100% Whole Wheat Bread (made with Freshly Milled Wheat)

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My recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread, made with freshly milled flour, is a game-changer when it comes to both flavor and nutrition. If you’re looking to make a soft, fluffy loaf that doesn’t have the typical whole wheat taste that sometimes puts people off, but when you use freshly milled flour, any my secret ingredient, it takes your bread to the next level!

The whole wheat flour is more flavorful, with a subtle sweetness and nuttiness that you just can’t get from the store-bought stuff. And because all the nutrients are still intact, your bread is not only delicious, but also super wholesome. It truly has a different taste! 

Try out our Whole Wheat Pancakes made with freshly wheat pancakes and don’t forget to download our FREE Wheat Berries guide HERE.

When you use flour that’s been freshly milled, you’re not just getting a bunch of dry, tasteless powder. No! You’re getting all the incredible nutrition and flavor that whole grains have to offer, and let me tell you, it makes a world of difference in your baking! When you mill your own flour, you’re preserving all the good stuff that’s naturally found in the wheat berry. We’re talking about the bran, which is packed with fiber, and the germ, which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils. These parts of the grain are where all the flavor and nutrition are hiding, and when you use freshly milled flour, you’re making sure none of it goes to waste.

Store-bought flour, on the other hand, is often made from grains that have been sitting around for God only knows how long. During storage, the natural oils in the bran and germ can go rancid, leading to a stale, bad taste. Plus, the longer the flour sits, the more nutrients it loses, so you’re not getting the full nutritional bang for your buck. Trust me, once you try this whole wheat bread, you’ll never go back to the tasteless store-bought bread again!

Almost 2 years ago my husband casually mentioned that he saw something that I would be interested in. A woman was talking about milling wheat berries on a religious program, and it was something I had never heard before! That lady was Sue Becker from bread Beckers. I hung onto every word that came out of her mouth, I was fascinated by her revelations. What neither one of us knew at the time was how this encounter would not only change our dietary habits, but our lives majorly! After I listened to her talk about all the nutritional health benefits, I researched it online to confirm (okay, I obsessively researched), and ordered a mill, some wheat berries, and her cookbook. I started milling wheat for my 6 kids, I wanted to help them anyway I could. Two of my sons suffered from chronic constipation, and I’m so happy to say that my fresh milled flour bread recipe helped them! It took away all their stomach issues, for real!

When I first started making bread with fresh milled flour, it was honestly frustasting to me. I was a very experienced baker with 20+ years of bread making under my belt, but baking with freshly ground flour is an entirely different beast! Not to scare you off! When I began baking with fresh milled wheat I quickly realized that everything I knew about baking with white flour, or even store-bought whole wheat flour no longer applied! I don’t trust or believe those that say, oh just substitute the milled flour for all-purpose. No!  All the techniques I had done for the last 2 decades with store-bought flour just led to one disappointing loaf after another. Sure they were still edible, they weren’t hockey pucks, but they weren’t tall and fluffy, and they were sooooo crumbly!  No matter how many tries it took, I was determined to continue baking with fresh milled flour. I couldn’t give up, not when my kid’s health was on the line! I never want them to go back to daily tummy aches, not if I can prevent it!

An uncut loaf of whole wheat bread getting brushed with melted butter with a white pastry brush.

I started out using the recipes in her cookbook and eventually developed my own. I’ve developed a couple whole wheat bread recipes, but this one is the result of a secret ingredient- apple cider vinegar! Why ACV, glad you asked! The acidity of apple cider vinegar helps to strengthen the gluten structure in the dough, leading to a better crumb texture and a softer, more tender loaf. This is especially important when working with whole wheat flour, which can sometimes result in a denser, heavier bread. I worked on this recipe for a year and half before I used the vinegar in it, and wow, what a difference it makes! You can’t taste the vinegar, it’s optional, but I highly recommend it!

What you’ll love about this WHOLE WHEAT BREAD:


  • Incredible Flavor: The nutty, slightly sweet taste of freshly milled whole wheat flour creates a delicious bread that outshines store-bought loaves
  • Nutrient-Packed:  Freshly milled flour preserves the bran and germ of the wheat berry, providing a wealth of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in every slice.
  • Soft and Fluffy: Yes! You read that right! It’s tender and light, dispelling the myth that whole wheat bread has to be dense and heavy.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make the Best Whole Wheat Bread:

INGREDIENT NOTES:

  • Flour: I’ve used all hard red wheat, a 50/50 blend, they all work, but my family prefers 100% hard white berries for this whole wheat loaf.
  • Vinegar: ACV improves the texture of the bread by breaking down some of the proteins in the flour, leading to a tender crumb, which means soft and that nice mouthfeel, ahhh yes!!
  • Yeast: I use instant or active dry yeast. If using instant, skip the proofing step.

