too sticky and starts to stick to the counter.
Above is what mine can looks like before and after kneading it.
Now oil the dough ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel and set it in a warm place to rise. I usually turn the oven light on (but not the heat!) and let it rise in there. The light alone helps create just a bit of warmth. Leave it for an hour or until it's doubled in size.
How to shape a loaf of bread
Once it's finished rising, knock the air out and place the dough on the counter. Stretch it out into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough up, tightly. Pinch the edge into the dough to seal and tuck the ends underneath. Read my Soft + Fluffy White Bread blog post to see step by step photos of this process.
Place the dough seam side down in a bread pan. Cover again and let rise about 45 minutes to an hour, or until it rises past the edges of your bread pan. (See above photos)
Heat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes. Brush the top of the loaf with butter for a soft crust.
How to Make Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Or... you can make dinner rolls! Mix the dough the same way and let it rise. To shape, divide the dough into 9 pieces. Roll each one into a ball. Place in a pan and let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes. Brush hot rolls with butter for a soft crust.
Can I use all whole wheat flour?
Yes you can! You might just need less of it.
More Bread Recipes:
- Soft + Fluffy White Bread - the perfect sandwich bread - also makes great buns!
- Brioche Buns - The most popular recipe on my website! Fluffy burgers buns in no time.
- Sweet Potato Pita Bread - Great use for mashed sweet potatoes in this easy flatbread recipe.
- Easy Focaccia Bread - Delicious Italian dinner bread flavored with olive oil and your choice of herbs.
- Buttermilk Biscuits - Simple, only a handful of ingredients, the perfect breakfast or Sunday evening snack - including a honey, lemon + thyme compound butter.
Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe + Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- 1 ¼ cups warm water (120°F – 130°F)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 250 grams white flour (about 2 cups)
- 250 grams whole wheat flour (about 2 cups)
- Mix together the warm water, brown sugar, and oil. Add the salt, yeast, and most of the flour, holding some back to add in if you need it. I usually need all of mine, but flour brands and baking environments are all different so use the amount of flour you need to form a tacky dough.
- Knead the dough on a countertop for about 5 minutes – pushing and pulling and turning the dough until it smooths out. Oil the dough and place in a bowl, top with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm place, for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and flatten it out in a rectangle. Roll the dough tightly, pinching the end into the roll. (See my white bread recipe, linked in the notes, for a step by step photos of this process.)
- Place the formed dough into a bread pan. (To make rolls, divide into 9 and roll into balls. Place them in a 9 x9 pan.) Cover with plastic and a towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it rises above the side of the pan.
- Heat oven to 400°F. Bake loaf for about 25 minutes. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes.
- Brush the hot loaf with butter for a soft crust.