Easy Fresh Milled Wheat Bread Recipe – 100% Whole Wheat

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This 100% whole grain fresh milled wheat bread recipe is soft, fluffy, and best of all–easy to make! This nutritious recipe and the tips outlined in this post will be a game-changer for your baking!

slices of whole wheat bread on cutting board

Growing up, I had an obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder (I mean, this entire website is named after one of her quotes). It’s one of my quirks, what can I say?

I was enamored with pioneer life in general and fascinated by the way they fed their families and cared for their homesteads. I’m not going to sit here and pretend my suburban kitchen is a prairie homestead, but when I say that I value the roots of my food, I’m not joking!

I’ve always had a love for baking, and like most people interested in nutrition, I have done my fair share of baking experiments using whole wheat flour. Many of them were flops.

For the longest time, I could not understand why it was so easy to bake white bread, but whole grain bread was so challenging.

hand holding slice of fresh milled wheat bread

Learning to Mill my Own Flour

Over the years, I learned quite a bit about baking, and given my inclination toward doing things from scratch, eventually that led to learning to mill my own flour. 

Mills aren’t cheap, but I started with the Kitchenaid grain mill mixer attachment to see if I could do it. The Kitchenaid mill has a learning curve of its own, but eventually,

I figured out a way to get good flour from it and I learned even more about baking excellent homemade bread. 

After about a year, I upgraded to my Mockmill 200 and it is hands down one of the best appliance purchases I have made, but I acknowledge it’s a serious investment.

If it is out of budget, you certainly can get by with cheaper options, so do not fret! But having proven to myself that I loved baking with fresh milled flour, I knew it would be better to purchase the mill that I would want to use for a decade or longer.

mockmill 200 front profile

Baking with Whole Wheat Flour Vs White Flour

White flour is, well, white. It can be bleached or unbleached.

White flour is made by milling the grains and sifting the flour to strip them of the bran and wheat germ leaving just the fluffy white endosperm behind.

Store-bought whole wheat flour is made by adding a percentage of the bran and germ back to that white flour. That means it may not be entirely whole grain, but it has more nutrition than white flour.

When it comes to baking, the biggest difference is the density. Bran and wheat germ are denser than the endosperm, but it’s in the bran and germ where almost all of the nutrition resides.

bowl of hard white wheat berries on gray background

Baking with Fresh Milled Wheat

Because of the density, the softness & rise you see with white flour breads may not be easily replicated with whole wheat. If that’s what you’re expecting, the first time you bake a loaf of whole wheat bread you may not get the results you think you will.

What that DOESN’T mean, however, is that you are doomed to heavy, dense, flat bread. There are some tricks you can employ to greatly improve results, but at the end of the day you must remember that whole wheat flour isn’t just white flour with food coloring–it’s a different food product.

If you appreciate the nutrition and flavor complexities of the whole grain while still enjoying soft and airy bread, you’re going to be very happy with this recipe.

Some people use additives like vital wheat gluten in their fresh milled wheat bread recipes to try to make up for the density of whole wheat flour. I used vital wheat gluten for a time, but I have moved away from it for most recipes now. I found with proper gluten development techniques it is not necessary, and I prefer to use simpler ingredients whenever possible.

A Learning Curve

Whenever you try something new in the kitchen that doesn’t work, do you say, “Well, I guess I’m not good at that, so I’ll just buy it at the store.” Or are you the type to say, “Hmm. This didn’t work. Let’s think about my process and make a plan to change something for next time.”?

When it comes to making your own bread with freshly milled flour, I’m asking you to try to be the second person.

Whole grain baking is a learning curve for most people. Try to find joy in the process so you aren’t frustrated if your first loaf isn’t perfect. I promise you, though–you are not doomed to bad bread with whole wheat flour. Soft, nutritious bread awaits you!

This fresh milled wheat bread recipe is easy and will lead to good results if you follow the tips in this post. However, there are SO many variables involved in baking that it would be impossible for any recipe to predict every situation in your kitchen perfectly (you’d be surprised what kinds of things can alter results! I’ve heard from many people who had to completely relearn a new baking process after moving because their old methods didn’t work well in their new homes).

slices of fresh milled wheat bread recipe

Is White Whole Wheat Flour Healthy?

This fresh milled wheat bread recipe uses hard white wheat berries to make white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour is indeed whole grain flour. The use of the word “white” can be confusing because many of us automatically assume something like all-purpose flour or bread flour when we hear “white.”

However, white in this sense simply describes the color of the grain. The most common types of wheat grown in North America are varieties of red wheat and white wheat. This is the actual type of wheat, not a reference to its processing.

