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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 8x4-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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kolate User ID: 6873027 261130
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2017

"Made this for the first time today, but it won't be the last. Love it!"

sjanutol User ID: 8534752 254557
Reviewed Sep. 24, 2016


wasoongu User ID: 1077273 219117
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2015


jamerbuddy User ID: 833809 217103
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2015

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

danali2001 User ID: 2512314 111145
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."

tommypoo User ID: 1263135 110540
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2013

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

ramblinrosee User ID: 7233379 110535
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2013 Edited Mar. 27, 2017

"still rising, but it smells great"

shecooksalot User ID: 5888460 179186
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!"

aleash25 User ID: 4932260 119120
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."

Rellierae User ID: 1272249 178168
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."

deb12pinkgirl User ID: 6535242 178096
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2012


CWOCN User ID: 4346648 163901
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2011

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

Loiscooks User ID: 3656565 177478
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2011

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

Corrydon User ID: 5737167 178095
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 User ID: 5737719 178094
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!!"

jlee6300 User ID: 4203186 110534
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!"

jerber674 User ID: 4247180 163900
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."

Hilomom User ID: 949869 95320
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2011 Edited Mar. 27, 2017

"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!"

Seda User ID: 997091 97522
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)."

frogpad User ID: 4872275 163899
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2011 Edited Mar. 27, 2017

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

mary camille User ID: 239774 160543
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"

cactuspat User ID: 5577866 143011
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."

vickihake User ID: 1215600 119084
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2011 Edited Mar. 27, 2017

"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!"

jackiegene User ID: 4479858 97521
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."

cyd170 User ID: 3118648 163892
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."

keverwann User ID: 1807985 110532
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!"

joedebfry User ID: 265172 95319
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."

yellowbrickroad User ID: 3105964 119067
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011 Edited Mar. 27, 2017

"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 User ID: 5631795 160541
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."

hoosyermama User ID: 5044088 179184
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011 Edited Mar. 27, 2017

"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 User ID: 5631795 95318
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."

Laura.Farnell User ID: 3364390 119061
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!"

robingrimm User ID: 5438053 110530
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!"

elana123lani User ID: 4811744 110529
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2010

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

keverwann User ID: 1807985 97519
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.)"

jbug827 User ID: 1013132 163890
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!"

PETALSJW User ID: 254007 177429
Reviewed Mar. 3, 2010

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

allison22_23 User ID: 1889782 119060
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2010

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

alweston User ID: 1433601 179178
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."

mysparrowsnest User ID: 4046850 178092
Reviewed Jan. 29, 2010

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

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