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Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

A loaf of unsliced whole wheat bread sitting on a yellow cutting board with a blue-handled knife beside it
You won’t believe the difference in taste when you bake your own whole wheat bread, nor how easy it is. The addition of olive oil (instead of butter) makes it vegan, too.
Rebecca Seal & John Vincent

Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 3 hrs
12 slices | 1 loaf
147 kcal


  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Scant 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for the bowl and pan


  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the water and oil and mix with your hands until lumpy and craggy with no visible pockets of flour.
  • Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until thoroughly combined (or use the dough hook attachment on your mixer), 7 to 10 minutes. If you find it’s too sticky, add a spoonful or so of flour. The dough should be slightly tacky.
  • Lightly oil the mixing bowl, place the ball of dough back in, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 60 to 80 minutes.
  • Slick a 2-pound (907 g) loaf pan with oil. Lightly knead the dough again for a couple of minutes before moulding into an oval and placing in the pan. (If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can make a more rustic, round cottage loaf on a baking sheet.)
  • Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. (Editor’s note: If you’re uncertain how to tell if your dough is fully risen, use these helpful tips).
  • About 20 minutes before the dough is finished rising, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Bake until you can easily take the loaf out of the pan and the internal temperature is 200°F (93°C), 30 to 35 minutes. If you tap the base of the loaf and it sounds hollow, it's done.
  • Place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.