So yes, white whole wheat is a nutritious choice for whole-grain baking. It’s a great choice for those who want a lighter color and mouth feel to their baked goods.

Ingredients

To make our fluffy and soft fresh milled wheat bread recipe, you need the following ingredients:

Hard White Wheat Berries – I use 500 grams of hard white wheat berries which is just over 3 3/4 cups of flour when lightly spooned and leveled.

Olive Oil – This is one of our dough conditioners to improve taste and texture.

Honey – Honey is another dough conditioner that helps soften the bread.

Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is another dough enhancer that can help by increasing acidity and vitamin C. Many people, myself included, find a little bit of lemon juice helps keep the bread from being too crumbly.

Egg – An egg can make bread lighter and fluffier, not to mention enrich the taste.

Instant Yeast – This recipe calls for instant yeast because all of the water is used to autolyze the flour which doesn’t leave any water to activate regular active dry yeast. I highly recommend quick yeast for this recipe.

Salt & Water – Typical bread ingredients

My instructions also call for the use of a stand mixer, such as a Kitchenaid Mixer. However, you can knead the bread dough by hand if you wish. You will also need a standard-size bread loaf pan.

ingredients for fresh milled wheat bread recipe on light gray wood backdrop

Instructions

Follow the instructions below to make your own 100% whole grain fresh milled wheat bread:

mockmill spitting out fresh milled flour

1. Mill Flour

Start by milling your wheat berries into fresh flour. You want 500 grams of finished flour. This usually means I need to put about 501 grams of wheat berries in my Mockmill because sometimes I lose a tad in the milling process. You probably don’t need to worry about being as exact as I do, but I am who I am!

kitchen aid stainless steel mixing bowl with dough

2. Autolyze

Take your bowl of freshly milled flour and add 340 grams of room temperature filtered water to the bowl. You can mix this by hand in a mixing bowl, or do this in your stand mixer like I do. Mix until there are no dry bits of flour left. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 30-60 minutes. 

Freshly milled flour needs adequate time to truly absorb the water. It may look like the water is absorbed, but it still needs that time. Otherwise, you’re going to be kneading forever while your dough remains a pile of mush.

kitchen aid stainless steel mixing bowl with dough, egg, other ingredients for fresh milled wheat bread recipe

3. Add Other Ingredients

Into your mixing bowl, add the egg, olive oil, honey, lemon juice, salt, and sprinkle the instant yeast over the top of the dough. Mix the dough on low speed until it is less messy, then increase the speed slightly until the new ingredients are incorporated. Turn off your mixer, remove the mixing paddle, and replace it with the dough hook.

hands doing window pane test on dough ball inside stainless steel mixing bowl

4. Knead

With the dough hook attachment, you will knead your bread at a medium speed until it passes the “window pane test.” It can take a while to get the ball rolling here, so give it time. This takes me about 15 minutes with my Kitchenaid on speed 4 or 5. I use the window pane test to determine if the gluten network is sufficiently developed–this is key to a soft, fluffy bread that rises well. 

Using both hands, gently pull and stretch a section of the dough to see if you can make it very thin without ripping it. Be gentle. If it rips easily, keep kneading. Yes, the dough is sticky–this is normal with fresh milled flour. When kneaded, it should still form a ball, and it should still pass the window pane test.

See the photo above or watch my video in the recipe card to see the window pane test in action.

stainless steel mixing bowl with risen dough overhead view

5. Rise

Cover the dough with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm area until doubled (about 2 hours). If you are used to seeing white bread dough triple or even quadruple during its rise, keep in mind that we are just aiming for “doubling” with whole-wheat bread due to its density.

placing shaped bread loaf into loaf pan

6. Shape

Once doubled, set some parchment paper into your bread pan. Pour the dough out onto a clean work surface. The dough will be sticky–lightly wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you. I also recommend a bench scraper to assist in shaping.

Lightly flatten the dough into a rectangle, tri-fold the edges into the middle, and then roll it up like a burrito (see my video in the recipe card for a demonstration. There are other shaping methods–you can do whatever you’d like). Place the shaped loaf seam-side down into your bread pan.

Resist the urge to add flour as you shape–you will make the bread drier and more crumbly. It is normal for the fresh milled wheat dough to be stickier than white dough. Trust the process.

bread pan with risen loaf about to go in oven

7. Proof

Cover the bread pan with a damp tea towel and let your bread do a second rise in a warm place until doubled in size and poofy in your pan. Toward the end of the proofing time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

spreading stick of butter on top of fresh milled wheat bread loaf of bread

8. Bake & Cool

Bake your loaf for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 190 degrees F.

Check the loaf with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s fully baked. This little trick will save you from having a gummy loaf, as will making sure to let your loaf cool completely before slicing.

