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Sunflower Seed & Honey Wheat Bread Recipe

Sunflower Seed & Honey Wheat Bread Recipe

I've tried other bread recipes, but this one is a staple in our home. I won $50 in a bake-off with a loaf that I had stored in the freezer. —Mickey Turner, Grants Pass, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 35 min. + cooling YIELD:36 servings


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 3-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the bread flour, oil, honey, salt and 4 cups whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in sunflower kernels and enough remaining flour to form a firm dough.
  • 2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • 3. Punch dough down; divide into three portions. Shape into loaves; place in three greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • 4. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Freeze option: Securely wrap and freeze cooled loaves in foil, and place in resealable plastic freezer bags. To use, thaw at room temperature. Yield: 3 loaves (12 slices each).

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 125 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 212mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 4g protein Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

Reviews for Sunflower Seed & Honey Wheat Bread

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Reviewed Jan. 28, 2015


Reviewed Jan. 6, 2015

"New staple in our home. Everyone loved it. Thank you!!"

Reviewed Oct. 23, 2013

"Followed recipe exactly. The whole family loved it! My daughter said, "It is awesomely good!" One of the better wheat bread recipes that I've tried."

Reviewed Sep. 16, 2013

"I'm making this for the second time. Glad I found it again; it's a keeper!"

Reviewed Apr. 19, 2013

"still rising, but it smells great"

Reviewed Feb. 16, 2013

"This bread was delicious and easy to make (2 pluses in my book). The taste is very good!!! Plus, I love that it makes three loaves. Will be making this one over and over again!"

Reviewed Apr. 14, 2012

"My Mom and I both love this recipe and have made it often. I sometimes increase the bread flour to make it a little taller, but the flavor of this bread is amazing, a #1 for me."

Reviewed Mar. 25, 2012

"This makes great sandwiches and toast. I have used it to also make wonderful cinnamon rolls and cinnamon bread. I just left out the sunflower seeds."

Reviewed Feb. 16, 2012


Reviewed Mar. 19, 2011

"Followed the recipe - too heavy and salty...will make again with decreased salt and increased bread flour"

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2011

"Great bread recipe. This also makes excellent toast. Will definitely make this again and again."

Reviewed Feb. 13, 2011

"I'm still working on the adjustments for above 5,000 feet and will submit when I have it down, but did want to say this is one fantastic REAL whole wheat loaf. Full and flavor and nutrition and I don't care if it sinks in the middle - but I will get it corrected shortly because I make it once a week."

Only by Grace
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2011

"Awesome! My husband is my best critic, and he usually doesn't like the dry/denseness of my whole wheat breads. I followed this recipe to the T, and he absolutely LOVED it. I have to say it was intensly moist myself. THIS is my new whole wheat bread recipe now! :) Sheer Awesomeness!!"

Reviewed Feb. 6, 2011

"I absolutely love this bread! I made it a few days ago to go with a black bean pumpkin chili from TOH has well and it turned out wonderfully. I was so surprised how moist it was and very excited that it makes 3 loaves. I have tried many whole wheat recipes but they almost always had a blend of whole wheat and white flour and I try to keep as much white flour out of our diets. Every time I tried to make them with all whole wheat, they never turned out. This one was awesome my husband and kids devoured it. This is my new go to bread recipe. thank you so much!"

Reviewed Feb. 4, 2011

"I made this bread (1/3 recipe) completely in my bread machine. I did add 1 1/4 Tsp of vital wheat gluten; also, I added extra water (1 1/2 Tbsp) This is the first 100% wheat bread that turned out moist and light. There are only two of us and I make bread at least twice a week. This will be great to alternate with our usual multi-grain."

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2011

"This is a great recipe! We made it exactly as printed and it was wonderful! We will add more sunflower seeds next time, as we enjoy their crunch and nutty goodness!"

Reviewed Feb. 1, 2011

"I made this bread this past weekend. We want to get away from so much store bought bread and this was a big hit. I used unsalted roasted sunflowers because that was what I had in the pantry. I gave a loaf to my parents and they loved it too. This will be my go to bread recipe. Next time I want to try it without sunflowers (to make my picky son happy)."

Reviewed Jan. 31, 2011

"Has anyone tried to make this in a bread machine?"

mary camille
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2011

"I normally stay away from using all whole wheat flour for a bread recipe, but the reviews changed my mind. It's an excellent and high rising bread! I cut the recipe in half first to make sure it turned out fine. I made a few changes...It called for 1/3 cup of honey for the entire batch and I used 1/4 cup of honey for the half recipe. One full tsp. of sea salt. I did use a full tblsp. of gluten and added one egg. I had roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds and used those. All else was pretty much the same. It was a beautiful, high rising loaf and when I sliced it for dinner last night, it had a wonderful tender crumb and a nice chewy crust. My husband who is an avid fan of "store bought white bread" complmented me on a great loaf of bread. Not sure if I've converted him entirely! I would make again and again. Thanks for a great whole wheat bread recipe! Cam Barnett"

Reviewed Jan. 31, 2011

"This bread was delicious, and the house smelled wonderful. I used the roasted, salted sunflower kernels, and we loved the crunch as we bit into the bread. I shared one of the loaves with a neighbor and kept the other two for us as this bread is going fast."

