The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I just want soft white bread...and keep failing....and trying! Going CRAZY!

vickwithpc's picture

I just want soft white bread...and keep failing....and trying! Going CRAZY!

My goals:  create a soft white bread, similar to the fake wonderbread stuff (I'm a mom first, it's what the family wants! no bashing please!), using a 13" pullman pan without the lid, and using the dough cycle on a bread machine.

I've gone thru a 50# bag of flour and STILL have yet to perfect my goals (did use some for hamburger buns/sweet rolls).  Time to ask for help.  My family is sick of the experiments. 

finish product often has wrinkled tops and/or collapses.

Recipe:  1/2 cup buttermilk; 1 cup water; 1 Tbsp instant yeast; 1 tsp. sugar

1.5 Tbsp homemade enhancer; 3-2/3 c bread flour; 1/2 c potato flour; 1/4 c dry milk; 6 tbsp soft butter; 2 Tbsp honey; 2 tsp. salt.

or by weight:

120 ml buttermilk; 240 ml water; 10 gr instant yeast; 4 gr sugar. 

16 homemade enhancer; 525 gr bread flour; 60 gr potato flour; 16 gr dry low fat milk; 85 gr butter, softened; 40 gr honey; 13 gr salt


I've tried baking at different temps, lowering temps after 20 min., tenting with foil halfway, etc.  tried using an instant read thermometer and a leave-in thermometer to 190-200. 

here's pics:

Xenophon's picture

Hmmm, excuse my ignorance for not knowing what this 'wonder bread' is, I'm supposing it's some kind of sweet sandwich bread.  

The bread in the pictures looks reasonably ok to me, but too airy perhaps.  The deflation as well as the loose structure is a classic indicator of over proofing your dough.  There's a mass of flour and sugar and a heap of yeast long do you give it and at what temperature?  

Near the crust there appear to be some underbaked /high density areas, is that correct?  Are you sure your oven thermostat indicates the correct temperature?  I know it's a sandwich bread and supposed not to be crusty but if you bake it in a Pulmann I'd expect the sides to have a bit more colour.


These are just some thoughts, good luck!


BreadBro's picture

How long are your proofing cycles? 1 Tablespoon of yeast is a LOT for only 3 2/3 cup flour so you're probably overproofing. I'd cut that back to 2 teaspoons at most.

Overproofing your dough will cause it to collapse on itself and then fail to bake properly due to the density.

BreadBro's picture

[double post]

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

190 is underbaked for bread.  Try 205F - 210F

BreadBro's picture

In my opinion, for soft, encriched breads 190 is definitely sufficient, although I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibilty that her loaves are underbaked. I generally only bake lean, hearth breads above 200 degrees.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

All my loaves benefit from baking to higher internal temp. Even my dinner rolls. I have no talent for bread thumping, either, LOL!

MANNA's picture

I just want to put one thing out there. Its about bread temp and Im going to get alot of volleys back into my court about it. I have the research to back my claim. Bread reaches that 200-ish temp when its 60% through its bake. If your pulling your bread at that temp then its under baked. I can see from your pics that the sides dont have much color. It is collapsing due to the crumb not being set and unable to support the weight of the dough. Temp is not a good indicator of doneness. Here is my suggestion. Take one of your breads and bake it, as you normally would, intill it reaches your desired crust color. Let it cool and check the crumb. Is it to dry or wet? Then adjust the baking temp to achive the desired crumb. So, crumb to wet lower the temp so crust and crumb are done at the same time. Crumb to dry raise the temp. In the top pic the loaf in front doesnt suffer as much from wrinkling and the side color looks better showing it probably baked a little longer than the one behind it. Since these are slightly enriched breads dont worry about a hard crust when it comes out of the oven. It will steam as it cools and soften the crust. Also, make sure you are using the right amount of dough for your pan. I place my pan on a scale and zero it. I then fill it with water and see what it weighs. I reduce that weight by a third and give it a try. You may need to make small adjustments for different dough types and to suit your preferences.

dabrownman's picture

and the most difficult bread to try to mimic at home.  You need to think like a company just about to go bankrupt because they can't sell their bread for enough money to cover the cost of ingredients, union worker wages, retirement plans and medical costs.   So the cost of your ingredients has to come way down.

