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Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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This sourdough sandwich bread recipe is the perfect recipe for soft sliceable bread – It has a tender crumb and great flavor. This white sandwich bread is perfect for french toast, sandwiches, and more! This is a great beginner sourdough recipe.
slices of sourdough sandwich bread next to loaf
This soft crust sourdough bread is amazing! It is easy to slice, great for sandwiches, and more!
There is no extra added yeast in this recipe. This sandwich loaf uses only sourdough starter. If you do not have a sourdough starter, read here about how to make and care for your sourdough starter.
This is a great beginner sourdough recipe for those who are ready to move their sourdough starter beyond a sourdough pancake recipe and into the world of sourdough bread recipes, but aren’t quite ready for a full on artisan loaf.
This is a yeast-free sourdough bread recipe, so its a great recipe to test the strength of your new sourdough starter!
side view of loaf of sourdough sandwich bread with slices on side with text overlay of recipe title for Pinterest

Love a good Sourdough Bread recipe? Try these sourdough bread recipes:

overhead view of sourdough sandwich loaf with white napkin

How to make soft sourdough sandwich bread:

This bread is a simple loaf to make. Because it is made with sourdough, it does take longer than a bread recipe without sourdough. It also requires a lot of hands off time, but you trade off a lot of kneading and mixing for using the stretch and fold method, which helps the bread become more elastic and develop the gluten without a lot of work.

For the complete directions, please scroll down to the recipe card, but here is the general method used to make this loaf:

Mixing the dough:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer, but leave out a small amount of water for later. Mix at low speed until it is all combined.
  2. Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, mix for 4-5 minutes on low. You want the dough to be smooth, supple, and not overly sticky.
collage of images showing how to make sourdough sandwich dough

Bulk Fermentation:

Bulk fermentation, sometimes also called first rise) is a really important part of making a good sourdough loaf. It helps to build the bread’s stretch (or gluten network), volume, and flavor. For this recipe, we need 3 hours for bulk fermentation, with two series of stretches and folds to develop our gluten.

  1. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and stretch and fold it like an envelope (into thirds). 
  3. Turn the dough over and repeat. 
  4. Return to the bowl and allow to rest for 1 more hour.
  5. Do another round of folds, return to the bowl, and let it rest for 1 more hour.
  6. Check your gluten structure by doing a window pane test. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. You should be able to stretch the dough quite thin without it breaking, to the point where you can see light coming through it, like a window pane. If it is not done yet, do another series of stretch and folds and let it sit an additional hour.

Notes on bulk fermentation: The temperature of your kitchen will play a role in the time it takes for your dough to finish bulk fermentation. If your kitchen is cold, it will take longer. If your kitchen is warm and muggy, it might take less time. 

Your dough will be finished with bulk fermentation when it has risen significantly, is smoother in appearance. If you shake the bowl of dough, it should juggle a little, and the dough will pass the windowpane test. If your dough is not quite ready, give it another series of stretch and fold followed by a 30 minute rest and then test again.

collage showing bulk fermentation steps for sourdough sandwich bread

Shaping the dough:

  1. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pre-shape it. Pat it into a rectangle and then fold the long edges into the middle like a brochure. It should look roughly like a cylinder. Be gentle with the dough so you don’t push out the air.
  2. Let rest, covered, for 25 minutes.
  3. Generously butter an 8.5″x4.5″ loaf pan.
  4. Reshape the dough more tightly into a loaf shape by pushing it into a rectangle (don’t push out the air. You don’t need to roll it out, just pat it into a general rectangle) Tightly roll the dough to form a log and tuck the ends down. Place it seam side down into the prepared loaf pan.
  5. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or an oiled sheet of plastic wrap and let rest for 3 hours, or until the top of the loaf has risen to about 1.5 inches above the edge of the pan. If your house is colder, this could take longer. If your house is warmer, this could take less time. Watch your dough, not the clock. You will know it is fully proofed when you can gently dent the dough with your knuckle and it springs back fairly quickly but also leaves a small dent.

Baking your loaf of bread:

  1. Preheat the oven with baking stone in it, to 425F. Make sure your oven is good and hot. I often like to preheat for at least 30-45 minutes.
  2. Get an oven safe pan and fill it with water. You are going to place this in the oven on the rack below your bread, this will help to create steam in the oven which helps keep the bread soft and will help you develop a golden crust later. Make sure to use a pan that is easy to move when filled with water.
  3. Place the loaf into the oven on the baking stone and reduce the temperature to 400F.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes with steam.
  5. Remove the steam from the oven (be careful! it is hot!) and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and place it directly on the baking stone and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  7. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
collage showing step by step images for shaping and baking sourdough sandwich bread

Tips for great sandwich bread:

  • Make sure your sourdough starter has been fed and is fully bubbly and ready to go before starting!
  • Use All Purpose Flour. This recipe does not need bread flour, which has s different protein content. Stick to the recipe!
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting it!

How do you use this sourdough sandwich bread?

This soft bread is great for so many things:

  • slicing with bread and jam
  • making a sandwich
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • french toast
sliced sourdough sandwich bread

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Yield: 1 loaf

Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

slices of sourdough sandwich bread next to loaf

This sourdough sandwich bread recipe is the perfect recipe for soft sliceable bread - perfect for french toast, sandwiches, and more! This is a great beginner sourdough recipe.

