Best Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

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Simple and healthy. This is the best whole wheat bread machine recipe you will find. The loaf is light and fluffy, perfect for sandwiches or toast, your family will love it. 

Bread Machine Bread

I love using our bread machine to quickly whip up this healthy, whole wheat bread recipe for my family. We use this bread for sandwiches, as a side with dinner or for toast in the mornings. With a few modifications this bread can be turned into a cinnamon raisin bread which my family also loves.

If you are looking for healthy bread machine recipes, you are in the right place. Using a bread machine is such a time saver, especially for a busy family. You simply toss all the ingredients to make this whole wheat bread into the bread maker and you will have a fresh loaf of homemade bread in just a few hours.

If you are leery of using whole wheat for this recipe, don’t worry! I promise you, this bread is tender and sweet. Nothing dense or bitter like store-bought breads.

First time making your own bread? No worries! I’ll walk you through all the steps and you can shoot me an email or message on Instagram if you have questions!

milling grains at home

Why Use A Bread Maker

People have been making bread by hand for many years and I personally think there is something very cathartic about kneading a pile of bread dough by hand. But in all honesty, sometimes life is just too busy for that.

So when I am pressed for time, but still want to get these awesome whole grains in my family’s diet, I turn to my trusty bread machine recipe.

If you are not sure how a bread machine works, let me explain.

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Throw all the ingredients into the bread maker and push start. The bread maker will mix, knead, rise, knead, rise and bake your bread – seriously.

Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that. But just barely. There is a special order in which you should put the ingredients into the machine and if you are milling your grains fresh, then you will want to make sure that the bread machine you choose has a “homemade” option so you can adjust the rise and knead times as needed.

But other than that, it really is that simple. Most people have 5 minutes a couple times a week where they can grind some wheat, toss the ingredients in and press start. Do that twice a week and you can cover bread for your family in just 10 minutes a week.

Choosing A Grain Mill

Choosing a grain mill can be a little overwhelming because there are a lot of options on the market. Thankfully, after 13 years of milling grains at home, I have been able to pick out the top two grain mills and I am now offering them in my shop!

The NutriMill Classic is such a workhorse. This machine holds a lot of grain in the hopper and makes quick work grinding the grains into super fine or coarse flour.

The NutriMill Harvest is such a beautiful grain mill. I love that this mill is smaller than the Classic and the beautiful bamboo exterior makes it perfect for leaving on the counter for ease of use. The Harvest mill uses stones to mill the grains into flour. A beautiful and hard-working machine.

Freshly Milled Bread Workshop

Setting Up The Bread Machine For Freshly Milled Bread

The great thing about the Zojirushi bread machine is that it gives you 3 memory settings under the “homemade” category. This means that you have full flexibility to change the rise times and knead times depending on what you are making.

In my memory 1 setting I have it set for a fully cooked 2 lb. loaf of bread. In memory 2, I have it set to mix and knead the dough and then stop after that. I use that for things like cinnamon rolls or hamburger buns that I want to shape and bake myself.

In the bread machine manual it will tell you how to change these settings. Here is a starting place for setting up your bread machine for a fully baked loaf of bread. You may need to experiment with these times and change them as needed, but it’s a good place to start.

preheat – 18 minutes

knead – 20 minutes

rise 1 – 45 minutes

rise 2 – 20 minutes(if you are having issues with your loaf rising too high and then falling once it’s baked, reduce your rise 2 time. Mine is currently set at 12 minutes.)

Rise 3 – off

bake – 45 minutes

keep warm – off

Ingredients To Make The Best Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

That’s it. No milk. Doesn’t call for eggs and no white flour or bread flour is needed for this recipe.

whole wheat bread recipe ingredients

Why You Need a Grain Mill

If you are new here, you may be confused by the “whole wheat berries”. In short, I grind my wheat fresh every single time I make bread. In doing this, we are getting the freshest and most nutrient dense version of these grains.

When I mill my own flour, I get the full nutritional value of the whole grain. The outer layer(bran), which contains the largest amount of insoluble fiber, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, iron and zinc; and the germ(seed) which is an excellent source of B vitamins and other crucial minerals. The endosperm(middle layer) contains protein and carbohydrates along with small amounts of B vitamins, iron and soluble fiber.