First off, they would use the cheapest ingredients possible.  No bread flour, potato flour, buttermilk or butter.  They would use the cheapest AP flour they could lay their hands on and use VWG to boost the gluten enough to make a cheaper bread flour.  They would use dough enhancer but they also add all the vitamins and minerals the government made them put in too.  They would also use margarine and or really cheap veg oil in place of the butter .  No buttermilk wanted or needed in their book - way too expansive.  They would use water and dry milk powder since they don't want to store milk at the bakery, refrigerate it or have it get contaminated.

I think of you go that route you will get closer to the recipe you want.  But if you are making bread like that you might consider the store brand 100% whoie wheat, 24 oz sandwich loaf.  It is on sale for a buck a loaf somewhere arond here everyt week.  You can't make it as well or for that price.

gerhard's picture

I agree with the part that you can't make it any better (maybe I should say make bread having less character and flavour) yourself for the price.  Don't think that Wonder bread was developed because the company was going out of business it had to do more with developing bread that did not go stale when shipped over great distances, so they made a bread that would be as bad on day 10 as it was on day 1.  It seems like they developed it for children since they like bland food more than adults.


dabrownman's picture

never traveled long distances and the keeping quality wasn't all that important anyway as families were large, they ate a lot of bread back then, compared to today, and for it to last more than 2-3 days in the home was very uncommon.  .  The bread was locally baked all over the country and delivered daily to the grocery stores fresh baked that morning.  The day old product left over on nteh store sheles was pullled and the store was given full credit for it,  The day old product was brought back to the bakery and sold in their own day old bread shops aliong with the other day old stuff pulled that day for ha;f price or less.  Hostess had their own shops too and some of them sold day old Wonder if that particular bakery also made licensed Hostess products.

My Dad brought day old Wonder home from his bread route every day from Continemtal Baking in KCMO.  He said it was as good as fresh.  But 50 years ago, ith 3 boys and little else to eat but peanut butter,,jam and Bologna - it lasted about a day. :-)

I'm sure some Wonder might have traveled a day to more remote areas of the country but that was about it.

gerhard's picture

I did not really grow up with Wonder bread but I always saw it in neighbours kitchens and if we ate there as kids really didn't like the bread or peanut butter and jam.  We grew up with Dimpflmeier bread from Toronto which reminded my parents of the bread in Germany.


proth5's picture

Looking at your formula, I'd say it was a little long on the yeast, a lot long on the sweeteners (yes, I'm looking at an old reliable recipe in cups and such) and a little short on the salt.

Beyond that, I'd say that the amount of flour is low for the pullman pans you are using.  You are probably letting it proof until it fills the pan - and the pictures that you show are loaves that are over proofed.

Oven temps for panned breads are higher than one might think - 400-425F.  I once was doing panned breads in an oven that was way low on temperature and the profile of my breads was much like yours.

That big hole in the right cross section is a shaping flaw.  You need to have a firm hand with these breads and get the air holes out during shaping. 

The loaves are also underbaked.  I study with an individual who is - as I like to say - very well qualified.  I have never seen this person use a thermometer to check for a loaf being done.  You want to tip the loaf out of the pan.  If the bottom is pale, it it not baked enough.  If the bottom is nicely brown, give the loaf a good thump with your finger - it should sound hollow.  Some folks get not information from this test - I happen to have a pretty good sense of pitch, so I can tell from the pitch the done-ness of the loaf.  But this is a classic test of bread being done.  Often I will remove the loaf from the pan and bake it just a little more to make sure the sides and bottoms are well and truely done.

The crust will color if the loaf is well baked.  You cannot avoid this.  You can mitigate it somewaht by tenting with foil, but well baked bread is going to be brown.  Brush the top crust with butter.  Sometimes (oh the horror!) I'll just cut the crusts off if I really want a white, white bread.

Also, you mention a 50lb bag of flour, but not what kind.  A flour a little higher in protien (say 11-12 percent) will yield a better panned loaf.  One key to these fluffly breads is intensive mixing (if you look at the post referenced above, you will see this).  Although a bread machine will come close to this, it will not come close enough.  You need to mix at higher speeds for a longer time than the bread machine will.

I actually do use a bread machine for my summertime baking. I find that for me it can produce a soft, well textured bread, but not having eaten these store bought white breads for many, many years, my perspective is different.

