Homemade bread is a wonderful thing to make and to keep around the house, but there are several things that keep us from baking bread as often as we might like. The first thing is time. It can take a couple of hours to take a loaf from start to finish and, while we might have time on the weekends, this rules it out for weekdays. The second thing is difficulty. Kneading bread can seem like a daunting task to novice bakers, and even experienced bakers don’t always want to get the counter covered with flour. This No Knead Whole Wheat Honey Sandwich Bread is one of the easiest breads I’ve ever made and it is darn tasty. It requires no kneading and has a very short rising time, so the bread can be fully baked just about one hour after you start to mix the ingredients together!
The secret to this bread is the temperature of the ingredients used. It uses both bread flour (you can use all purpose, but bread flour gives you a slightly better texture in the finished loaf) and whole wheat flour, which gives the bread a great structure and a good wheat flavor. The flour is warmed before adding it to the rest of the ingredients, and all that heat kick starts the yeast into a rapid rise and cuts the total rising time to just 30 minutes!
The bread also does all of its rising right in the loaf pan that it is baked in. You don’t need to knead the dough before putting it into the pan, just stir it very vigorously when you are incorporating all of the ingredients. If you have a stand mixer, you can mix your dough with a dough hook and transfer it directly to the loaf pan. If you don’t mind a little kneading, you can turn the bread onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for just 1 minute to smooth it out even more before putting it into the loaf pan. I usually do the little bit of extra kneading, but it definitely isn’t necessary if you just put a little bit of muscle into your mixing.
The finished bread is a great sandwich loaf. It has a good whole wheat flavor to it and just a hint of sweetness from the honey. It slices easily, toasts well and makes fantastic sandwiches. You can eat it while it is still warm, if you want to serve it for dinner, but it is best after it has cooled completely. You can use whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour in this bread and you’ll get good results both ways, but a little bit lighter flavor from the white whole wheat if you prefer a slightly less hearty whole wheat flavor.
No Knead Whole Wheat Honey Sandwich Bread
2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour (or all purpose)
1 3/4 cups water, warmed (100-110F)
5 tsp active dry yeast (2 packages/ .5-oz)
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour and bread flour. Microwave for 30-40 seconds, until flour is very warm to the touch.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of the water with the yeast and honey. Stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes, until yeast is foamy. Add in the remaining water, vegetable oil, salt and about half of the warm flour mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine.
If using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook and continue adding flour with the mixer on medium. Add flour gradually until dough comes together into a smooth ball and pulls away from the sides. A small amount of flour might be left over. Turn speed up to medium and mix for 1 minute.
If mixing by hand, gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon with each addition. Mix until until dough comes together into a smooth ball and pulls away from the sides. A small amount of flour might be left over. Continue to push dough around with the wooden spoon for 1 additional minute after dough comes together smoothly.
Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Turn dough into the loaf pan and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 30-35 minutes, until dough rises 1-inch above the sides of the pan.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Once bread has risen, remove plastic wrap and place loaf pan in the oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bread is dark golden brown.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf.