Who doesn't love the yummy softness of Wonder Bread? Old-fashioned bread that brings us back to our childhood. White. Fluffy. Wholesome. Wait, what? Wholesome?
Have you ever looked at the ingredients of Wonder Bread? I count around 29 different ingredients. Do you have any clue what most of them are? Take a look at this: Wonder Bread Ingredients Explained for more information on exactly what is in Wonder Bread.
Now, we all know that 100% whole wheat is the best option for a healthy diet, assuming you are eating bread to begin with. 100% whole wheat is unaltered, where white wheat has the outer, darker bran layer removed. This also removes the fiber, which is why most breads use "enriched" flour. They remove the bran layer and replace it with an artificial fiber.
But let's be real here. Sometimes you just want white bread. And while they do have to mill the grain to make white bread flour, you can make your own white bread that is considerably better for you. It tastes great and has no artificial anything in it, and has only 7 ingredients. That's a lot less than 29. A whole lot less.
Look at how beautiful this is:
It's really not that difficult to make either.
You do need a little bit of time - time for the dough to rise, but there is little effort involved, especially if you have a bread machine or mixer. Below is my traditional white bread recipe.
Traditional White Bread
- 1 cup warm water - sometimes I need more or less
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - other oils will work, but olive oil is a healthier choice
- 1 egg
- 3 ½ cups bread flour - I use organic flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- ½ cup raw honey - you can use sugar here if you don't have honey but honey is a better option
- Mix all ingredients together in mixer with dough blade until dough forms. It should be dry enough to not be sticky but wet enough to not crumble.
- Lift dough out of bowl, spray with olive oil (I spray the bowl) and place dough back in bowl covered with towel, allow to rise for 30-60 minutes.
- Knead with dough blade (will deflate).
- Remove from bowl, place dough on flowered surface and knead by hand a few times.
- Divide in half.
- Roll into 2 loaf shapes and place in loaf pans (mist pan with olive oil first).
- Cover and allow to rise (depends upon temp in room, but usually around 60 minutes - it should be slightly over the top edge of the pan, do not allow to over-rise).
- Bake at 350 for around 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. At around the 15 minute mark, I mist the top of the loaf with olive oil and continue cooking until done.
Beautiful looking bread Kim!!!
Thank you! I want to try and make it 100% whole wheat. I bought a "white whole wheat" flour and am going to try it with that next time. I also want to try gluten-free too.
I make buns from this recipe too, instructions to come in a few days.
I use the white whole wheat flour all the time in recipes that call for white flour, it works well and adds a very nice flavor!
Dee @ Cocktails with Mom
Oh that looks good! I'm such a bread eater.
Robin @ Mom Foodie
I have been baking a ton from scratch since putting my daughter on gluten-free diet. I haven't made loaves (although at the price of frozen gf loaves I should), but the foccaccia dough I have been making is good & makes great regular pizza too.
I long to bake with wheat again though. No bones about it, GF baking is a PITA!
I am going to try it GF one of these days. It just seems like so much more work.
I had no idea it was that easy to make your own bread!! I don't eat bread very often because I save my carbs for sweets but I have to try this!
I love bread but haven't been eating it as much. There's nothing like homemade!
I love my bread machine but usually use a box mix. I'll try this recipe, thanks!!
SCM (SocialCafe Magazine)
Your bread came out beautiful! I love bread, but I have cut down on it almost completely since I started my weight loss this year. I have it maybe once every two weeks and always homemade. I'll have to try your recipe, since mine doesn't have egg or honey/sugar in it.
Karen of 3G2S
It's so hard to believe that making fresh bread is that easy. Maybe Santa will bring me a bread machine for Christmas this year! 😀
The bread looks great Kim!!
This bread looks so soft! I've never made homemade bread - excited to try!
I haven't had Wonder bread since i was a kid. So bad for you. But it did taste good.Your Whole wheat recipe looks awesome. Much healthier. Does look soft
You're not missing much with the Wonder Bread. Our local grocer just started carrying it and we bought a loaf. It's awful. Very coarse, yellow/beige in color and just doesn't taste right.
OMG!! This is the best homemade bread I have ever made! I used my bread machine to make the dough, but I baked in the oven!! This recipe is a KEEPER!
What kid of yeast did you use for this recipe? Active dry or instant?
Thanks for the recipe, totally trying this!
I couldn't get my bread to rise to save my life. I used all purpose flour, active dry yeast, and honey. the second time i added a pinch of ginger and used a tbsp of sugar because someone told me it would activate the yeast. Any suggestions?
P.S. This might be pretty obvious but I'm pretty new to cooking. any suggestions will help!!!
How old is your yeast? Also you need some warmth for it to rise too, doing it in a cool room can cause problems.
As Kim said, you need warmth, usually lukewarm water but be careful it's not too hot. Sugar does nothing to the yeast to activate it.
To poof your yeast to make sure your yeast is good mix it with a cup of lukewarm water (less if the recipe calls for less water) and let sit for at least 10 minutes. If it foams or has a layer of bubbles at the top then the yeast is active, if not then the yeast is bad.
I'd like to jump into a giant loaf of that! Yum! Thank you for sharing.
I make my own pizza dough, usually white flour but have used wheat and while wheat flour has just as many calories per cup it's more dense so you can use less thus less carbs and calories. Also, years ago i started substituting honey for sugar in my dough and it's much better (got that tip from a chef at an Italian restaurant).
Off topic of breads my husband makes his own spaghetti sauce and we let it cool to use as our pizza sauce (also got that tip from the owner of an Italian Deli) and he uses honey in his sauce. Use to use sugar but when we ran out when he was making lasagna he substituted honey and everyone said it was the best lasagna he's ever made.
So, honey is not only healthier but also makes some dishes taste better.
I have no gluten intolerance so I don't have to worry about gluten. I have given up on store bought bread and make my own. My bread tastes better, is healthier and costs about half as much. Currently, GMO wheat is illegal and I like that. The GMO doesn't bother me as much as the concentration of herbicides and pesticides on the end product. I have seen GMO corn is less healthy, but the sites have poor or no reliable references. I use olive oil because soy and corn are GMO. For this recipe, I followed it carefully, adding 1 T of vital gluten to help it rise higher. For flour, I use about a cup of King Arthur Whole Wheat and 2.5 cups Ultragrain White whole wheat. Both are unbleached and not bromated. Ultra. grain is a brand that claims to be softer and smoother. I like that it has one ingredient, wheat. I put the bread machine yeast in the bread machine first, then the honey and oil. I heat the water to 125 degrees in the microwave and use a thermometer. This is very warm for the yeast, but I pour the water into measuring cup I used for the honey to melt a little more honey out of the cup and when pour the water into the bread machine, it reads a proper 105 degrees. I use the bred machine to mix and raise the dough , and use cookie sheets to make rolls of various sizes for different uses, depending on the menu for the week. Smaller for dinner rolls, bigger for 1/4 pound burgers, and medium to split for my wife's open faced sandwiches for work. Your recipe with my modifications made about half the usual amount of dough I get with three cups of flour, and the rolls were doughy inside while having a lovely brown crust. The dough did not rise as much and was thicker and rubbery. It is ok, after cutting it up, I am drying it out with the residue oven heat for crotons and bread crumbs.