I have the same challenge - I've got a long term house guest who will only eat store bought bread (and will not eat anything that he suspects has whole grain in it).  I've produced what I judge to be very soft bread (not using the bread machine) and yet it goes uneaten and bread is purchased.  Food is a funny thing - sometimes folks get caught in a rut and only want what they have always had. You may have that kind of challenge before you - hopefully, being a mom first, you will be able to broaden your children's tastes over time.

Good luck and Happy baking.

vickwithpc's picture

i am LOVING all of these tips! THANK YOU!!!

The flour is 12% protein (

I've often wondered why the sides of the bread weren't more of a golden I know, the temp of 190 is not for me.  I don't trust my knocking skills, not sure what hollow should sound like.  Maybe I can find a youtube video on that?!

I have a KA 6qt Pro...but it burns up/quits on me if I try to use it to capacity.  My solution (thx to these msg boards) was to buy 3 used bread machines.

I seem to have been most impressed with the 400degree oven, but keep reading bread should be baked for last half of baking at a lower temp.  Anymore feedback on that, with a 13" pan in mind?

thanks, don't know why it took me so long to humble myself to ask for help!!!

proth5's picture

bread thumping is an art, but the othe poster described it better than I could.

I've never (ever) heard of lowering the temperature for wheat breads at the last half of the bake.  This is typically done for rye breads.  I actually prefer to bake at 425 for a panned loaf.  I might drop to 400 or 380 towards the end of the bake if the bread really seems to be coloring too much - but I don't do that too often.  I study with an individual who thinks things are never baked enough - and, I am an adult with more varied tastes. Also, if you use a lot of sugar (which is why I think your formula is too high in sweeteners) you might get a lot more browning at high temps.

I did some intensive mixing on a mostly whole wheat loaf over the summer in a KA pro.  That was the scariest mixing I have ever done.  I have a KA,(another model) but it does not get used for bread.  Again, the bread machine will give you a good mix, it will not give you an intensive mix - maybe try two mix cycles - to get that gluten really developed. 

I have a spiral mixer at home - well, because, frankly, I can have what baking toys I want.  However there are other mixers which might work better for you like the Bosch and Ankarum (used to be Electrolux.)  With any of these, you can mix to intensive stage with no fear.  I know that people have priorities when it comes to spending money, but now I am kind of wondering what would happen with two mix cycles on the bread machine (or a longer knead cycle if the machine is programmable).  I've never done that, so no promises.

Protein in the flour seems OK, but I'll just give a sigh about "bleached and bromated."  I won't be purist about it, though, if you are trying for store bought bread - bleached and bromated is fine.

Hope this helps.

GYG's picture

We have been baking the following recipe: with an excellent result. It takes time, but it is worth it.

Give it a try, you won´t regret.


clazar123's picture

Some ideas for a little recipe tweaking-in addition to above ideas.

Bread flour imparts a chewiness to bread. I would make this recipe with a good, unbleached  AP flour (Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Dakota Maid, King Arthur). I find the bleached flour does not gel out enough to get a good bread structure and that is when you need another ingredient to add that capability.  Bread is all about developing both the gluten and the starch in the flour. That is what you are doing when you knead to "windowpane". THat is actually essential to get good crumb structure.

What is in the homemade dough enhancer? Ginger? Malted barley?

Too much yeast. 1-2tsp max or all you taste is yeast.

Salt seems a bit high though if Wonderbread is a goal, that may be what your palate wants. That is the amount I would put into about 5- 6 cups of flour but salt taste is highly individual. .

Potato flour or potato starch? Either of these can contribute to some gumminess in the crumb as you chew. Potato flour or starch is used to add starchy gel to a product that either doesn't have enough or is not developed enough with the given technique used to make the dough. If you use an unbleached flour, enough moisture and develop the dough to windowpane, you don't need this kind of starch added.

Potato flakes, on the other hand, like cooked/mashed potato, can make the crumb softer without making it dense or gummy. It is more of a moisturizer than a gel contributor. Take a look at Mark making potato rolls in this video:

I believe the key in achieving what you want is in the technique, as well. Enriched dough, potatoes for afterbaked softness, kneading to windowpane.

Shreddable bread:


Both of these are wonderfully illustrated as to what you want to achieve.

