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Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe

I love a great sourdough bread, but sometimes you need a soft white bread for a delicious sandwich. This is a combination of the two of them. A soft white bread, with a deliciously caramelized crust and a very soft and slightly tangy interior. The best of both worlds. This is my recipe for sourdough sandwich bread.

Sandwich bread is made specifically for the preparation of sandwiches. They are easily sliced and usually have a light crumb.


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The history of sandwich bread

Sandwich bread, or pain de mie, or sometimes pullman loaf (named for the tin that it’s baked in) came to prominence in the early 1900’s.

In 1928 the first automatic bread slicing machine became available, and with thinner and more uniform slices bread consumption began to rise.

Sourdough sandwich bread baked in a pullman loaf pan on a concrete floor in front of a brick wall.

In 1943 a short-lived ban on sliced bread in the United States, as a wartime conservation measure. It resulted in a public outcry and only three months after the ban took effect it was abolished again.

In the second half of the 20th century the sandwich bread became synonymous with a really unhealthy bread with nothing good for you in it. That pretty much still holds true if you buy it in the supermarket.

If you make it yourself that is a whole different story.

The formula in this sourdough sandwich bread recipe

Vitals

Total weight1670 grams
Prefermented flour8.33%
Hydration69.2%
Yield2 x 835 grams loaves

Levain

The levain is meant to grow overnight and be used in the dough after 12 hours. If you want to you can skip building the levain and just use 150g mature sourdough starter directly in the dough.

The flour in the levain is just all-purpose flour as this is the flour being used in the recipe. If you keep your starter with a different flour, note that it can change the feel of the bread a bit.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
30gstarter (100% hydration)50.0%
60gall-purpose flour100.0%
60gwater100.0%

Dough

The bread is made with 100% all-purpose flour. Which should be your regular 10-ish percent protein wheat flour. I’d opt for the organic kind.

This gives you a softer bread, both crust and crumb, but enough gluten development to make a good bread.

It has a little above 10% butter, which gives the bread a wonderful buttery, nutty aroma, and also helps soften the crumb further.

Sliced sourdough sandwich bread on a cutting board. Made with the recipe on this page.

A little bit of sugar has been added to give a sweeter taste, but also temper the tang in the starter. If you have a particularly acidic starter or you like your bread on the sweeter side, you can double this amount.

Part of the fluid in the has been replaced by milk. The softer of a crumb you want, the higher percentage of fat in the milk you can use. If you want to be extravagant you can go for half whipping cream, half whole milk.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
900gall-purpose flour100.0%
100gbutter11.1%
60gcane sugar6.7%
200gmilk22.2%
400gwater44.4%
20gsalt2.2%

If you want to change the formula for this bread, you can do it in my bread calculator here.

If you want to use a different pan size, you can calculate the dough weight needed here:

Width
Depth
Height

The conclusion of this sourdough sandwich bread recipe

While this is a bread made with a sourdough starter, it doesn’t seem like that at all.

The crust is really soft but very brown and caramelized with the most delicious buttery smell coming from it.

The crumb is soft and moist, with the slightest hint of a tang from the sourdough starter. Enough to give the bread a wonderful character.

Toasted piece of sourdough sandwich bread.

The bread has enough taste to be able to stand on its own if you want that, but not so much that it will overpower the ingredients you put on it.

Because of the relatively high hydration compared to other sandwich loaves, it stays wonderful and moist (if kept in a ziplock bag) for up to 5 days.

It’s a total no brainer. This should be your go to sandwich bread.

Please share this recipe for sourdough sandwich bread on social media

This is my recipe for sourdough sandwich bread. I hope you will try to make it, because it’s absolutely delicious.

If you bake it and post it to Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk, so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Ad links! The links in the recipe for ingredients or tools are affiliate links, which means that I get commission if you purchase the product!

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Course: Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine: All
Keyword: breakfast, lunch, pain de mie, sandwich bread
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Proofing: 8 hours 30 minutes
Total: 18 hours
Servings: 2 loaves
Calories: 2296kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 loaf)
Calories 2296 Calories from Fat 441
% Daily Value*
Fat 49g75%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 4297mg187%
Potassium 646mg18%
Carbohydrates 404g135%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 54g108%
Vitamin A 1412IU28%
Calcium 199mg20%
Iron 22mg122%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
A soft, fluffy and slightly tangy sandwich bread. Deeply caramelized soft crust and a wonderfully soft and delicious crumb.
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Ingredients

Levain

  • 30 g sourdough starter
  • 60 g all-purpose flour
  • 60 g water

Dough

  • 900 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 60 g cane sugar
  • 200 g milk
  • 400 g water
  • 20 g salt

Instructions

Make the levain – the night before

  • Mix 30g sourdough starter, 60g all-purpose flour and 60g water in a tall glass container.
  • Leave it to ferment overnight

Autolyse – morning

  • In the bowl of your standmixer, mix 900g all-purpose flour, 60g cane sugar and 20g salt with the paddle attachment until it's combined.
  • Add 400g of water and 200g of milk and mix until combined.
  • Cover with a damp dish towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is autolysing cube 100g of butter and leave it to come up to room temperature.