If desired, spread a small amount of butter on the hot crust. This will make it shiny and keep it soft.

After you remove the bread from the oven, let it sit in the pan 10 minutes, then grab the edges of the parchment paper to remove the loaf and set on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Tips & Variations

You can easily double this recipe to make multiple loaves of bread!

You may also enjoy trying different wheat varieties. Hard red wheat also works very well for this recipe. You may also try to incorporate some ancient grains like spelt or einkorn. I do not recommend fully replacing the hard white wheat with either of those for this recipe as that has not been tested, but you could replace between 50-100 grams of the total flour with an ancient grain if you wish.

Nutritional Information

This recipe makes 12 slices of bread. For one slice, the nutritional information is as follows:

  • Calories: 170
  • Protein: 6.3 grams
  • Fat: 2.6 grams
  • Carbs: 33.2 grams
  • Fiber: 4.7 grams

Recipe Notes

Store your bread wrapped in beeswax wrap or in another airtight container. Eat the fresh bread within 2-3 days. If you cannot finish it within a few days, I recommend freezing part of the loaf.

Loaf of fresh milled wheat bread recipe cut open to view crumb

Other Whole Wheat Bread Recipes

If you love milling your own grain to make delicious bread, you’ll love my baking section! All of my recipes have been tested with both fresh milled flour and bagged flour, so you can know the instructions will work.

If you need a quick whole grain bread to get on the table fast, try my whole wheat Irish soda bread. If you prefer sourdough, try my 100% whole wheat sourdough bread! You may also enjoy my red wheat sourdough recipe.

Treat Yourself to Fluffy, Whole Wheat Bread Today!

Interested in trying to bake with fresh milled wheat? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below–I’d love to help! If you make this recipe, I want to know how it went for you.

slices of whole wheat bread on cutting board
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Fresh Milled Wheat Bread

This fresh milled wheat sandwich bread is soft, fluffy, and delicious! Made from fresh ground hard white wheat berries, your whole family will love the flavor and texture of this easy-to-make bread.
Prep Time30 minutes
Autolyze & Rise Time4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time5 hours
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fresh milled flour, fresh milled flour recipes, whole wheat, whole wheat bread, whole wheat sandwich bread
Servings: 12
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $3

Equipment

  • Kitchenaid Mixer recommended for kneading
  • Bread Pan
  • Grain Mill or other method for milling grain

Ingredients

  • 500 grams white whole wheat berries roughly 2 1/4 cup berries
  • 340 grams water (340 milliliters)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 grams sea salt about 2 tsp
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1/2 tsp butter optional–for crust after baking

Instructions

  • Mill your wheat berries into a fine flour.
    500 grams white whole wheat berries
  • Pour 340 grams of water into the bowl of fresh-milled flour. Mix until all of the flour has absorbed water. Let this sit (autolyze) for 45-60 minutes.
    340 grams water
  • After the autolyze, move the dough into the bowl of your stand mixer. Crack the egg into the dough, then drizzle the honey, olive oil, and lemon juice around the dough. Add in the sea salt. Finally, sprinkle the quick yeast over the dough. Use the paddle to mix until everything is incorporated. Turn off the mixer and remove the mixing paddle.
    1 egg, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 10 grams sea salt, 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
  • Install the dough hook on your mixer. Use the dough hook to knead on a medium speed for about 15 minutes until the dough passes a window pane test (see picture below, or watch my video if needed).
    hands doing window pane test on dough ball inside stainless steel mixing bowl
  • Let the dough do its first rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Punch the dough down and scoop it out of the bowl onto a clean work surface. If you flour it, do so very lightly as you do not want to add much more flour to the loaf. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about the length of your bread pan. Tri-fold the edges of the dough rectangle, then roll the dough up to shape into a loaf (see video if needed). Pinch the ends of the dough. Place it in the bread pan seal-side down. Cover and do a second rise until puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Toward the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of at least 190 degrees F. Spread about 1/2 tsp butter on top of the hot crust if desired. Let bread cool completely before slicing to prevent it from getting gummy.
    1/2 tsp butter

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal

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17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hands down the best loaf of bread I ever made! I followed the recipe pretty close. I used hard red wheat, not white. I also stopped my kneading a little shy of the perfect widow pane. But the rise on it was exceptional. I checked it with a thermometer at 30 minutes and it was already at 190 degrees, so I pulled it out of the oven. Once it was cooled I tried a slice and it was delicious. The texture was soft and fluffy with a slightly crusty crust. Finally, the perfect sandwich bread! Worth the extra time to mill the grains and hydrate the dough thoroughly. Thank you for this recipe and the helpful video explaining your techniques. This is now my go to sandwich bread.

