30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread

Every once in awhile, I get lucky with a recipe. The stars align and things works out better than anticipated.

This is that recipe.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread averiecooks.com

Recipes like this are the good karmic payback for all the caketastrophes, seized chocolate, wasted butter, and various fails that I experience. Fresh, warm, no-knead bread in a half hour is great karma.

It’s the easiest bread I’ve ever made. It only takes 3 minutes to mix up the batter in one bowl. It’s so easy you’ll think you’ve missed something.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Simply combine all the ingredients, all at once in one bowl, pour buttermilk over the top, stir until just moistened, and turn dough out into the skillet and bake. No kneading, no mixer, no dough hooks. Nothing fancy or complicated, and no tricky steps.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread averiecooks.com

It’s reminiscent of Irish soda bread in appearance, but I avoided the pitfalls that come with soda bread. Usually that’s dry, bland, crumbly, and by the next day it’s even drier. This bread is anything but dry.

I had a little buttermilk to use and wanted a quick and easy bread but didn’t want to remake Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread. Even I didn’t need another banana bread recipe. This week. Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls were out of the question because they aren’t quick. I loved the loaf of bread that’s created when making Fruit, Seed and Nut Crackers. It’s so good I almost didn’t even want to make crackers with it and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

So I recreated a version of it, minus the fruit, seeds, and nuts. I baked in a skillet rather than loaf pan so that it bakes more evenly, and in about one-third the time.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread averiecooks.com

I used my Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Skillet. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, this 10-inch pre-seasoned cast iron pan is $15 bucks. With almost 2800 4.5/5 star ratings, you really can’t go wrong. Or, bake it on a baking sheet. No excuses not to bake this easy loaf.

For the flour, I used a combo of whole wheat and all-purpose, one cup of each. I’m sure you could use a combination of your favorite flours including whole wheat pastry flour, bread flour, ground oats, rye, or almond flour. I’d be reluctant to use more than 50% wheat or another similarly low gluten flour because they’re more resistant to rising. I don’t know how gluten-free flours and baking blends will behave, but because of the buttermilk, you have as good of a chance of any as getting some height and lift, even without gluten.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread averiecooks.com

If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand, pick up a container of Cultured Buttermilk Powder. Not all grocery stores have it, but it’s in the baking aisle. It’s shelf stable, and just mix a couple tablespoons with water for buttermilk.

Or, make buttermilk by adding 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or lemon juice) to 1 cup milk, wait 10 minutes to allow it to curdle, stir; use as necessary. Or, add 1/4 cup yogurt to about 1 cup milk, stir, and use as necessary.

Those options give you many of the benefits of a cultured milk and for a this recipe, they’ll likely be fine. However, I don’t recommend the shortcuts for a very fancy cake or fussy recipe that calls for buttermilk. Use the real thing.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread averiecooks.com

When pouring the buttermilk over the dry ingredients, start with 1 cup, and stir. The dough should be quite loose, shaggy, and very moist. The flour is like a sponge and seems to inhale the liquid. If it’s at all dry, add up to 1/4 cup more buttermilk so that it’s nicely moistened. I used 1 1/4 cups buttermilk total.

The dough will be lumpy, bumpy, thick, and not at all smooth. Don’t overmix and don’t try to make it smooth. It’s like pancake batter, less is more when it comes to stirring and mixing.

Turn dough out into the skillet in a circular mound that’s about 6 inches in diameter and bake for 15 minutes at 400F, rotate the skillet 180 degrees to ensure even baking, lower the oven temp to 350F and continue to bake for 10 minutes at 350F, or until browned and done. Starting out with a hotter blast of air and then reducing the temperature helps create internal steam, helping the dough rise better, which creates a puffier loaf than if you bake at 350F the whole time. The same principle applies to muffins create bakery-style, high-domed muffin tops.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread averiecooks.com

After removing the skillet from oven, turn bread out of the skillet and onto a rack immediately because the carryover heat will continue to cook the bread and the bottom will become too browned.

After the bread has cooled completely, I wrap it in plasticwrap, and slide it into a large Ziplock or airtight container, where it’ll keep for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. But leftovers weren’t an issue here.

It’s moist and flavorful enough that ripping off soft hunks and enjoying them plain and fresh was just fine; and with a little hummus or butter, even better.

I used it for PB & J sandwiches with Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter. So good.

