Cool Rise Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Soft, slightly sweet and buttery; this bread is perfect for sandwiches and toast. I loved it. I served this bread for dessert tonight, warm from the oven and topped with honey butter. Truly delicious!

The best part about this bread is the cool rise. Not sure what that means? 20 minutes from start to the fridge in the morning and then you can forget about it. I took the pan out of the refrigerator tonight, preheated the oven and baked it. I have the second pan waiting now, ready to bake in the morning.

Oh, how I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try this recipe. I was scared of yeast and bread baking in general for so many years. I know that this recipe seems long and complicated, but it isn’t.

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Read through it and see for yourself. Basically, you stir, mix with a stand mixer (or knead) and then you just set it in the refrigerator. No rise times on the counter, no fussing with the dough, just stir, knead and refrigerate.

I found this recipe at Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet over a year and a half ago and printed it to try. Then I completely forgot about it! I stumbled onto it in one of my recipe binders earlier this week and now I am thrilled to have this in my files. I guarantee this bread will be made over and over again.

I adjusted the recipe to half whole wheat this time, because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m definitely going to make this again though. I’m looking forward to trying this with 100% whole wheat next time. I made this using my kitchenaid, but Marjie has full directions posted for doing this by hand or with a bread machine as well.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Cool Rise Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

4 from 1 vote


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour I used freshly ground hard white wheat
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast or 2 packets
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup soft butter I probably used closer to ⅓ cup because I wasn't measuring carefully
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water 110-120 degrees
  • light flavored olive oil


  • Pour the water into the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over it. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and then add the butter. Turn the mixer on low speed for 10 minutes. Let the dough sit for 10 additional minutes once the mixer is finished.
  • Do NOT let the dough rise in the mixing bowl for more than 10 minutes. I walked away when making this today and it rose beautifully for about 20-30 minutes. However, after I punched it down and shaped it into loaves, it didn't rise much in the pans at all - even after 6 hours in the refrigerator. The loaves still tasted fine, but they were much more dense and not at all as lovely as they were the first time I made this.
  • Divide the dough in half, form into small oval shaped loaves. I like to create a round shape by tucking the edges underneath and then forming a slight oval before placing it in the pan. If you are new to baking bread, remember that while the bread will rise, it will not typically become pretty and rounded if you do not create a rounded shape initially.
  • Place the dough into well buttered loaf pans and brush the surface of the dough with olive oil and brush 2 pieces of wax paper with oil as well. Cover the bread loosely with the wax paper and then loosely cover the pans with plastic wrap. Place loaves in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Let them rise for 2-24 hours. I found that mine had doubled in size about 4 hours after I put them into the refrigerator.
  • When you are ready to bake the bread, remove the pans from the refrigerator and place them on the stovetop while the oven heats to 400 degrees. (375 degrees for glass pans) Once the oven is hot, or after approximately 10-15 minutes, put the loaves in the oven for 25-28 minutes.
  • When the bread is done, remove from the pans immediately and cool on wire rack. Let it cool at least 15 minutes before slicing if you are going to eat it warm. I recommend letting it cool completely before slicing if possible.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Samantha says

    Can I leave this in the fridge longer than 24 hours? If I only want to bake one loaf at a time (so the 2nd one doesn’t go bad), how long could I leave the uncooked dough in the fridge for (max)? TIA!

  2. msneuropil says

    I am an old Nana that has baked every recipe that your example Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet referenced book has. The book is Homemade Bread by Farm Journal 1969. I have had the book since that date.

    Concerning the cool rise example you listed, and by my very lengthy experience with this recipe…as you posted (not exactly original which is actually for 2 large loaves) The issue is…you are using the full listed amount of yeast for about 6-7cups of flour. Your using less ingredients but same amount of yeast. Honestly 2 tsp to 1 tablespoon is more than enough unless your looking for rapid rise results. Slower bread is much easier on the stomach. Now I’ve been a professional baker long time ago…so I am comfortable telling you this. The original recipe says knead 5-10 mins then cover and let sit or rest 20 mins…punch down…then shape. NO harm will be done if you let it sit longer…in fact with the lessor amt of yeast…a longer rest is great. Lighter crumb results.

    I have baked this recipe too many times to count honestly. In fact the books recipe is actually a Honey Lemon WW Bread. My go to for peanut butter and jelly when I had kids like ants under my feet. I baked 4-8 loaves of some sort of bread every 3rd day back then. What I learned is…bread rises too fast in refrigerator if you use the full amount of yeast and tends to have less volume IF you stretch out the cool rise past 12-24 hrs. Especially with a fair amount of whole grains included. 8-10 hours is sweet spot for those type of breads. But they are all much better than store bought breads…100%. I liked to mix up while cleaning up after breakfast, and rest dough…then shape, refrigerate, and then bake off the next morning since oven would be still warm/hot. IF I didn’t get to it till mid afternoon after walking kids home from school, then loaf might be a little less of an oven spring.

    I have adapted these cool rise bread recipes from the 1969 book to baker percentages (cause I worked for years as a baker)…in grams rather than cups. They are solid recipes…but I always use much less yeast for it is easier to manage the timing for me. Basically…I am giving you permission to experiment. I did and I found I could do with less and less yeast because my environment is full of yeasties in the air.4 stars

  3. Mary says

    I think I must be the only person in America who doesn’t have a stand mixer! And no counter space for one either. I bake a lot and honestly, I haven’t missed having one, except for the fact that so many contemporary recipes use them. So, given the quantities listed here, and the need for 10 minutes of mixing, I doubt I can try this recipe. Lost my old one from 1970’s. Like your site very much.