We compared the effects of spontaneous fermentation of the bran fraction and fermentation with added yeast or added yeast and lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus brevis) on the quality of wheat bread supplemented with bran. Prefermentation of wheat bran with yeast or with yeast and lactic acid bacteria improved the loaf volume, crumb structure, and shelf life of bread supplemented with bran. The bread also had added flavor and good and homogenous crumb structure. Elasticity of the crumb was excellent. Spontaneous fermentation of the bran fraction did not have the same positive effects on bread quality. The microstructure of the breads was characterized by light microscopy. The positive effect of fermentation of bran on bread quality was evident when comparing the well‐developed protein network structure of the breads baked with fermented bran with the control bread. Prefermentation of the bran with yeast and lactic acid bacteria had the greatest effect on the structure of starch. The starch granules were more swollen and gelatinized in the breads made with prefermented bran. The pretreatments of the bran fraction had no detectable effect on the microstructure of the cell wall particles in the test breads.