Now about proofing.That is the next thing to talk about with your loaves. Look in the search for "fingerpoke test for proofing. It takes a lot of practice to learn when a particular dough is appropriately proofed. If it is over or underproofed you can get a sunken,dense or unevenly risen loaf. Read about it and practice. Come back with pics of the crumb and ask about it. You will start to see what to evaluate.

Keep experimenting! Just bake them some chocolate cake at the same time. I never hear complaints about that.


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I strongly recommend getting away from cup measures and switch to measuring by weight.  You can get a decent digital scale these days for under $25.  Try Polder, Escali, or MyWeigh.

Also try a simpler recipe - you've got an awful lot going on in that recipe with all that "home made dough enhancer", potato flour (btw is that actual potato flour, or potato flakes that you are using?) and what not.

Make sure you are putting 24 oz to 30 oz of dough in the pan - a 13" pullman pan is typically stated to have a capacity of 1.5 lbs of dough, but that varies some depending on the dough.  Find the right amount for a given recipe that fills the pan without overfilling, note it down, and use that amount every time.

Here are some by-weight versions that might help you - I recommend trying Moomie/Ellen's recipe (the first one listed below) - technically it's for hamburger buns but it makes pretty darn good fluffy white stuff too.

Beautiful Burger Buns by Moomie/Ellen

White Breakfast Bread

Toast & Sandwich Bread - Note that 3 c of KAF AP flour is 12.75 oz

Walter Sands' Basic White Bread

Potato bread pain de mie style (in a pullman pan) - 4.25 c of KAF AP flour is 18 oz

KAF Classic White Bread

Classic Pain de Mie (pullman pan style)


vickwithpc's picture

When I make that recipe, I am using grams/ml and a scale.  :)  Something else I learned by reading these boards! :) Just didn't include them in the 1st post...didn't know if you guys would care since the recipe is obviously flawed somewhere.

My dough weight is 1130 grams

Potato Flour is truly potato flour.

THANKS - truly APPRECIATE all of these comments!!! :)



gary.turner's picture

By posting the measures by weight, we are better able to have a sense of the ratios involved. Volume measures can vary considerably among the people doing the measuring and among the particular ingredients.



vickwithpc's picture

weight measurements have been added to original post. 

Maverick's picture

I have a few questions:

1. What did you use to convert to weight? From what I can see your flour weight is high for the volume indicated.

2. Did you USE the weights? Or just convert?

3. What temperature oven did you use?

The reason for the questions is that I am just curious if it was too wet. It is clear that the loaf was over proofed, but if the hydration was too high it could cause some of these problems as well.

For what it is worth, I would say 200 degrees F is enough for a white sandwich loaf. 190 might be too low. I would not see any problems with going to 205 or so though if your crumb is that pale.

vickwithpc's picture

1 - I don't remember how I converted?  Been working on this since start of the year

2 - i always weigh 525g for flour. 

3 - usually i bake convection oven 350 for 20 min., then tent and lower to 325 for additional 20-30.  But that is not working.  Also using convection setting was also giving me "one-sided blown over" results. 


Maverick's picture

If you are weighing the ingredients then this should be fine. I thought you were using the volume and then converting for the sake of others.

That being the case, I would make sure that when you punch down the dough before shaping to a loaf that you get rid of all the air bubbles and roll tight. Also try shortening the time you proof in the pan before baking.

BTW, what size is your pullman pan? What is in your homemade dough enhancer?

clazar123's picture

Just curious.

In my kitchen, I weigh 1 c bread flour at 144g/cup using the dip and scrape method. So 3.66c x 144g/cup=527g.

I don't think there are proportion issues in this formula. I believe it is technique and proofing issues. Changing technique to knead to windowpane and proofing properly will dramatically improve the outcome.

I also believe the outcome would also be improved by using potato flakes instead of potato starch/flour and switching to a lower gluten flour like an unbleached AP.

I personally like a bolder bake on my breads. If it browns too quickly, next time bake at a slightly lower temp for longer and don't slice the loaf until completely cooled.

Have fun!

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Let's ignore the worry over converting from cups to grams (I use whatever is on the side of the bag of flour I am using, btw, which is usually 1/4c to 27 to 30 g).

But instead just look at the recipe in grams as she has written it.

From that it doesn't look too wet or too dry to any great extent - don't forget to consider the addition of the potato flour, it is significant and affects hydration. 

A good part of the buttermilk is fat and milk solids, about 90% is water.  So about 108 g of water from the buttermilk.

