How to Make Quick, Healthy, Homemade Bread Dough with Just Five Ingredients: Whey & Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

I have a dilemma: I like to eat healthy but I’m on a budget. We all know how expensive groceries can be, especially if you’re trying to eat well! I have found a couple of ways to save money while eating right by buying both fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, purchasing the store brand rather than the brand-name, and buying foods that I use often—like rice and beans—in bulk. I’ve even started buying big bags of dried beans and using them to make my own refritos, hummus, and other low-calorie, highly nutritious spreads and dips.

I also purchase plain low- or nonfat yogurt, then strain it for a few hours with cheesecloth to make Greek-style yogurt. I love the thick, creamy consistency of Greek yogurt; plus, Greek-style yogurt contains double the protein of regular yogurt, so it is an excellent addition to any healthy menu.

Straining my own yogurt presents one problem, however: the process yields several cups of leftover whey. I feel guilty throwing the whey away. After all, I’m trying to save money and avoid wasting food, aren’t I? But what is there to do with all that whey?

Then it hit me: bread. I absolutely love homemade bread; there’s nothing better than a fresh, crusty loaf, hot from the oven, to serve alongside soups, pastas, and salads, or to use in assembling a tasty, healthful sandwich. Replacing the water in a homemade bread recipe with whey gives the bread added protein and a soft, chewy texture. It's absolutely delicious.

So, I decided to use the leftover whey to make a loaf of homemade bread. This rustic round loaf of crusty brown bread is super healthy and delicious, but best of all—it’s quick, easy, and cheap! In fact, this recipe calls for only five ingredients that you already have in your pantry at home.

Rustic bread that's cheap, healthy, and easy to make with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
Rustic bread that's cheap, healthy, and easy to make with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

Cook Time (includes rising, pre-heating, and baking times)

Prep time: 2 hours 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 2 hours 50 min
Yields: 1 round loaf (approximately 12 slices)

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups whey*, warmed
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour**

Make It

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar into the whey. Add the teaspoon of salt and the packet of yeast. You do not need to wait until the yeast activates; just add the 3 cups of whole wheat flour to this mixture.
  2. Gently mix your ingredients with a wooden spoon until just combined. The flour will be wet and sticky. Do not knead the dough at this point. Simply cover the bowl with a dampened dishtowel and let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
  3. When the dough has just about doubled, rearrange the racks in your oven so that one rack is at the very bottom of the oven, and the other is in the center. Then pre-heat the oven to 450. Place a pizza stone on the center rack (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a baking pan or cookie sheet). Allow the stone to heat up while the oven is pre-heating; I like to give the stone an extra 15–20 minutes in the oven so that it can get nice and hot.
  4. Meanwhile, turn your dough onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and knead the dough into a ball by constantly turning the sides under. Don’t over-knead the dough and don’t worry about making a perfect dough ball. You only need to knead the dough lightly for a minute or two. Place it back in the bowl while your oven and stone are heating up.
  5. Once your oven is heated, fill a baking pan with 1 cup of water and carefully place it on the bottom rack of your oven. The water will turn into steam which helps your bread retain moisture as it cooks while giving it a crisp, crunchy crust.
  6. Then, with a sharp knife, make a cross in the center of the top of the dough ball and place the dough on the pizza stone. Bake for about 20 minutes***. Your bread is done when the outside is brown and crusty; if you knock on the top it should sound hollow.

If you want to impart more complex flavors into your bread, consider adding a dash of vanilla, a half-cup of honey, or a teaspoon or two of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough. You could also make this a savory bread by adding fennel, thyme, basil, or any other herb to the dough. Try lightly brushing the top of the bread with olive oil and sprinkling with Parmesan and rosemary during the last 5 minutes of baking.

This is an extremely simple recipe that allows you to get creative and tailor the bread to your own tastes!

*You can obtain the 2 cups by straining a 32-ounce container of low-fat plain yogurt. If you do not wish to use whey, you can substitute 2 cups of warm water for the whey.

**You can substitute plain white flour for the whole wheat flour. I like wheat flour because it contains more fiber and protein than white flour; plus, I love the rich, nutty flavor of homemade wheat bread.

***Depending on your oven, cook time will vary. My stove is an electric unit and I find that my cook times are always less than when I was using a gas stove. Check your bread at 20 minutes and if the outside isn’t browned, give it another 5–10 minutes.

Spread a little honey, jam, or melted butter on a slice.
Spread a little honey, jam, or melted butter on a slice.

There you have it: quick, easy homemade bread that’s good for your health and your budget.

3.6 stars from 35 ratings of Homemade Whey & Wheat Bread
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories 120
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 25 g8%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 5 g10%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Comments 31 comments

livingpah2004 profile image

livingpah2004 4 years ago from USA

Great recipe for quick and healthy bread recipe. Loved it. Voted up!

bamuscarella profile image

bamuscarella 4 years ago from Buffalo, NY Author

Thank you! I hope you have the chance to try it out. It really makes a delicious bread—plus it's so versatile.