    1. Awesome, Teri! I love it! Thank you so much for letting me know how it went for you, I love to hear i! 🙂 So glad you had an amazing loaf of bread today, it’s so nice when you find something that works!

    2. I used Hard Winter Red wheat as well, and I am so thankful to her video and clear instructions because I had to mix that in the Kitchen Aid for just shy of 45 minutes!! I have the kitchen aid mockmill and I wish that it would grind the wheat more fine than it does, I think that is it’s only fault that I have found so far.

      1. It really takes quite a long time to build that gluten structure, doesn’t it? Glad you found the video helpful 🙂 it’s so much easier to know what you’re looking for to know if the dough is ready!

        I used the kitchen aid brand grinder attachment for about a year—-I used to grind it twice with that. The first time I ran the grains through on a coarser grind (maybe like medium on the dial). Then I would run the pre-milled grain through a second time on the finest setting and it would do pretty good that way! Would actually surprisingly grind faster than just doing it once on the finest setting, too.

  2. So excited to try this one out! We just started milling our own flour and my go to recipes aren’t cutting it anymore.

    Is there any way to use regular active yeast with this, instead of the instant? I was thinking maybe adding it in with the flour and water?

    1. Hi Heather! Yes, I have done that! I would warm the water (around 100-105F, warm to touch but not hot), whisk the honey into the water, and then add the yeast to activate it for about 10 min, then add the flour & mix. But you will want to make sure you keep the autolyse period probably not much longer than 30 minutes because the yeast will want to get to work. Might take a little extra longer to knead, but it should come together. 🙂

  3. I made my first fresh milled wheat berry loaf yesterday from another recipe. Taste was good but texture was lacking.
    I’m really excited to try this one and I appreciate your video details. This gf girl needs this type of nutritious bread! Do you have any recipes for fresh milled wheat berry muffins, scones, &/or buns? Or how do you think that I could modify this recipe as a base to make those? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Tima! I know we are a bit past pumpkin season, but my Pumpkin Banana Muffins are a great healthy muffin choice. I use fresh milled soft white wheat for that in the same quantity as listed in the recipe (whole wheat pastry flour is the same thing as soft white wheat!)

      I’m working on a lemon muffin recipe but it’s not quite ready yet, hope to have that up soon! 🙂 You can subscribe to my email list and I sent out emails once a week about new recipes, so that will help you know when it’s ready.

      Also, here is my kids FAVORITE banana muffin recipe without pumpkin that works great with fresh milled flour. Don’t have this written up on the blog yet, but here it is:

      1 cup mashed banana
      1/2 cup packed brown sugar
      1/3 cup milk
      1/4 cup avocado oil
      1 egg
      200 grams (about 1 1/2 cups) soft white wheat/whole wheat pastry flour (could also use hard white wheat, too!)
      2 1/2 tsp baking powder
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

      Add bananas, add brown sugar, milk, oil, and egg together in the bowl of your stand mixer and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine, then add it to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined–do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips.

      Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 min, until a toothpick comes out clean.

      Hope you like it! 🙂

    1. Hi Betty! I think it would work just fine to double the recipe. 🙂 Just double all ingredients and knead and do the first rise all together, then when it comes time to shape you can divide the dough in half. Hope that helps!

  4. 5 stars
    I baked this bread today.WOW! I have spent so many years trying to bake with fresh milled flour and have failed every time. Your directions were so easy to understand and the way you explained the process made this recipe stress free. The video was also great and helped me see how the dough was supposed to look at each step. This bread came out so soft and pillowy and so so delicious. This is the best bread I have made. My husband said it tastes store bought. I am not making any other recipe. This was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and video. Am so happy to be able to have fresh milled bread that actually tastes delicious.

    1. Thank you so much Angela!! 🙂 I’m so glad you loved it, and that you found the video & post so helpful! I love hearing that the time it takes to make some of these resources is well worth it when people are helped by them. 🙂 Happy baking!

  5. Holly,
    I love your instructions. Just getting back to baking with fresh milled flour…it’s been almost 40 years since I did it a lot. My trusty old kitchen aid died this month and I was wondering if you have any instructions for hand kneading this recipe. I have with a different recipe and it took several tries. I am still working on that one. Thankfully it has always been edible!

    1. Hello Shari! Sorry to hear about your kitchen aid. 🙁 I’m sure you could hand-knead this recipe just fine, but I’m not sure how long it might take. The dough can be sticky so would probably help to have lightly oiled or wet hands for kneading. I wouldn’t add extra flour when kneading as it might come out dry or crumbly. If you give it a try with the hand kneading, let me know how it goes! Next time I whip up a batch, I’ll try to test it out, too.

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