HOW TO MAKE 100% Whole Wheat Bread : STEP-BY-STEP

Check out the quick visual guides below. For full instructions and ingredients, see the printable recipe card at the end.

STEP 1: Activate the Yeast: In a large bowl, dissolve the honey and yeast in the warm milk. This process helps to ensure that your yeast is alive and ready to work its magic in the dough. After about 5-10 minutes, you’ll notice the mixture becoming frothy, indicating that the yeast is active.

STEP 2: Mix the Dough: Next, add the melted butter, apple cider vinegar, and salt to the yeast mixture. Gradually mix in the freshly milled whole wheat flour, stirring until a dough begins to form. At this point, you’ll want to transfer the dough onto a floured surface for kneading.

STEP 3: Knead the Dough: Kneading is a crucial step in bread-making, as it helps to develop the gluten in the dough, which gives the bread its structure and texture. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough feels too sticky, add a little extra flour; if it’s too dry, add a splash of milk.

STEP 4: First Rise: Once the dough is ready, place it in a greased bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 30-45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. This first rise allows the dough to develop its flavor and texture.

STEP 5: Shape the Loaf and Second Rise: After the first rise, gently punch down the dough to release any air bubbles and shape it into a loaf. Place the loaf in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan.

STEP 6: Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the risen dough for 27-30 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 190°F to 200°F.

STEP 7: Cool: Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Pro Tip:

Using freshly milled flour in breadmaking can result in faster rising times due to higher enzyme activity. Adjust hydration levels accordingly and monitor proofing closely to avoid over-proofing. I won’t mention how many loaves I overproofed in the beginning!

Two slices of bread on a small speckled plate, slathered in butter. One slice has a bite taken out of it.

Tools you’ll need

These are the products I use every day in my kitchen, and when you shop through these links, you’re helping us out with a small commission. It won’t cost you anything extra, but we truly appreciate your support!

  • Electric Grain Mill- I have the WonderMill and highly recommend it.
  • Yeast– I buy in bulk and store in a container in the fridge.
  • Bread Pans– I use these every day.
  • Flour Towels– To cover while rising.
  • Wheat Berries– I started with these, they’re super clean!
  • Bread Bags– These are great plastic bags if you don’t have a bread box.

Storage and Freezing

Storage & Freezer options:

  1. Allow the bread to cool completely: Before storing the bread, make sure it has cooled down to room temperature. Storing hot or warm bread can lead to condensation, which can cause the bread to become soggy and promote mold growth, yuck!
  2. Store at room temperature: Keep your whole wheat bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days, if it can last that long! Place the cooled bread in a plastic bag or bread box to protect it from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods.
  3. Avoid refrigeration: Contrary to popular belief, refrigerating bread can actually make it go stale faster. The cool temperatures in the refrigerator can cause the starch in the bread to crystallize, leading to a dry and crumbly texture.
  4. Freeze for longer storage: If you want to keep your bread fresh for more than a few days, freezing is the best option. Wrap the cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Frozen bread can be stored for up to 3 months.
  5. Thaw frozen bread: When you’re ready to eat frozen bread, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature. You can also toast frozen slices directly in a toaster or toaster oven for a quick and easy option.
  6. Refresh stale bread: If your bread does become slightly stale, you can refresh it by placing it in a damp paper bag and heating it in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes. This will help to soften the crust and restore some of the bread’s texture.
A slice of bread cut in half slathered with red jelly on a small plate.

