The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

homemade white bread or supermarket wholegrain?

fuller880's picture

homemade white bread or supermarket wholegrain?

i was wondering if it is better to make homemade white bread or is it better to buy supermarket whole grain  bread, I cannot seem to get good results making homemade whole grain bread  or any other healthy bread,they always turn out heavy.i use organic white bread flour from shipton mill uk .many thanks 

Slimbo's picture

I suppose it depends how you define better. Better tasting? Better for digestion? Better for those seeking a high fibre diet?

I avoid heavy wholegrain loaves by baking with mixes of white and whole grain flour. Using more liquid and soaking the flour in the water before adding yeast and salt can help too. Experiment and see what works for you.

fuller880's picture

thanks for the reply,i was wondering if a homemade white loaf made with just organic flour water yeast salt sugar,would be better for  you in health terms than a wholemeal or whole grain from the supermarket as they have lots of chemicals to delay the mould process and other purely on health terms not taste

mini_maggie's picture

But I would second Slimbo's suggestions to try making a 50% whole grain loaf at home.  Increase water by 5-10% and soak the whole grain portion of the flour in half the water overnight to hydrate the whole grain flour, then proceed with the rest of your recipe. 

Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

A study that received lots of media attention recently (here) reported better health outcomes from a diet that discouraged consumption of  "industrial bakery product (not homemade)" — and only at a frequency greater than three times per week.  

Have you tried limiting whole grains to 30% or less of the total flour weight in your formula? It might also help to soften the whole grains by soaking them in the water component of your formula for up to 24 hours as a first step in your process. These methods resulted in much lighter and softer whole grain breads when I tried them. 

Good luck!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I make my own because I want to control what is inside the bread as best I can.  

I also like to fill my house with aroma and enjoy the full pleasure of having making something.  I also believe that:

One person's heavy bread is another person's treasure.   One has to expand the point of view.  

Take canned coffee drinks for example...

If I was raised on canned carbonated coffee and thought most of my life that the standard for "perfect coffee" was a coffee flavored soda drink, I would hardly be happy with a wonderful cup of fresh roasted and ground drip coffee that fills the room with aroma while waiting for it to filter.  You might find me frustrated trying to take a good cup of coffee and carbonizing it.  Or you could find me enjoying a new experience, trying open faced coffee cups of different sizes and drinking my coffee from a saucer.  

The same with heavier breads.  Try open faced sandwiches which allow the filling to be seen and now can be held much easier.  Try eating your bread cut diagonally or in strips or torn dunked in soup or cold pressed oils or salsas.  Or simply plain.   Try cutting a heavy bread thinner or in wedges going from thick to thin.   Experiment and play around before pushing heavy breads away.   :)   

isand66's picture

I am not a nutritionist, but I would say a home made white style loaf is still healthier for you than a processed slice of rubber bread with added fructose and other ingredients like gar gum etc...

There are so many ways to make a healthy all natural bread with yeast, sour dough, yeast water, whole grains etc.  I like to make a soaker many times of whole grains.  You can also add some rolled oats to your white bread to give it some added nutritional value and start adding just a little whole wheat, rye, spelt, etc. to your white flour until you get more comfortable making a higher % of whole grained breads.  You can also try white rye flour and white whole wheat flour which are much milder than the whole wheat and rye versions.  There are so many different flours available now via the internet that you can experiment and have so much fun trying all of them

I've been using Kamut flour which is an ancient grain that is similar to Durum flour and tastes great as well as Turkey Hard Red Wheat flour which is also very tasty.

I usually mix in a small amount of white type flours to add some balance but plenty of times I make a 100% whole grain bread and it comes out great.  There are many methods you can use including a moderate mix, bulk fermenting with a few stretch and folds and overnight retardation which will develop the flavor with minimal kneading which creates a nice open and moist crumb.

Do some searches on this site and you will find plenty to inspire you.

You don't have to learn to like heavy breads, but there is also nothing wrong with that either!

Grenage's picture

While you can certainly make a 100% wholegrain loaf, I'll wager that most don't.  I personally make my daily bread 10% rye, 40% whole, 50% white.

dabrownman's picture

my wife buys at the grocery doesn't look like the one I make at home.  The list of ingredients has 3 times as many than just flour water, salt and yeast.  It costs a fortune yet looks and tastes cheap.  I am convinced that they intentionally mis - lable their breads.  You can easily make a loaf of sd ww bread at home that is just plain fantastic, cheaper than dirt and far superior to store bought in every way imaginable.  There are many great formulas for them or 100% multigrain breads on TFL.    It is worth taking one you like and making it till you get it right.  It isn't difficult, it won't take you long and you will please as punch - what ever that means! 

Happy baking

clazar123's picture

I definitely prefer homemade over storebought for many reasons. MiniOven's reasons are so true. The whole house is filled with wonderful aromas and there is such a sense of achievement. You can also control what goes into the bread and who has handled it.

Whole wheat breadbaking is definitely a different skill set than making white bread. Use the search box and input "fluffy whole wheat" and also look at Txfarmers Whole Wheat Hokkaido or milk bread. If you use a water roux method, some enrichment with oils or dairy,a little rye flour in each loaf (I add about 2 tablespoons per 3cups/400g flour) and mixing/kneading to windowpane, you can achieve a shreddable and very delicious loaf.The rye adds a nice starchy component that makes a great crumb as does the water roux technique. I have posted quite a bit about making whole wheat and esp soft whole wheat, so take a look at some of my past posts. If whole wheat seems too drastic a change for everybody then do a recipe where a percentage of the flour is whole wheat.

Bake with deliciousness!

I'mTheMami's picture

I remember reading a recent thread (maybe even one of the intro "lessons" ¿) that listed honey as a softener. Perhaps try a recipe with that in it (or look through the lessons and read how much honey to add to the recipe you are currently using?)  

Hands down, homemade "white" bread is better for you than chemical loaden store bought whole wheat bread. Plus, many "wheat" , "multi grain" "whole grain" breads sold in supermarkets arent anywhere near close to 100% WW anyway. The list of ingrdeients gives them away as imposters, listing white flour right up there in th first teo or three ingredients. Also, a general tip- the list of ingredients in commercially prepared foods is usually in the order of volume/amount . Ie- whatever the food has the most of (sugar, flour, water whatever) is listed first and what it has the least of is last on the list. So read the "healthy" bread and see if it actually even has more whole what than white flour.


ditch the supermarket bread, increase your fiber intake in other ways. Make sprouts at home, sprouted bread , fresh fruits and veggies etc and you dont need to carry the white bread burden. :)