There is also water in butter - about 18% in the US.  So another 15.3 g of the wet stuff. 

EDIT:  And dang, I forgot about the honey!  Probably subconsciously on purpose, because honey varies in moisture.

"According to the United States Standards for Grades of Extracted Honey, honey may not contain more than 18.6 percent moisture to qualify for U.S. grade A (U.S. Fancy) and U.S. grade B (U.S. Choice). Grade C (U.S. Standard) honey may contain up to 20 percent water; any higher amount places a honey in U.S. grade D (Substandard)."

Let's call it 18.5% and assume it wasn't grade C honey.  So that's another 7.4g of water. 

Now 240 ml water is about a cup (like 1.01 cups) so I'm going to assume that was about a cup of room temp water.  Normally you assume the density of water is 1, but that's at a particular temp that I can't recall off the top of my head (probably near 0C) - at room temp a cup of water (if the cup measure is accurate, which is questionable) would weigh 8.3 oz or about 235 g.  So I'm going to assume 235g of water. 

BTW it is best to weigh your liquids as well as your solids.  I don't worry about weighing salt or yeast or other very small amounts, but anything more than a T or 2 I weigh.  Just makes it easier to figure hydration, scale up and down, etc.

So you have about 365.3 g total of water to about 585 g of dry ingredient (flour PLUS potato flour).  This is 365.3/585 = 62 %.

I think that's in the realm of normal hydration for that type of bread. I would suggest working from there if adjustment is needed because of the additional fat and other dry ingredients (such as the dry milk) in the recipe.

BTW - and perhaps not insignificant - what's the home made dough enhancer consist of?

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I saw where someone suggested switching to "normal" AP for this bread.  I wouldn't suggest doing that.  I would stick with the flour you are using, or something in the range of 11.7% protein such as King Arthur AP flour or (where I lived in the South) the Costco/Sam's ConAgra bread flour, which (in the south, NOT in the north or midwest) came in at around 11.6% protein. 

Although King Arthur has labeled their 11.7% flour as AP, it is actually NOT AP as we in most of the US think of it.  AP flour (all-purpose) in the US tends to be around 10.5% protein - a bit higher for regional brands in the North, and sometimes considerably lower for regional brands in the South.  So in practice, King Arthur's AP flour (and this is true of Robin Hood and some other Northern/Canadian brands as well) is actually bread flour, despite being labeled AP.

However, in the North and Canada, AP flour is higher in protein content - 11.5% to 12%.

The difference is regional, because of the wheat that grows locally.  In general, wheat in warm weather regions is lower in protein content (hence the "biscuit culture" of the south) and what grows in cooler regions is higher in protein content.  There are specific exceptions to the rule - for instance, the wheat used in White Lily flour (southern AP type) is mostly grown in Ohio (and has been for over a century).

But anyway, the point is, that what WE think of as AP flour is not going to make any kind of bread you'd want to eat.  So stick with your higher protein flour, it's what will make a decent loaf.

clazar123's picture

The AP flour brands that I mentioned will make a wonderful loaf of soft sandwich bread IF there is adequate development to windowpane of the starch and gluten. A slightly higher hydration makes that easier but it is entirely doable as written. If the flour available was not capable, or the baker is not able to get the dough to windowpane,then definitely stick with bread flour. I had hand surgeries last year- I did batter breads for a while.

So using bread flour versus AP flour becomes a matter of personal taste as to the chewiness of the bread or the lack of ability to knead to windowpane. I don't care for chewy bread,myself, but I seem to be sensitive to that characteristic.

So do what works for you and develop the recipe and technique as works for you. Definitely work on technique and proofing skill. 

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

12% flour doesn't make chewy bread - but maybe that's a subjective thing.  Maybe my "chewy" isn't your "chewy", LOL!

However I have NEVER been successful making bread from US style AP flour.  Again, perhaps I'm just not a talented baker.  But if you want bread, then I think you should start with a flour suited to making bread - and AP flour as most of us know it (discounting Northern brands and King Arthur) just isn't suited to making bread.

Both Dakota Maid (a Northern brand) and King Arthur AP flours, which you mention, are really bread flours.  Dakota Maid I am pretty sure is about 12% protein, King Arthur AP flour for sure is 11.7%.  They both make EXCELLENT bread.

