Outstanding Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread with No White Flour

Sneak Preview: This 100% Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread recipe contains no white flour. This recipe could be the solution if you want to incorporate more whole grains into your diet. As usual, there is an unexpected secret ingredient you don’t want to miss.

sliced whole wheat bread on cutting board with strawberries in the backgroundPin

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Have you ever tried making bread machine wheat bread by substituting whole wheat flour for all the white flour in your favorite basic white bread recipe? How did it go? Most people report producing something like a brick or a doorstop.

I made my first 100% whole wheat loaf a few weeks ago. It wasn’t much better. It came out of the oven flat on top, not beautifully rounded as I had hoped. That was my first lesson–whole wheat flour without a supporting act of white flour is more fragile.

After many rounds of testing, I’m glad to publish a recipe I think you’ll be proud to share.

Four Reasons Why This Recipe Is Worth a Try

  1. The recipe has an unexpected ingredient–peanut butter. You can leave it out, but I think it adds a special something.
  2. I’ll show you how to use the DOUGH cycle of your bread machine to make this recipe. Ensure the moisture level is correct as the dough kneads to avoid surprises in the final bake.
  3. Honey is the natural sweetener in the recipe, but you can reduce it or leave it out. You can also reduce the salt, but please don’t leave it out.
  4. If you don’t have a bread machine, use a stand mixer or make it by hand. See the details in the recipe notes.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

I tried some recipes for “whole wheat bread using a bread machine” but wasn’t getting very far.  Researching more, I came across your website, particularly the page Outstanding Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread with No White Flour.  I followed your instructions to a T (except for using a packet of yeast, 1 ounce more than the recipe). OH-MY-WORD!!! You nailed it!  Perfect the very first time.–Marty


Quick Facts About Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour contains all three parts of the wheat berry:

  • the bran
  • the germ
  • the endosperm
  1. All-purpose flour and bread flour are both ground endosperm (the inner white portion). Bread flour is made with hard wheat while AP flour is made with hard and soft wheat. Whole wheat flour contains all three parts of the wheat berry.
  2. The natural oils in the germ are what cause your wheat flour to go rancid quickly. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
  3. Hard wheat contains more protein and more gluten. Bread flour has the most protein and will rise higher than all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour.
  4. Although some people have trouble digesting the gluten in whole wheat flour, it has many health benefits, too.

“That means it contains more nutrients, fiber, and natural oils.”

The Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful HInts by Linda Rehberg & Lois Conway

What Is Different About Baking with WholeWheat Flour as Compared to Baking White Bread?

Whole wheat flour contains less gluten than bread flour.

Think of wheat bread as a bundle of tiny balloons. The balloon skin is developed gluten. Each balloon holds carbon dioxide belched out by hungry yeasty bodies. If the balloons pop, the air escapes.

Since there is less gluten in whole wheat flour, the skin of the “balloons” isn’t as strong as white flour’s. If these fragile balloons are allowed to get too big, they will pop. When they pop, the bread falls, and another brick is born.

Note: I hope it doesn’t happen, but don’t throw it out if you end up with a dense loaf or brick. Instead, make this Bread Crumb Pudding. Nobody will know about your mistake after you turn it into crumbs with a ton of flavor.

Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients needed for this wheat bread recipePin
  • Water: Tap water is good enough unless you have very hard water or high chlorine levels.
  • Salt: I tested the recipe with sea salt. Table salt works fine, too. If you want to use Kosher salt, add ¼ teaspoon more.
  • Oil: Avocado, coconut, canola, or vegetable oil are my choices, in that order.
  • Honey: Substitute brown sugar if you like, but reduce the amount of liquid. Start by holding out a couple of tablespoons of water. If the dough seems dry after being kneaded for a while, add the water back a tablespoon until the dough sticks to the sides of the bread machine pan, then pulls away cleanly.
  • Sunflower seed butter or creamy peanut butter: (Optional) This is the secret ingredient. While staring at my pantry one day, I wondered what some peanut butter would do for my whole wheat loaf.
    • It turns out that it makes a wonderful-tasting and slightly softer loaf. I tried both peanut butter and sunflower seed butter. Even though the sunflower seed butter is more expensive, I like the milder flavor. It’s virtually undetectable.
    • If you are using peanut butter, I think you can smell it if you think about it. My husband couldn’t smell or taste it, but he still loved the bread.
    • If you don’t want to use either of these ingredients, leave them out and add a tablespoon of avocado or vegetable oil to take its place.
  • Nonfat dry milk or powdered milk: I have only tried nonfat dry milk because it’s available in my area. I assume powdered whole milk would work, too.
  • Whole wheat flour: Many readers ask me about my favorite brand of flour. The answer is whatever you can get your hands on during hard times. I’ve tried this recipe with King Arthur flour, Target’s and Kroger’s store brands. They all make good bread. White whole wheat flour is another option.
  • Vital wheat gluten: (Not pictured above) This is another optional ingredient. I did most of my testing without it because many people don’t have it on hand. However, it does add gluten to the bread and helps the dough rise more. My husband prefers lighter and softer bread, so I always include it now. Use it or not. You’re the boss.
  • Yeast: If you make this recipe with a bread machine, use instant yeast (aka bread machine yeast). Active dry yeast will work if that’s all you have. See the notes at the end of the recipe.

