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No-Fail Wholemeal Brown Bread

This no-fail wholemeal brown bread recipe uses just a few ingredients you can easily tweak and is perfect for beginner bakers. Best healthy whole grain bread recipe that is ideal for sandwiches and packed with nutrients.

Wholemeal Bread Slice

This post was originally published on Sept 30, 2017 and updated on March 25, 2020 by Elena Szeliga. 

Baking your own bread is so satisfying and fun! Besides, you can control the amounts and the quality of the ingredients you use.

Homemade whole grain bread tastes (and smells!) better than store-bought brown bread and doesn’t contain unnecessary ingredients to prolong the shelf life or make it look better.

This brown bread recipe is very easy to make even if you are a beginner baker and it always turns out great. It’s easily sliceable that makes it perfect for sandwiches like this vegan BLT tempeh sandwich.

This recipe is 100% vegan and whole grain. It uses whole wheat flour in combination with wheat berries (or multigrain mix) to ensure the nutrient-density, nutty flavor and nice prickly texture.

Wholemeal Bread Cut in Slices

Is Wholemeal Bread Healthy?

Whole meal bread is made from whole grains, usually whole wheat berries, that have been milled into flour. It contains more nutrients, proteins and fiber than white bread, making it a great addition to a balanced diet.

Moreover, whole wheat bread is digested slower making you full longer.

Naturally, wheat berries consist of three essential components: the germ, endosperm, and bran. While the germ contains vitamins and minerals; endosperm is full of carbs, gluten and protein, and bran is packed with fiber.

While producing refined flour, manufacturers remove all the “good” components (germ and bran) and process carbohydrate-rich endosperm to make white flour. It is done to prolong the shelf life of flour and baked goods.

To compensate for this loss, white flour is fortified or enriched with minerals. But the problem is that enriched flour is not digested in the same way as whole grain flour.

The takeaway here is that to make the most out of wheat berries, brown bread is better for you than white bread.

Brown Bread Ingredients

  1. Wheat berries or multigrain mix;
  2. Almond milk or any other nut milk;
  3. Apple cider vinegar;
  4. Maple syrup or any other liquid sweetener;
  5. Fresh yeast;
  6. High quality whole wheat flour;
  7. Sea salt;
  8. Olive oil.

This healthy wholemeal bread recipe has a certain degree of flexibility to help you adjust the ingredients to your taste. Feel free to experiment with different grain mixtures, sweeteners and nut milk. Let me know which combo you used and how you like it in the comments.

Bread Cut on a Wooden Board

How to Make Brown Bread

If you ever wondered how to make brown bread, keep on reading. This easy recipe is beginner-friendly and foolproof if you follow the directions below.

Prepare Whole Grains

To start with, soak your grains overnight. It can be pure wheat berries or a combo of wheat berries and any (or all) of the following grains: rye, spelt, millet, oat berries, barley, buckwheat and quinoa.

After soaking, boil them for 30 minutes or until they are done, drain well and let cool. If you don’t have time for soaking whole grains, just boil them a little longer, until they are tender.

Make the Dough

Next step will be to combine slightly warm almond milk with maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener of your choice) and fresh yeast. Leave for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

Add flour mixed with salt and knead well until fully combined (about 5 minutes). Add more flour if the dough sticks too much to your hands.

Let Rise

Cover with cloth and let rest for about 1 hour or until doubles in size.

To shorten the waiting time, put the dough in the oven under the lowest temperature (not higher than 50 °C or 120 °F). For me this trick works wonders and usually helps me reduce the waiting time in half.

If you have difficulties proofing the dough, check these alternative proofing methods.

Once your dough has doubled in size, add the cooked grains (make sure there is no extra liquid in them) and transfer into a 12 inch rectangular loaf pan greased with olive oil. Cover and let rest for 30 more minutes.

Bake

Preheat the oven to 220 °C or 430 °F. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190 °C or 370 °F and bake for about 40 more minutes.

