The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Wonder Bread at home

Janknitz's picture

Wonder Bread at home

I'm a little embarassed to ask this among people who appreciate good bread, but I have a teenager who will eat nothing but Wonderbread style white bread.  It has to be soft with a tasteless and very soft crust.  All of the white bread recipes I have made at home have a chewy, thick crust and a heavier crumb than she will eat.

I'm trying to save money by baking our bread at home, and really enjoying replacing expensive artisan style breads and challahs with my own delicious breads.  But I want to stop buying white bread too.  We end up throwing away about 1/3 of the white bread we buy as it is beause two kids can't eat through the standard sized loaf before it gets too stale.  Homemade loaves are smaller and less expensive.   I also have this fantasy that I can slowly eliminate some of the sugar and sneak in some whole grain without her noticing if I do it very gradually (the persnickety teenager is pretty smart, so that may not work!).  My little one is my biggest fan and will eat anything I bake, but I still have to buy sugary white bread for the teenager, and the little one will eat it if its there. 

I know there are a lot of white bread recipes here, but can anyone point me to some that are more like Wonderbread?  I did find one elsewhere (Counterfeit Wonder Bread on  [link removed because it has been bought by a domain squatter]) but it calls for lecithin and I really don't want to have to go searching for that.  KA's website says that lecithin improves shelf life and reduces the need for fat in a bread recipe.  If I left it out, woudl it make an appreciable difference in flavor? 

rolls's picture

hi rosy b's 'bread  bible' has exactly what you're looking for. the bread is described as 'what wonderbread wishes it could be' or something like that.

althetrainer's picture

I have two stepchildren used to be like that.  They ate nothing but white bread.  If a loaf was darker in color they wouldn't touch it.  They were raised that way so I could do very little about their diet.  When my son was born I decided I was going to raise him differently.  My son didn't know anything about white bread until he went to school and saw some of his friends' lunch.  Just last week I made dill bread and let him try some.  He took a bite and said "Hmmmm this is excellent bread, mom!"  I knew then I have a real bread eater at home. 

dlt123's picture


This is what I did, but it may not be to your liking...  I wanted to eat a better bread than I was buying and wanted it to be healthy.... So I bought a grain mill, a cheap Oster Kitchen Center mixer that would kneed dough and started making my own bread...

I found that the following made a huge difference in my bread and now am very happy with my bread experiences...

1) Use Wheat Glutten flour, add 2 Tbls for each loaf of bread your making.

2) For a bread similar to Wonder Bread in softness and sight, mill your flour using a flour mill and use White Wheat berries, not the red berries... Organic if you can find it, but White Wheat berries even if you can't...

3) Do a sponge the night before you bake your bread... add at least 1/4 tsp of yeast to the sponge if you wish a better flavor.

4) After you take your bread of the oven, brush butter on the top of your hot bread... This will make your crust soft rather than crusty and will make it more palatable to your young ones...

I'm sure others will have great ideas, but the best addition to my bread making was the flour mill... I realize they can be spendy, but if you're serious about making bread in the future, it's a good investment.  I know it made a big difference in my finished breads by making them more flavorful, softer and gives a fresher taste and feel than bread made from store bought flour.  No comparison... I'm sure other home millers will say the same.

Anyway, best of luck with your bread making adventure.


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subfuscpersona's picture

This recipe is from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and makes a good approximation of supermarket white bread.

I made this bread as an exercise to help a poster on another forum. I'll just give the links to the posts, which give the recipe ingredients and my instructions (the accompanying photos have, unfortunately, been lost from the site)...

Buttermilk White Bread - Ingredients and Measuring

Buttermilk White Bread - Instructions (mixing & kneading)

Buttermilk White Bread - Instructions (rising and baking)

Buttermilk White Bread - Recap and Evaluation

the entire thread is at

clazar123's picture

One strategy that I found works with teens is if they "own" the process so they can show you up. Does she have any interest in baking bread? If she makes it, she will love what she makes (it's usually in their makeup to do that). How about making homemade tortillas or pita for "wrap" style sandwiches. Try and find a friend of hers that is interested in breadmaking-talk to the parents (and a good excuse to get to know the parent,too).

Lecithin is easily obtainable in the health food section of major grocery stores or at a health food store. It is about $5/16 oz. bottle here but you use only about a teaspon or 2 in a loaf. It is derived from soy. It does soften the texture a bit but so does oil, as previously mentioned, as well as milk and butter.

Another strategy I've done is just not providing it so readily.If you don't want to spend your money on it and it is wasteful, don't buy it. Try making one of the loaves mentioned above and just run out of WOnder Bread. It could be an opportunity. Teach her to make do or do without. This is a valuable skill to have in these economic times.

Another idea is to have her buy it with her money. If she has to earn her money, she won't want to throw anything out and she may consider cheaper alternatives( such as your bread). The deliciousness will ultimately get her.

Good luck-parenting is definitely harder than baking.Been there-doing that.


breadman1015's picture

I developed this formula for my son about 30 years ago.


1-1/4 cup  Water
1 Tbs.  Yeast
2 Tbs.  Sugar
2 tsp.  Salt
1/4 cup  Butter, melted
4 cup  All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Hi-Gluton Flour
Butter, melted for glazing
In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer with the dough hook, combine all of the ingredients. Mix for 5 minutes at low speed. Beat at medium speed for 10-12 minutes, until a very smooth dough is formed. Ball the Dough; place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap; and allow to proof until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough; rewrap; and allow to double again, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Gently deflate dough. Form into an oblong loaf and place in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to proof until the Bread is about 1” above the rim of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the top of the Bread with melted butter. Bake until evenly browned, about 30-35 minutes.

hsmum's picture

I understand your pain -- my husband loves Wonder Bread too, and had requested a month or so ago that I make something resembling it. Just wanted to add my two bits to the earlier post in favour of Reinhart's white bread recipes. 

In my (newest, I think) edition of the Bread Baker's Apprentice, he gives 3 variations on white bread. I've used his second, and haven't opted to try the other 2 as we've been so happy with this recipe.  It is very soft and wonderful for sandwiches, although seems somewhat smaller than a store-bought loaf.  I have to tell you that I HATE store-bought white sandwich bread, but I do love this loaf because it is so fresh and tender.  I have also been pleasantly shocked that it does not go stale any faster than store-bought.  In fact, the reverse seems to be true!  As for crust, it is remarkably thin, especially if only baked to a light golden colour.  I use butter (rather than shortening or margarine) as it seems to add the best flavour, and I use an egg wash on the crust, which softens it and gives it a good flavour.  I'm working my way through the rest of the book and I've learned a lot.  But the sandwich bread recipe alone is worth the cost of the book, I promise. 



Lucy-Sue's picture

Hi:  I have a perfect recipe for you.  It is an Amish white bread recipe and very easy to make!!

It makes 3 loaves if you use an 8 x 5 pan.  Just a nice size.  It also stays nice and soft for days!

2-1/4 tsp yeast

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp salt

2 cups of water

2-1/2 cups of canola oil

6-1/2 to 7 cups of bread flour

1/8 cup butter for brushing on top of the crust when it comes out of the oven.  Makes a nice soft crust.

1-Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water

2-In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, 2 cups water and oil

3-Stir in yeast mixture

4-Gradually add flour to form soft dough

5-Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth

6-Place in greased bowl and cover and let rise for about 2 hours

7-Punch down and divide into 3 portions and form loaves

8-Place in greased 8x5 inch pans and let raise again for about 2 hours

9-Bake at 375 degrees for 22 min.

10-Cool for 10 minutes then rub butter on top of loaves.

11-Remove from pans and place loaves on wire rack to cool.

Zenith's picture

You cannot possibly mean that you use two and one-half CUPS of oil in your bread recipe?  Maybe you meant to say tablespoons.

Lucy-Sue's picture

OMG  I am sorry.  The canola oil is 2-1/2 tablespoons!!!!!!!  I dear I hope that no one has tried this!!!


Thanks so much for pointing out my error!