A Note About the Way I Use a Bread Machine

In case this is your first time using one of my bread machine recipes, note that I only use the DOUGH cycle of my bread machine. When the DOUGH cycle completes, I pull the dough out of the pan, shape it on the counter, let it rise one final time, and then bake the loaf in my conventional oven. This is the easiest way to produce a fabulous loaf that will inspire you to share the fruits of your labor with family and friends.

If you don’t have a conventional oven available, you can try making this homemade bread from beginning to end with the whole wheat cycle of your bread machine. However, the recipe has not been tested for this method. Because of variables like humidity, room temperature, different brands of ingredients, and other factors, your chances of ending up with a beautiful loaf are much lower than when using the DOUGH cycle and baking in your conventional oven.


How To Make a 100% Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

assembling ingredients in the bread machine panPin
Add all dough ingredients to the bread machine pan in the order listed. The liquids do not need to be warmed first.
resting dough before starting to give time for the flour to absorb water and softenPin
Select the DOUGH cycle and start the machine.

After one minute, STOP the machine. Use a small plastic spatula to ensure all the ingredients are mixed, and no dry flour is seen. Let this flour mixture sit for 30 minutes inside the bread maker before restarting the DOUGH cycle.

kneading the dough in the bread machinePin
This dough has been mixed for about 10 minutes.

Although the dough may look too wet, don’t add flour yet. Give the machine more time to develop the gluten.

The dough should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly when the dough has the right amount of moisture.Pin
Your dough should look smooth and elastic in the last five minutes of the kneading phase.

About 8 minutes before the kneading phase ends, you can see the dough is a perfect consistency–sticks to the side and pulls away cleanly. I did not need to add water or flour.

pulling dough out of the bread machine panPin
Pull the dough out of the pan onto a damp surface.

Don’t use flour because it can lead to tunnels in the finished loaf. If your hands stick to the dough, spray them with water, too. A bench scraper sprayed with water is helpful.

flattening dough with a covered rolling pinPin
Gently but firmly press the dough with your fingers to push down any bubbles and shape it into a rough rectangle.

I like to use a rolling pin to be sure I compress the bubbles around the edges.

using the pan to check the widthPin
Use your empty bread pan as a guide to ensure you rolled the dough wide enough.

Roll up the dough, starting with the short end closest to you. Avoid stretching or trapping any air between the layers as you roll.

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pinching the seams shutPin
Use your fingertips to pinch the seam closed.
ends pinched and turned toward the seamPin
Pinch the ends and turn toward the seam.
shaped dough laid into the panPin
Place the dough seam-side down into a well-greased or paper-lined 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan or a 9 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman pan.

This dough tends to stick to all but my favorite USA pans (paid link).

laying the loaf into the pan seam-side downPin
Use your flat fingers to distribute the dough evenly from end to end.
dough after shaping but before final rise.Pin
Cover with a tea towel or a cheap shower cap. Place in a warm (but not too warm) place to rise.
Bread dough after it has risen and is ready to bake.Pin
The pan on the left is a 9 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman pan. The bread dough has risen almost even with the top. The pan on the right is 8½ x 4½ inches. The dough has risen one inch over the top. Both loaves are ready to bake.

Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F (88˚C). Check with a quick-read digital thermometer (paid link).

unsliced bread baked in an 8½ x 4½ loaf panPin
I brushed the baked crust with a small bit of butter. (Wait until the loaf cools so it won’t wrinkle like the loaf below.)
unslice bread baked in a pullman panPin
This is the loaf baked in a Pullman pan. The slices are a bit smaller because the pan is longer. The square shape is perfect for sandwiches.