It’s soft, fluffy, chewy, and lightweight without being airy, crumbly, or dry. The crust isn’t a tough or overly hearty and the interior has a moist crumb that reminds me of the texture of a moist muffin. Buttermilk always works miracles keeping things light, moist, and tender.

It’s has just a very slight hint of both honey and molasses amidst the heartier wheat flavor. It’s not a ‘sweet bread’ and the honey just takes the edge off the wheat, which can sometimes be a little bitter or earthy.

On a work-reward scale, this is the type of recipe you wish every other recipe could be like. Three minutes of effort for a scrumptious loaf of soft bread.

The hardest part is waiting 25 whole minutes for it to come of of the oven.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread - No-knead, no-fuss fast & easy bread that's ready in 30 minutes! Lightly sweetened with honey & the whole wheat keeps it healthier!

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread

This is the easiest bread I’ve ever made with fabulous results and virtually zero effort. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, pour buttermilk over the top, stir, transfer to skillet and bake. It’s so easy you’ll think you’ve missed something. Skillet breads bake quicker than bread in loaf pans, so you get to enjoy this bread sooner rather than later. It’s soft, fluffy, chewy, and lightweight with a moist crumb that reminds me of the texture of a moist muffin. It’s very lightly-sweetened with honey and has just a hint of molasses flavor amidst the wheaty flavor.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses (I recommend a medium molasses as opposed to dark or robust, and not blackstrap; it’s too pungent and bitter)
1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar, packed (I use light brown)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk* (see Buttermilk Tips below if you don’t have it on hand)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray an enameled cast-iron skillet with cooking spray, grease a seasoned cast iron skillet, or prepare an oven-safe skillet; set aside. My skillet is 10 1/4-inches and I recommend a skillet from 8 to 12 inches in diameter. Alternatively, bake bread on a Silpat-lined or greased baking sheet.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in the order listed, except the buttermilk, and give a quick stir to mix them. Pour 1 cup buttermilk over the top. Stir to combine. Dough should be quite loose, shaggy, and very moist. The flour is like a sponge, and if dough is at all dry, add up to 1/4 cup buttermilk so that it’s nicely moistened, and stir until just combined (I used 1 1/4 cups buttermilk total). Dough will be lumpy, bumpy, thick, and not at all smooth; don’t overmix and don’t try to make it smooth. Turn dough out into skillet in a circular mound that’s about 6 inches in diameter and 3 to 4 inches high. Score top of bread with a knife, making a cross.
  3. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350F and bake for 10 minutes, or until bread is golden and done. (When I lower the temperature to 350F, I also rotate my skillet by 180 degrees to ensure even baking).
  4. With a large spatula, slide or nudge bread out onto a wire rack immediately to cool. Don’t keep it in the skillet because it will continue to cook and bottom will get too browned. Serve after it’s sufficiently cooled. Note – If you’re not consuming this bread immediately and it stays on a rack to cool for an hour or two, you may observe a fair amount of water released that’s pooled underneath the rack. Mine released about 3 tablespoons in 1 hour. I store all my fully cooled bread by wrapping it in plasticwrap, then placing it inside a large Ziplock where it stays fresh for up to 4 days. Bread may also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

*Buttermilk Tips – Add 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or lemon juice) to 1 cup milk, wait 10 minutes to allow it to curdle, stir; use as necessary. Or, add about 1/4 cup yogurt to about 1 cup milk, stir; use as necessary. Both of these options provide many of the benefits of a cultured milk and for a quickbread like this, will likely be fine. I don’t recommend using these shortcuts with a very fancy or fussy recipe that calls for buttermilk; use the real thing.

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Honey Dinner Rolls – My go-to dinner roll recipe that produces soft, fluffy, chewy, wonderful dinner rolls every time

Fruit, Seed and Nut Crackers – Fancy artisan crackers that are actually crispy can be achieved by first baking a loaf of a bread, slicing thinly, then baking the slices as crackers. This recipe inspired today’s skillet bread

Copycat recipe for Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread (vegan) – Based on my love of Outback’s bread. Hearty, wheaty, and ever-so-slightly infused with subtle hints of molasses and honey, and it’s a dead-ringer in the flavor department. Serve with honey butter for even more authenticity

One Hour Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (vegan) – Homemade pizza dough in 1 hour so there’s never an excuse not to make pizza. Free yourself from storebought pizza dough and make your own in an hour and it’s healthier because it’s wheat

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Such a flavorful bread becaues of the browned butter and buttermilk and so easy to make with your ripe bananas

