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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 weight1830 grams
Prefermented flour7.7%
Hydration69.2%
Yield2 x 915 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:

beenhere

Note

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.


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!

  9. Anton Reply

    I have made this bread 3 times and it’s always a success! I don’t own a kitchen aid so I instead use a wooden spoon and a strong will. Whole wheat flower requires a bit more water I found. Also, the last fold before the run cast really decide wether the dough Will ride or not so make sure to practice.
    Tack så mycket för detta grymma recept! 😉

    • Impressive that you do it with a spoon. How much whole wheat did you use 🙂

  10. Nonna Reply

    Lord have mercy! 😍 Absolutely amazing. I opted to do it with whole wheat flour. 1 loaf only, so I cut the measurements to half ( Exactly as yours.) Left it overnight inside microwave with night light on high.
    (From 8pm till 7:30 am). Because I know my oven very well, I baked it at 375°F for 35 minutes lower rack, then transferred it to middle rack for 10 mts.
    Thank you! #ILoveSourdough!

  11. Martha Reply

    Can I use olive oil and oat milk instead of milk and butter?

  12. Phyllis Van Hagen Reply

    Sourdough baking teaches important life lessons like patience, flexibility, and belief in one’s own intuition. This recipe is outstanding and the video and instructions are extremely helpful. During the pandemic, AP flour is becoming scarce in supermarkets so I used a King Arthur flour labelled “white whole wheat.” The bulk fermentation was taking too long so I let it finish in the refrigerator overnight. It rose beautifully. The final proof took slightly longer because the dough was still cold but rise it did. My only failing was I did not tent the loaves toward the end of the bake and they got a little too dark but I forgave myself when I tasted the first slice – a soft crumb and what a sandwich I had! Thanks so much.

    • Thank you so much and great to know it also works with white wheat. It makes for a little bit of a more healthy loaf, while not skimping of the softness 🙂

  13. Acomedyoferrors Reply

    Please advise… So I heard this was a good recipe onand came here to try it. I was only looking to make one loaf so I figured I would cut the recipe in half. I’ve made bread many times, but am new to sourdough. I did everything perfectly until it came time to add the starter (I had a lot so I figured I’d go with the 150g starter option). I forgot to do half… I panicked after this and added the other half of all the other ingredients to try and save things. My scale had the battery die while doing the water weight so I had to guess if I was close enough. I have another scale but no way to figure out measurements from this point. Everything else was done and I was adding water and salt last. It’s all mixed but looks very wet, like a batter. Is this what they consistency should be or did I really mess things up? Please help haha. Thank you!

    • If you have a look at the video you can see what kind of consistency to go for. It’s tacky but not sticky. Not wet at all.

  14. Mike Reply

    Hi!

    This recipe was great! One thing I might point out- when entering the dimensions for the size bread pan I have, it gave me the ingredient amounts for one loaf, not 2 like your total recipe is for.

    I was actually dividing that dough in half and realized it was far too small to fit in 2 pans. I checked my hunch by entering in the dimensions of a pullman loaf pan and it gave me the weight you used for each loaf after divided.

    It makes sense to only give the ingredients amount for 1 pan, but you might want to note that so people aren’t dividing their dough when they shouldn’t be by using the pan dimensions calculator.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Thanks. I added a not near the calculator so people know what they are getting 🙂

  15. Michael oneill Reply

    My bread was very dense, any ideas what went wrong? I will try again tomorrow.

    • Did you let it rise before shaping and did it rise after being put into the tin? 🙂

  16. Sarah White Reply

    Can I replace the milk with extra water? If so, how much? I am using a 13x4x4 covered pan. Thank you for all the tutorials.

    • Yes you can. Just the same amount of water as milk 🙂

  17. Erica Reply

    Thank you so much for making this recipe available online English. I feel so fortunate to have come across this recipe as the bread is delicious- it’s so good that it’s hard to believe I actually made it! I really appreciate the precise instructions and measurements. If I were to make this with 1/2 whole wheat bread what sort of adjustments would I need to make to the other ingredients? I assume that it would require more liquid.

    • If you want to do this bread with whole wheat, I’d do it in stages. Try it out with 25% whole wheat first. The only thing you may want to change is the hydration so you get a consistency of the dough that is comparable to the one with ap-flour 🙂

  18. Cindy Reply

    Followed the recipe to the “T” did not rise and dough was too loose(sticky). Don’t think I will waste my flour on this recipe again.

    • All flour is different, so following any sourdough recipe will require some adaptation on your part. My all-purpose flour has about 10.5% protein, if yours had a much lower amount you will need watch the gluten development closely or maybe add some Vital Wheat Gluten to get to a higher amount of protein 🙂

  19. Nitika Reply

    Hi.. I plan to do stretch and fold today, then shape it and put it in loaf pans for the night in the refrigerator ( I live on the equator). Tomorrow, when I bake it, shall I bake directly from fridge ( like I do with my usual sourdough boule) or let it rise till over the height of pan? Thank you for a quick response please.

  20. Mike Reply

    I have tried this recipe 3 times now and it isn’t working for me. My final bread is dense still good but dense almost like a sweet bread. It rises both times and it domes in the oven. But neither pan has risen to the top no matter how Long I Let them rise.

    The only difference I make from the recipe is that I don’t own a mixer so I use my hands, would that be the issue?

