Skip to Content

Honey Wheat Brown Bread

This post may contain affiliate links.

This honey wheat brown bread is going to be the best thing you butter up this month. With a soft, tender inside, crunchy rolled oats on the outside, subtle sweet honey flavor and a hint of dark molasses for natural coloring you can literally have it with anything. Soup? Yes. Dinner? Yes. Breakfast? You guessed it, yes!

overhead photos of honey wheat brown bread rolls

This bread in all its chewy, soft glory might look a smidge familiar. You know that little California based chain, they serve cheesecake and have a menu the thickness similar to that of a Jersey diner? You may have heard of it…The Cheesecake Factory.

If you know it, then you know about the freaking brown bread. THAT BREAD. Oh my lord, I’m getting the bread sweats. It’s soft and sweet and tender and just the best way to start a meal. 

overhead photo of honey wheat brown bread

And this Honey Wheat Brown Bread is an at-home version that’s simple to make and so so delicious.

Ok, hold on. Let’s just talk about this honey wheat brown bread.

up close photo of honey wheat brown bread

Tips for starting yeast doughs

New to yeast? Don’t be scared, just keep a few things in mind and your bread is going to come out great!

Yeast doughs typically start with letting the yeast get foamy and involve

  • a warm liquid (milk or water),
  • sugar or some sort of sweet like honey (think of it as yeast food),
  • and of course the yeast itself. 

The yeast eats the sweet and turns into a foamy, liquidy starter. Not so scary right?

stacked rolls of honey wheat brown bread

And here’s my foolproof tip:  temp your liquid. It should be around 100-110°F. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast and you’ll get no foam. If it’s too cold, your foam won’t get foamy enough. And that’s sad. Nobody wants sad yeast foam.

I use my digital meat thermometer to temp it. It’s easy to read and if it is too hot you can just leave it in and watch the temp go down.

Two Rises 

For the first rise, it’ll happen in a greased bowl. Cover it with either a linen towel or plastic wrap to create a warm, incubator like environment.

The next rise will happen after you shape the dough before baking.

See these little beauties?? They’re just one rise away from being this.

close up of the soft layers of honey wheat brown bread

Ultimate fluff-dom.

After baking, enjoy while hot with a nice slather of butter or store up to 4 days for later. This bread is my absolute favorite for making croutons. It provides a nice crunch and adds are great flavor to salads without being overpowering. 

You should try them in this kale salad with pomegranate and blue cheese or autumn salad with apples and cheddar. Pretty much if there’s any sort of seasonal salad, clearly I’m finding a reason to make this honey wheat brown bread into croutons for it. You should join me. If making this bread to go along with dinner, comfort food classic pot roast or lemony chicken thighs are a welcome sight on the dinner table.  

If you’re making this bread to go with dinner or for croutons be sure to tell me about it in the comments and leave a rating below.  Tag #hungerthirstplay on all your tasty Instagram photos!

overhead photos of honey wheat brown bread rolls

Honey Wheat Brown Bread

Honey Wheat Brown Bread is sweet, tender wheat bread with subtle taste of honey and molasses.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown bread, copycat cheesecake factory brown bread, easy yeast doughs, sweet breads
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 small loaves
Author: Lauren


  • 1 cup 236ml warm water, 105-110°F
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups 241g bread flour
  • 1 2/3 cup 191g white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats


  • In the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine warm water and molasses.  Sprinkle the liquid with yeast.  Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy, then add in the honey.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, espresso and salt.  Slowly add dry ingredients to the yeast mixture on low speed.  Once combined add butter and increase speed to medium until combined and a soft, smooth dough is formed - about 90 seconds.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with oil.  Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in a warm area to rose for 1 hour, or until double in size.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 8 pieces.  Shape each piece into small, log shaped loaf then onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle each loaf with whole rolled oats.
  • Let the loaves rise until double in size - about 1 hour.  Towards the end of the rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.  Honey Wheat Brown Bread is fresh for up to 4 days, wrapped, at room temperature.


  • Molasses provides a natural, dark color to the bread but honey can be used in its place if you do not have molasses.



Cheesy Sausage and Peppers Pasta Bake
← Previous
Lavender Grapefruit Mimosa
Next →
Recipe Rating


Friday 12th of February 2021

Hi! Can I make this in a bread pan?


Saturday 20th of February 2021

Hi Farah - I haven't tried to make this in a bread pan but I think it might be too much dough. I'd probably recommend dividing the dough into two before baking!


Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi, is this a no knead recipe? I usually do it by hand bc I don’t have a mixer. :) it looks like I can mix it in the bowl then wait for a first rise. There’s no mention of kneading. Can’t wait to try this!!! :)


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Yes! You could definitely do this by hand, but it will take a little bit of kneading by hand when you need to add the butter.


Friday 2nd of October 2020

Delicious! I had to add more flour than it called for. They were just what I wanted.


Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Couldn't wait for them to cool! Here's my twist without the stand mixer...I warmed the water and softened the butter in the microwave, then put those in my bread machine pan. Next I added the molasses and honey. I sifted the dry ingredients together and put them in, too. Finally, I dug a well and measured in the yeast (I used instant). I hit the dough setting and after an hour and a half the dough was ready. Shaped the loaves for the 2nd rise with the rolled oats and baked as instructed. They came out perfect!!!


Thursday 4th of June 2020

Thank you for your comments! This is super helpful for a by-hand method. Thanks for trying this recipe <3!


Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Thank you for this great recipe. What did you bake the rolls on? A pizza stone with parchment paper or something else? Thanks


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

just a sheet tray with parchment paper will do!