Check the readiness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the loaf. The bread is ready when it comes out dry. Let it cool and slice. Enjoy!

Store

Store the cooled bread in a sealed plastic bag to keep it fresh longer (up to 7 days).

You can also freeze it in a freezer bag or plastic wrap for up to 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw, wrap it in tin foil and bake for about 15 minutes under 190 °C or 370 °F.

Bread in a Loaf Pan

Top Tips

  1. Don’t slice the bread directly after baking (although it’s tempting). Let it cool first as this will ensure even slices.
  2. You don’t have to add whole grains to your bread. You can skip this step and end up with a softer loaf.
  3. If you choose to use the grains, soak them in water overnight. After soaking, boil them for 30 minutes or until they are done, drain well and let cool. If you don’t have time for soaking the grains, just boil them a little longer, until they are tender (check the readiness after 45 minutes).
  4. To shorten the proofing time, put the dough covered in the oven under the lowest temperature (not higher than 50 °C or 120 °F). It usually helps reduce the waiting time in half. Alternatively, use these proofing methods.
  5. Check the readiness by inserting a toothpick or a wooden skewer in the middle of the loaf. The bread is ready when it comes out dry.
  6. This bread is perfect for sandwiches like this vegan BLT tempeh sandwich.
  7. Store homemade whole wheat bread in a sealed plastic bag to keep it fresh longer (up to 7 days).
  8. Freeze this bread in a freezer bag or plastic wrap for up to 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw, wrap it in tin foil and bake for about 15 minutes under 190 °C or 370 °F.

Recipe Variations

  • This healthy brown bread recipe has a certain degree of flexibility to help you adjust the ingredients to your taste.
  • As an alternative to wheat berries use a combo of wheat berries and any (or all) of the following grains: rye, spelt, millet, oat berries, barley, buckwheat and quinoa.
  • You can use lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar.
  • Use any other liquid sweetener instead of maple syrup: molasses, agave nectar, date syrup or barley malt syrup.
  • Use any of the following types of plant milk: almond, oat, rice, soy, cashew, hazelnut, walnut, coconut milk.
  • For this recipe you need 42 grams of fresh yeast (1.5 oz) that can be substituted for 17 grams or 2 tablespoons dry active yeast.

Whole Grain Bread Uncut

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4.84 from 12 votes

Healthy Wholemeal Brown Bread

This no-fail wholemeal bread recipe uses just a few ingredients you can easily tweak and is perfect for beginner bakers. Best whole grain bread recipe that is ideal for sandwiches and packed with nutrients.
Course bread
Cuisine European
Keyword brown bread, homemade bread, multigrain bread, whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, wholemeal bread
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 10 servings
Calories 271kcal
$5

Ingredients

  • 150 grams or 5 oz wheat berries or whole grain mix
  • 500 ml or 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or another liquid sweetener
  • 42 grams or 1.5 oz fresh yeast
  • 600 grams or 1.3 lbs whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • olive oil to grease the pan

Instructions

Prepare whole grains

  • Soak the grains of your choice overnight. It can be pure wheat berries or a combo of wheat berries and any (or all) of the following grains: rye, spelt, millet, oat berries, barley, buckwheat and quinoa.
  • After soaking, boil them for 30 minutes or until they are done, drain well and let cool. If you don't have time for soaking whole grains, just boil them a little longer, until they are tender.

Make the dough

  • Combine slightly warm almond milk with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener of your choice) and fresh yeast. Leave for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  • Add flour mixed with salt and knead well until fully combined (about 5 minutes). Add more flour if the dough sticks too much to your hands.

Let rise

  • Cover with cloth and let rest for about 1 hour or until doubles in size (see notes). Once your dough has doubled in size, add the cooked grains (make sure there is no extra liquid in them) and transfer into a 12 inch rectangular loaf pan greased with olive oil. Cover and let rest for 30 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 °C or 430 °F.

Bake

  • Bake the wholemeal bread for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190 °C or 370 °F and bake for about 40 more minutes. Check the readiness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the loaf. The bread is ready when it comes out dry. Enjoy!

