The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to make bread like store bought bread?

Mason Dixon's picture
Mason Dixon

How to make bread like store bought bread?

I'm talking about bread you buy that is baked fresh everyday in the basic neighborhood grocers chain, publix, kroger, etc. How do they get the bread(basic white baguette) so chewy with the big air bubbles?

I've tried a bunch of recipes from the internet. I use bread flour, fleishmans yeast, and have tried a couple teaspoons of high gluten. I usually have my bread machine mix the dough, then I'll take it out after its risen and form it into baguette's and bake it in the oven. However, its texture is no where near as chewy as the storebought ones.....and the texture is denser, more cakelike in consistency.

What am I doing wrong?


ehanner's picture

I suggest you take a little time and look around here for a bread that interests you and try to bake it with the help of some of our regular contributors. Trying to bake a loaf like the guys down at the chemical plant isn't what we are about. Making delicious bread, as good as any artisan bakery in the world is what most of are trying to do.

What kind of bread are you interested in baking?


gavinc's picture

You are in for a big surprise!  By taking the advice from the folk here will enable you to make loaves that make the locally brought stuff from large bread chains look like a poor cousin.  I suggest you get a good bread making book to start you off and pose any questions on this site.  We look forward to seeing your advancement and share in your journey.  There's lots of recipes on this site and a lot of advice on the various aspects of bread making.



ema2two's picture

I found several nice white flour baguette recipes that appealed to my taste buds.  I liked the KAF guaranteed baguette from the King Arthur Flour website, and another that called "4 Hour Baguette". 

You can also make a baguette shape from a good French bread recipe.  That may not be technically correct, but I'm new and not a stickler for details, I'm just having fun learning to work with dough, shape it and bake it (and my kids enjoy tasting it). 

French bread has flour, water, salt and yeast (commercial with some part prefermented flour is often used in my limited experience).  It's a simple dough that makes a thin crispy crust, and soft bread with nice crumb and airy holes in side, but not as airy as ciabatta (which I haven't attempted yet as I'm intimidated by workign with such a slack dough).  Since it is such a basic dough, it doesn't keep long after it's baked though.  Doughs with other additions will keep longer, though I have successfully frozen and thawed a baguette with a reasonable result, though not as good as fresh-never-frozen.

Technique of shaping and baking the baguettes makes a difference in the outcome in terms of crust and crumb.

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Watch this video by Jim Mortenson, he's a nut but shows how to make a very easy bread that will taste exactly like what you are looking for.

holds99's picture

And Jim Mortenson produces a great loaf of bread with minimal effort. It doesn't get any easier than this Jim is fun to watch.


Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...The only change I'd suggest in Jim's video is to use water instead of ice.
It's safer, you'll get fewer burns on your arms, and the steam will be better.
Remove your pan of water after the first 10 minutes.
Experiment with the amount of water you put in that pan.

holds99's picture

That's the way I do it too.  But...Rose Levy Beranbaum (Bread Bible) swears by ice cubes.  That's what makes this craft so interesting...

Have a happy holiday,


LindyD's picture

Ditch the bread machine and give these baguettes a try.  The only mixing equipment you'll need is a big bowl and a dough scraper.

dollhead's picture

I have had great success with the recipes from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  The breads you can create from those recipes are very crusty, chewy, fill of those 'airholes' we like to find inside an artisan bread.  Besides that, the breads you can make taste sooooo much better than the store bought stuff.  The recipes (adaptations of them) are plastered all over the internet if you can't get the book.  Try it...I think you may find what you are looking for.

Bad Cook's picture
Bad Cook

Here is a link to an article that describes the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" method in detail.

I haven't tried it.  :)

gaaarp's picture

I have tried it, and it works really well.  I haven't made the baguettes yet, but the standard artisan bread is great.

clazar123's picture

BOth these itmes really matched some ideas I've been ruminating on lately.I want to teach someone how to make a good loaf of bread without too much info on what is happening-just a "DO THIS and you'll get bread". Jim Mortenson is a little nutty but his bread sure looked good.

Would there be any reason I SHOULDN'T refrigerate my own recipe dough and use over the next 2 weeks? I do have an enriched recipe (whole wheat,a little honey,egg and oil) I use as my daily bread. I wonder if the egg( usually egg beater) may be a problem? It could be left out.


Now I want to buy the book. I may order it for myself as a Christmas present.



Atropine's picture

I would probably not have the egg in the dough for two weeks.  Even egg beaters have to be used within seven days of opening the container.  If you use real egg, then you might be introducing various harmful bacteria that may or may not establish in the dough.  Because you are baking the bread, much of the risk would be reduced.  However, there are some bacteria that produce heat tolerant toxins that could still make you sick.  *To me* (and this is just me) it is not worth the risk.

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Good tip about the eggs.
Personally I never mix milk or egg into a fridge kept dough.

You can however use several methods to add perishable ingredients later.
This may make a good experiment for one of us. ;-)
(Say for example dough for old fashioned doughnuts.)

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Using the fridge is an art but a lot of Bread bakers do it.
Safe to say preparring a weeks worth of dough or starter is safe.

There are things to consider, i.e. how active the yeast is.
Just keep an eye on the progress until you form a ritual.
Yes you will form your own ritual and that's where the art comes in. ;-)

kazpuff's picture

I agree with what everyone else is saying, I find a crusty artisan loaf much more satisfying than the soft supermarket loaf.


With that said, Mason Dixon asked about making the soft baguette that you find in supermarkets. King Arthur Flour has a recipe that I find is as good or better than the loaves in the supermarket, ironically named "Italian Supermarket Bread." The recipe uses a little potato flour, dry milk, and fat to stay soft.



clete rodocker's picture
clete rodocker

we still don't know how to make bread like store bought.  that was the question?  all the comments are great but do not answer the question how to make bread like store bought


Hippytea's picture

The big holes you mention are usually a product of high hydration, and careful handling after the bulk rise - ie don't knead it after rising or you will get lots of tiny bubbles rather than fewer bigger ones.


The thing is 'shop bought' bread can mean many things, including soft-crust fluffy sandwich bread. The original post seems to refer more to in-store bakery bread, but I'm not familiar with that being chewy or having large holes - in our local supermarkets it tends to have a very white, fluffy crust (a product of very hard intensive mixing) and a thin, crispy crust (I would guess they part bake with steam then re-bake in store but I'm not sure).


Basically we need more detail, both on what you're trying to reproduce, and what recipe you're using now which is giving the 'cakey crumb'.