Nowadays, good ol’ bread has gotten a pretty bad reputation. Gluten seems to be public enemy #1, lots of people are going grain free, and there’s the whole misconception that ‘carbs are evil…’ I’m a big believer that we all have the right and responsibility to make food choices that are right for OUR individual bodies and health. But, if you love bread like I do, it can fit into a healthy lifestyle. You just have to know how to make smart bread choices—or try making this homemade whole wheat bread!
Believe it or not, making your own healthy bread surprisingly easy. You only need THREE ingredients to make this homemade whole wheat bread: whole wheat flour, instant yeast, and salt! (Plus some water, but you can get that from your sink—it doesn’t count!) This recipe does take some time because you’re making your own dough and it will need to rise. But, there’s NO kneading required, and your time investment will be so worth it when your fresh, homemade whole wheat bread comes out of the oven.
Problems with Store-Bought Bread
Bread has been a staple in people’s diets for most of human history! Back in the 1600s, Miguel de Cervantes (the author of Don Quixote) wrote: “All sorrows are less with bread.” Smart dude! But, modern breads actually can increase our sorrows because they’re lacking nutrients and loaded with additives. Back in the day, it was pretty common for people to whip up their own loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, or another whole grain bread. And, more people made breads with sprouted grains, which are more nutritious and easier for us to digest.
Nowadays, it can be tough to find true whole grain and whole wheat bread at the store. And, there are very few breads out there with clean ingredients. For the most part, store-bought breads are made with enriched, refined flours, sneaky added sugars, and often artificial colors and preservatives! Even worse, breads today have to be mass produced, which means more corners are cut and nutrients are sacrificed. Unless you know of a quality bakery where you can find quality bread, this easy homemade whole wheat bread is one of your best bets!
No Stress, No Knead Homemade Whole Wheat Bread!
Most of us are used to buying loaves of bread at the store, so the idea of making our own bread seems pretty daunting. But, this homemade whole wheat bread recipe is proof of just how EASY baking bread can be! Remember, you only need three simple ingredients for this recipe. And, this is a NO KNEAD bread recipe that uses instant yeast—so there’s NO NEED (ha!) to expend any energy massaging your bread dough! It’ll rise like magic all on its own.
And, by most standards, this homemade whole wheat bread is also vegan! (Depending on how you feel about yeast, which is a fungus). Perhaps best of all, it’s so CHEAP to make homemade bread. My 3-ingredient bread recipe is super budget-friendly, costing just $0.07 per slice!
3 cups whole-wheat flour, more for dusting
¼ tsp instant yeast
1¼ tsp salt
1⅝ cups water
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt. Whisk to integrate. Add 1⅝ cups water and stir until blended. Dough will be shaggy and sticky.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours (preferably about 18 hours) at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself a few times. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your fingers, shape dough into a ball. Put dough seam-side down on towel and dust with more flour.
Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it’s ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least 30 minutes before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F (230°C). Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven WHILE it heats up.
When dough is ready, use oven mitts to carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam-side up. (If it’s a bit of a mess, it’s okay!) Shake pan slightly to evenly distribute dough. (Don’t worry too much, it will straighten out as it bakes.)
Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Then, remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.