Mix dough

  • After the 30 minutes are up add the entire levain on the top of the dough and mix it in using a dough hook. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.
  • Then put in a couple of cubes of butter and mix them in.
  • Keep going until you have no more butter.
  • Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes

Bulk fermentation

  • Do 3 sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes.
  • At the end of the third set, do a windowpane test to check gluten development and add more sets as needed.
  • Then put the dough in a bulking container and let it sit until it's grown about 25-50%. About 2-4 hours.

Divide and preshape

  • Then grab the dough and put it on your unfloured kitchen counter.
  • Divide it into two equally sized pieces and shape each piece into a round using your bench scraper.

Final shape

  • Spray two molds with non-stick spray.
  • Lightly flour your counter and flip a round onto the flour.
  • Degas the dough and tease it out into a rectangle.
  • Pull the bottom of the dough out and fold it up about a third.
  • Then repeat from the left and the right side.
  • Roll the dough up tightly so that the seam ends up underneath the loaf.
  • Move the loaf to the tin and repeat with the other one.

Final rise

  • Then let the dough ferment somewhere warm until it's grown about 50-75%. In the pullman tin it should be about 1 inch/2.5 cm from the edge.
  • When you can see the dough is about ready heat your oven to 220°C/425°F.
  • If using an open pan, you should glaze the bread with an egg yolk mixed with one tablespoon of milk.

Bake the loaves

  • Add the bread to the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.
  • Then turn down the temperature to 190°C/375°F and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the bread registers 99°C/210°F on a probe thermometer.
  • Then take out of the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Video

Skriv et svar

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  1. Wayne Brinton Reply

    I made this bread and it turned out GREAT and have it on my list to make again. Thanks Wayne

  2. Donna Wilson Reply

    Hello!
    I’m making the sourdough sandwich bread and I’m running out of time, can I shaped the dough and put it in the tin and then put it in the refrigerator and bake the next day?

    Also, can I substitute a little whole wheat with the AP flour?

    Thanks for your help!

    Donna

    • Yes, you can always prolog proofing in a cold environment 🙂

      Also, whole wheat makes for a biter heartier but tasty loaf 🙂

  3. Donna Wilson Reply

    Hello again!
    Another question about the sourdough sandwich loaf. 😬
    The dough took forever to rise. I had it in a Brod and Taylor at 78 degrees for over 5 hours and finally had to bake it. The dough didn’t rise in the tin, but the crumb looked like yours and felt good. I only have a 9×5 loaf pan.

    What could I have done wrong. This is my first time making a sandwich loaf.

    Thank you so much for your help and I won’t give up! Also, I love your videos!

    Donna

  4. Joy Reply

    Hello, just wondering if you can make 2 loaves in “8 x 4 x 2 1/2” high? What would the quantity of ingredients be? I’m fairly new at the Sourdough baking, love it but find the crust quite tough for my teeth. Hoping you can help me. Thank you so much!

  5. Christine Reply

    I’ve made it successfully in one try. I had to leave the last proofing a lot longer than it is suggested. The dough did not double in size the first day; I put it in refrigerator overnight. The next day, the dough proofed in less than two hours. The texture and the taste came out great. Thank you so much for posting the method and the video.

    • Proofing is one of those things. There’s many factors that play in, but you did the right thing 🙂

  6. Gale Reply

    Hello Sune, would I need any changes if using all bread flour?

    • No, but depending on your flour it may become a bit more chewy. I’d say give it a go! 🙂

  7. Gale Reply

    Thanks for quick response, Sune. Will try it and let you know my results.
    Gale

  8. Gale Reply

    Hi Sune, well I am not having much luck with sourdough. Have been working on my starter 3 weeks and it never seems to double in 4-6 hours. I did make this recipe and let’s just say the loaves would make nice doorstops! ha ha
    I know the dough did not rise properly and not sure where I went wrong; will keep trying!