Fresh Ground Whole Wheat Bread For a Bread Machine

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I first started making bread years ago, but it was always for special occasions or whenever I was in one of my manic “I am super Mom I can make bread every day” moods! When I’m more level-headed it’s painfully clear that I cannot make bread every day for any length of time. Honestly, sometimes I’m not home when it needs to go into the oven. When my children were younger I had more control over when I was home and when I was out. However, my kids are getting older and have commitments that do not revolve around my baking bread. So I cheat! I use a bread maker.

From a prepping/self-reliance standpoint, most of us cheat a little anyway. I mean we all still go to the grocery store. We all still use on-grid electricity.  We all still drive a car with gas we bought last week. (And if you are completely self-reliant, off-grid and have alternative fuel, God bless you, but don’t email me because this post is about the rest of us). The truth is we’re kind of caught between this world (the one we grew up in) and the one we think will be our future… at least I am. So I often walk the fence. I know how to make bread and I’m used to doing it, although my methods would have to change if we had a grid down situation.  Of course, there are other reasons to make your own bread and grind your own wheat. The biggest being that you get a lot more nutritional bang for your buck in fresh ground homemade bread without the preservatives  My bread goes bad in three days, which I consider a good thing, it doesn’t have preservatives. I admit that my boys and I are spoiled because it really tastes kinda stale even after one day (we like our bread fresh). It’s still fine for a grilled sandwich, though. There is a book that I read that has this quote in it, you might know it, “Give us our daily bread.” Bread is supposed to be made daily.

Fresh Ground Whole Wheat Bread for a Bread Machine:

fresh-ground-whole-wheat-bread-for-a-bread-machineYou will need:

600 grams (around 5 cups) fresh ground white wheat (my white wheat is from Honeyville)

2 t salt

1 1/2 T oil (sometimes I use canola, this time I used olive oil)

2 T molasses (you can use 2 T brown sugar for a lighter loaf)

3 T wheat gluten (mine is from Honeyville)

16 oz water

2 t yeast

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Flour is tricky to measure by volume – no matter how carefully you measure you might get different results because flour packs down and scooping it only adds to the packing. I have measured flour by volume and my bread does not come out as good as when I weigh it on a scale.

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Measure out 3 T of wheat gluten, 2 t of yeast, and 2 t of salt. Because this bread is whole wheat and even more freshly ground whole wheat it needs a little help to come out right in a bread machine. You can mix the whole wheat with a bit of white bread flour if you like. (240 g bread flour and 350 g whole wheat) But if you’re grinding your own wheat this seems like a step backward because you cannot grind wheat into bread flour with a home grinder. So the solution I came up with is to add a bit of wheat gluten. There are trade-offs when using a bread machine. Mine is usually going in the wee hours of the morning so I’m not watching it rise, everything is timed whether the dough is ready or not. Sometimes you’ve got to “doctor” the dough so it’ll be ready on the bread machine’s time. Add the yeast on top of all the ingredients if you don’t have a separate yeast compartment.

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  2 T molasses

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 1 1/2 T olive oil (Hint: add the oil before the molasses)

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 Add 16 oz water.

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 It will look like a big mess. But as one of my favorite chefs says, “your patience will be rewarded!”

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I recommend getting a bread machine that has a yeast compartment. I had one that did not for years and it always had mixed results.

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I program my bread machine every night to be done around 10 am, just in time for the bread to cool for lunch. It’s hard to tell but the display says 12 hours (not 2 hours). I really like this bread machine. It’s not the most expensive but it’s not the cheapest. You can find it here on Amazon.

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 Come back at least 5 hours later and this is what you have. Ready to cut bread.

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I slice the loaf in half and then cut slices. (Yup, that’s my poodle in the background with her eye on the loaf.)

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My mom always used an electric knife to slice bread and I did too for a long time. But when you have to drag the thing out every day it can be a bother. I just learned to use a good bread knife. It took me about two weeks to get the hang of it.

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When you make your own bread the slices are not exactly like the sandwich bread you get at the grocery store but I think I do a pretty good job of getting them uniform.

