Make Ahead

Better-Than-Panera Honey-Wheat Bread

May 30, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Makes 20 servings
Author Notes

When our family health kick was challenged by a bout of fried chicken, my sisters and I ran off to Panera to try to temper the impending damage, and there we discovered their heavenly honey-wheat bread. But even perfection has room for improvement – our version has more flavor and more whole wheat, while still retaining their perfect pillowy quality. You'd never guess this was a whole wheat bread – we actually can't stop eating it. If you're new to bread making, check out our detailed tutorial at —Fig Test Kitchen

What You'll Need
  • For Starter
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • For Dough
  • 3/4 cup water, room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 ounces vegetable shortening (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Make starter first, by whisking yeast into water, and then whisking in flour. Cover with dish towel or plastic wrap, and leave to ferment for 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. Meanwhile measure out other ingredients, and whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. When starter is done fermenting, whisk honey and water together in the bowl of a kitchenaid mixer.
  4. Add shortening, yeast, flour-salt mixture and starter to bowl. Mix on low (setting #2) with a dough hook attachment for 1 to 1.5 minutes, until it forms a rough dough. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Cover dough with a warm, moist towel and let rise in a warm area for about 40 minutes.
  6. If you plan on baking dough in loaf pans, transfer each dough to one loaf pan now. You can also bake the dough directly on a sheet pan (with a layer of parchment paper underneath so it won't stick) if you don't have a loaf pan.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F convection/375° conventional, and let dough rise for about 45 more minutes, covering again with a moist, warm towel and letting rise in a warm area.
  8. Place bread in heated oven, and let bake for about 25-35 minutes (25 if not using a loaf pan, closer to 35 if you are) or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 190-200°F.
  9. Let cool for about 10 minutes, slice, and eat!

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2 Reviews

BAM1968 February 22, 2013
Im sorry this recipe made a dense brick of honey wheat bread. I followed instructions and recipe to the very letter. Yeast was bought new, water was temp. measured. It was so think and heavy it could have been a brick.
BAM1968 February 22, 2013
The "rough dough" flour should be All purpose flour, Not whole wheat flour. So 4 3/4
cups All PURPOSE FLOUR NOT Whole Wheat!