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Whole Grain White Bread

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2008

There's a new whole grain white bread product on the market. How does it differ from white bread, and is it worth the added fiber?

We had noticed Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain White Sandwich Bread (made from white whole wheat flour) and decided to pit it head to head against their regular white bread. Since we often use white bread to make bread crumbs, we first decided to make crumbs out of each for our Crisp Breaded Chicken Cutlets (September/October 2001). The results: The whole grain white bread was nearly indistinguishable from the regular white bread. In the second round of tests, we used each loaf for a simple bread stuffing. Again, the whole grain white bread was deemed identical to the white bread. Then came the moment of truth—eating it plain. The differences here were more apparent: The whole grain white bread was called “sweeter” and had a “coarser texture.”

According to Chuck Walker, a grain specialist and professor at Kansas State University, white whole wheat is not sweeter than its darker whole wheat cousins; it simply contains less bitter compounds, called phenolics, in the outer bran layer. When people eat bread made from white whole wheat flour, it tastes surprisingly sweet. Unlike white flour where the outer bran layers are removed, white whole wheat flour contains the whole grain. This means it has more fiber compared to white flour (3 grams of fiber per 2 slices compared to less than 1 gram for regular white bread). If you are looking to add a bit more fiber to your diet, using Whole Grain White Sandwich Bread from Pepperidge Farm would certainly be the way to go, especially when cooking.