Fluffy wheat bread with a bread machine

It’s been several months since Ashleigh found us a bread machine for $5 at a garage sale, and now we’ve transitioned to completely homemade bread. At first, I used her recipe, but then my husband started buying store bought bread on the secret. When I asked him why, he said he missed how fluffy store bread is. He just didn’t love the density of wheat bread in the bread machine. So I went on a search for a lighter, fluffier wheat bread recipe.

Wheat bread is, by definition, a denser bread because the flour is ground from a more complete kernel. White bread is lighter because density (and vital nutrition!) has been removed from the grain before it was ground. So really, you can only make wheat bread so “fluffy”.

I ran across this recipe for fluffier bread machine bread on AllRecipes.com. Using the comments, I made a few tweaks to it and substituted wheat flour. The trick with this bread is actually allowing the yeast to grow a little in the machine before baking. This is a big “no-no” with bread machines, typically, but in this recipe it works! I promise!

Important for cooler temperatures/climates: I made this recipe for the first time since it got cooler here in Texas (in the 60′s, woo hoo!) and the yeast did not work as it did during the summer. I ruined an entire loaf. The yeast should be frothy and bubbly after 10 minutes.

Ultimately, I ended up popping the bread machine inner canister into a warm oven for a few minutes before adding the warm water/yeast and that seemed to fix the problem. My recommendation is that you do warm the inner canister of your machine if it’s any cooler than 75 degrees inside your home when you are making the bread.

Fluffy Bread Machine Wheat Bread

1 cup warm water (I microwave 45 seconds)
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp yeast (I use Bread Machine Yeast)

Add warm water and honey to the bread machine and stir until honey is dissolved. Add yeast and stir a little. Close bread machine (not plugged in) and let ingredients sit for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Letting it go too long can also cause problems.

1/4 cup oil (nearly anything except olive oil works)
1 cup bread flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup white flour OR wheat flour (white will be fluffiest but that’s a lot of white flour! I typically use half white and half wheat for this final cup)
1/2 tbsp sea salt

I use my white bread setting for this loaf. 2 hours and 40 minutes to light, fluffy wheat bread. Yum!

I’d love to hear if you try this recipe and how it turned out for you!