Light and fluffy bread like store bought bread


I am trying to find a bread machine recipe (I own the latest and greatest West Bend Hi Riser and LOVE it!) that makes good sandwich bread. I've made two loaves and the crust on the bottom and sides is hard as a rock and thick. The top is fine. The bread is dense and my husband likes store bought bread. I'd like to switch him to my bread machine bread but can't seem to find a decent recipe for sandwich bread that is light and fluffy like store bought bread. Anyone got a good recipe or suggestions on how to do it in the bread machine?



badge posted by: diannenet on January 15, 2012 at 1:14 am in Baking, bread machine
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reply by: sandra Alicante on January 15, 2012 at 3:38 am
sandra Alicante

I don't know what recipe you are using but if your other half likes soft store bread I have some suggestions.

Firstly - PLEASE use SCALES to measure your ingredients. It is unlikely that using cups, you measure precisely every time. That's not so bad for experienced bakers who can look at a dough and make adjustments but terrible for beginners. There can be a couple of ounces difference in a cup measure if you are not very careful. This leads to the next idea, because of how you may be measuring your flour.

It sounds as if your dough is a bit too dry (too much flour) or baking too long. If you think your dough was wet enough you could try using a different setting, if you look in the instruction manual, some of them give cycle baking times, go for a shorter one.

If you try a recipe for a loaf that has milk/butter and some sugar in it, you may well get a softer loaf.

If you think your flour is suspect, that you can't buy good quality flour, try adding a tsp of vinegar to your liquid. A SMALL amount helps gluten development. You will not taste it.

Good luck!

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on January 15, 2012 at 8:20 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Try this recipe for a white sandwich bread

I tweaked it to more or less work in a Zo. The hard dry crust you describe is a common feature of some breadmakers. This recipe as written for the Zo got me a lot closer than previous attempts. Try it and see how it works in your bread machine. The next tweak I was planning to make to the Zo was to reduce the baking time. I don't know if you can program your machine but if not at least set it for light crust if that's possible.

But honestly I eventually gave up trying to bake in the Zo and now I let it knead and rise, then turn the dough out before the final rise, shape, put in a loaf pan, and bake in the oven.

reply by: Antilope on September 30, 2012 at 1:42 am

I adapted this recipe from a King Arthur Flour recipe for Buttery Sourdough Buns. I substituted the yogurt for the sourdough starter. It's just for flavor, because the recipe also uses regular yeast. The yogurt makes for a more tender crumb when used in baking, same as buttermilk. Other than that, all of the ingredients are the same as used in the original KAF recipe.

Here's the original recipe link:

Buttery White Bread for Bread Machine

This is a delicious, buttery white bread that is
great for sandwiches, toast or just plain with butter.
This has the lightness and texture of Wonder Bread but
with a nice buttery flavor.

2/3 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
1 tablespooon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
5 tablespoons soft butter (I used butter flavor Crisco)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons (or 1 packet) bread machine or instant yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed or
according to your bread machine mfg's directions.

Settings: White Bread, 1 1/2 lb loaf, Medium Crust.

Press Start.

Makes One, 1 1/2 lb loaf.

reply by: Mike Nolan on September 30, 2012 at 12:59 am
Mike Nolan

The Austrian Malt Bread recipe that I have posted, adapted from one in the first Donna German bread machine cookbook, made very fluffy bread in my Zo.

It is fluffier when made with margarine than with butter, I'm not sure why. However, Peter Reinhart has a few recipes that he says are softer when made with shortening than with butter, I suspect that's for the same reason.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 30, 2012 at 2:24 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Maybe due to the emulsifiers in margarine?

reply by: HerBoudoir on September 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I'm sure one of our relative chemists knows for sure....

...but if I had to guess, it's either to do with melting point temp (think about how a pie crust made with some shortening/lard is flakier) OR that shortening absorbs flour/sugar and blends with them a bit better than butter does.

When I took a professional cake baking course, they always used high-ratio shortening in cakes because you could blend in more sugar for a sweeter cake, as that was more to the tastes of the average American consumer.

I must not be prefer less sweet AND with the taste of real butter for both cake and bread. (Although....the best biscuits I *ever* had were made with a little duck fat as well as butter...nom)

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

High ratio shortening has a ton of emulsifiers in it = that's why it's better for very sweet cakes, helps to balance out the sugar and keep everything in suspension so the foam that cake structure is based on won't collapse when stuff starts separating out.

Margarine, being basically vegetable oil and water (and colorings, preservatives, and flavorings), has a lot of emulsifiers in it too. So it's feasible that some recipes may be lighter using margarine than butter for this reason - or maybe for some other reason as well.

Looking at the recipe there's not THAT much sugar in it, and it's bread, not cake, so - who knows.

reply by: Mike Nolan on September 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm
Mike Nolan

Back in the days when I would make this recipe in our Zo, it would occasionally rise so much that it touched the lid. Back in those days I generally used "I can't believe its not butter" these days I use unsalted butter for cooking.

We no longer have the Zo, but I still make this recipe for things like BLTs, baking it in a standard bread pan. The dough needs to be on the soft/sticky side, I have a tendency to add too much flour to it during kneading, I suspect.

My younger son used to say of this recipe, "It's like white bread, only better."

reply by: mrs.chiu on December 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

Marcy Goldman of has a great Wonder bread can find it in one of her first cookbooks at your library....i think its called "The best of" or something like that. Or you can go to her site and pay $1.99 for wont be sorry. It is very light and fluffy just like Wonder bread!