Whole-wheat bread is a type of bread made using flour that is partly or entirely milled from whole or almost-whole wheat grains, see whole-wheat flour
and whole grain. It is one kind of brown bread. Synonyms or near-synonyms for whole-wheat bread elsewhere in the world are whole-grain bread or wholemeal bread. Some varieties of whole-wheat bread are traditionally coated
with whole or cracked grains of wheat
, though this is mostly decorative compared to the nutritional value of a good quality loaf itself.
The exact composition of whole-wheat bread varies from country to country and even within one country. In some cases, the bread is made with whole-grain flour that contains all of the component parts of the grain in the same ratios as they occur in nature, whereas in other cases the bread may include only representative amounts of bran or wheat germ
. In Canada for example, a proportion of the wheat germ may be removed from the flour to reduce the risk of rancidity, but the term "whole-wheat bread" is still used.
The term "wheat bread" is sometimes used as a marketing tactic to give the impression of a product being whole-wheat bread, but this is at best an ambiguous term and potentially deceptive because most white bread is made from wheat flour, and thus could legitimately be called "wheat bread". The majority of what is marketed in the USA under the name "wheat bread" has very little whole grain content, and is made primarily of white flour, with caramel coloring added to them to give an illusion of a higher whole wheat content.