GloriouslyHomemade's picture

this is one of the first recipes for white bread I made last summer when I went back to baking my own bread. be forewarned - 1/3 cup of sugar makes for VERY sweet bread. I leave the qt as is for cinnamon raisin bread but for sandwich bread I take it down to less than 1/4 cup.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

I really appreciate Janknitz concern,

Your not on your own my friend. My son went through the same when a teenager. Now 24 and living 2 hours from home he always manages to pinch a frozen home loaf from us when going back.

The recipies coming through have been great but my main concern is the use of a solid fats ie butter. As I had a small heart attack 18 months ago I am very conscious of my cholestrol level.

I know that they are only teenagers but hey the cholestrol does build up over the years in your system. Since this topic is about keeping the home bread healthy may I suggest swapping butter style fats and using any cholestrol free oil such as olive oil, canola or even rice bran oil.

The  buttermilk loaf mentioned is great. It is a residue from the production of butter and should be easily purchased from any dairy section of a supermarket.  It is totally fat and cholestrol free(despite it's name) and contains all the good quality essentials of vitamins, protein and calcium. All good for a growing teenager. It is a highly underrated healthy product. I've used buttermilk in scones and pancakes and it makes a softer, lighter and fluffier product than a normal recipe. It should do the same for your loaf which will help with the softness of the crumb that your teenager is looking for.

I know your trying to get a healthy loaf for your family and good on you. Butter does make a lovely tasty bread but so does a light olive oil that has no cholestrol. The best part is they won't know about the lack of butter unless you tell them. So why load a healthy product with a unhealthy ingredient. Swap for a cholestrol free oil.

I think the above buttermilk recipe may be what your after. Try it and see. Just don't put the butter back into it. Also I use a pastry brush and just use a little low fat milk(even full cream milk would be better than butter) to wash the top of my pan loaves to help brown them. Again instead of butter.

As an occassional treat in a Easter fruit bun butter is fine. However, be very conscious of it in every daily loaf of bread you make and eat.

What do others think...........Pete.


GloriouslyHomemade's picture

I too use buttermilk and olive oil instead of butter, for the same reasons! Yes, there is a difference in taste and texture but it matters only if you're looking for it. :-)

cgmeyer2's picture

i keep powdered buttermilk in my freezer to use when i don't have fresh buttermilk. it works great when added to dry ingredients. add the addtl water to your wet ingredients

hope this helps


Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Although it seems counterinuitive, coconut oil (vigin, cold pressed) is actually showing some interesting benefits for heart health and cholesterol. The bad rap that it's always gotten has to do with the high heat processing and all the trans fats, free radicals and hydrogenation that commercial oil has (read ingredients in coffee creamer). I use it as a wonderful, flavorful substitute for butter or oil in most recipes.

Also, lecithin could be used. Not exactly sure of the substition there since I haven't used it but I now it works. Maybe you use it with oil instead of shortening or butter? I've found most bread recipes though, are really forgiving when it comes to changing the type of oil that you use.

jannrn's picture

Hello Pete!!
I would love your recipe for the buttermilk bread! I think it is an awesome idea and I am a little hinky about using butter although I worry more about Margarine!! If you don't mind, would you please post your recipe??
Thanks so much!

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Jan,

These following sites for a buttermilk bread recipe are provided by Subfuscpersona on April6 2009 mentioned in the threads above. The picture of her B/M loaf can be found in the above thread as well. I was endorsing their recommendation for a buttermilk loaf as it makes a softer lighter crumb. My concern was for all the recipes using butter while trying to keep bread healthy. Just use a good cholestrol free oil instead of any margarine or butter. I didn't realy have a main recipe as such.

Buttermilk White Bread - Ingredients and Measuring

Buttermilk White Bread - Instructions (mixing & kneading)

Buttermilk White Bread - Instructions (rising and baking)

Also check out Buttermilk Cluster on this "The Fresh Loaf" site. Take the recipe and cook it as a normal loaf. I did that loaf as a cluster for our Boxing day family dinner and it went well. I forgot to mention I have recently started mixing semolina flour (1/3rd) with my bread flour(2/3rds). This also gives a creamier soft texture to the crumb. I have yet to combine semolina with buttermilk. It could make it too soft, I don't know till I try.....good luck and keep us  posted............Pete