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 easy to make and 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 seven days before baking.
  • Flour: Bread flour is best for baking this bread. I like to use a 50/50 mix of bread and rye flour for a whole wheat option.
  • 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: My bread recipes use maple syrup instead of cane sugar. I like the results better.

Sourdough Bread for Sandwiches

I highly suggest doubling or tripling this recipe if you have a large family or eat a lot of bread (like Jon and I do).

Once you are ready to shape the dough, divide it in half (or in thirds), shape it, place it in the loaf pans, and bake the loaves side by side. Any extra loaves can be sliced and 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 flour absorbs more water than white flour, 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

I use a 9 x 5-inch glass loaf pan in this recipe, so you want to use the same size or something close to get a good sandwich loaf shape. You can use metal or glass; 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 a better oven spring.

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Learn How to Make A Loaf of Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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5 from 10 reviews

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
  • Category: Sourdough
  • Method: Fermentation

Ingredients

  • 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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33 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!!

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Dwana Lashover February 21, 2020 - 4:02 pm

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

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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.

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Julia April 3, 2021 - 11:55 pm

Delicious sourdough loaf!






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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?

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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
Melissa September 18, 2022 - 7:04 pm

This is our favorite sandwich bread that I make a couple of times a week. Highly recommend! This absolutely trumps store bought bread!






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Allison September 24, 2022 - 12:38 pm

I’ve made this several times now and it is always consistently stunning and oh so delicious! Thank you!






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley September 24, 2022 - 4:05 pm

I’m happy you are enjoying this recipe time and time again 🙂

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William September 25, 2022 - 12:16 pm

What exactly should the texture of the dough be? On the first stretch, mine is pretty firm while the videos I watched show it kind of loose and sticky.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley September 26, 2022 - 8:20 am

Not sure what video you are watching, as I do not have a video for this recipe. The dough is somewhat firm but still comes together easily. The loose and sticky doughs are usually for boules, and this is a sandwich loaf.

Reply
Ashley October 24, 2022 - 12:26 pm

This is a staple in my house for our daily bread use. We love it. the perfect sourdough loaf for our family of 7. I make 5-7 loaves a week minimum. So soft and perfect for everything.






Reply
Ashley October 24, 2022 - 12:27 pm

This is a staple in my house for our daily bread use. its the perfect sourdough loaf for our family of 7. I make 5-7 loaves a week minimum. So soft and perfect for everything.






Reply
Elena November 2, 2022 - 12:08 am

I don’t ever leave reviews .cause I don’t have time . But boy this one is soooooo good!!! We loved it . Thank you for this easy simple recipe. I already make sourdough but it’s always too fluffy for sandwiches . But this one is a hit.






Reply
Kate May 3, 2023 - 7:20 pm

If I use 50% rye flour, do I need to adjust the amount of water?

Thank you!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 8, 2023 - 10:22 am

It should be okay with the same amount of water. You can drizzle a tablespoon more water in the beginning if you find the dough dry.

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Leah August 22, 2023 - 2:22 pm

We make this recipe every week! We love it so much! Its a staple in our house!






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Carol November 26, 2023 - 3:32 pm

I was uncertain about this dough- I was already writing it off as a fail! The dough was too stiff, hard to fold. But, it’s in the oven now, and good gosh- it’s so beautiful! I’m sure it’s gonna taste as good as it looks!






Reply
Kelsey January 24, 2024 - 5:01 pm

Hi! If I choose to do the optional step 9, do I also do step 8? Thank you!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley January 25, 2024 - 6:44 am

yes you still do step 8.

Reply