The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looks Like Wonder Bread??

Greg D's picture
Greg D

Looks Like Wonder Bread??

One of my family members absolutely refuses to eat bread that does not look and feel exactly like the bread that the majority of his 2nd grade buddies eat at at lunch every day.  In his words, "I don't want that seedy stuff like you make, I just want real bread."  I just purchased a pullman loaf pan and lid in the hope of baking some sort of basic white bread that can pass his rigid requirements.  Disregarding the political and "healthy lifestyle teaching moment" issues, can anybody direct me to a good formula for basic white sandwich bread that bakes well in a pullman loaf pan and which looks as much as possible like the store-bought cotton wool stuff his classmates eat?

Happy Baking!

Crider's picture

Hers is sourdough, but you don't have to make it sourdough, just make it straight. The long mixing is the secret, along with milk & butter.

Here's a link.

Alpana's picture

At least you have a second grader who refuses to eat "bread that is deemed all good & nice by adults".  I have a 17 year old pre-U boy  who says, "Can't you make sandwich bread like Gardenia (equivalent of Wonder Bread in Singapore)?" And the entire purpose I started baking breads at home was because I didn't want supermarket bread!

 I have been trying a lot of white sandwich bread recipes & testing on my 2 fussy brats. Though anything that is soft, white, with light crust & without any visible seeds & grains is acceptable to them, I have found that the Pain de Mie recipes by Rose Levy Beranbaum &  Jeffrey Hamelman turn out the best. My son says that the Pain de Mie made from "Bread" by Hamelman is the best bread he has ever had! I make both recipes either in my bread machine or Pullman Loaf tin or 9X5 tin, depending on my mood & time and they come out perfect everytime. I rarely repeat any recipes 100%, but I have no choice with these as my kids are insistent that I stick to them :(. But they are really good - and this is coming from a person like me who loves to put as many seeds, grains in my bread & use different kinds of flours! 

I do cheat my kids from time to time and add 2 tablespoons of oat bran and/or two tablespoons of wheat germ for my satisfaction. 

Let me add that my son grudgingly gives his nod (means he likes it but does not want to admit ) to Jim Lahey's basic no knead bread!


pepperhead212's picture

Years ago I used to make a really good buttermilk white from Beard On Bread. It was lighter and fluffier than the pullman loaf I made - closer to what you are looking for - and it was a toss-up which made the best grilled cheese. I usually added some wheat germ, so it wasn't totally white, and it wasn't really noticeable.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Not to worry.  If the kids don't like your perfectly tasty bread and prefer to follow the peer opinion, let them.  It's something they all have to deal with and they are trying in the 2nd grade to conform (wait until the 4th!)  Make what he wants for lunch sandwiches but when at home, eat other choices.  (freeze the bread) Compromise but show you have principles.   It really isn't a big deal and who knows, maybe he likes to trade sandwiches with other kids and can't participate equally.  I would also lower the temps and bake his loaf with barely discernible light crusts.  Kids have really sensitive taste buds and prefer what we adults conceive as bland.  With lots of flavour in the crusts and seeds, it's logical they're not keen on it.  

You can give kids the research to make up their own minds about nutrition but the biggest danger in that is that they may refuse wheat bread altogether and you end up having to eat all your loaves yourself.  

nicodvb's picture

depends exclusively on the dough structure, thus on kneading, as excellently described by txfarmer. You can even make cotton wool wholemeal bread if you can find a strong enough wholemeal flour. It's not in ingredients, it's all in the method.

dabrownman's picture

Wonder Bread  at home for years with fair luck for a duplicate and my Dad worked there!  We grew up on it and loved it.  They didn't use pullman's though - they are way too expensive for a simple tinned bread.  It is an enriched bread but no buttermilk either.  I know it sounds silly, but if you find the least expensive, lowest protein AP non soft white flour you can, add VWG and dough enhancer along with dry milk powder, some sugar, margarine, instant potato flakes, salt and possibly some veggie oil - that will get you close.  I'm pretty sure cream, butter and eggs were not used because of cost.  They might have used some oil for some of the margarine.   I heard the only liquids used were water but don't know if that was true or not.  It is a fun, but not as easy a project as one might think.  They also added back in all the essential vitamins and minerals too but I don't have a clue how to do that.

There are some recipes for bread machines and not on the Internet too.  I just Googled Wonder Bread recipe to start.


MANNA's picture

Have them choose a recipe and then help them make it. They will try it since they made it. Lots of positive reinforcment here no matter what the results. Once they get excited about it then they'll want to try making different ones. My 3 yr old loves to cook with me. All I have to do now is measure out the ingreadients and she does the rest on her own. And she is so excited to try what she made. When Im gone I will always be with her when she cooks. And a little bit of me will get passed on to generations I will never know.

AnnieT's picture

You might check out the three hour no knead white bread that Wandering Bread posted on TFL late last year. Very easy and really delicious - my 10 year old grandgirl made her first loaf this week with Nana's supervision. The girls like it for toast and grilled cheese sandwiches and it's easier for them to slice for school lunches than my sourdough loaves. A.

MANNA's picture

I baked a couple loafs of this today just to see what it was like.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Try Laurel'Kitchen Bread Book Fetherpuff bread in a Pullman pan using white whole wheat. Or, her buttermilk bread.

If those don't work, go with Tx Farmer's Pain de mie breads.