Pour warm water into bowl of stand mixer and add yeast, sprinkling on top. (Don’t stir.) Allow to sit for 5 minutes to let the yeast bloom.
Add honey, softened butter cubes, whole wheat flour, and salt to the water.
Use dough hook attachment to beat mixture for ~3 minutes on medium speed, until dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. (Add more flour if needed, but I didn’t need any additional.)
Once mixed, remove dough hook and loosely cover bowl with a warm cloth or plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
Knead dough in the stand mixer with the dough hook for ~5 minutes on low speed. (Or, flour a surface with ½ cup additional flour and knead by hand for ~10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.)
Place kneaded dough into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm place until dough rises and doubles in size. (45-90 minutes—mine took about 1 hour.)
Once risen, remove plastic and punch down the dough 2-3 times. Transfer to a clean surface and shape into a loaf, without kneading or messing with it too much.
Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and add dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise again in a warm place, until doubled in size. (60-90 minutes—mine took about 1½ hours.)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Remove plastic and bake 30-45 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If desired, you can cover loaf with foil after the first 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. (Should cook to 190°F or 87°C in center of loaf, if testing with a thermometer.)
Allow to cool completely before slicing. Yields 14-16 slices.
Note on slicing: Don’t slice the whole loaf at once! Only cut as many slices of bread as you plan to eat immediately, and cut slices from the middle of the loaf rather than the ends. This way, you can press the two halves of the loaf together when you store it, so no open surface is exposed to the air.
Storage: Keep loaf in a zip-top plastic bag or breadbox, or wrap loaf in foil or plastic. Will last 4-5 days stored in a dry location at room temperature. For longer storage, seal in freezer-safe bag(s) and freeze for later.