MrsLMMc profile image

MrsLMMc 4 years ago from Maryland

I just love baking bread. It destresses you and makes the house smell wonderful. I linked this to my soup. :-)

I also strain my own yogurt, but never thought of adding it to my bread. It would amp up the protein! Great job!

bamuscarella profile image

bamuscarella 4 years ago from Buffalo, NY Author

Thanks! Your soup is also linked here. :) I love to add whey to my bread. Like you said, it adds tons of protein—then I don't feel so bad for eating basically the whole loaf. ;)

Ninasvoice profile image

Ninasvoice 3 years ago from England

Great idea. I love homemade bread. going to have to give this a try! voted up :-)

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Great recipe. It sounds easy to make and I´m sure it´s delicious. Thanks for sharing;-) I´ll try this. Have a Happy New Year 2013!

hungrymama5 3 years ago

Super yummy! I was a crazy ingredients I had to run to the mill for and no overnight soaking???? I almost never really like whole wheat homemade bread but I gave it ANOTHER try anyway. This is great and now I have a use for my leftover whey from yogurt making. Thank you!

ExpectGreatThings profile image

ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

THis looks delicious! I am also interested in the hummus recipe you mentioned. Have you done a hub for that yet?

bamuscarella profile image

bamuscarella 3 years ago from Buffalo, NY Author

Thanks for the comments! Glad the bread worked for you. Baking with wheat can be tricky. No recipe for the hummus here yet but I will post one ASAP!

Jess Hansen profile image

Jess Hansen 3 years ago from Mid-West

Yum! I love baking bread...I am going to make this one!

bamuscarella profile image

bamuscarella 3 years ago from Buffalo, NY Author

So do I! This bread is really versatile too: I've used it for sandwiches, to dip in pasta sauce, with soup, and for French toast.

devisree profile image

devisree 3 years ago from India

Great recipe. I want to make it soon.Thanks for sharing.voted up and pinning.

A. Bove profile image

A. Bove 3 years ago from New York

Nice recipe!! I plan on making it tomorrow. I'll let you know how it comes!

Daena B. profile image

Daena B. 3 years ago from Wenatchee, WA

This recipe looks amazing and I love the creativity involved in adding leftover yogurt whey. My main problem with making my own bread is that it takes a great deal of time to make. I wish I had a proofing oven to cut down on the hours. I do get into the mood sometimes and "knead" one out, but its not very often. Props to you for not only making bread for yourself, but taking the time to write out a great hub so we can too.

harshketu 3 years ago

its really an excellent manner to have a delicious bread making

bamuscarella profile image

bamuscarella 3 years ago from Buffalo, NY Author

Thanks for all your comments! Making bread yourself is time-consuming, but for me, cooking and baking are therapeutic. I don't mind spending a day baking. This recipe isn't as involved as some other breads, either, I don't think, so if you have nothing to do one afternoon you should try it!

A. Bove profile image

A. Bove 3 years ago from New York

Finally have time to make it today! Dough is mixed and rising, very excited. :D

A. Bove profile image

A. Bove 3 years ago from New York

:( dough didn't rise at all, I used water instead of whey, dough was very loose with the 2 cups, maybe too much?

bamuscarella profile image

bamuscarella 3 years ago from Buffalo, NY Author

Oh no! Yes, if you use water you should use about 1/2 cup to dissolve the sugar and add the yeast, then slowly add water into the dough so that it doesn't get too watery.

Cara 3 years ago

Thanks so much for this reciepe! I can't believe it turned out so perfectly the first try. I'll make this every time now after I make Greek yogurt, there is so much nutrition in whey, it feels so good not pouring it down the drain!

Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

Great hub. A very easy, cheap and healthy recipe. You have described the recipe well with the step by step instructions. Thanks for this hub which is very useful.

Missy Mac profile image

Missy Mac 3 years ago from Illinois

I will try this recipe. I would love to make home made bread, but never had a recipe. This looks easy. Thanks

Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

Just love making my own bread. I usually make sourdough bread. Nice hub

platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 3 years ago

You can bet I'll return for more bread advice.

Terry 3 years ago

Mmmm, having a practical use for my whey and this tasted great. Tried it with roasted tomatoes and parmesan. In heaven. Thanks for the share.

Amanda Farr 2 years ago

I'm not sure what I did wrong, but mine was way too sticky to knead after the 2 hours of rising. It did rise, but seemed to fall back to the original sticky blob that it was right after I stirred it up. I just popped the sticky glop onto the pizza stone and now I am hoping for the best! Was my whole wheat flour too weak?

Melissa 12 months ago

Can one put the dough in bread pans instead of keeping it round?

Camill 11 months ago

When you knWad the bread, how much additional flour do you use. The dough is wetter than I am use to!

Sara 8 months ago

How do you warm the whey? Is the microwave ok?

Lesley 4 months ago

Mine was really, really wet..... I put in more flour, and it was still to wet, I baked it anyway, it looks a bit flat!!!!

Anne 4 weeks ago

Mine is also very wet and flat how did you shape it? It tastes great.

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