FAQs About This Whole Wheat Recipe

What can I substitute for the vital wheat gluten?

I know of no commercial substitute. You can always leave it out. Your loaf will still be tasty, just not as high. Please note that if you leave it out of my recipe, you should substitute the same amount of whole wheat flour in its place. Read the recipe carefully.

My loaf looked beautiful when I put it into the oven, but now it has a flat top. What happened?

Your loaf was probably over-proofed. In other words, it rose too much during the final rise. When the loaf hit the oven’s heat, it ran out of energy and collapsed. 100% whole wheat is vulnerable to falling because it doesn’t have as much gluten to build a strong scaffold.

Why do I need to shape the dough?

Rolling out the dough will give your bread a structure and uniform crumb pattern. Not only will your loaf be prettier, but the crumb will hold together better since it has been organized. Have you ever tried to eat a sandwich made with crumbly bread?

Can I reduce the honey, fat, and salt to make this loaf healthier?

Less fat will leave you with a dry loaf. You could cut back on the honey if you like. (I tried it and missed it.) Regarding the salt, you can experiment with cutting back a bit, but don’t cut it out. The yeast needs it.

How do I store homemade whole wheat bread to keep it fresh as long as possible?

Double-wrap and freeze whatever you can’t eat in 2-3 days. Since this recipe has no preservatives, it will only stay fresh on the counter for a short time, especially if your kitchen is warm. It’s best not to store bread in the refrigerator because humidity encourages mold.

Why does my whole wheat bread have tunnels?

Too much flour or oil on your work surface and hands when shaping the dough can cause tunnels. When perfecting my bread machine sourdough recipe, I learned to spray my hands and work surface with water (but not too much) to prevent sticking. Works great with whole wheat dough, too. A bench scraper is helpful for sticky dough.

Other causes include not pushing all the bubbles out of the dough after the first rise and not letting the dough rise long enough before you bake the bread. (Be careful about the rising tip. Over-proofing will cause your dough to collapse in the oven because whole wheat flour is not as strong as white bread flour.)

Why the 30-minute rest period before starting the DOUGH cycle?

Whole wheat flour takes longer to absorb liquid. If you don’t give it time, you will be tempted to add too much flour when it seems impossibly sticky. Too much flour produces doorstops.

Another reason is that the bran in whole wheat flour has microscopic sharp edges that can slice through the gluten and weaken the network. Water helps to soften those edges.

What can I do to keep the loaf from sticking to the pan?

The easiest solution is to use a parchment paper sling, as pictured earlier in this post. Otherwise, a non-stick pan sprayed with something like Baker’s Secret (an aerosol mixture of flour and oil) often works. I recommend the shiny and heavy USA loaf pans (paid link). (Don’t wash your non-stick pans in a dishwasher, and use a plastic knife (to avoid damage to the pan) to loosen the sides of the loaf before turning it out.



Parting thoughts: If you want to make a loaf with whole wheat flour and white flour that is light and fluffy, my Honey Whole Wheat Loaf might be more your style. Here is a recipe for Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls if that’s what you need. This recipe for Sprouted Wheat Bread Machine Recipe with Honey and Seeds is especially flavorful, and you can use your whole wheat flour as a substitute for sprouted wheat flour.


Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

slices of wheat bread next to jelly and knifePin
Yield: 12 slices

100% Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

This 100% whole-grain loaf is mixed and kneaded with a bread machine, then shaped by hand before baking in a conventional oven. Peanut butter or sunflower butter and vital wheat gluten are optional ingredients.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Mix and Rise Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • cups (284 g) water
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (23 g) avocado, canola, or coconut oil add one more tablespoon if not using peanut butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter or sunflower seed butter (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons (63 g) honey
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 2⅞ cups (345 g) whole wheat flour (if not using vital wheat gluten, add two additional tablespoons of whole wheat flour for 360 gr total)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

Instructions

Mixing the dough:

