Homemade wholewheat bread is so much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store, but it can be intimidating to make.
That's where this simple recipe for homemade whole wheat bread from Laurie Colwin comes to the rescue.
In her essay, "Bread Baking Without Agony," which appears in her wonderful book, Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen (affiliate link), she describes an easy foolproof method for making whole wheat bread.
I have it made several times with great results, a feat that still delights me.
As Colwin explains, "Bread baking without agony is about arranging matters so that the dough suits your timetable rather than the other way around."
The key is using just a tiny bit of yeast so the dough rises slowly and can be adjusted to your schedule.
As a Weight Watcher who loves baking and loves GOOD bread, I think a slice of this delicious hearty whole wheat bread is so worth it!
How Many Calories and WW Points in this Wheat Bread?
According to my calculations, each slice has about 86 calories and:
3 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
3 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
3 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
2 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
To see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, Click here!
Every time I eat homemade bread I ask myself why I don't make it more often and give a little silent salute to my Nana, who worked full time while raising 2 kids and still managed to make time to bake bread from scratch every Saturday.
If you like this recipe for whole wheat bread, be sure to check out some of my other easy, healthy Weight Watchers friendly bread recipes including Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Bread, Moist Banana Bread, Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Bread, Quick Flatbread Dough and Lemon Rosemary Blueberry Bread
If you've made this Homemade Wheat Bread, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Laurie Colwin's Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
- 1-½ cups unbleached white flour
- 2-¼ cups stone-ground whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup milk
- In a large bowl combine the flours, wheat germ, salt and yeast. Pour the water and milk into the flour and stir it up.
- The dough should be neither dry nor sticky but should tend more toward sticky than dry. If too sticky, knead in a little more flour.
- Knead the dough well. (I do this with my KitchenAid mixer.)
- Roll the dough in flour and put it int a warm bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel and leave it in a cool, draft-free place and go about your business.
- Several hours later, whenever convenient, punch down the down, knead it well, roll it in flour and forget about it till convenient.
- Sometime later, punch the dough down, give it a final kneading, shape it into a baguette, place it on a baking sheet, slash the top with 4 diagonal cuts, brush the loaf with water and let proof for a few minutes (and if you don't have time, it can go straight into the oven).
- You can preheat the oven or put it straight into a cold oven, it matters not a bit. Bake at 450F degrees for 30 minutes. Turn the oven to 425F degrees and bake another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Source: Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen (affiliate link) by Laurie Colwin
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
Watch as Jenny Jones makes her own easy whole wheat bread at home:
More Weight Watchers Friendly Bread Recipes
Easy Whole Wheat Quick Bread
Darina Allen's Easy Whole Wheat Soda Bread
Healthy Whole Wheat Muffin Recipes
Interested in learning how to make Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day???
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
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Hi, would it affect this recipe at all to add ground flax? I would like to up the fiber a bit. And would it affect the end result if I were to use a bread pan? Thanks!
Adding ground flax may cause the bread to get more brown and cook more quickly. Though I've never tried baking it in a pan, I think it would work, though it would be less crusty. Hope this helps!
Tried this recipe yesterday. I never seem to have good luck with bread. It is okay but never like the picture. I debated trying again but yesterday decided that it was a good day. I can't believe how wonderful it turned out. I will be making this again. I might try the bread pan idea. Love it. Thanks for posting.
So glad it worked for you, Jackie!
Dear Laura... would this recipe work in a bread maker?
Hi Sue, This is a recipe from the writer, Laurie Colwin, who died several years ago. I've only ever made it according to her directions so I'm not sure about making it in a bread maker. If you decide to try, I'd love to know how it turns out. - Martha
Martha, excellent bread recipe. I did exactly as it said, made it left it for awhile, punched it down a couple of times, formed it and baked it. The texture and flavor were spot on! A great addition to a fall soup supper tonight.
Glad you had success with it, Debby! ~Martha
Carma Lea Feland
Does it take quite a while to rise? I made it exactly how the recipe called 2 hours ago but it hasn't risen at all yet.
Hi Carma, because the recipe calls for such a little amount of yeast, it does rise slowly. ~Martha
This bread was delicious! The only thing I ran into was in baking it. I placed it in the oven as the recipe stated at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. At that point, I was smelling it as if it was burning. I pulled it out of the oven, and it was almost overdone and very brown! Of course, I did not add the additional 20 minutes at 425 degrees or it would have been charcoal. Has anyone else run into this problem? Other than that, it was a hit with my husband who bragged on it and went back for a second piece!
I didn’t have wheat germ I didn’t realize until after that I used a whole package of dry yeast instead of 1/2 teaspoon the recipe called for. I used rapid rise dry yeast. It went together pretty effortlessly. I let it rise twice before shaping on a baking pan. The 2 tbsps sugar didn’t sound right, but I used it anyway. I baked it at 375degrees for 25 minutes. It turned out really good. The texture is good too. I’m trying to stay away from store bought bread since I read there is stuff in there that stimulates the appetite. This recipe is a winner and I’ll certainly be making it again. I ordered a French bread pan to bake it on for next time
Wish I could post a picture
Thanks for sharing, Jackie!!
I didn't see any sugar listed in ingredients. Doesn't yeast need sugar?
Hi, I must have done something radically wrong. I followed the recipe exactly. My bread came out as hard as a brick. Could have used it for a weapon. I really want to make this. Can you offer any suggestions as what I did wrong. Oh, I did use my bread machine but only on the dough cycle. Shaped into a baguette and let it rise for almost 60 min. then baked as directed. .
Hi Lynda, It's so hard to trouble shoot recipes virtually. Baking bread has so many nuances --protein contents of flour, humidity content of flour, and on and on. Years ago my sister and I followed the exact same no-knead bread recipe and got totally different results! I'm so sorry I can't be of more assistance. I have had really good luck with this no knead bread that has tons of instructions and pictures --- https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2013/10/22/the-new-artisan-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day-is-launched-back-to-basics-updated/ ~Martha