Bread is a staple in many diets, and it’s pretty cheap to buy. The problem is that many breads contain unnecessary ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, not to mention artificial colors and flavors. So, when I found a six-ingredient recipe for whole wheat bread that didn’t require a bread machine, I said ‘sign me up!’

See, I’ve helped make bread before, but it required a machine, which is nice, but who has room to store things you barely use? I’ve also helped my grandma make bread from scratch, without using a machine, but I’m sure this version is healthier, and healthy almost always wins in my book!

Fresh homemade whole wheat bread.

The original recipe made four loaves, but I only have one loaf pan (and mouth to feed), so I divided the ingredients to make one loaf. With the conversions, the measurements are a little weird, so bare with me.

What you need (makes 11-12 slices):

  • 3/4 lb (340 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt, optional
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 7/8 (.875) cup of mixed milk and lukewarm water
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/2 oz yeast

What to do:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a warm bowl and leave in a warm place.
  2. In a separate warm bowl, whisk the milk-water mixture with the honey and yeast.
  3. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix with a fork until you can’t mix anymore. Then use your hands to continue mixing it into a stiff dough.
  4. Now, we knead! This is easiest on a clean, floured countertop. A board will also work. Fold the dough over on itself repeatedly, pushing down with a firm, rocking motion until it becomes smooth and shiny. Do this for 10 minutes.
  5. Shape the dough to fit the bread pan. Grease the pan, add the bread, and push down firmly with damp fingers to form an even layer.
  6. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until the dough has filled the tins. This should take about 30 minutes.
  7. Finally, brush the top with milk or melted butter and bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until done. To verify that it’s done, turn the bread out of the pans and tap the bottom—if it sounds hollow, it’s done. If not, place the bread directly on the oven shelf (without the pan) and bake for five more minutes.

Fresh homemade whole wheat bread with grape jelly.

It turned out a little dry on this first effort—I think I’ll add a little more milk/water next time. It was great with jelly though! I mostly had it for lunch by adding a thin layer of greek yogurt to two slices, an ounce of sliced turkey on each, and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese. Microwave for 15-30 seconds and you’ve got a deliciously warm lunch!

Nutrition Info (per one slice); 69 calories, .5 g fat, 148 g sodium, 14.7 g carbs, 2.1 g fiber, .4 g sugar, 2.6 g protein