  • Add all ingredients: 1¼ cups (284 g) water, 1¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons (23 g) avocado, canola, or coconut oil, 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter or sunflower seed butter, 3 tablespoons (63 g) honey , 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk, 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, 2⅞ cups (345 g) whole wheat flour, and 2 teaspoons instant yeast to the bread machine pan in the order listed.
  • Select the DOUGH cycle, then START. Let the machine run for about 1 minute, then press the DOUGH button again to stop the action. All the ingredients should be wet. Use a small spatula to clean flour from the sides of the pan and mix it into the dough so no ingredients are dry.
  • (All bread machines are different. With a Zojirushi, set the timer for 2:00. Then press START. The DOUGH cycle will automatically start in 30 minutes. With other machines, you may have to unplug the machine or restart the DOUGH cycle. If all else fails, let the dough sit in the machine and come back to manually restart it on the DOUGH cycle after 30 minutes.)
    The purpose of this rest is to let the whole wheat flour soak in the water to kickstart the gluten development and soften the flour.
  • After the DOUGH cycle starts, check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek. Do this at the beginning to see if the paddles are correctly engaged and the dough is starting to clump or form a ball.
    Recheck the consistency of the dough again 15-17 minutes into the DOUGH cycle.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly. See the pictures above. Adding flour too hastily will result in dry bread.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry (it should be tacky to the touch), add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Find out more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • When the rest period and the DOUGH cycle are finished, the dough should be doubled in size. If not, leave the dough in the bread machine until it is double the original size at the end of the kneading phase.

Shaping:

  • Spray your counter or silicone mat with a small amount of water. Remove the dough onto your damp surface. Also, spray your hands with water as opposed to using flour to keep the dough from sticking. (Using flour or oil can cause tunnels inside of the finished whole wheat bread.)
  • Using damp hands, press the dough into a rectangle shape. A bench knife helps to keep your hands out of the sticky dough. Use a cloth-covered rolling pin, if you have one, to roll over the top of the dough to make the rectangle a uniform thickness. Press out any large bubbles on the sides of the dough with your fingers or the rolling pin.
  • Starting from the short end closest to you, begin to roll the dough to make a cylinder. Use a damp bench knife to scoot under the dough as you roll it to keep it from sticking. Avoid stretching the dough but make sure you aren’t rolling big air pockets into the cylinder as you go. Pinch the seams together horizontally across the cylinder of dough. Turn the ends toward the seam and pinch them together, also.
  • Use a damp bench knife and damp fingers to pick up the dough cylinder and place it seam-side down into a greased or parchment paper-lined 4½ x 8½-inch loaf pan or a 9x4x4-inch Pullman pan. Try to press the dough into a uniform shape inside the pan so the ends of the loaf don’t dry out before the middle is done. Cover with a damp tea towel or a cheap shower cap and place in a warm (but not too warm) place to rise a final time.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  • When the loaf has risen approximately 1-inch above the top edge of the 8½ x 4½-inch pan or approaches the top of the Pullman pan, place it onto the center rack of your hot oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 195˚ to 200˚F. (90-92˚C).
  • Allow the loaf to sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove it to a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Swipe a little soft butter over the crust to lend an appetizing shine.

Notes

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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31 Comments

  1. Hi Paula, I’m hopefully going to try this over the weekend when My vital wheat gluten arrives from Amazon. Can I just ask is the whole wheat flour strong bread flour or just whole wheat flour ? Actually in the UK, we call it
    Whole meal flour .
    Thanks Paula.

    1. Hi Jules,
      Hmmm. I’m not an expert on flour in the UK. Far from it. Good bread flour usually has 13-14% protein. For this recipe, I use regular whole wheat flour (whole meal?) because that’s the only whole wheat flour available in most grocery stores in the States.

      I hope you’ll let me know how this recipe turns out for you and what kind of flour you ended up using for your bread.

  2. Mary Parry says:

    5 stars
    This has turned out perfectly every time I’ve made it.

    1. I never get tired of hearing this!! Thank you for writing.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    5 stars
    I never buy whole wheat bread as myself and my family don’t like it but this is a game changer! If you’re looking for a healthier everyday bread, this is the recipe you’ve need. Amazing flavour. I still will never whole wheat bread but I will be buying whole wheat flour to make this bread regularly. Not only does it taste great but a healthy choice for everyday. Thank you Paula again

    1. Hi Jacqui,

      I’m so happy to hear that you love it. If you can find white whole wheat flour made with hard white winter wheat (check at Target or online), your family won’t even realize it’s whole wheat but the nutrition is the same. The flavor is more mild than when using regular whole wheat flour made with hard red winter wheat berries.

      Thank you for taking the time to write.

  4. 5 stars
    Didn’t rise very much on the first rise. Any ideas why?

