Made with enriched dough and a bubbly starter, this Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread has a thin crust and the perfect soft interior. A secret ingredient helps to tone down the natural tanginess of the sourdough, making this loaf a delicious choice for sandwiches.
This sandwich bread is one of my favorites when making sourdough French toast! If you’re looking for more sourdough breads that are perfect for French toast and sandwiches, you need to try my no-knead sourdough brioche.
Sourdough doesn’t need to be hard! If you’re having problems baking with it, I have the easiest sourdough artisan loaf for beginners.
🍞Why bake this sandwich bread
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! It took me a few tries, but I finally have the perfect sandwich bread fermented with only sourdough.
Below, you’ll find step-by-step photos and a video to make everything easy for you! So, if you’re looking for a sourdough sandwich bread that:
- Has an amazingly soft interior and a thin crust - just like my no-knead batter bread,
- Can be made in a day and without a stand mixer - like my parmesan sourdough bread;
- You can make less tangy with a simple ingredient everyone has in their kitchen!
I have your next favorite sourdough recipe! So get your starter ready, and come bake with me the best sandwich bread you’ll ever bake with wild yeast.
📃Ingredients and substitutions
Sourdough Starter. We’ll need an active starter for this recipe. We’re using 100g of it, so if you maintain a mini sourdough culture, make sure you have enough before starting this recipe.
This recipe is made with a 100% hydration starter. That means, a starter fed with equal amounts of water and flour.
Milk. Use whole, partially skimmed or skimmed milk. They all work for this recipe. For a vegan alternative, use almond, soy or oat milk.
Sugar. Use white granulated or caster sugar. You can substitute white sugar for brown sugar (dark or light) or honey.
Flour. This recipe can be made with either white bread flour or all-purpose flour, but for sandwich bread, I prefer using all-purpose flour.
If making with whole wheat flour, substitute no more than ⅓ of white flour for it.
Butter. We’re melting the butter for this recipe. Use unsalted butter. For a vegan alternative, use canola/coconut/olive oil or melted margarine.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and substitutions.
🍋Making it less sour
I won’t lie: my first try gave me a loaf that was too tangy for a sandwich bread. A sour taste is not exactly what I expect when having this type of bread, but I also didn’t want to add commercial yeast. So how could I make it a bit more sweeter and less tangy?
A pinch of baking soda was one of my solutions: it takes away the strong tangy sourdough taste, but leaves enough of it for the bread to taste just right.
I also use lukewarm milk, not adding any cold ingredient, to make the starter more active.
The amount of starter used is a bit more than what’s asked in the average sourdough recipe: using more starter will also speed the things a bit.
Lastly, I’m extra careful to always keep the dough in a warm spot. Have a proofing basket? Use it! A proofing function in the oven is also perfect for this recipe. If you don’t have any of the above, I recommend placing it in the oven with the oven light on.
🥄How to make it
This is an easy sourdough sandwich bread recipe: you don't even need a stand mixer for it to work!
We need an active sourdough starter for this recipe to work. I usually feed mine the night before, and start the dough first thing in the morning. I'll give my baking schedule as an example below.
Step 1. In a large bowl, mix lukewarm milk, melted butter and sourdough starter.
Step 2. Add all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and baking soda, mixing until dough is formed. It will be very sticky at the beginning.
Step 3. Let it rest covered for 30 minutes.
Step 4. Stretch and fold the dough over itself 4 times, letting it rest for 20 minutes, and then repeat stretch and fold 3 times more. This is how the dough is during the first stretch and fold.
Step 5. This is how the dough is after the last stretch and fold. After the last stretch and fold, dough will feel softer and be a lot easier to handle.
Step 6. Let it bulk rise. My dough usually doubles, or almost doubles in size, and it takes between 3 and a half to 5 hours. Always keep the dough covered, and in a warm spot.
Step 7. Lightly flour a clean counter or surface and open the dough in a rectangle with your hands or a rolling pin.
Step 8. Roll the dough over itself loosely. Don't make it thigh.
Step 9. And pinch it closed.
Step 10. In a 9x5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper, place shaped dough, pinched ends facing down.
Step 11. Cover to avoid skin formation. Let it rise until light and puffy: it usually takes from 1 and a half to 3 hours.
Step 12. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake loaf for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Now comes the hard part: after baking is done, place loaf in a cooling rack and wait an hour before slicing. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
Have a big family? Baking this loaf for a party? If you need to double or triple this recipe, just check that option on the ingredient's part of the recipe card.
This is an example of a schedule that works for me when baking this recipe.
If I’m baking on a Saturday:
- Friday night, around 10PM: feed sourdough starter.
- Saturday, 6AM: Make the dough.
- 6h40AM: Stretch and fold 1.
- 7h00AM: Stretch and fold 2.
- 7h20AM: Stretch and fold 3.