This recipe makes one large loaf in most bread machines.

How to make fresh ground whole wheat bread for a bread machine.
  • Bama Girl says:

    Hi Jennifer! Wow! Your bread looks delicious! I love using my bread machine, and I’m glad to know that fresh ground wheat turns out good in it! I haven’t read where anyone uses fresh ground until now. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama! ( I read that book too!)

  • Sonia says:

    Yes you can. Bread flour has a higher glteun content. Gluten is the sticky protein that traps the bubbles made by the yeast and makes bread rise higher. Bread flour has more glteun, pastry or cake flour has less. All Purpose flour is a compromise. It will work just fine but you might not get quite as much rise.You can use a little extra yeast to make up for this (kind of). You can buy glteun by itself and add a teaspoon or two. You can let the bread rise a little longer. But the difference is not really all that much.Also, if you’re baking the bread in an oven (as opposed to an automatic bread machine), get the oven just as hot as it will go before you put the bread in. This heat makes the bubbles in the bread expand so you get more rising (this is called spring’). It works in only the first few minutes, then the outside crust begins to form and the bread doesn’t rise further. The hotter the oven is, the better spring you get, so crank it as high as it will go and let it pre-heat for a long time. In France (for French bread) they pump steam into the oven to inhibit crust formation to get a better spring.

  • I used your recipe as a basis for FINALLY getting a decent loaf of bread from my home milled grain. Thank heavens! No more bricks. The squirrels will be sad, but my tummy happy.

    I happened to make some butter from cream and had a lot of buttermilk left over. I decided to use it to make another go at the bread. I used it instead of water, used butter instead of oil (since it was homemade after all), and used raw honey instead of molasses. I think the key was using the delay on the bread machine and weighing not measuring the flour by volume. I used the dough setting and then put it out onto an oiled countertop. Turned it over a few times, split it, then shaped into two loaves and put it into prepared bread pans. Let it rise one more time for about an hour and then baked at 350 for 30 minutes and buttered the crust as soon as it came out.

    The result was the lightest two loaves of whole wheat bread I have ever eaten! It was AWESOME! Thank you so much for the guidance!

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Tory!! I need to play with my bread machine a bit. I’m trying to add some potato flour (made my own) and come up with a recipe for whole grain (home milled) potato bread. I’ll need to investigate using the delay on my machine, I have not done that yet. I love the idea of using honey and milk (we’re plant based but I could try some soy or almond milk). Thanks for inspiring me to try a few new things!!

  • Winona says:

    I was hoping for a recipe without the added “vital wheat gluten” and just fresh wheat flour. We try to avoid food with ingredients that are extracted from the whole food. I make a sourdough wheat bread but am looking for a recipe that doesn’t taste so “sourdough”. Your blog is great though.

    • BossLady7 says:

      I would soak your grains first. Omit the wheat gluten, reserve 1 cup of the flour and yeast- mix everything else together on the dough cycle but add a tsp of organic cider vinegar to the water. you should have a very gloopy dough. Once this is mixed, reset your machine with at least a 4 hour delay- sprinkle the remaining cup of flour on top of wet dough and put yeast on top (so it stays dry during the delay.) Once your machine goes through the bake cycle you should get a nice rise without the added wheat gluten.

      You have to break down the whole wheat and develop the wheat gluten, much like sourdough, but not an all day fermentation. If you don’t ferment your freshly milled whole grains, they won’t rise very well. The cider vinegar adds acid without a bunch of sugar that will work this process.

  • Fred Kimball says:

    Good guidance! However, I use an old “The Bread Machine” , a one pounder by WelBuilt without a viewport. When recipes have a size choice, I commonly use the one & one-half pound loaf measurements. Can you help me downsize your recipe? By the way, I use a motor driven stone grinder for the flour. Thank you for help.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Fred,

      I’m not sure how big you want your loaf to be. I’m used to cooking for hungry boys so I know it might be more than some people can eat. I would start by cutting the ingredients by 1/4th and see how you like it. If that’s still too big you can can cut things by 1/2.

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