Sourdough sandwich bread with a step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
What is sourdough sandwich bread
When we think of sourdough bread, the first image that comes to mind is an artisan loaf with a thick crust and is chewy and tangy with open crumbs (or crumb with holes). But this sourdough sandwich bread has a soft crust, with a tender and light interior, and is very flavourful. I make this bread with milk, butter, and a bit of sugar - making it super soft, slightly sweet, and oh-so-delicious.
I absolutely love crusty sourdough bread, but sometimes having a sandwich bread comes in very handy - especially for packing them in lunchboxes or toasting some slices for breakfast. A white bread that is made with naturally occurring yeast, long-fermented, and has a soft, tender texture perfect for sandwiches - best of both worlds I’d say. This is my go-to bread and cannot do without this on most days.
The crumb of this bread is tight, yet is soft and well-fermented. The crust is soft, golden, and slightly caramelised. This recipe here is white bread but you can change the flour type to make 1:1 plain and whole wheat flour.
Sourdough starter: This is the key ingredient to make sourdough sandwich bread. Make sure the starter is active and bubbly.
Flour: Make them with plain flour (or all-purpose flour). Bread flour may also be used but low protein flour works best here. Bread flour may make this bread a bit chewier than what you would get when plain flour is used.
Milk: For the best-tasting sourdough sandwich bread, use whole milk. This will make the bread soft and fluffy. Low-fat milk works well too; however, I have never tried them with non-dairy milk.
Butter: Butter not only adds a great flavour to the bread, but it also makes it soft.
Sugar: Sugar is food for the wild yeast in your starter.
Salt: Salt is a key ingredient in making these rolls tasty. Don't skip it!
This recipe makes two loaves of sourdough sandwich bread. You may choose to divide it in half if you would like to make a single loaf of bread.
See the recipe for easy no-knead sourdough bread here.
Tips and tricks
Activate the starter the night before you plan to make the dough (or early morning on the same day).
It is important to note that the time taken for the starter to activate depends on many factors. For example, the ambient temperature, the nature of the starter itself, etc. If your starter activates at a much faster rate, you can activate it the same day you are making the dough. Or, you can use either less starter or cold water to slow down the activation.
Keep an eye on the bulk fermentation time - once the dough is almost double and has bubbles, put it in the fridge. As the amount of starter is high in this bread, remember that it may ferment more quickly when compared to regular sourdough.
Make sure the dough has come to room temperature before baking.
You can choose to bake the bread on the same day if you like. But I always prefer to stick the dough in the fridge overnight and bake the next day. If you choose to bake on the same day, activate your starter the previous night and start the dough early in the morning. That way, you will be able to do the second proofing by afternoon and bake in the evening
Good fermentation, rich dough, the correct amount of bulk fermentation, good second proofing are the steps needed to get a great loaf of sourdough sandwich bread. Follow this fail-proof recipe to get the perfect loaf that is healthier and tastier than the regular sandwich bread.
This sourdough sandwich bread is:
- healthier than regular sandwich bread
- freezer friendly
- rich and delicious
Step by step instructions
1. Warm up the milk with butter
2. Add activated starter
3. Combine the starter with milk
4. Add salt and sugar. Mix well
5. Add the flour and knead
6. Knead the dough well
7. Perform stretch and fold at 30 minutes interval
8. The dough builds strength as you perform stretch and fold
9. Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation
10. Dough after bulk fermentation
11. Divide the dough into two parts
12. Shape the dough into a rectangle, roll it to form a log
13. Let it sit for second proofing
14. Bake in the preheated oven until it is completely done. Cool completely
Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Make sure your starter is active and bubbly
- Combine milk and butter in a sauce pan and warm it up. The milk should be just lukewarm, 30-32 degrees celsius, which is sufficient to melt the butter. Don’t overheat the milk
- Combine the warm milk with starter, salt and sugar
- Slowly add the flour and combine well making sure there are no dry flour bits. Knead it gently for 4-5 minutes. Add 1-2 tablespoon flour if needed
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes
- Perform four sets of stretch and fold at a 30 minutes interval. Wet hands, grab a portion of the dough and slowly stretch it taking care not to break it and fold it towards the centre over the dough. Keep turning the bowl and repeat the process until all parts of the dough is covered. Carefully flip the dough and round it up. This completes one set of stretch and fold. Repeat this process four to six times at an interval of 30 minutes. See the pictures below or the video here to see the technique
- Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation until it is almost double and has bubbles on the top
- Once the bulk fermentation is done, shape it
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with baking paper
- Dust the bench lightly with the flour and flip the dough onto it
- Shape the dough into a 9 inch rectangle taking care not to push the air out
- Gently roll it to form a log. Place it in the loaf pan
- Place it in the refrigerator overnight for cold fermentation. At this stage, you can choose to bake directly without placing the dough in the fridge
- Next morning, remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit in a warm spot for 1-2 hours
- Preheat the oven at 180 C (360 F)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is gold
- Cool it in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely
- Slice and serve
Click here to watch sourdough sandwich bread web story.