Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

This recipe employs the sponge method, which gives this simple bread a more complex flavor.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 11 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • ¾ tsp. plus ⅛ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large egg


  • For the sponge: Combine buttermilk and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup whole wheat flour and beat for 1 minute. Cover and let stand at room temperature 8 hours.
  • Add to the sponge the water, butter, honey, ¾ teaspoon salt, and enough of the remaining whole wheat flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Return to bowl, dust with flour, cover with plastic, and rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Coat a 9" × 5" loaf pan with pan spray, and line its length with a strip of parchment. Turn risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and shape into a loaf. Place in prepared pan, seam-side down. Dust lightly with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat egg with remaining salt, then brush lightly and evenly over the surface of the loaf. Bake 40–50 minutes, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped from the bottom. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely on a rack.