Take your sandwich to the next level of scrumptious with slices of freshly baked whole wheat bread. Not only are whole grains hearty and healthy – they are delicious, too! Our virtually foolproof recipe uses the perfect balance of bread flour and whole wheat flour to create an American sandwich loaf that is soft, slightly chewy, and amazingly flavorful. You’ll get our top tips and easy steps for anyone – even beginners! – to make the best whole wheat sandwich bread recipe in your own kitchen.
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Soft and Delicious Wheat Bread
There is really no comparing store-bought to homemade bread baked from scratch. The smell is so good, that every bite makes you crave for more.
Our fantastic classic sandwich bread has long been a family (and reader!) favorite. It’s easy to make, light and tasty, and is terrific to build crowd-pleasing sandwiches for any meal of the day.
This simple bread recipe is sure to be a hit. This is made with wheat flour, which is a good bit healthier compared to all-purpose flour. There are more nutrients in whole wheat sandwich bread – like fiber and protein – but it also has fewer net carbs.
Plus, the flavor is delightfully earthy and nutty with a hint of sweetness. And who doesn’t love a healthy option that is actually tasty as well?
Use a standing mixer to do the kneading work, but you can also easily make American sandwich bread by kneading by hand.
Ingredients are combined into a shaggy dough, proved, shaped, and then baked within only a couple of hours. Our recipe is great to prepare 3 standard-sized loaves or 4 small loaves – so no matter how many servings you want, this recipe is perfect for your needs. You can even freeze the bread!
You’ll find quick facts and tips to choose the right flour for you below. Follow our no-fail baking steps, and before you know it you’ll be having yummy slices of bread ready to load with your favorite sandwich goodies.
Ingredients Needed to Make This Recipe
- Sugar – granulated white sugar or coconut sugar
- Warm water – not hot, but warm enough to activate the yeast (around 100º F)
- Milk – for the softest loaf
- Active dry yeast – or instant yeast
- Vegetable oil – or melted butter
- Egg – helps the loaf to rise
- Fine sea salt – just a pinch
- Bread flour – it has the ideal blend for a soft yet firm loaf of sandwich bread
- Whole wheat – I recommend white wheat flour (see below) or whole wheat Kamut for the best rise
The Best Wheat Flour For Sandwich Bread
Using white wheat flour (hard white wheat or red wheat) will produce a loaf that looks and tastes just like regular white sandwich bread. That makes this American sandwich bread recipe made of whole wheat perfect for picky kids and those who are not fans of traditional wheat bread.
Hard wheat flour is higher in protein and gluten compared to softer wheat flour. It helps give baked goods that use yeast, like bread, a good, tall rise. Most whole wheat flour bags will identify which type of wheat is used, so just be sure to check the ingredients carefully.
Kamut wheat is an ancient grain that has remained unmodified and known for its nutrition, ease of digestibility, sweet nutty-buttery taste, and firm texture.
I like using it for bread because it is high in protein but lower in gluten. And, Kamut whole wheat flour (I grind my own from Kamut wheat berries) tastes delicious in bread but looks just like traditional white bread.
I suggest using a 50 – 50 mixture of bread flour and white whole wheat flour, or Kamut flour, for the best results.
Equipment Used in this recipe
This is the equipment used in this recipe. Affiliated links are to the actual products used or products I have used in the past for this recipe.
- Stand Mixer – a stand mixer is really to handle the kneading needed for a light and fluffy loaf of bread. If you bake bread frequently, I recommend a heavy-duty stand mixer to avoid burning the motor prematurely.
- Large Mixing Bowl – if mixing by hand, or use your stand mixer’s bowl.
- Small loaf pans or regular loaf pans – to bake the bread
- Food Scale – for precise dry measurements of flour, sugar, and salt
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How to Make Wheat Sandwich Bread
So, let’s get ready to make that wheat bread sandwich dough!
Combine sugar, milk, and warm water in a large bowl and stir with a dough whisk or spoon. If using a stand mixer, use that bowl.
Pro Tip: Use warm water that is around 100ºF. I use filtered water from my fridge for my bread dough recipes. So, to take the chill off the water, I bring 2 cups of water to 100º F by microwaving it for 30 seconds.
Sprinkle yeast on top of water, milk, and sugar.
Let stand for 10 minutes while the yeast dissolves and activates. Then, the mixture will become very foamy on top.
Add oil, egg, and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a dough whisk or spoon to combine.
If using a stand mixer, attach the bowl to the mixer, and connect the dough hook.
Slowly add the bread flour, one cup at a time, mixing well between cups. Then, add the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time.
The wheat bread sandwich dough should look very shaggy. After mixing in the 3rd cup of whole wheat flour, the dough should start to come together as a ball.
Knead the bread dough for 1 minute, then cover with a clean, damp towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
After letting the dough rest, knead it in a stand mixer for 7 minutes or by hand for 10 minutes. Not sure how to knead bread by hand? See below for how to know if your bread is kneaded enough.
Here are some tips to know if your bread dough is kneaded properly:
Should bread dough be sticky?
Bread dough should be tacky but not sticky. A properly kneaded bread dough will be smooth like the inside of your cheek.
Does it pass the windowpane test?
