Low Calorie Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Patrick Mooney
assorted wheat bread

Fresh bread is always welcome at the table, but if you are looking to keep the calories down, a low-cal bread is a must. Use this whole wheat recipe as a side or starter for any meal, or slice up loaves for a delicious low calorie sandwich.

Whole Wheat Low Calorie Bread

This recipe is good for three pounds of dough. It may sound like a lot, but three pounds of dough is really just three loaves of bread. This recipe includes both weight and volume measurements. You get a better result using weight measurements when baking as they are more accurate, but busy cooks will appreciate the volume measurements.

The dough works well for loaves as well as buns and rolls. The same process should be followed for either choice. Give the bread an egg wash before cooking; this helps the bread develop a rich color.

Calories were calculated by adding each of the ingredients in the recipe based upon the measurements given, and then divided by three for each of the three loaves. To figure the calories per slice, divide the loaf calories by the number of slices. Nutrition data was approximated using SELF's tool and measurements provided in parenthesis below. The most accurate calorie counts will depend on the specific brands chosen for each ingredient.

  • Calories per loaf: 1018
  • Servings per loaf: 12 to 16
  • Calories per slice: 84 (12 slices) or 63 (16 slices)


For best results, follow recipe using the weighted ingredient amounts.

Whole wheat bread
  • 1 pound and 1 ounce (2 cups and 2 tablespoons) warm water
  • 3/4 ounce (4-1/2 teaspoons) fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 pound and 10 ounces (5-3/4 cups) whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) sugar
  • 3/4 ounce (1-1/2 tablespoons) non-fat dried milk
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) salt


  1. Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of water or, if you are using dry yeast, bloom the yeast as the package instructs.
  2. Using the 1 or 2 setting on your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment in place, and add the water and yeast to the bowl of your mixer.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Once the dough is formed to a smooth dough, turn it out onto your work surface.
  5. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover and place in a warm, draft-free location.
  6. When the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down by pushing your fist into the center of the dough.
  7. Let it rise again and take it out of the bowl. Separate into three 1-pound loaves. You can place the loaves into loaf pans if desired.
  8. Let the bread proof until doubled in size again. A room-temperature (unheated) oven is a good place for the bread.
  9. Take the proofed loaves out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Optional: Egg wash the bread, and then slash it.
  11. Bake until golden brown.

After letting the bread cool, cut it and enjoy the results of your low calorie whole wheat bread recipe.

Bread That Is Better for You

Whole wheat bread is a great source of fiber and nutrition. When bread is made fresh, the flavor of the whole wheat flour really comes through and will enhance any meal. Whole wheat flour is made by grinding the entire wheat kernel. It's the whole thing--the germ and the bran. Because the entire grain is used, there is a higher instance of the flour going rancid due to the fat content of the germ, so use your whole wheat flour as quickly as you can.

Flour made from whole wheat makes a heavier bread than most bakers desire, so regular bread flour will often be mixed in with the whole wheat flour to give the bread some lift and a lighter texture. If 100% whole wheat flour is too heavy or doesn't rise enough for your tastes, you can try substituting some of the whole wheat flour with some regular bread flour. In a pinch, all-purpose flour can also be used. All-purpose flour has slightly lower gluten content and won't give the same results as bread flour would. For home use, and if it is mixed in with whole wheat flour, the difference should be negligible.

How to Lower Bread Recipe Calories

Grains supply the body with vital nutrients. However, if you are looking to lower the calorie content of your bread while still keeping the flavor and nutrients, you are going to need to rework your bread recipe a bit.

When making bread using the straight dough method, consider changing ingredients like shortening and malt syrup if they appear in the recipe. Substitute shortening with vegetable oil. This helps keep the texture and moisture about the same but avoids the additional calories in shortening. Leave out the malt syrup completely; although it adds flavor and some color, it also adds calories. When a recipe also calls for sugar along with the malt syrup, you have another reason to leave out the syrup. It can be hard to find as well.

Enjoy Your Bread Guilt-Free

Keep your bread guilt-free by topping it with fresh veggies, low calorie spreads, and other healthy items. This way, you can enjoy your bread any time without worrying about calorie consumption.

Low Calorie Whole Wheat Bread Recipe