    1. Hi Kim,
      My first guess is temperature. Is your kitchen rather cool or drafty? If so, move the machine to a warmer place or throw a quilt over it to keep it warm. If you have a quick-read digital thermometer, it’s easy to check the temperature of the dough. Ideally, it will be between 76 and 80˚F.

      Did you measure or weigh the flour? Weighing is much more accurate. Measuring with cups often results in a dense dough that takes longer to rise.

      Because this is 100% whole wheat, the dough is not going to rise as high as dough with bread flour in it. Did you let the dough sit for 30 minutes after mixing it as instructed in the recipe? This helps the rise, too.

      There could be other reasons; these are just common ones. Do you think any of these are possibilities?

  5. Hi Paula – your absolutely right about allowing the semi mixed wet dough to rest for at least 30 min. Makes all the difference with w.w. bread recipes. Also I always add 1 Tbls. lemon juice or vinegar as part of the liquid ingred. (reduce water by 1 Tbls.) Maybe that’s picking up on adding the orange juice idea. (old old trick)

    1. Hi Dee,
      Yep. That whole wheat flour needs time to soak. I haven’t tried the lemon juice with this recipe but I do love it in my basic white bread. The orange juice sounds good with whole wheat, too. Thanks so much for writing.

  6. Sheila Sibbit says:

    My breadmaker tells me to add the dry ingredients first, then the wet. But, if I want to make this recipe do I follow the order as you have described?

    1. Hi Sheila,
      I’ve owned and used several different bread machines, but none like you describe. However, I would make this bread according to my directions, first. The wheat flour needs to soak for 30 minutes before you add the remaining ingredients since it’s 100% wheat flour. That’s part of the secret to this recipe. (By the way, this recipe is somewhat advanced, so I hope you have some experience making bread.) Since you won’t be using your machine to bake the bread, I think it will work out fine. Let me know if you try it.

  7. You say, “With a Zojirushi, set the timer for 2:00. Then press START. The DOUGH cycle will automatically start in 30 minutes.”

    Since you seem to want the ingredients to be mixed a bit, wet, should I just start the Zo, let it run in DOUGH cycle for 1 minute or so, THEN set the timer? Or, will just the fact that the whole wheat flour is just sitting on the water be enough?

    Thanks!
    (No oven wanted right now – was 107° in Hot Humid Houston yesterday & no break in sight!)

    1. Hi Cindi,
      I hear you about the heat. We were 106 here in the DFW area yesterday. Our swimming pool has turned into a big bathtub. So I completely understand about not using your oven. My solution is to prepare the dough. After the DOUGH cycle ends, I put the dough into the fridge overnight, then shape and bake the dough as soon as I get up the next morning before the temps get too awfully high.

      Back to your question: The flour does need to be sitting in the water. Do whatever it takes so that all the ingredients are mixed up, then just sit there for 30 minutes before the mixing and kneading starts. If you use the timer, you can set it and leave the kitchen until the DOUGH cycle completes. Or you can start the DOUGH cycle and let it run for 1 minute.Stop or unplug the machine. Come back to the machine in 30 minutes and restart the DOUGH cycle. It’s kind of hard to explain, so let me know if you still don’t understand and I’ll try again.

  8. 5 stars
    Been making bread for years but this has now become a family favorite. My question is can I add nuts and/or seeds? If so, what proportion would you suggest or how would you adjust the recipe?

    1. Hi Dawn,
      So glad you like the bread. I have not tried adding any nuts or seeds. If I did, I would start out with a maximum of 1/2 cup and see how that goes. Because 100% whole wheat bread is more fragile, it may cause the bread to be dense. Experimentation is in order. If you figure it all out, leave a note here in the comments. I’m sure other readers have had the same question.

  9. 5 stars
    Has anyone made this completely in their bread machine??

    1. Asiya Umer says:

      The title of this recipe is misleading. I assumed that it would be completely made in the bread machine and it was not. I do not have time to shape and bake traditionally. I take responsibility for not having read the whole recipe before starting.

      1. Hi Asiya,
        All of my bread machine recipes are made this way. I am super picky about the crust, shape and texture of my bread since I give a lot of it away and even sell it. My readers like to share their bread, too. Bread with holes in the bottom, cardboard crusts, crumbly texture, and ugly shapes are not good enough. Some of my readers do bake their loaves in their machines and that’s fine, too, but I make no promises about the results. Some recipes work better than others.

