Whole wheat buttermilk bread

A family-favourite loaf!

This bread is great because it retains its freshness for many days on the counter and is delicious for sandwiches or toasted. The buttermilk gives it a unique flavour and the balance of whole wheat and white flours ensures the bread has some substance but is not too heavy. You can also shape this dough into smaller portions to make sandwich buns, but be sure to reduce the baking time to about 20 minutes. I am often asked what the internal temperature of bread should be when it is finished – I usually bake it to about 190F. These loaves also freeze beautifully, making it easier to keep a good supply of homemade bread on hand.


  • 1 cup (250 mL) lukewarm water (about 110F)
  • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) instant yeast
  • 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt
  • 2 cups (500 mL) whole wheat flour
  • 3 – 4 cups (500 – 750 mL) white flour


  • In large mixing bowl or food processor, mix together warm water and yeast; let stand till foamy (about 5 minutes).
  • When yeast has become active, add buttermilk, sugar, oil, eggs, salt and whole wheat flour (not white, yet).
  • Stir or process to combine thoroughly then let stand, covered with a towel, for 10 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups (750 mL) white flour in 1/2 cup increments, blending well after each addition. The dough will still be quite sticky.
  • Knead with machine or by hand for 6 – 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic, adding up to 1 cup (250 mL) more white flour as needed to get it to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter and knead just enough to draw it together into a ball.
  • Place kneaded dough in clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough; on a lightly floured surface, cut in half and shape into two loaves.
  • Place loaves into two 5 x 9 inch (12.5 x 22.5 cm) bread pans (or line them with parchment paper).

  • Let loaves rise, covered, for 45 – 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Heat oven to 375F. While oven is heating, brush the tops of the loaves with about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of buttermilk.
  • Bake loaves for 28 – 33 minutes (190F with an instant read thermometer) then take out of pans and cool on a wire rack.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

7 thoughts

  1. I finally tried this bread. It is indeed excellent. I was worried that it wasn’t rising but of course with the eggs it also rose in the oven! Because of the eggs it has a little bit of a brioche taste, made great toast this morning. I used a little less sugar (¼ cup) and I am going to play around with the types of flour next time. Glad it freezes well because I am going to make it again this week since I have that full container of buttermilk! Thanks Paula.

    1. So glad you liked the recipe. It is a good base from which to experiment – I have sometimes added in graham flour or wheat germ to give it a bit more fibre. By the way, you can freeze unused buttermilk as well (just in case you don’t get around to baking again this week). Thanks for commenting! Paula.

  2. Hi Paula — just to let you know, I tried this in the breadmaker, and it worked beautifully! (I have a new go-to breadmaker sandwich loaf recipe!) : ) Thanks for sharing!
    — charissa

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