Nan’s Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Back when Mr18’s dad was almost 18, he lived with a family in a cabin in the mountains.  Nan’s the matriarch of this family and came up with this recipe for healthy and wholesome wheat bread.  Since she was baking for a rather large brood, that now included another, her original recipe resulted in 7 loaves!  That’s more baking than I’ve ever tackled!  I adjusted the recipe for the number of loaf pans I own–2.  And now that I’m watching my fat intake, I’ve reduced the oil in that recipe by half.  It was still so moist and yummy, I’m gonna try to reduce it by half again the next time I bake, because freshly baked bread warm from the oven is so, so tempting.


This recipe calls for a few ingredients that you may not have on hand, but could be substituted (soy and spelt flours) by using unbleached flour, or are in small enough amounts (nutritional yeast) that they could be left out all together.  The spelt and soy increase the protein content and nutritional yeast adds B vitamins.  All can be found at a natural foods market, and I’ve seen both flours at my regular grocery.


  • 1 pkg dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oil (I plan to try this recipe with just 2 TBSP next time.  Oil’s job in a yeast bread is to keep a moist crumb.)
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached flour plus more to knead

Whisk yeast into 1/4 cup of the warm water.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes to proof–become bubbly.

proof yeast

Place yeast, salt, molasses, honey, oil, the rest of the warm water into the bowl of a mixer and combine.

mix yeast and wet ingredients

Add soy, spelt, nutritional yeast, and whole wheat flour.  Mix to combine, scraping down sides as needed.

add dry except unbleached flour

Switch to a dough hook and add unbleached flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough starts to climb the beater.  I was baking on a rainy day, and needed to add an additional 1/2 cup.

add unbleached til dough climbs beater

Turn the sticky dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Have extra flour at the ready so you won’t need to un-gummy your hands to get more if you need it.

turn out onto floured board

Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

knead until smooth

Place the dough ball into a greased bowl, turning the ball once to grease the top.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise until it’s doubled in size.  I was doing laundry at the same time, and placed the bowl on top of the dryer.

place in greased bowl

This will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You’ll know it’s doubled when you poke the dough with your finger and the indentation stays.

let rise til double

Turn the dough out onto the floured surface again, divide into two equal-ish pieces.  Knead each half for just long enough to squeeze out air bubbles and form into loaves.  Place each loaf in a greased (I use a cooking spray) loaf pan, cover with the kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled again.  About 30 minutes.

divide knead and place in greased pans

Preheat oven to 350F.  When loaves are doubled, bake them at 350F for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325F and bake for another 30-35 minutes.

let loaves rise til double

Remove from the oven and place pans on wire racks.


When pans are just cool enough to touch, turn the bread out onto the racks to cool completely.

release from pans to cool

Rub a bit of butter or butter substitute over the top of each loaf to keep the crust tender.

lightly butter tops

Of course, I can’t ever let them cool completely.  I have to slice into one and savor the warm yeasty wonderfulness that is homemade bread.  (Don’t look at my uneven, slanted slicing.)


Beautiful texture, healthy and yummy.  Yeast breads take a bit of time, mostly waiting for dough to rise, but aren’t difficult.  I did my laundry, cleaned and made a soup for dinner while dough was rising, and then finally baking.  Give it a try one of these weekends!  So yummy with soup, toasted with peanut butter or lingonberry jam, or just all by itself!  Homemade bread doesn’t last long around here!



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Filed under breakfast, comfort food, dinner, food gifts, lunch, recipe, snack, Vegetarian

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