  10. Hi Paula! I’m a longtime fan of your bread machine method recipes. I have made this loaf twice — the flavor is OUTSTANDING and I want to make this my everyday family bread; however, I’ve been having issues of 1) the loaf sticking to my USA Pans (despite being oiled thoroughly), and 2) hole/tunneling where the bread is pinched together. I’ve not used flour or oil when shaping, only water. My first loaf rose very, very quickly, so I reduced the amount of yeast and the second loaf was less precipitous. 🙂 Can you help me figure out what I’m doing wrong, please?

    1. Hi Margy,
      Glad to hear you are enjoying the wheat bread. I had issues with both of these things while testing this recipe.

      1. The loaf sticking: This can happen if you use too much water on your hands while shaping. The best solution is to make a parchment paper sling–but that could get expensive. I didn’t have any problems with sticking when I used my USA pans, but I did with other pans. By any chance, have you washed your USA pan in the dishwasher? Just curious. You may not like aerosols, but have you tried spraying your pans with Baker’s secret? That stuff works like a dream. One other tip–use a plastic knife to release the bread from the sides of the pan so you don’t damage your pan.
      2. Holes and tunnels: I think this is a common problem for bread makers because if you search around the internet for 100% whole wheat bread, you will see lots of small and large tunnels in the pictures if they show a slice. Many won’t show a cut slice (my pet peeve). Assuming you haven’t used oil or flour in the shaping, the best way to minimalize this occurrence is to be sure you gently press all the bubbles out of the dough after you have shaped it into a rectangle. I use a rolling pin and make sure I roll it firmly over the entire rectangle and don’t miss the edges. As you roll up the rectangle, be sure that the dough is snug without stretching it. Pat the seam down with your fingers to see if that will help. I’m guessing a little practice will fix the problem.

      A word about the rapid rise of the dough: You did well to decrease the yeast. That never hurts as long as you have plenty of time for the dough to rise. Unless your house is extra cold, you don’t need to set the dough in a warm place to proof. Also, there is no need to warm any of the ingredients (chop the butter). The friction caused by the kneading paddles will heat everything just fine. The longer the rise, the better the flavor.

  11. 5 stars
    This was one of the easiest breads I’ve made so far!! Thank you for this recipe! I’ll be making it a lot!

    1. Glad it worked for you. Your letter makes my day!

  12. I have been experimenting with whole wheat flour for some time now. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but some variations that I’ve tried include using orange juice as part of the liquid element (I’m not sure of the source of this idea). It does temper the sometimes bitter flavour of the whole wheat. Another recipe that I have calls for 2 tablespoons of molasses. Not sure why and it does give the bread a darker look. I don’t particularly like the final product with the molasses but thought I’d let you know. I also have a whole wheat challah (egg loaf) recipe although some of my friends tell me that challah “can only be made with white flour”. They’re purists!
    I’ll try this recipe next loaf! Thanks.

    1. Hey Stephen,

      I can’t wait for you to make the recipe and let me know how it turns out for you–good and/or bad. Orange juice is a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, I don’t keep orange juice in the house. Although come to think of it, I usually have 1 or 2 oranges in the fridge. I could use one of them. I agree with your purist friends about the Challah. Whole wheat flour just doesn’t seem fittin’. On the other hand, when you are making the dough, you are the boss and can do exactly as you please. Right?? Yep!!

    2. @Stephen, Made it this morning and the results are excellent. Great looking and great tasting. Didn’t use peanut butter and did add 1/4 cup orange juice + 1 cup water.

      1. I’ve gotta give the orange juice a try.

      2. In the recipe above can i use bread machine yeast and if so how much for this recipe please

        1. Hi Cheryl,
          Instant yeast and bread machine yeast are the same thing. See this post

          Follow the recipe and use 2 teaspoons. Hope this loaf turns out to your liking.

  13. I have used my bread maker many times for the dough cycle – mine is 2 hours long. My question is – can I take the dough out after the first rise when the machine knocks it back. – it’s way before the 2 hour mark?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Good to hear from you.

      I need a few more details to give you an intelligent answer. What brand is your machine? Does your DOUGH cycle include a resting phase at the beginning of the DOUGH cycle? If so, can you shut it off? (you don’t need it). Are there rest times sporadically sprinkled throughout the kneading phase?

      In general, the two rises that most bread machines incorporate into the DOUGH cycle help to improve the texture of the finished bread. In the end, do what suits you best. You are the boss of your bread machine (not the other way around.)