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.

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.

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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)


  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.

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

  1. A delicious bread thats quick and easy? I’m in! This looks so good. Definitely need to try it!! Pinned :)

  2. What an easy loaf of deliciousness! I love the rustic look of the loaf :)

  3. I am going to make this tonight. I’ll tell you how it goes.

    I made some nice flat bread in my skillet. Recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook, I’ve been meaning to use the skillet more and am excited to see this new recipe to try out.

  4. I’ve just started tip-toeing into the world of breadmaking after many years of being too intimidated to try it, so I’m going to have to give this recipe a try. You had me at easy! :)

  5. Absolutely beautiful bread! I adore a simple bread recipe :)

  6. Oh my gosh! Amazing! I wanted to com here earlier to visit your recipe. This bread is right up my ally! If I just didn’t eat dinner, I would so be making this! Sounds like a perfect bread for Sunday morning breakfast, drizzled with honey!

  7. OMG! For this one I’ll even make a home made Nutella!

  8. Everything about this bread is beautiful – the rustic texture, it’s simplicity, and the fact that it requires a skillet! This would be perfect with the second pot of French roast coffee that’s brewing in my kitchen. :)

  9. Averie, you’re a godsend. I’m making this for dinner tonight, for reals. I can’t believe bread as gorgeous and rustic as this is that easy to make!

  10. Just made this and it’s finally cool enough to eat. Great texture and flavor–the molasses adds the perfect touch. Very easy too and I love baking quick breads in cast iron!

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  12. This bread — I don’t know how to start. Every bit as easy and fast as you said. But I don’t think you did justice to how good it is. This is so delicious, I think this may become one of my go-to recipes. I’ll be honest, I’m not real fond of the loaf itself. I would have liked it better if it had spread less. I’m pretty sure I have a smaller cast iron pan around here somewhere and I’m going to use that for my next loaf, which will probably be within the next 3-4 days (I don’t expect today’s loaf to be around very long!)

    • I am so glad you loved it! I tried to describe it – and gush about how good it is. But I tend to think people don’t believe me (or other bloggers) who are like ‘oh this is so good makeitnow itwillchangeyourlife’ – haha! So I try not to do that excessively, although it really is a spectacular bread, especially for the work/reward factor!

      The reason I didn’t bake it in a loaf is b/c of this http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2013/02/fruit-seed-and-nut-crackers.html
      I baked a similar bread for those crackers and it took FOREVER to cook thru as a loaf & the top was getting too well done and interior not cooking through. But then again, that bread was LOADED with seeds and nuts but there’s a pic of the bread in that post.

      If you remake with other modifications, please report back what you did and what worked!

      • you’re right, i might not have believed you if you said too much about how good this bread is. now i know you speak the truth. will definitely report back when i try the smaller cast iron pan. i saw your mention of the crackers, just checked out the recipe to try but got distracted by the oatmeal raisin cinnamon rolls i saw off to the side. cinnamon rolls first, then crackers! i’m glad you have a lot of recipes posted.

  13. My bread tasted amazing. Thank you!

  14. Made this…very strange bread. Mine spread quite a bit in the skillet and was sweeter than I thought. Won’t make again.

    • You could reduce or omit the sugar if you want more of a savory bread and also add more flour/less buttermilk if you want it to spread less. With any type of bread recipe, always adjust your dough to how it looks to you in the mixing bowl, flouring or playing the the liquid ratios just slightly can have a big impact on how much a bread will rise. Thanks for trying it!

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  17. I love the looks of this bread! Just curious, though… the buttermilk powder I bought (from King Arthur Flour) says not to “reconstitute” before baking. Just mix in with the dry ingredients… Will this actually work? You mentioned mixing it with water beforehand. I want to make this bread but am super suspicious of this powder!

    • You know I don’t use the product tons. When I do use it, I’ve mixed it with water first AND I’ve added it to the dry ingredients. The things I’ve made, i.e. quickbreads and muffins, have turned out either way. That said, for this bread, I used real buttermilk and would suggest either using real buttermilk (since it’s so key to this bread and rising, etc.) OR I would follow the directions to the letter of the law on the packaging for whatever powdered b-milk that you use. LMK how it goes!

  18. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I own a bakery, Jenny’s Creative Creations, and it takes forever to hand knead and shelf rise our Honey Ma’s Gluten friendly line. This is so fast. I added raisins, nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg and named it Cowboy Caviar. We sell out daily! As for gluten free, I added a little baking powder to the flours to give them PUFF; works fairly well. Thanks again.

  19. Wow – I can’t believe how easy this is! What a great recipe!

  20. What a great, easy recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  21. Cooked amazingly well – gorgeously moist and brown and fragrant. I think my only problem was it tasted too sweet to me, but I’ve noticed that’s a bit of an issue with US recipes – I’m Australian, maybe we just like less sugar? I’d be tempted to add some cinnamon and eat this as cinnamon toast, or maybe halve the sweet components for the next time I make it – do you think it would still work out okay? Lovely recipes, anyway – I’ve tried your honey dinner rolls and your sandwich bread, and they’ve both been amaaaazing :D

    • There’s only 2 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp brown sugar for the entire loaf of bread but if you found that too sweet, you could reduce those amounts, some.

      You need some sugar in yeast-making bread for the yeast, but since there’s no yeast here, you can remove, as desired.

      I like honey-whole wheat bread and don’t think 2 tbsp for a whole loaf is much at all but everyone’s ingredients and preferences are different, i.e. some whole wheat flour can be pretty bitter and some people will write saying the bread tastes too ‘wheaty’ otherwise.

      So glad you like this recipe as well as the dinner rolls and sandwich bread, too! Thanks for trying all of them! :)

      • Thanks for the tips! It’s possible our whole wheat flour is different, too. What we call wholemeal flour is really still fairly finely milled, strangely, and I haven’t noticed much of a difference in terms of texture when I bake with it. Ingredients vary so much from country to country!

        I’m interested in trying your challah recipe next, we can’t get it here and I’ve only had it once. Excited :)

  22. So…I made this last night for my parents and boyfriend. Later in the evening, my dad called out my name, sounding alarmed. I was like, “What’s the matter?” He asked if this bread was hard to make, I laughed and said no, to which, and I am not kidding, he put his hand on his heart and said, “Oh please make it again. It is amazing.” He wants raisins in it. I didn’t taste the bread myself, so I am not sure if that’s weird, but I am making more tomorrow night at any rate. Thank you!! (I used a 10 inch skillet and it was not right… I could not get it thick to be 3-4 inches and it looked like it could have fit in a 6 in? I only needed one cup of buttermilk, too, maybe less? No clue.) It doesn’t matter…this is a keeper. Thanks so MUCH.

  23. This will decidedly be going on my “must try” list.

  24. The flavor of the bread is very good. I used just one cup of buttermilk and the bread was very moist. I had to cook the bread extra because it wasn’t completely cooked all the way through but it may have made the bread pretty thick. Other than the adjusted cooking time the bread was very good! Love the sweetness it had! And love how quick it is to prepare. Thanks for the recipe!

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