Challah – Light, fluffy, soft, tender, crossiant-like, and the best challah I’ve ever had and extremely easy to make. Made using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking principles, this is a no-knead, goofproof, and effortless method to making bread and dough can be made in advance and stored for up to five days prior to baking it

Oatmeal Raisin Rolls – Part hearty dinner roll, part healthier cinnamon roll lightly sweetened with honey. They’re chewy and packed with texture from the oats and raisins

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) – Just like the soft and fluffy pretzels you can buy at the mall, but now you don’t need the mall. In just 1 hour, they’re ready from start to finish and you can customize the dough, toppings, and dip and pretend you have your own pretzel shop at home

Do you have a favorite buttermilk recipe or favorite quickbread?

What do you like to make in your skillet?

Tell me about those tried and true recipes you love.

159 comments on “30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread”

  1. just made this a 2nd time, this time I used scant less than 1C buttermilk, and baked in round pyrex casserole dish…still not as high as picture (because I used bread flour instead of AP?) But still delicious and moist. Oh, also only baked for 10 min at 400 and 7 min at 350 (but maybe my oven is hot) absolutely LOVE this bread and I’m not a fan of wheat bread by any means.

    • Hi Carol and thanks for trying the recipe and so glad you love it – even though you’re not even a big wheat bread eater! With recipes like this where pan sizes can vary, buttermilk, flours, climate, etc…it’s impossible to say why some loaves rise higher than others. I use King Arthur flour nearly exclusively in my baking and swear by it. Some brands of wheat are very dense and that can inhibit rising/puffing. Also if you cut back on the milk, that can also do it, too. The more liquid available, generally the more it will help a loaf rise (this is true in yeast bread baking too). Sloppy (to a point) is a good thing with breads. Sounds like it turned out just fine though!

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  3. Just tried this today. Wanted to let you know my hubby likes it better than my other whole wheat quick bread recipes–it has a lighter texture. I couldn’t locate my iron skillets (still putting things away after the kitchen renovation … ) so I made it on a baking sheet. It didn’t puff up very high but we like our breads in all shapes and sizes! Thanks for yet another good recipe!

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  5. I’m eating my first piece now! ABSOLUTLEY DELICIOUS:) will most definitely be making again!

  6. Hey Averie,

    Can I use a regular baking loaf pan for this bread? I’m not sure if the skillets at my home are oven-safe — don’t wanna risk my mum’s anger! lol
    Also, I tried a no-yeast quick wheat bread yesterday, and it turns out very crumbly (as in, it breaks when I try to spread butter onto it). Is yours crumbly as well? How can I prevent it from being OVERLY crumbly?

    Thanks~~

    • The bread is not at ALL dry or crumbly. In fact, it’s so moist that I fear if you bake it in a 9×5 or standard loaf pan, it’ll never cook thru in the center before the edges burn. So if you dont have a skillet you trust, I would use a 9×9 baking pan and bake it in there, or use about half of a 9×13 pan.

      • Thanks Averie! I made the bread this morning – you’re right, it’s not crumbly at all!!

        I used a baking pan and let it stay in the oven for 5 more minutes.

        I skipped molasses and the brown sugar — but regretted it cos the bread turns out slightly bitter (or rather, a “baking soda” aftertaste). wonder if it’s only the lack of sugar, or some other reason.

        Still, i like it’s texture!

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  8. With only 2 cups of flour, I used just 1 cup of the buttermilk and it was like pancake batter. I think it needs 3 cups of flour. Did anyone else find it more
    like batter than bread. I could no way make slits in the top, it was to wet.

    • Maybe your flour is a different consistency than mine. I use King Arthur all-purpose. It has a slightly higher gluten content than any other flour; therefore you may need slightly more flour when using other brands and/or your buttermilk could have been thinner than mine. Mine is usually quite thick. As always trust your judgment and sounds like you did! Hope you enjoy the bread!

  9. My dough was like pancake batter. 2 C flour and 1 cup of milk is a very thin batter. I used white bread flour and white whole wheat flour. Most receipes
    call for 3 cups flour and 1 cup liquid. How do you get the dough that thick?
    Tasted like gingerbread, looked like cornbread.

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  12. This was soo good!  Wonderful flavor; sweet but not too sweet and super easy.  

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  15. Thank you so much for this recipe, it has become a staple in our house! So delicious lightly toasted with butter for breakfast.

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