Additions & Substitutions

ADDITIONS:

  • Seeds and Nuts: Adding sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, or chopped walnuts can provide a crunch and boost the nutritional profile with healthy fats and fiber.
  • Dried Fruits: Incorporate raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried apricots for a touch of sweetness and chewy texture.
  • Vital Wheat Gluten: Some people like to use this to get a taller rise.
  • Herbs and Spices: Fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano, and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Old-fashioned Rolled Oats: Sprinkle oats on top of the dough before baking or mix them into the dough for a rustic texture and appearance.
  • Cheese: Fold in grated cheese like cheddar, Parmesan, or Gruyère for a savory, melty element.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Flour: Instead of Hard White Wheat flour, you can use Hard Red Wheat flour instead. I have also used a little bit of soft wheat flour mixed in when I’ve ran out and didn’t wanna mill anymore. But caution: soft wheat flour is NOT suited for bread making, it’s too low in protein to make a good loaf, but it will work in a pinch if you just need a cup or two to add in with the hard wheat.
  • Vinegar: You can replace apple cider vinegar with white vinegar instead. Lemon juice would work too. You want something acidic here.

FAQs about this Wheat Bread Recipe:

If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour gradually until it reaches the desired consistency. If it’s too dry, sprinkle a small amount of milk and knead it in until the dough becomes softer.

If your bread doesn’t rise adequately during proofing, it could be due to various factors such as expired yeast, improper kneading, or a cold environment. Check the yeast’s expiration date, ensure proper kneading, and proof the dough in a warm, draft-free place. If you need troubleshooting, send me an e-mail and I’d be happy to help!

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a bread machine by following the manufacturer’s instructions for ingredient order and program settings. I use my bread machine almost daily to mix the dough. I prefer a loaf that is baked in the oven instead of the machine.

What Can I Serve with this 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe?

Use the bread to make classic sandwiches like peanut butter & jelly, grilled cheese, deli meat sandwiches, or tuna salad. It’s also amazing to make French Toast, and especially our yummy Cinnamon Toast Recipe. Who am I kidding? It’s great slathered with some Kerrygold butter and served with spaghetti, yumm!!!

100% Whole Wheat Bread (made with Freshly Milled Flour)

Vicky@LittleChefWithin.com
5 from 13 votes
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 129 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups freshly milled hard white wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups warm whole milk about 105°F
  • 2 tablespoons butter very softened or melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast instant or active dry

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the honey and yeast in the warm milk. Let stand until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the butter, apple cider vinegar, and salt; gradually incorporate the freshly milled whole wheat flour to the yeast mixture. Stir until a dough begins to form.
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. The dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky; adjust with a little extra flour or milk if necessary.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to grease all sides. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Gently punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Shape it into a loaf and place it in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Cover the loaf with the towel and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the pan’s rim.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the risen dough for 27-30 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

During the intial mixing, if the dough seems too dry, add a little more milk. On the flip side, if dough feels too wet, add a little more flour.

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 0.1gSodium: 3490mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 35gVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.2mg
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18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Your whole wheat bread was easy to make and my family really enjoyed it. It reminded me of bread my father used to make.

  2. I can almost smell that fresh bread once baked.
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    My links this week are 38+40. We will be so happy if you share your blog post links M-S with us at SSPS. Link under BLOGGING

  3. 5 stars
    Homemade bread is a real treat, and this is a fantastic recipe. I love that it is made with freshly milled wheat – I had no idea of how much better it was for you nutritionally. This bread is delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    Wow, not only was this bread so soft and delightful, but it’s also better for you nutritionally as well? I love it – and will aim to make this bread more often!

  5. 5 stars
    This bread was so soft and perfect for sandwiches and toast! My daughters loved it and I love that I can make it from scratch 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I can’t resist a good homemade bread, and this recipe was definitely a winner! Thank you so much for sharing, it is one of my new favorite recipes 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I’m loving everything about this recipe. You had some VERY useful tips for this as well. SO helpful!

  8. 5 stars
    Soft, fluffy and full of great wheat flavor, just right not over powering as I sometimes find wheat flour! Freshly milled is the key I believe.

  9. 5 stars
    I don’t make bread very often but this recipe with freshly milled wheat was to tempting not to try. The bread was super good. Will definitely make again.

  10. 5 stars
    You have inspired me to mill my own flour . I have been a little hesitant but you have made it look so easy with this whole wheat bread recipe . Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Debbie, this is one of the best comments I”ve ever gotten! I’m so happy to read this, and please let me know if you have any questions!!

  11. 5 stars
    I am obsessed with my whole wheat bread, but I will have to try yours it looks so good! I love baking one and pretty much eating it for every meal until it’s gone!! I chose this for my SSPS link party pick this week too, feel free to check it out =) https://cookandcrumbs.com

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