    • It is really hard work to mix in the butter and if it doesn’t get properly distributed it can affect the rise. Otherwise it could be the lack of gluten development. How does the dough feel after you’ve finished the stretch and folds?

      How much do you let it rise during bulk?

  21. Mike Reply

    i Stretched and folded 3 times and you could feel it getting stiffer after each time.

    I let it bulk rise for 3 hours and it rose just over double

  22. Amy Reply

    Can I use bread flour instead of all purpose?

    • Yes, the crumb may not be as soft, but it will be fine 🙂

  23. Rohini Reply

    Thank you for the recipe. I haven’t used a bread calculator before. I want to half the qty so I can make only one loaf. Do I just half all the ingredients including those for the levain? TiA

  24. Hannah Reply

    I’ve tried this recipe twice! Both times it didn’t rise and there was no crumb. What could’ve gone wrong?

    • How active is your starter? Meaning how high does it rise after you feed it?

  25. Josip Reply

    Hello Sune!
    I have a question about the levain. Recipe says that levain has to be prepared 12h befor mixing into dough. My levain is peak after 5-6h after that it starts to drop. Do I need to feed it again and wait for the peak again and then mix into the dough?
    Best regards,
    Josip

    • No, it’s still good. It just has to have peaked in the last 12 hours 🙂

  26. TJ Reply

    couple questions
    1. Salted or unsalted butter?
    2. My first attempt was a bit dense… I got ok rise the first prove, but the 2nd one I let rise for 2 hours, then into the fridge overnight. Still a bit dense… but edible. I used recipe calculator for an 8.5×4.5×3 pan but that only called for 60g starter, can I use 100g to maybe get more rise?

    Thanks

      1. I always use salted, but I understand that Danish salted butter may not be as salty as, say, US salted.
      2. Sure. Just recalculate the hydration and weight and you’re good to go. Alternatively, just wait a bit longer than 2 hours 🙂
  27. Tom Sathre Reply

    I’m going to try this bread next week. My Pullman pan is 13x4x4. How can I adjust the recipe to fit my pan?

  28. Carling Reply

    This bread was perfect! Easy to follow recipe. I baked a bit less but the bread was still nice and dark on the crust and the right temp inside.

  29. Zack Reply

    Hi Sune and thank you for all your extremely helpful instructions and tools! Recently I made my own lard and I was wondering if I could substitute butter with this without changing the dough consistency. What do you think?
    Thanks for your help!

    • You can use whatever fat you like. Lard, butter, oil or any vegan option 🙂

  30. RJ Reply

    Oh my! I made this with some kind of big adjustments to suit my taste, and it was SOOO good. Changes I made: I used a tangzhong and increased the hydration a bit, and used some whole wheat, some coarse-ish oat flour, and a proportion of bread flour (figuring those flours would be thirstier anyway), and used coconut oil instead of butter, also barely melting it rather than beating in cubes. I fermented in the fridge overnight and baked it right on the pizza stone. I was sort of going for something in between a hearty multigrain sourdough loaf and a soft and tender sandwich loaf. And that’s what I got! One of the yummiest things I’ve ever made, I think! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe.

  31. Daniele Panizzolo Reply

    Hi. I would like to add some CIA seeds to mia loaf.
    Do you have any recommendations?
    Do I need to change any of my proportions of flour/water?
    Thanks

    • Chia seeds are a bit difficult, because as they become wet they become sticky.

      I’d try with 100g at first and see how it goes. Keep hydration the same.

  32. Meghan Reply

    Hello! I’m looking forward to making this bread, but I had a question about the sugar. Does it add very much sweetness to the bread? I prefer my sourdough to be on the tangy, sharp side, but I don’t have any bread flour or wheat flour with which to make the more traditional sourdough bread.

    • Then leave out the sugar. The sugar does speed fermentation up a bit, but nothing crazy, so you can just drop it 🙂

  33. Zack Reply

    Should this be salted or unsalted butter? Thanks!

  34. Hello Sune – I don’t have a pullman loaf pan so I used two 9×5″ loaf pans. They just came out of the oven and smell rather intoxicating 🙂 Can’t wait to cut into them and have a taste. Thanks so much, Sune, for this recipe and all your videos and blog posts!

  35. Jason Reply

    Hello! Does it matter if my levain is back to it’s original height? It doubled overnight and I missed it. Thank you!

    • It’s okay as long as it’s about 12 hours since it peaked 🙂

  36. Lisa Reply

    Love this user-friendly website! I made this twice now. The first time, I substituted coconut oil for butter, as I was out of butter. It did not rise; I realized that coconut oil is antibacterial and must have killed the microbes! It had good oven spring though, and made a mini, domed loaf that still tasted good. Today I made another loaf using butter, and it turned out perfectly. So there you have it: don’t use coconut oil in sourdough!

    • That’s a good tip 🙂

      I love butter too much to substitute it, so I’ve never tried 🙂

  37. Mike Reply

    I have not tried this recipe yet and I wanted to check something with you before I do. I have plain flour (10g protein content) not AP flour. Can I use this or do I need to add some bread flour, say 50%, to up the protein content?

  38. Diane Lim Reply

    Hi! I want to follow this recipe but I don’t have cane sugar. Is it okay to use brown sugar instead? Thanks!

    • Yes, you can use any kind of sugar you like. I just happen to like cane sugar more than the others 🙂