Sourdough Sandwich Bread


Today I’m sharing our favorite recipe for sourdough sandwich bread, because as much as we love our Crusty Artisan Sourdough Boules, it may not be what you reach for to serve your kids a PB&J! Each week, I find myself alternating between Crusty Artisan Bread and this bread recipe – and sometimes this soft, lightly sweet bread just HITS the spot. This is also the base recipe that I use for any soft sourdough breads without the crusty, crunchy exterior (sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is an example). 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE – ARTISAN BREAD VS. SANDWICH BREAD?

The simple answer is that when we refer to “sandwich bread”, people are usually talking about a bread that is a little bit richer and denser in texture. Where crusty artisan sourdough bread uses ONLY flour, water, salt and sourdough starter, sandwich bread (also known as brioche bread, cake bread, etc.) has butter and sugar in it, and sometimes milk too (but not mine!). These are the secret ingredients to making the bread taste just a little bit richer and heavier, and perfect for pairing with any sandwich type. 

The other difference, aside from ingredients, is that this bread is baked at a lower temperature than crusty artisan bread, which makes it soft from top to bottom and removes the crusty exterior/soft interior texture that makes up Crusty Artisan Bread. This makes it a little easier to slice, less crunchy on top, etc. 

WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL I NEED? 

  • Medium sized mixing bowl (preferably glass)
  • Wooden mixing spoon or electric mixer 
  • Parchment paper & cooking spray 
  • Bread loaf pan 

You’ll also need to have an active sourdough starter, so you’ll want to feed your starter 4-8 hours before you plan to make this bread. If you’d like more information about how to create your own sourdough starter from scratch, I have detailed instructions and a recipe available here!

Prep Time30 minutes (+ 8 hrs 30 minutes rise time)
Cook Time35-40 minutes
Total Time10 hrs

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 3 ½ cups flour (I used 20% whole wheat, 80% all purpose flour) 
  • 1 cup of fed & active sourdough starter 
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F) 
  • 1 Tsp salt 
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened 

INSTRUCTIONS:  

  1. Mix together all ingredients until the dough just comes together and there are no more flour pockets. Don’t worry if the butter hasn’t completely melted into the dough, this is normal! The dough should be sticky. 
  2. Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  3. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, stretch and fold the dough 8-10 times. The dough should begin to have good structure to it, but still feel soft to the touch. If the dough is too sticky, feel free to sprinkle more flour on top until it is just manageable, or you can wet your hands before handling! 
  4. Spray a glass bowl with cooking spray, and place the shaped dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap or another airtight cover, and allow the dough to rise and ferment in a warm location for 8 hrs. 
  5. When the dough has risen to 1 ½ or double its original size, pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and do another series of 5-6 stretch and folds. The dough, once again, should regain structure. 
  6. Spray a piece of parchment paper and place it into a bread loaf pan. Shape the dough and place it onto the sprayed parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  7. Allow the dough to sit in a warm place for another 30 minutes, then bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees F. 

*Note: You can score this bread if you wish, or allow it to naturally rise in the oven. If you do not score the bread, as with Crusty Artisan Bread, the bread will choose its own location to rise and may not be even. The bread will rise just fine with or without scoring, so this decision is really up to you! 

I hope you thoroughly enjoy this recipe! If you loved it, or did a fancy variation using this recipe (such as cinnamon swirl bread, pesto & cheese swirl bread, or anything else) please let me know in the comments below! We love to hear from you. 🙂 

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