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A soft sourdough sandwich bread with a tender texture and amazing flavor without using any store-bought yeast, just the wonderful power of wild leavening. This sourdough sandwich bread recipe is made with flour, water, salt, butter, and active sourdough starter and is so good you should double it for two loaves.
Sourdough bread-making is intimidating if you’re used to relying on store-bought yeast. We’ll have you baking sourdough bread like a boss in no time with these tips.
Don’t have a sourdough starter or your starter isn’t going so well? Here are my 5 Tips On How to Get Started with Sourdough
The first benefit is you don’t need any store-bought yeast, one less thing to purchase from the store is always a plus!
Sourdough is a fermented cultured food, which means the good bacteria, pre-biotic, and probiotics help to break down the phytic acid making the nutrients in the flour easier to absorb, therefore increasing the folate and antioxidant levels.
The yeast and bacteria feed on the starches and/or carbohydrates in the flour, making a fully cultured (allowing the flour to soak with the starter for at least 8 hours) sourdough bread lower on the Glycemic Index than regular bread.
Many gluten-sensitive individuals find that a fully cultured sourdough bread allows them to enjoy bread again without issues. There is still gluten-present, but the culture seems to degrade the gluten. This study shows IgE-binding proteins contained in the sourdough breads disappeared after in vitro digestion with pepsin, trypsin and pancreatin.
We all want a light and tender texture on our sourdough sandwich bread. It can be frustrating if your bread turns out dense and hard (I’ve had some of those brick-like loaves before but no more my friend!) but once you identify the culprits below, you’ll be on your way!
If your sourdough bread isn’t turning out, it usually has to go back to the strength and activity in your sourdough starter. Even a mature starter can be sluggish if it hasn’t been properly cared for. Inside my free homemade sourdough starter series, I cover why feeding a small amount twice a day is crucial to getting your starter into peak shape, especially for bread baking.
Older starters that have been left in the fridge for a long period of time won’t rise bread well. Sourdough starters that aren’t being fed regularly become weak. Young sourdough starters that are less than 4 weeks of age simply aren’t strong enough for bread baking yet. I’ve had starters that weren’t strong enough until 6 weeks of age.
Two days before baking bread, make sure your sourdough starter is at room temperature and you’re feeding it twice a day to get it nice and bubbly.
Can I bake bread immediately after making dough?
No, you have to let it rise or you’ll have a bread loaf as hard as a rock.
You want a flour with a strong gluten content for bread baking (no pastry flours). This recipe works well with ap flour, bread flour, and whole wheat flour. For a white bread, use all purpose flour or bread flour. I like to use fresh ground hard white wheat (if using whole wheat or fresh ground flour you’ll need to increase the water, see recipe notes) so we have the nutritional benefits of fresh ground flour and the sourdough culture.
Many people ask me what is the best flour for making sourdough?
Any organic unbleached flour is better than conventional, but I’ve made sourdough starters with rice flour, all-purpose, fresh ground Einkorn, and fresh ground hard white wheat. They all worked equally as well.
The key is how often you’re feeding it, amounts, and temperature. I cover all of this in detail inside my free homemade sourdough starter series here
Simple, make this sourdough sandwich bread recipe because all you need is a standard loaf pan. No Dutch ovens required.
9 pm. The night before you want to bake bread, feed your starter so you have 1/2 cup total volume.
7 or 8 am. In the morning, feed the starter to equal 1 cup of starter. Allow starter to rise until almost doubled (usually 2 to 3 hours).
11 am Combine all ingredients and knead the sourdough sandwich dough until it passes the windowpane test. I use the dough hook with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and mix for 8 minutes before testing. Grease your loaf pans (these cast iron loaf pans are the ONLY loaf pans I use).
11:10 am Form loaf, creating tension on the top of the loaf, and place in bread pans. Cover so the dough doesn’t dry out with either plastic or a damp tea towel. Place in a warm area to rise until dough is 1/2 inch above the lip of the loaf pan.
4 pm Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slather the top of the sandwich loaf with melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes.
4:30 pm Remove bread from oven and loaf pan to a cooling wrack. Immediately rub with butter and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Don’t skip the butter step before baking the loaf and immediately after removing it from the oven. If you’re dairy-free, you can use olive oil or melted coconut oil.
My favorite thing to eat with this sourdough bread is more butter and this Strawberry Jam Recipe without Pectin and Low Sugar. Seriously, it’s the best of all the worlds on your taste buds.
Load it up with your favorite sandwich toppings, from peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese (smoked gouda is a MUST), to a turkey sandwich with these Fermented Pickle Recipe Old-fashioned Saltwater Brine Pickles.
My son loves a slice with butter and garlic salt underneath a low broil for a quick sourdough garlic bread.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.