- 7h40AM: Stretch and fold 4. Bulk fermentation.
- 12h40AM: Shape dough. Second rise.
- 2h30PM: Preheat oven.
- 3PM: Bake.
- 3h45PM: Let it cool.
- 5PM: Ready to eat!
Always weigh your ingredients when baking bread. Adding more or less than what’s asked of an ingredient can mess the whole recipe up.
Want an example? Using volume (cups) for the sourdough starter, depending on how bubbly it is, can give you 60g of active starter instead of 100g. Using 60g of starter could double the time of fermentation!
Keep dough in a warm spot during fermentation. Use a proofing box, or let the dough rise in the oven with the oven light on. If your oven has a proofing funcion, use it.
Baking at a very high altitude? Pay extra attention to fermentation.
In higher altitudes, fermentation occurs faster, so it’s easier for the dough to overproof. If your dough looks proofed in less time than it “should”, don’t let it proof for longer: bake it. Bulk fermentation also take less time to happen.
When baking in high altitude, the baker can decrease the amount of starter. If doing that, for this recipe, instead of using 100g, use 70g.
🥲Bread splitting during baking
Though a bread that has split is as delicious as one that did not during baking, after so much sourdough work, everyone wants a beautiful loaf.
If you don't score sandwich bread, the risk of bursting during baking exists, but it can be prevented. If your sandwich loaves are splitting during baking, check if:
- You're shaping it too tight. When rolling the dough, do it gently and loosely, so it reduces the chances of the loaf to split while baking.
- Your loaf is underproofed. Underproofed loaves will mostly burst during baking, specially if the recipe has no scoring. Though you can score this loaf, sandwich bread usually are prettier when not scored.
- You didn't cover the dough after shaping. If you don't cover the dough after placing it in the baking loaf, it will most likely develop a “skin” on the top. That skin collaborates for splitting, so always keep this dough covered.
🙋🏻♀️Questions you might still have
If your dough is not rising, or taking too long to rise, it could be due to a weak sourdough starter, proofing it in a cold spot, or adding cold milk when making the dough. Also, be sure to never use hot ingredients: high temperatures before baking might kill the starter.
Dense loaves can be caused by under or overproofing. It can also be a result of an oven running at a higher or lower temperature. If you’re struggling with other recipes as well, check if your oven’s thermostat is right.
When ready, the crust will look golden brown, and when tapped, it will have a hollow sound. If using a thermometer, the internal temperature will be between 180-190ºF.
Storing and freezing
Store this sandwich bread away from sunlight. Do not refrigerate! Choose the best way to store sourdough bread for you. If stored correctly, it keeps from up to 1 week.
You can freeze this recipe. For freezing, do it after baking. Wait for the loaf to cool completely, then, using a freezer-safe plastic bag, store the whole bread, or individual slices. Frozen bread is good for about 3 months.
🍞Sourdough recipes you need to try
Looking for other recipes made with sourdough? Try these:
If you tried this Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- 1 Loaf Pan 9x5
- 100 g active sourdough starter
- 300 g milk lukewarm
- 60 g butter unsalted and melted
- 25 g granulated sugar
- 420 g all-purpose flour
- 7 g salt
- 1 g baking soda
Making the dough
- In a large bowl, mix lukewarm milk, melted butter and sourdough starter. Stir to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and baking soda, mixing until dough is formed. Dough will be very sticky at the beginning.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes, in a warm spot of your kitchen. You can also use a proofing box, or let it rest inside the oven with the oven's light on.
Stretch and fold
- Transfer dough to a clean bowl, and start with the stretch and folds. Stretch and fold the dough over itself 4 times, letting it rest for 20 minutes.
- Repeat stretch and fold 3 times more, always letting the dough rest for 20 minutes between each set.
- After the last set of stretch and fold, dough will feel softer and be a lot easier to handle. It also won’t be as sticky.
- Cover the dough, and let it bulk rise in a warm spot. My dough usually doubles, or almost doubles in size. For me, it usually takes between 3 and a half to 5 hours, depending on the weather, until bulk fermentation is finished.
- When done, dough will feel lighter and soft.
Shaping the dough
- Lightly flour a clean counter or surface and open the dough in a rectangle with your hands or a rolling pin. Do it gently, and don’t stress about deflating the dough: sandwich bread should not have big holes, so it’s ok to lose the big air bubbles.
- Roll the dough over itself loosely, and pinch it closed.
- In a 9x5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper, place shaped dough, pinched ends facing down. Cover lightly to avoid skin formation.
- Let it rise until light and puffy: it usually takes from 1 and a half to 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Bakeloaf for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top. When ready, the crust will look golden brown, and when tapped, it will have a hollow sound. If using a thermometer, the internal temperature will be between 180-190ºF.
- Remove from loaf pan, and let it cool in a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.