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.
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
|Total weight||1670 grams|
|Yield||2 x 835 grams loaves|
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.
|30g||starter (100% hydration)||50.0%|
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.
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Part of the fluid in the has been replaced by milk.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.
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:
The dough size calculated here is for one separate bread. If you want to make two as in the recipe below you need to scale it up by two.
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.
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
- 30 g sourdough starter
- 60 g all-purpose flour
- 60 g water
- 900 g all-purpose flour
- 100 g butter
- 60 g cane sugar
- 200 g milk
- 400 g water
- 20 g salt
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.