Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Sourdough sandwich bread is a classic household staple. From melty grilled cheese sandwiches, to juicy BLTs, and classic PB&Js, these sturdy sourdough slices await a variety of delicious toppings. This sourdough bread recipe is soft, easy to make, and it does not have big holes in it, making it perfect for sandwiches.

Making Sourdough Bread for Sandwiches

Here is everything you need to make this sourdough sandwich bread:

  • Sourdough Starter: We have an easy sourdough starter recipe HERE. You’ll need to start this 7 days before baking.
  • Flour: Bread flour is best for baking this bread. For a whole wheat option, I like to use a 50/50 mix of bread flour and rye flour.
  • Water: You can use tap water to bake bread, I do. But if you prefer bottled or filtered, that works too!
  • Salt: Unrefined sea salt, please! Just make sure your sea salt is unrefined and free from anticaking agents.
  • Maple Syrup: I use maple syrup in my bread recipes instead of cane sugar. I just like the results better.

Sourdough Bread for Sandwiches

If you have a large family, or just eat a lot of bread (like Jon and I do), I highly suggest doubling or tripling this recipe. once your are ready to shape the dough, divide in half (or in thirds), shape, place in the loaf pans, and bake the loaves side by side. Any extra loaves can be slices then frozen in plastic wrap. I have bread bags I saved from store bought bread that I use for freezing.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

To make this bread a whole wheat loaf, just sub half the flour with whole wheat flour. I like to use sprouted rye when making a whole wheat version. Note that whole wheat flours absorb a bit more water than white flours, so you may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of water for the dough to come together.

Since sourdough ferments during a longer rise time than traditional bread, it’s much easier to digest and more flavorful. The flavor comes from the wild yeasts and bacteria metabolizing the sugars in the dough during the long rise times and producing acids as byproducts. This is also why the bread is easier to digest! Essentially the microorganisms do some of the digesting for you in this sourdough bread recipe.

Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe

In this recipe I use an 9 x 5 inch glass loaf pan, so you want to use the same size, or something close, to get a good sandwich loaf shape. You can use metal or glass, just watch the bread to see when it turns golden brown. Also, try preheating your oven to 500° F. Then, once you slide the bread pan in, reduce the temperature to 400° F and bake as directed. Starting the dough at a higher temperature often yields better oven spring.

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Learn How to Make A Loaf of Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Sourdough sandwich bread is a classic household staple. From melty grilled cheese sandwiches, to juicy BLTs, and classic PB&Js, these sturdy sourdough slices await a variety of delicious toppings. This sourdough bread recipe is soft, easy to make, and it does not have big holes in it, making it perfect for sandwiches.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 6 Hours
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour
  • Total Time: 7 Hours
  • Yield: 1 Loaf 1x
  • Category: Sourdough
  • Method: Fermentation

Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 grams bread flour
  • 100 grams active, bubbly starter
  • 275 grams warm water
  • 10 grams sea salt
  • 25 grams maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients until just combined and let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, knead the dough into a uniform dough ball.
  3. Place your dough ball in a large bowl.
  4. Allow to rise at room temperature covered for 6 hours, and periodically stretch and fold the dough
  5. During the rise time, stretch and fold the dough once each hour. Using your hands, stretch up the bottom of the dough, without breaking it, and fold over the top of the dough. Stretch and fold side over side, then top over bottom. As you do this you’ll notice there is more resistance stretching the dough.  If you need help with this step there are a lot of great tutorials on YouTube.  
  6. After the rise time with stretching and folding, on a well-floured surface, gently shape the dough into a loaf shape by stretching and folding once more, then tucking under the sides.
  7. Place the seam side down in a parchment paper lined bread pan. 
  8. Let rise for 1-2 hours at room temperature. the dough should be just below the rim of the loaf pan.
  9. (optional) overnight proof in the fridge for 12 hours.
  10. Preheat oven to 500° F. 
  11. After the final rise time, score the dough down the middle, egg wash the top and add toppings.* 
  12. place the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 400° F.
  13. Bake for 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown. Time may be adjusted depending on your oven. I rotate the pan halfway through.
  14. Remove from oven and pan and cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes. 

Notes

  • Adding seeds to the top of the loaf is optional. To add seeds, brush the loaf with an egg wash and top with sesame, sunflower, and poppy seeds before baking.

Keywords: bread, sourdough, fermented sourdough

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19 comments

Dwana December 6, 2019 - 6:30 am

My favorite recipe for loaf sourdough.

Reply
Sarah January 22, 2020 - 4:30 pm

Two questions
If you use a bread maxhine to knead, do you do the whole dough cycle?

How often do you stretch and fold during the rise time and how many times?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley January 22, 2020 - 7:08 pm

I don’t use the whole dough cycle on my bread machine. I pull the dough out before the rise portion of the dough cycle. Sorry for not having the amount of stretch and folds in the recipe card! I didn’t realize that was missing! I’ve updated it. It’s three stretch and folds during the rise time.

Reply
Sarah January 22, 2020 - 10:28 pm

Thank you for the clarification!!

Reply
Dwana Lashover February 21, 2020 - 4:02 pm

If you are hand kneading, about how long do you knead?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 21, 2020 - 7:15 pm

When I hand knead, it takes about 7-10 minutes for it all to come together into a dough ball.

Reply
Julia April 3, 2021 - 11:55 pm

Delicious sourdough loaf!

Reply
Sophia April 5, 2021 - 7:41 am

Hi! I notice you’re using a glass baking container instead of tin… will that make a difference on the cook time/temp that you know of? Thanks!!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley April 6, 2021 - 2:24 pm

Hey there,

It shouldn’t make a difference, the time and temp should be about the same no matter what pan you use. Maybe just check at 20-30 minutes and every 10 minutes after just to be sure.

Reply
Margaret May 16, 2022 - 5:22 am

Do use active starter or can I use the starter right from the refrigerator?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 17, 2022 - 2:51 pm

Hey there! your starter should be bubbly and active before using in this recipe.

Reply
Mellisa June 4, 2022 - 12:16 pm

Hello,
If you were to use granulated sugar instead of syrup, how much would you use?
What is the difference between bread and all purpose flour in this recipe?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley June 6, 2022 - 8:18 am

Bread flour is generally easier to work with because it contains a little bit more gluten than all-purpose flour. The extra gluten helps the bread rise better and hold its shape. All-purpose will work in the recipe though. You can sub granulated sugar, just use 1 tablespoon.

Reply
Marianne July 18, 2022 - 4:07 pm

Can I use the same measurements for fresh milled hard red or white wheat?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 18, 2022 - 5:26 pm

Fresh milled flours contain the wheat bran and wheat germ, thus absorb more water, so the measurements wont be exactly the same. You will probably need more water or you’ll end up with a dense loaf.

Reply
Shannon July 25, 2022 - 1:36 pm

Can the dough be refrigerated and finished the next day? If so, at what point in the process can this be done?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 25, 2022 - 5:10 pm

Hi! Yes, the sandwich loaf can be refrigerated, but it may not rise up as well in the oven. You can refrigerate it after step 8.

Reply
Lauren Rogers August 1, 2022 - 8:11 pm

The best sandwich bread I’ve ever had, and I cannot believe I made it. This easy to follow recipe produces stunning results. Won’t be able to go back to store bough after this! So yummy.

Reply
Esther August 3, 2022 - 9:58 am

My husband loves soft bread. My typical sourdough loaf is hard crusted and chewy inside. But THIS is perfectly soft! I’ve been looking for a soft loaf, long-ferment sourdough recipe for a long time. Thank you Kaitlynn!

Reply

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