Notes

Top Tips

  1. Don’t slice the bread directly after baking (although it’s tempting). Let it cool first as this will ensure even slices.
  2. You don’t have to add whole grains to your bread. You can skip this step and end up with a softer loaf.
  3. If you choose to use the grains, soak them in water overnight. After soaking, boil them for 30 minutes or until they are done, drain well and let cool. If you don't have time for soaking the grains, just boil them a little longer, until they are tender (check the readiness after 45 minutes).
  4. To shorten the proofing time, put the dough covered in the oven under the lowest temperature (not higher than 50 °C or 120 °F). It usually helps reduce the waiting time in half. Alternatively, use these proofing methods.
  5. Check the readiness by inserting a toothpick or a wooden skewer in the middle of the loaf. The bread is ready when it comes out dry.
  6. This bread is perfect for sandwiches like this vegan BLT tempeh sandwich.
  7. Store homemade whole wheat bread in a sealed plastic bag to keep it fresh longer (up to 7 days).
  8. Freeze this bread in a freezer bag or plastic wrap for up to 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw, wrap it in tin foil and bake for about 15 minutes under 190 °C or 370 °F.

Recipe Variations

  • This wholemeal bread recipe has a certain degree of flexibility to help you adjust the ingredients to your taste.
  • As an alternative to wheat berries use a combo of wheat berries and any (or all) of the following grains: rye, spelt, millet, oat berries, barley, buckwheat and quinoa.
  • You can use lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar.
  • Use any other liquid sweetener instead of maple syrup: molasses, agave nectar, date syrup or barley malt syrup.
  • Use any of the following types of plant milk: almond, oat, rice, soy, cashew, hazelnut, walnut, coconut milk.
  • For this recipe you need 42 grams of fresh yeast (1.5 oz) that can be substituted for 17 grams or 2 tablespoons dry active yeast.

Nutrition

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Tried this recipe?Follow @happykitchen.rocks on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #happykitchenrocks!

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Recipe Rating




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Kristina

Friday 22nd of January 2021

I do not have a 12 inch loaf pan. Can I do this as a boule? If so, any thoughts on using a bread cloche? Thanks!

Elena Szeliga

Friday 22nd of January 2021

I think that should work! lease let me know hoe it turned out

Shau

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Can I omit the sweetener and grains? I am on a no added natural sweeteners or sugar diet. And my 11 month( allergic to certain foods)will be eating the bread too. So I feel it's safe not to add the grains.

Elena Szeliga

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Hi Shau, sure, you can omit the grains. I would substitute the sweetener with same amount of apple sauce or mashed banana. Let me know how it turned out :)

Helena

Wednesday 15th of May 2019

Great recipe to have fun with in the kitchen! Healthy, easy and delicious - what else do you need? :-)

Elena Szeliga

Wednesday 15th of May 2019

I love to bake my own bread every once in a while. My kitchen smells like a bakery afterwards :)

Estelle Bogner

Friday 2nd of March 2018

Hi Elena, I tried this bread and found it very easy and yummy! I have one concern, though. The baking time seems too long. My bread crust was very hard, we could hardly cut it. Definitely over baked. Do you have any advice?

Elena Szeliga

Saturday 3rd of March 2018

Hi Estelle, so happy you like the bread! If it was over baked, try to decrease baking time to 40 minutes in total and insert a toothpick in the loaf to check the readiness. If it comes out sticky, bake for 5 more minutes and check again until the toothpick comes out dry. Hope it helps!

Mindy

Saturday 21st of October 2017

Do you have any vegan bread recipes that I could mske in a bread machine?

Elena Szeliga

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Hi Mindy! Unfortunately, I don't have a bread machine (yet!) so I don't have bread recipes specifically for the bread machine. But if you are willing to be my tester, I don't see why this recipe wouldn't work for the bread machine? Let me know if you decide to try it! Otherwise, here is a whole wheat bread recipe that seems to be good.

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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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