But neither the Gold Medal nor the Pillsbury AP flours will really lend themselves very easily to making a decent loaf.  The fact that YOU can do it points more to your talent as a baker than to the suitability of those particular flours for bread.

For the OP, it looks like she is having some structural problems, even with the 12% flour she is using; these will only worsen if she switches to a lower protein AP such as the GM or the Pillsbury @ 10.5% (nominal) protein.

EDIT:  I should say, SIGNIFICANTLY lower protein flour - an 11.6/11.7% protein flour such as King Arthur won't throw things too far out of whack (compared to 12%)

Rodinka47's picture

I am gobsmacked over the complication of this thread! If your family wants Wonderbread, why not just just purchase Wonderbread? Your loaves are costing you time and money that make them more expensive than an Artisan baked bread from a reputable bakery! You would do better to get yourself a good (Kitchenaid or Cuisinart) stand mixer and start making some really good bread. Bet the family will begin to eat your delicious bread, made the simple, good old fashioned way; without all the additives. 

I use 16 oz water to 28 oz of white flour. 1 1/2 tsps yeast, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup lard, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 cup dry milk, 2 tsps salt. Split the flour in half make a sponge with all the water and honey 1/2 tsp yeast, let it rise for 45 mins, then stir down with salt and softened lard, then mix yeast and flour together add to sponge, knead for 10 mins cover and let rise for 1 hr, then turn out shape either into one Pullman loaf or two regular loaves, let rise until doubled and bake for 1 hr @ 350°F or  180°C in middle rack in the oven. Turn out onto rack. Let bread stand for two hours before storing. This bread tastes like store bread, toasts like a dream and makes great crumbs... And...wait for doesn't mould! 

vickwithpc's picture

thanks for the recipe - will have to try it.  I have not tried using lard.  I do have a 6qt KA mixer, but tend to use it only for cakes/cookies as the motor burns up/quits on me when I double my bread recipes, and I like to make 2 loafs at a time on baking day.  Will this work for a 13" pullman pan?  And, you are right, I am wasting time and money.  I have calculated the costs to the gram, and it is $3.38 in ingredient cost alone.  I think I've become obsessed....I feel like I'm so close and my family seems to like this recipe the best of the ones I've tried (one made with an overnight roux was also well received).  But I don't get  them to turn out perfect every time.  Oddly enough, my wheat recipe DOES turn out amazing and perfect.  It's just this white recipe!!!

Rodinka47's picture


Don't double your recipe. I sized this recipe for a 5.5 qt Cuisinart, which is the same equivalent as a 6qt KA. any more and you over work your machine. Here is my method, exactly:

(I used to bake 65 loaves a week using this recipe although much larger quantities for a big Hobbart!)

(This recipe never seems to fail me, unless I get ambitious and try to add something I shouldn't like wheatgerm... find another recipe for that. But you can make whole wheat with the same quantities.. I use Bread Flour not All Purpose. Use whole Wheat for Bread too.) 


I. Sponge
2 tsps Rapid rise Yeast (or: .65 oz of active dry yeast) I use one tsp of Rapid Rise in sponge and then add the other with the dough
16 ounces warm (105-110°F) water
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup honey)
14 ounces unbleached white 
1/2 cup nonfat dry powdered milk

II. Dough
1/4 cup lard at room temp

21/4 teaspoons salt

1 tsp Rapid Rise yeast

14 ounces unbleached white.


Bench flour if necessary

Heat mixing bowl with very hot water.

I. Sponge

Mix Flour and Rapid Rise Yeast together.

( For Rapid Rise Yeast: Place warm water, honey or molasses and brown sugar mix and yeast in the mixing bowl. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes until mixture is foamy and bubbly.)

While yeast is proofing, combine 14ounces bread flour with powdered milk. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture.

Insert the flat blade blend on  "Stir" until flour is damp, then beat on speed 3 for 2 minutes. ( Equivalent to 100 strokes of a wooden spoon). Remove paddle and lift the top of the mixer and cover with plastic wrap tightly.

Let sponge rise for 45 mins.

I. Dough

Put the paddle back on . Sprinkle salt over dough and add lard in blobs incorporation 2 until invisible. And then add white flour and yeast and blend on Stir until dough is all incorporated and shaggy.

Change to dough hook.