Prep Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 311 grams flour
  • 205.5 grams 100% hydration sourdough starter, fed and active
  • 161.5 grams whole milk
  • 32.5 grams  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 15.5 grams honey
  • 8.1 grams salt

Instructions

  1. Your sourdough starter needs to be fully active before you begin.
  2. Warm the milk either on the stoveop or in the microwave until it is about 100 F. Stir in the butter until it is melted.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, starter, warmed milk, honey and salt.
  4. Mix at low speed until the ingredients are well incorporated. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water. The dough should feel slightly sticky at this stage.
  5. Switch to the dough hook on your mixer and continue mixing for about 5-6 minutes. You want the dough to be smooth, supple, and not overly sticky.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container, cover, and let it rest for 1 hour.
  7. Give the dough a few stretch and folds. Keep the dough in the bowl. Grab one side of the dough and stretch it up high above the bowl. Fold the end to the middle of the dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn to your right and do it again. You will want to repeat for all sides of the bowl, or for four stretch and folds. This will help to strengthen the gluten. Make sure you wet your hands for this to help reduce the sticking.
  8. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let rest for 1 hour.
  9. Do another round of folds, return to the bowl, cover, and let it rest for 1 hour. The dough should feel more elastic and airy, and be quite smooth and supple.
  10. Check your gluten structure by doing a window pane test. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. You should be able to stretch the dough quite thin without it breaking, to the point where you can see light coming through it, like a window pane. If it is not done yet, do another series of stretch and folds and let it sit an additional hour.
  11. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and prehape it. Pat it into a rectangle and then fold the long edges into the middle like a brochure. It should look roughly like a cylindar. Be gentle with the dough so you don't push out the air.
  12. Let rest, covered, for 25 minutes.
  13. Generously butter an 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan.
  14. Reshape the dough more tightly into a loaf shape by pushing it into a rectangle (don't push out the air. You don't need to roll it out, just pat it into a general rectangle) Tightly roll the dough to form a log and tuck the ends down. Place it seam side down into the prepared loaf pan.
  15. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or an oiled sheet of plastic wrap and let rest for 3 hours, or until the top of the loaf has risen to about 1.5 inches above the edge of the pan. If your house is colder, this could take longer. If your house is warmer, this could take less time. Watch your dough, not the clock. You will know it is fully proofed when you can gently dent the dough with your knuckle and it springs back.
  16. Preheat the oven with baking stone in it, to 425F.
  17. Get an oven safe pan and fill it with water. You are going to place this in the oven on the rack below your bread, this will help to create steam in the oven which helps keep the bread soft and will help you develop a golden crust later. Make sure to use a pan that is easy to move when filled with water.
  18. Place the loaf into the oven on the baking stone and reduce the temperature to 400F.
  19. Bake for 15 minutes with steam.
  20. Remove the steam from the oven (be careful! it is hot!) and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  21. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and place it directly on the baking stone and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  22. Remove the bread from the oven. Cool on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
  23. Enjoy!

Notes

Yield: 1 loaf in an 8.5×4.5″ pan

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

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Claire Parker

Sunday 26th of July 2020

Hi Jenni, Can I make this loaf all by hand? As I don’t have a stand mixer or dough hook.

Sarah Smith

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Good morning, Jenni! My bread is in the oven (literally, not figuratively) as I type. I have one question in the recipe which is a little unclear. Steps 21 & 22 state to take the loaf out of the bread pan and bake for an additional 20 minutes. The next step says take the pan out of the oven and let cool for x minutes before taking it out of the pan and placing on the rack to finish cooling. It is not clear whether I am letting the stone cool on the wire rack or if I am putting the loaf back in the pan while cooling please explain.

Jenni

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Hi Sarah! Thanks for letting me know about that confusion! You do need to carefully remove the bread from the pan and let it finish baking, and then transfer it to a wire rack to cool. I will fix that in the recipe! Thank you!

Beth Archambault

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

In the process of making now. I hope it turns out ok! The first mixing seemed dry, so I added a T of water as recommended. Then it was way too sticky and wet after the 5 minutes of kneading in the mixer! I added about a T of flour...Hope I didn't mess it up! I decided to stop messing with it so it is now resting but still seems very wet. Any suggestions?

carolina

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

hi! can I add one whole egg to the recipie?

Jenni

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

I have not tried adding an egg, but I don't see why it wouldn't work! If you try it, let me know how it goes!

KK

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Recipe says net carbs 0. How is that possible? Can this recipe be made in a bread machine? I think I will try that today and run on dough cycle for 3 times to simulate the 3 "fold and ferment" cycles in the recipe. What have I got to lose except a little of my starter and some flour (I have so muchstarter it is taking over my fridge).

I will report back if it works. :)

KK

Laura Heath

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Hi, KK: Did you have success with this recipe in the bread machine?

Jenni

Sunday 16th of February 2020

Ha, the nutrition calculator definitely messed up there, huh? You COULD try to make this in a bread machine, but I have not tried it. The folding method is there to help create the gluten without all the kneading, so you could skip this method if your bread machine is going to do the work for you. Please report back and let me know how it goes!

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