That being said, there is a special tool you need for this – a grain mill.

A grain mill is a bit of an investment, but I can’t even being to fathom the amount of money I have saved my family over the last 10 years by baking all of our breads ourselves. Our mill has put in so much work for us through the years and it has paid for itself probably thousands of times over.

Supplies/Tools Needed To Make Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

Since we are using a bread machine for this recipe, you won’t need a bread pan. If you would rather mix the dough yourself, you can find my basic whole wheat bread recipe here with instructions on how to mix, knead, dough rise time and bake.

How Does Freshly Milled Flour Taste?

Freshly ground whole wheat has an amazing lightness and depth of flavor because the germ oil is still intact and hasn’t gone rancid. It’s important to use your freshly ground flour as quickly as possible after you grind it to get the absolute best flavor, keep the vital minerals and vitamins in tact and to avoid oxidation.

I simply grind the amount of wheat I need for the recipe and store the whole wheat berries in a food grade bucket with tight sealing lid.

Does the bread taste like whole wheat bread from the grocery store?

Absolutely not. Not in the slightest. I actually can’t stand “whole wheat” bread from the store. It tastes bitter and old. Not words that I want to describe bread I’m about to eat. Bread made from freshly milled wheat is light and fluffy, rich in flavor and so so soft. My boys literally wait by the oven to watch it cook to get those first few slices of the freshest bread their sweet little selves have ever tasted. It is heaven on earth and the smell that will fill you house…heavenly!

A Word On Freshly Milled Grains and Gluten Intolerance

Out of the 6 people in my immediate family, 4 of us have varying levels of gluten intolerance. All 4 of us can eat as much of these breads, muffins and rolls from the grains milled at home and we have zero issues with stomach pain, bloating etc. Now I can’t make any claims as to how you will react, so be careful if you have a gluten allergy, but I can just speak from our own experience. 

There is still gluten in this bread. Don’t be confused. But the reason why most people don’t have the same reaction to grains milled at home vs. white flour or “whole wheat” bread from the store is because the entire grain is present. The store bought breads or flours are heavily processed and part of the kernel is removed to give it a longer shelf life. 

I believe the wheat kernel should be eaten as a whole food. Together it is balanced and healthy. When the grains are separated and processed we are left with mostly the endosperm which is nutritionally lacking and imbalanced. 

hard red wheat for milling flour at home

Best Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

Alright, now it’s time to dive into the whole wheat recipe. This whole wheat loaf is a lovely mild flavor because of the 2 types of grains. Flavor wise, this recipe knocks any basic white bread recipes out of the running. It really is so good.

  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • 1/3 honey
  • 1 tbsp sunflower lecithin
  • 1 tsp. vital wheat gluten
  • 4-4.5 cups of freshly milled wheat(half hard red and half hard white is my preference)
  • scant 1 tbsp. instant yeast

Add all of the ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order in which I have them listed. After adding the flour, make a small “well” or indention in the flour and add the instant yeast in the well.

Choose your homemade cycle and press start. The bread machine will take it from here. If you want to spice things up and try my favorite cinnamon raisin bread recipe – the machine will beep after the dough is mixed and the screen will read “ADD”, this is your opportunity to add some ingredients – add 1.5 cups raisins, 1.5 tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp of nutmeg. It makes THE best cinnamon raisin bread ever!

You will notice that this easy whole wheat bread machine recipe doesn’t include white sugar or brown sugar, the sweetness comes from the honey. In addition, this recipe calls for instant yeast, but bread machine yeast is the same thing and can be used as well.

Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Yield: 2 pound loaf

Best Whole Wheat Bread Machine Recipe

whole wheat bread machine loaf of bread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • 1/3 honey
  • 1 tbsp sunflower lecithin
  • 1 tsp. vital wheat gluten
  • 4-4.5 cups of freshly milled wheat(half hard red and half hard white is my preference)
  • scant 1 tbsp. instant yeast

Instructions

Add all of the ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order in which I have them listed. After adding the flour, make a small "well" or indention in the flour and add the instant yeast in the well.