Turn the mixer to 3 and knead for 10 mins

Place dough in a warmed bowl and with 1 Tbsp Olive oil oil the bowl and the bread dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled.

Turn out dough in to floured board. 

Cut into two loaves and make 2 tight balls and cover for 5 mins to let them rest then shape into loaves by rolling the dough from the top down the length, making sure you seal it well as you roll. Place loaves into loaf pans that are lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Dust loaves with flour and cover. Let the loaves rise until they are above the top of loaf pans, about 1 hour. 

Bake at 350 (convection bake) for 1hour. Remove from pans immediately and let them cool for at least 2 hours. 

Hope this helps you out. Now it won't be floppy and flaccid like Wonder bread it will have body and flavour. don't put it in the fridge! Yes it will fill a Pullman loaf pan as it makes ore than 2 lbs of bread.

Do you mean by "roux" a starter? The sponge in this recipe is a little too liquid for an overnight rise, the 45 mins give you lots of flavour. the lard has the same fat components as butter. Avoid putting canola product into bread dough, it make your bread taste like paint! Lard give a nice flavour.  Use lard it is cheap and cheerful. If you are using rapid rise yeast don't overdo it! You are killing it with kindness. (If you are using active dry yeast then in this recipe use 1 1/2 Tbsps, dissolve in water and honey. Let it stand for 10 mins.)

clazar123's picture

Looks like a winning recipe. I'd love to see the followup.

For Rodinka47:

A "roux" is actually a mix of flour and water that is heated to be like a custard and cooled and is added to the dough. Here is a great link from Floyd. He has a great step-by-step with pics.

The method is very simple and adds a great deal of softness to the crumb. It adds the same benefit as a good sponge and kneading to windowpane like your recipe. If you use it with whole wheat it makes it even softer.

I am not a fussy baker. If I want to use a roux, I take a tablespoon of the existing flour in a recipe (it only needs about a tablespoon for every 1-2 loaves)and then I just use the liquid from the recipe to make the custard. The ratio is 1:5 by weight of flour:liquid. I have done it by volume (1 tbsp. flour:5 tbsp. water) before I realized it was supposed to be by weight and it worked fine-just a thicker custard.I do VERY short bursts in the microwave-watch closely and stir often.  The problem that can be had is when the original recipe is on the drier side (as in above) in which case, I might just add 5 tbsp. water to the 1 tbsp. flour and make that as extra liquid in the dough. I tend to make wetter doughs so it isn't usually a consideration.

Try it sometime-easy way to add softness to any bread but it is still important to knead to windowpane!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

would be to bulk raise twice, knocking down efficiently flattening the dough each time.  This will get you that fine crumb. It just has too much gas from the generous portion of yeast.  Then take in Pat's (Proth5) suggestions.  

Sometimes an over abundance of yeast can be fun, just know how to tame the beast.  Always save some rising for the oven heat.  :)   (ginger is a nice touch too!)

vickwithpc's picture

YEA the longer baking time resulted in AMAZING results! Who knew?! Also went went to 205 for temps.  I reduced the instant yeast in my recipe to half, and it was SLOW rising.  It could've used more rise time, but I had to leave the house and I had to hurry the process along. 

I also tried Rodinka47's recipe, and that also was amazing, LOTS of air in that dough!  THANKS!!!   Kids and neighbors helped me do a taste test, and they were both well received, and almost tied.   I will be making it again, it's also cheaper to make, but want to do another taste test once I figure out the yeast proportions in my recipe. 

The bread is the center is commercial cottage bread, a family fav of ours (do 5" pans exist?).  Just wanted to compare for crumb/size. 


Not sure why there is a slight discoloration going on in slice on left.  I will add a bit more yeast than what I used today the next time and see if that makes me close.  I am just so excited that the crust didn't wrinkle on me and that it was  baked through!! WHOO-HOOOOO  It's a happy day!!!!!



Maverick's picture

The white streaks usually mean uneven mixing or not enough kneading. Perhaps when you are rolling the dough you are using too much flour ??? Either way, these look good...yum

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

There are 5" loaf pans, but a 5" pullman pan seems to be scarce to nonexistent.  However you can make your own pullman pan out of a regular loaf pan by putting a weighted cover on top of it - I use a cast iron griddle.

Glad your bread is coming out more the way you want it.  Perseverance usually pays off, especially when you are open to finding new ways to do things.