Yesterday we had a really fun day at a nearby orchard, picking lots and lots of raspberries and apples.  In addition to our hand-picked loot, we also bought quite a few goodies from the store including pumpkin butter (come on, fall!) and three or four kinds of preserves.  I figured the only real way to do them right was to eat them on some delicious homemade bread.  This wheat bread was the perfect match for our various spreads, but would also be great for sandwiches, toast, etc.  It has what I consider the perfect texture: light, smooth and soft, with a gorgeous crust.  I only wish the loaves had just a bit more height to them, but it tastes so good, I’m not complaining.  I sliced and froze the majority of it so we can use it as we need it.  I have a feeling this will now be my go-to homemade bread for everyday use.

Whole-Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye

Yield: two 9-inch loaves



2 1/3 cups warm water (about 100°)

1 ½ tbsp. instant yeast

¼ cup honey

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 ½ tsp. salt

¼ cup rye flour

½ cup toasted wheat germ

3 cups whole-wheat flour

2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour



In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey, butter and salt with a rubber spatula.  Mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup of each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. 


Add the remaining whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, attach the dough hook and knead at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds.


Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.


Heat the oven to 375°.  Gently press down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.  Gently press each piece into a rectangle about 1-inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure the dough sticks to itself.  Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.  Place each cylinder of dough into a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down, pressing the dough gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, 20 to 30 minutes.


Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim reads 205°, 35 to 45 minutes.  Transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.

Note: To see instructions for hand-kneading, click the link below for the original recipe.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Baking Illustrated

  • This looks wonderful! I’ve been looking for some good whole wheat bread recipes, so I’ll have to give this a try!

  • I bet this was wonderful with the fresh preserves! So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)

  • What a great looking loaf!

  • Marla

    Looks great! I was wondering, how do you get such perfect slices?

  • Annie

    Hi Marla! Thanks for the compliment! Unfortunately I don’t have any special secret, I just sliced it up with a regular knife :) I think it is easily sliced mostly just because it is a great recipe. Give it a try!

  • I haven’t made whole wheat bread yet, this is just beautiful!

  • Your loaf looks fantastic!! I have yet to make whole wheat bread but I should soon.

  • This looks AMAZING! The perfect loaf of bread. I absolutely love whole wheat, & can’t wait to try this!

  • hulalula

    I just made this today and it is wonderful! Yum!

  • KT

    This a awesome recipe you have. Do you know how to make light whole wheat bread with wheat germ and flax seed?

  • Annie

    Hi KT! Unfortunately I’ve only tried two wheat bread recipes and I have never tried one such as you are referring to. After making this bread, I doubt I’ll try another wheat bread. It has now become our standard and I keep the freezer stocked with it at all times.

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  • Katie

    Hi Annie- I made this recipe last night and I was just wondering what you did to get the crust that color? My loaves look more like the picture from “just too good”. Do you do anything special to the outside before cooking? I love the way that crust looks in contrast to the rest of the bread.

  • Annie

    I’m not sure what “just too good” is but regardless, I don’t do anything special to get the crust to look this way. I just follow the recipe as I have it written and it looks this way every time I make it.

  • Paula Sinclair

    Hi Annie!
    I’m a new foodie gawker on your site! I have enjoyed coming here and finding new and old recipes to try out! I have only baked white bread (once) :o) and i was so happy with it and it built my confidence that i want to make it all the time!
    I also have a weird amount of wheat-germ that I need to use…I guess I purchased too much at the market…which leads me to my question(s)…

    I was wondering if I could add wheat germ to a basic white bread recipe? Or maybe I can use this recipe, but I’m not a fan of rye, and I don’t have wheat flour in the cupboards right now…soooo I guess what I’m asking is could I make this recipe, but leave out the rye and wheat? thanks! i love your blog! and i want to eat everything you take a picture of :o)

  • Annie

    Paula, it’s difficult to say and depends entirely on the recipe you use. Some are more forgiving some are not. I tend not to mess with bread recipes because to me, that is a recipe for disaster. This bread doesn’t taste at all like rye, it tastes like wheat bread so I wouldn’t let the rye dissuade you.

  • Christine

    Annie, I made this bread today and it turned out great! I substituted spelt flour for the rye flour (had it on hand), added some flax seed meal, some chia seeds, and some cracked wheat in addition to your recipe. It turned out perfect! It’s definitely a strong enough recipe to play with. I’ll be trying more combinations soon! Thanks so much. Your recipes are wonderful!

  • Beth in the Heartland

    Hi Annie! When you slice and freeze your bread – do you flash-freeze then put in a ziploc freezer bag? Just wondered what gives you the best results. We can’t get thru an entire loaf before it goes stale and it pains me to throw any of this homemade goodness away!

  • Anonymous

    Yep, I just throw it into a Ziploc bag. I may start using an actual freezer container though to prevent the waste of using plastic bags.

  • Amy Wallin

    Hi Annie,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. I was wondering if you thought the white whole wheat flour could be substituted for the all-purpose. Thank you very much and I absolutely love your recipes and photos.

  • annieseats

    I pretty much always recommend sticking with the ingredients listed because that is what the recipe is designed with. Results will vary with any substitution, so you’ll have to use your own judgement as to whether a sub is going to work out. That said, I’ve got a couple 100% whole wheat bread recipes to come in the next few weeks so you might want to try those as well. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Amy Wallin

    Thank you!!!

  • Heather Belmore-Htun

    Hi, do you think that these would taste alright if I made a few into rolls for freezing? I am going on bed rest soon and would like to have some wheat rolls as well as bread!

  • annieseats

    I suppose you could do that. It isn’t exactly the same texture I would think of for a roll, but you could certainly make the dough whatever shape you like.

  • Brittany

    Did you ever end up finding a great freezer container for your bread?

  • Annie

    No, I haven’t yet! Still on the lookout though.