I have always loved honey whole wheat bread–100% whole wheat with that sweet honey flavor. It’s hard to beat, until now that is! I added sourdough discard to my delicious honey whole wheat sandwich bread recipe and it’s amazing. Soft, fluffy, made with delicious whole wheat flour and leftover sourdough discard. This bread comes together quickly and makes the perfect loaf for sandwiches. The subtle sweetness from the honey really comes through and tastes incredible with the whole wheat flavor. If you are looking for amazing whole wheat sandwich bread AND a way to use up your discard, try this honey whole wheat sourdough discard sandwich bread!
Ingredients in Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Discard Bread
Whole Wheat Flour: I use a hard spring whole wheat flour that is about 12.5% protein content. Honey Whole Wheat sourdough discard bread relies heavily on the flavor of the whole wheat, so choose a wheat you like the flavor of.
Honey: Honey gives sweetness and a delicious flavor to this bread. Since there are only a few ingredients, honey plays an important role. If you substitute sugar in place of honey, you’ll want to add a little more water to the dough to help compensate.
Instant Yeast: This bread requires instant yeast to rise. If you want to use dry active yeast, make sure to activate it in some water/honey before incorporating into the dough. I use SAF Instant Yeast when I bake with commercial yeast.
Sourdough Discard: I use 100% hydration sourdough discard in discard recipes. You can also use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter or discard that’s been in your refrigerator for a week.
Salt: Salt enhances flavor. Don’t forget to add it!
Water: Warm water, around 95-100 degrees F helps activate the instant yeast and influences how quickly the dough will rise.
Benefits of Whole Wheat Flour
When I started making my own bread, I wanted to find a go-to recipe that was 100% whole wheat. This bread recipe came about because it has ALL the health benefits from the bran, endosperm and germ combined. Through trial and error, I landed on this recipe. I love it for the simpleness of the ingredients (only SIX – seven if you count sourdough discard which itself is made from just flour and water). This honey whole wheat sourdough discard bread makes delicious toast, sandwiches, breadcrumbs and an even healthier alternative to french toast. We love the addition of sourdough as an added health benefit.
Mixing the Dough
To the bowl of a stand mixer add warm water, honey and instant yeast. Wait for a minute to make sure instant yeast is active, bubbly and smells “yeasty” then add in the the sourdough discard, whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten and salt. I like to reserve about 1/2 cup of flour and add it in as the dough kneads together, making sure I’m not over-flouring the dough. Mix with a dough hook until completely combined and the dough feels tacky (not super sticky) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little more flour a Tablespoon or two at a time if needed until the dough is tacky to the touch. Knead for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
Quick Tip: Even though instant yeast doesn’t technically require activation before adding in all the ingredients, I always watch for the yeast to clump together and produce a “yeasty” smell. This way I know my instant yeast is good and will rise.
Rise and Shaping Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Discard Bread
Remove the dough to a bowl or let dough rise in the mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size. Because this recipe uses commercial yeast for the leavening, it will take around an hour depending on the temperature. A warmer environment and dough temperature will cause the dough to rise faster. Colder temperature will cause the dough to rise more slowly. Once the dough has risen and doubled, it’s time to shape.
To shape the dough: Pat the dough into a small rectangle about the size of your bread pan (use an 8.5 by 4.5 bread pan for a taller loaf or a 9 by 5 bread pan for a more traditional size). Starting closest to you, roll the dough up tightly, pressing in at the seam with every roll. After it forms a cylinder, pinch the seam closed. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray and place the loaf in the pan. If your pan is non-stick, you may not need to grease the pan.
Proofing and Baking Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Discard Bread
Once the bread has been shaped and placed in the pan, cover it with a dish towel (or a plastic shower cap) and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour. To make sure the dough is fully risen, press your finger into the side of the dough. If the dough springs back just a little bit but leaves an indentation, it is ready to bake. If it springs back all the way, let it keep rising a little bit longer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven is preheated, bake the loaf of bread for about 40 minutes. Spread some melted butter over the top if desired right after it comes hot out of the oven. Let the loaf rest for about 5-10 minutes and then place on a cooling rack. Let the bread cool completely before slicing and enjoying!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you store leftover honey whole wheat sourdough discard bread?
Can I make this 100% sourdough, not just discard?
Yes. Leave out the instant yeast in the recipe and substitute 100 grams ripe/active sourdough starter or levain for the sourdough discard. Allow for much longer rising times. The combination of sourdough and whole wheat flour will most likely give a more sour flavor to the bread. Make sure the bread rises completely before baking.
Can I substitute half bread flour for half whole wheat flour?
You can do that. The bread may not have quite the same whole wheat flavor, but will still taste delicious.
Do I have to use vital wheat gluten?
You don’t have to. I like using vital wheat gluten with whole wheat bread because it helps soften the crumb and makes the bread tender and delicious. If you don’t want to use it, you can leave it out.
Looking for More Delicious Sourdough Discard Recipes?
Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Discard Bread
- 310 grams warm water 90-95 degrees F, about 1 1/4 cups
- 84 grams honey about 1/4 cup
- 14 grams instant yeast about 1 Tablespoon
- 100 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration, see recipe notes, about 1/2 cup
- 500 grams whole wheat flour 12.5% protein content
- 15 grams vital wheat gluten about 1 1/2 Tablespoons
- 6 grams salt about 1 teaspoon
- Add in the sourdough discard, salt, whole wheat flour and vital wheat gluten. Mix until completely combined and the dough feels tacky (not super sticky) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I like to reserve about 1/2 a cup of the whole wheat flour and add it in as the dough kneads together, making sure that I'm not adding too much flour to the dough.
- Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour a Tablespoon at a time if needed, being careful not to over-flour the dough. Find out more about readiness of the dough here.
- First Rise: Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until just about doubled in size. The temperature of your dough and ambient temperature will determine how quickly the dough rises.
- Shaping: Once risen, turn the dough out onto the countertop. Pat the dough into a small rectangle about the size of a 9 by 5 bread pan (use your bread pan as a guide). Starting closest to you, roll the dough up tightly, pressing in at the seam with every roll. After it forms a cylinder, pinch the seam closed.
- Second Rise: Spray the bread pan if it's not non-stick and place the dough into the bread pan. Cover with a shower cap or kitchen towel. Let the dough rise again, for about an hour until just about doubled in size. Once doubled, take your finger and press it gently into the side of the dough. If the dough springs back just a little but leaves a small indentation, it's ready to bake.
- Bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaf in preheated oven for 38-40 minutes. Brush top of warm bread with butter. Let the bread cool completely before slicing the bread with a bread knife. Enjoy!