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2011

"Excellent Bread! I think 3 teaspoons of salt is way too much since the sunflower kernels were salty also. So I only used 1 teaspoon of salt. I will definitely make this bread again!"

Reviewed Jan. 29, 2011

"Keeper!! Loved it. I forgot the salt so it did not rise like it should have but who cares. The taste is full flavor, satisfying and yummy!

thank you so much for this recipe. I am making more for the neighbors tomorrow. With salt of course."

Reviewed Jan. 29, 2011

"Superior bread recipe with only a few tweaks due to the contents of my pantry. Turned out to absolute perfection! Quick comment on previous post: In regard to 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) sunflower seeds, one third would actually equal 2 and 2/3 tablespoons, not teaspoons. Therefore a person could round up to 3 tbsp, not one."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011

"I've had a couple people ask about my previous post, so I thought I'd just let everyone know.

Here are the 1/3rd'edIngredients:
1.5 tsp yeast (I used instant because I don't like to wait for active dry to activate) (FYI: packages of yeast contain 2 1/4 tsp of yeast)
1 cup plus 1Tbsp plus 1 tsp warm water (1/4 cup = 4 Tbsp = 12 tsp)
I left out the bread flour and just used more whole wheat flour
5 1/3 tsp (=1/9 cup) canola oil (You can also just use 2 Tbsps if you don't want to measure out that many tsp. FYI: 3 tsp = 1 Tbsp)
5 1/3 tsp honey (see parenthetical remark for oil)
1 tsp salt
about 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (more or less for consistency)
2 2/3 tsp sunflower kernels (You can also just use 1 Tbsp if you don't want to bother with measuring more. FYI: 8 Tbsp = 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp butter, melted
I used the dough setting on my bread machine so it kneaded and rose it for me since my kitchen is still cold in April. The 2 1/3 cups of flour meant that it made a 1 pound loaf in my machine; which is only important if I wanted to bake the bread in the machine (which I didn't), but it might help you size your machine. If I was going to bake it in my machine, I would make a 2/3rds recipe (double the amounts above) so I have a 2 pound loaf. You could also make a 2/3rds recipe on the dough setting and then shape 2 loaves for baking in the oven. (Bake according to the original recipe's directions.)
I also followed the manufacturer's directions for putting the ingredients into my bread machine and did not follow the mixing and kneading directions of the original recipe. My machine calls for all the liquids first and then the dry ingredients and then the yeast. (My mom's calls for all that in the reverse direction.) Check with your machine's manual before you make it in the bread machine.
Good luck!"

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011

"Excellent! I omitted the sunflower seeds, just personal preference. The bread is nice and moist, not at all heavy--especially for nearly 100% whole wheat. I frequently make another 100% whole wheat bread recipe, but this one is faster and just as good; this will be my preferred recipe. Next time I'll divide the ingredients and make just one loaf using my bread machine."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011

"I have been Googling for days to find a good WW recipe! This sounds like exactly what I'm looking for! Thank you."

Leslie Middleton
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011

"I had originally made this to take down to our son's last February and had forgotten it. I had decided to make it for Thanksgiving and when I looked for the recipe I could not find it. I knew I had the one in the freezer since February and as a last resort pulled it out. It was as fresh tasting as the day I made it. You will not find a better WW bread recipe."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011

"I'm interested in making this bread, but am wondering about the sunflower seeds- I'm assuming that raw, unsalted seeds should be used. Am I correct? Or can you use the roasted & salted ones? Thanks for any advice."

Leslie Middleton
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2010

"I have made this bread several times and have been extremely pleased. It was easy, and tasty.

I looked for the recipe to make for this Thanksgiving and could not find it. I found a loaf in my freezer than has been there since February. To my amazement it tasted like it had just been made. This is healthy and easy."

Reviewed Nov. 17, 2010

"This bread turned out really moist for an all wheat, relatively healthy bread recipe! I generally prefer a slightly sweeter tasting bread (this one wasn't very sweet), but I really enjoyed the nutty flavor that the sunflower seeds provided. I baked these as round loaves on cookie sheets since I only have 2 loaf pans. . . turned out fine!"

Reviewed Oct. 1, 2010

"This is one of my favorite bread recipes! I make it all of the time and use it for making sandwiches. It is by far the best recipe I have found!"

Reviewed Jul. 20, 2010

"Absolutely delicious! Moist with a hint of sweetness! Delicious toasted!"

Reviewed Apr. 28, 2010

"I cut the recipe to 1/3rd, so it only made 1 loaf and made it in my bread machine on the dough cycle before shaping, proofing, and baking it. It turned out yummy, but just make sure your sunflower seeds haven't gone rancid! (I had to double check mine first.)"

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2010

"This is my new go-to bread recipe! Made it last night to go with soup and it was SOOO good. Hubby was surprised when I told him it was made almost entirely with wheat flour - it's so moist! Toasted up slices for breakfast this morning with peanut butter. YUM!! So glad it made 3 loaves!"

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2010

"I have made twice since receiving my Feb/March issue. We loved it especially good toasted and with soup."

Reviewed Jan. 31, 2010

"This recipe is delicious! I love that its 100% whole wheat yet is still very moist."

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2010

"We have tried many whole wheat bread recipes and this is the first one that didn't taste like cardboard. We will be making this bread often."

Reviewed Jan. 29, 2010

"nice dense bread that is slightly sweet. The sunflower seeds add a nice texture."

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