The kneaded dough should be pliable and stretch 3″-4″ without tearing. You should be able to see through it, called the windowpane test, without it tearing.
Rising the American Sandwich Bread Dough
Cover bowl with a plastic wrap or a clean dampened kitchen towel then sit in a warm spot and let rise until doubled. Let the whole wheat dough rise for about 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Pro Tip: If your kitchen is cooler than 70º F, find a warmer place for your dough to rise. I recommend using a warmed oven, preheated to 200 degrees for 1-2 minutes then turned off. This will provide a warm environment for your dough to rise.
Punch down the dough to deflate it, and pull the sides into the middle.
Cover and let rise again until double, about 45 -60 minutes.
Divide the wheat sandwich bread dough. If you want the sandwich loaves to be the same size, weigh the dough to be sure it is divided evenly.
This recipe makes 2 traditional-sized loaves 8″ x 5″ (a standard bread pan) or 3 small loaves.
Roll out sandwich dough into rectangles about 2″ thick. Starting on the narrower end, roll up the dough. Pinch the ends.
Prepare the sandwich bread pans by spraying them with oil, even if they are nonstick pans. Place in bread pans, seam side down.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
The bread is done rising when it is 2″ over the top of the loaf pan or when you press the corner of the loaf 1/2″ with your finger, the indentation stays.
Baking the Wheat Loaf Bread
Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes for regular-sized pans, and 20-25 minutes for smaller loaf pans. (You can also use your bread machine if you have one).
Bread is done when the crust is firm and golden brown, and the underside of the loaf is firm and makes a hollow sound when tapped.
Not sure if your bread is done baking? Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If it is 190º F in the center, the bread is done baking.
Let the bread pans rest for 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Then, remove the bread from the pan and let cool on the cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before you slice and serve your freshly baked American sandwich bread.
Optional: brush the top of the loaf with melted butter.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe needs some sugar. Sugar and salt are not only flavor enhancers, but salt and sugar temper the yeast’s growth. If this bread recipe produces a loaf that is too sweet for you, just add a little less sugar.
This is a yeast bread recipe, but you can use a sourdough starter to make sourdough sandwich bread(recipe linked).
Full Recipe to Make the Best Whole Wheat Bread For Sandwiches:
Wheat Sandwich Bread
- 2-3 Bread pans - (see sizes in notes below)
- large bowl or stand mixer bowl
- 2 cups warm water 100º – 105º temperature
- 1 cup milk (whole milk or 2% recommended)
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast or instant yeast (1 packet of yeast)
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or butter (melted)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) fine sea salt
- 3½ – 4 cups (550-625 grams) bread flour (see notes below for Kamut flour or sprouted flour)
- 3½ – 4 cups (500 – 575 grams) whole wheat flour (I recommend white wheat flour or whole wheat Kamut)
- Combine sugar and warm water in a large bowl. If using a stand mixer, use that bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top of water and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes while the yeast dissolves and activates. The mixture will become very foamy on top.
- Add milk, oil, egg, and salt to the yeast mixture and stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon. Mix to combine. Once mixed, cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.If using a mixer, attach the bowl to the mixer, and connect the dough hook If mixing by hand, use a dough whisk to mix the dough. Slowly add the bread flour, one cup at a time, mixing well between cups. Then the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time. The bread dough should look very shaggy and sticky. After mixing in the 3rd cup of whole wheat flour, the dough should start to come together as a ball. If not, add the last 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.
- Knead the bread dough in a stand mixer for 7 minutes or by hand for 10 minutes. If properly kneaded, the dough should be tacky but not sticky, smooth like the inside of your cheek, pliable and stretch 3"-4" without tearing. See notes below to know if your bread dough is kneaded enough.
- Cover bowl with a plastic wrap or a clean, dampened kitchen towel and let rise until doubled. I prefer to use plastic wrap in the winter and spring months, when my house is cooler. Let rise for about 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough to deflate it, and pull the sides into the middle. Cover and let rise again until double, about 45 minutes. Spray bread pans with oil, even if they are nonstick pans.
- Divide the sandwich bread dough. This recipe makes two regular-sized loaves of bread or three small loaves of bread. Roll out the dough to 2" thick. Starting on the narrower end, roll up the dough. Pinch the ends. Place in bread pans, seam side down. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Bake fat 350ºF for 30-35 minutes (regular loaves) and 20-25 minutes (Small loaves). Bread is done when the crust is firm and golden brown, and the underside of the loaf is firm and makes a hollow sound when tapped. An instant-read thermometer will read about 190-195ºº F in the center when the bread is done.
- After 5 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Optional: brush the top of the loaf with melted butter.
- regular size: 9″x5″
- small size: 7.5″ x 3.5″
- After the first rise, punch down the dough. If you are baking some and freezing some. Divide up the sandwich bread dough.
- For the dough to freeze: place the loaf (or loaves) in a bread pan lined with greased plastic wrap to prevent sticking. This also allows the dough loaves to hold their shape when frozen.
- Place the bread pans in the freezer and let the wheat dough freeze for about 10 hours.
- Remove the frozen bread dough from the pans. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a resealable plastic freezer bag.
- Date the bag(s) of dough and place it in the freezer immediately. Your dough can be frozen for up to four weeks.