Choose your homemade cycle and press start. The bread machine will take it from here.

Notes

If you want to spice things up and try my favorite cinnamon raisin bread recipe - the machine will beep after the dough is mixed and the screen will read "ADD", this is your opportunity to add some ingredients - add 1.5 cups raisins, 1.5 tbsp cinnamon and 2 tsp of nutmeg. It makes THE best cinnamon raisin bread ever!

I sincerely hope that you enjoy this recipe and I am always here if you have questions or need help getting your loaves just right. Happy baking!

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20 Comments

  1. I’ve made this recipe about 6 times now. It’s the best bread machine bread with fresh milled wheat I’ve tried. I don’t even have the lecithin or extra gluten. I’ve tried red wheat with kamut. Once my yeast was bad and it didn’t rise but still tasted delicious. Simply Thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment! I appreciate it so much and I am so glad you have been enjoying the recipe!!

  2. Two questions. What does “scant” mean in “scant 1 tbsp. instant yeast”? And, would the recipe need to change if I want to use only hard white instead of half hard white and half hard red? I’m not a big fan of the nutty taste of hard red, but I wonder if the bread will be too bland if I only use hard white. Thanks!

    1. Hey! Scant means slightly less than a full tablespoon. And you can use hard white and not change any recipes amounts 🙂 hope that helps!

  3. Thank you for posting this. My husband happily grows me an acre of wheat to keep me in wheat and flour. I haven’t found a good recipe yet for our bread machine. I’m going to try this one today. As an aside, I remember when dessicating crops became a “thing” in western Canada. Before that, I had met one person, an elderly man from Ireland, who was a true celiac disease sufferer. There was no wheat intolerance. I think it’s a spray intolerance. Not a gluten intolerance.

  4. Recipe is wonderful, thank you. Question?….How can a get a recipe for a 1 1/2 lb loaf. I am a senior and live alone and a smaller loaf would be perfect.

    1. great question, I would suggest you make this recipe but freeze part of the loaf. Just slice it and put half in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I don’t have a recipe for 1 1/2 lb loaf.

  5. Hi – great post ! quick question – my bread machine (KitchenArm). It has a homemade setting with up to 4 presets and has up to 3 knead/rest cycles and 3 rise cycles. I’m assuming I can omit the extra kneading and rise cycles by turning them off, but was wondering about rest cycles since your post doesn’t mention them in your steps. Are there no rest cycles in your homemade settings for your bread machine or do you just turn them off?

    1. Hi! I’m wondering if the rest cycles are the same as the rise cycles? Do you know? My bread machine doesn’t have rest cycles.

  6. Can I ask why you use instant yeast and not dry active? All I have on hand is a massive amount of dry active from Costco 😂 thank you! I found you after listening to the podcast episode you spoke on at Lisa’s podcast (Farmhouse on Boone). I learned so much! I already have been milling my flour but haven’t used it exclusively and want to begin.

    1. Hi Sara! Great question! I use instant yeast so that I don’t have to activate it in warm water and sugar before using it. I hope that helps!

  7. I have a kitchen aid mill attachment piece for my KA stand mixer. Can I use it for milling the flour in this bread machine recipe? I’m new at this and can’t tell if I’m milling my wheat berries fine enough for using a bread machine.

    1. You can but I don’t recommend it. Your bread will likely be grainy and dense. that attachment doesn’t mill a fine flour

  8. Hi Kristin! I found you recently on Instagram and have been watching your videos and reading your blog.. I am new to freshly milled flour and want to try it in my bread machine. However my machine makes a 1 lb loaf, not a 2 lb loaf. Do you think I can halve your ingredients and get a roughly good result (which might need later tweaking) or it isn’t so simple? Thanks for your posts and your reply (if possible)! ~Marina

  9. What is the sunflower lecithin and vital wheat gluten used for? I have been milling grain for a few months now and I am having the hardest time with it not rising and being very dense. I am very interested in making this recipe but I would be amiss to say that I wasn’t getting frustrated with the learning curve.

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