Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread: A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

sliced bread on board

This sourdough sandwich bread is very soft and works perfectly for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or really any sandwich. Maybe you have already made artisan sourdough bread and you noticed that it is just a little harder to make a sandwich with unless it’s grilled. You are probably here because you need a soft sandwich bread, and you are in just the right place. This Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread: A Recipe from the Farm is just what you need for a delicious sandwich or an easier option to artisan sourdough bread.  It also doesn’t require a Dutch oven!

This would make a great first recipe if you are just starting sourdough. The soft dough is so easy to work with that you will love kneading and shaping this dough. It has 7 ingredients and easy steps to follow to reach a delicious end result. I also like this Sourdough Potato Bread recipe for sandwiches, but it is a little bit more involved of a loaf. Let’s dig right in and learn how to make sourdough sandwich bread!

If you are looking for a whole wheat flour sourdough sandwich bread stay tuned. That recipe is coming soon! This recipe is for the signature white loaf.

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top of loaf not cut

The Ingredients for Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Active Sourdough Starter

You want active sourdough starter for this recipe. When it has doubled in size and is very bubbly throughout you are ready to start mixing up your bread.

I usually feed my starter at roughly a 1:3:3 ratio by weight. You can read more about that in my post about maintaining a sourdough starter. You can also check out Learning Sourdough with Agnes if you need to start your very own sourdough starter. It takes some time but is so worth it!

Water

Like most if not all sourdough recipes you want the water to be distilled or filtered. Basically, you don’t want any chlorine in the water so make sure to avoid tap water. I usually use room temperature distilled water for my sourdough recipes, with this recipe being no exception.

Whole Milk

Here is an ingredient in this recipe that provides such a softness and wonderful texture to the bread. I haven’t tried anything other than whole milk, but I would think 2% would work too.

It’s okay if the milk is cold. If you want it to rise quicker you could heat the milk to 80ish degrees.

Brown Sugar

The brown sugar adds a little sweetness and also encourages the rise on this sandwich bread. You could use granulated sugar or honey too if you prefer. If you would rather make it without the added sugar, you can do that too!

All Purpose Flour

Make sure to choose a good all-purpose flour.

Kosher Salt

My go to salt with most recipes I make is Kosher salt. This recipe is no different.

Butter

Just a little bit of butter to aid in the softness and flavor. There is just 15g or 1 T of butter in this recipe. You just melt it and add it in with the milk and water.

side of bread

A Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe Timeline:

This is the timeline I use but be sure to tweak it to fit your schedule. Sourdough is pretty versatile you just have to plan it out!

My Sourdough Sandwich Bread Schedule:

  • 10-11 am feed Agnes my sourdough starter
  • 5-7 pm mix up bread dough and let rise in a warm spot covered with a damp tea towel
  • 8-10 pm Shape bread dough
  • Rise and Ferment Overnight on Counter covered with a damp tea towel or greased plastic wrap.

The Next Morning:

  • 7-8 am preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • 8 am Bake!
  • 8:40 am Remove from oven and pan to a cooling rack and butter the top.

Mixing the Sourdough Sandwich Bread Together:

This is a really simple bread to mix together. The starter, water, milk, sugar, and melted butter are first. You mix those together, then add the flour and mix to the point of a shaggy dough. You then autolyze or let your dough rest for 20 minutes and add the salt and knead. Your bread is now mixed up and ready for its first rise.

Ways to enjoy it:

One of the reasons I love sourdough sandwich bread is that it is soft enough for just that, sandwiches. While the traditional sourdough artisan loaf works for some sandwiches it can be too substantial for others. This is where the sandwich loaf comes in.

  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Traditional Grilled Cheese – I like artisan bread for grilled cheese too
  • Deli Sandwich
  • Toast
  • Or even just a cheese sandwich (it really is better than it sounds)
  • French Toast
  • A sandwich for your Farmer

Storing your Sandwich Bread:

There are different ways to store this bread and for different reasons. If you plan to use the whole loaf in 3-4 days then simply slice a piece of bread off the loaf as needed. Slicing as you need helps prevent it from getting dry.

Store your bread in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag.

How to Freeze your Sandwich Bread:

You can do this two ways:

  1. Slice up the loaf and freeze in a freezer bag. This makes it easy to just take out the slices as needed.
  2. You can also just put the whole loaf in a bag and freeze that way. Make sure when you take the loaf out that you let it defrost completely before opening the bag. I try to do this, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I just need the bread, so I defrost it.
fully sliced loaf

Tips for The Bread Rising:

The temperature of your house can make a huge difference here. If you keep your house on the warmer side 71-74 degrees, it will take less time to rise but if you keep it cooler it will take longer.

If my house is cool with low humidity, I like to place the loaf in a warm place such as my oven with the light on to help it rise quicker. With this method the first rise takes about 3-4 hours and then I shape it and place it on my counter in a 67-degree house overnight.

You can tweak these times to fit your schedule and kitchen temperature.

Tips for Knowing When the Bread is Ready to Bake:

  1. Slightly poke the dough and if the dough springs back slowly it is ready to bake.
    1. If it springs back fast it is under proofed.
    1. If it doesn’t spring back at all it may be over proofed. Bake as soon as possible.
  2. The dough is puffy, soft, and at least an inch risen over the rim of the pan.

Price Comparison 2/20/2024

A loaf of store-bought bread

  • Brownberry OatNut Bread: $4.24/ loaf

A loaf of this sourdough bread: (cost of ingredients)

  • $0.86/ per loaf

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pin image for sourdough sandwich bread

Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread: A Recipe from the Farm

  • 175g Active Sourdough Starter
  • 100g water NON chlorinated
  • 175g whole milk
  • 10g brown sugar
  • 15g butter, melted
  • 475g all-purpose flour
  • 6g kosher salt

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer weigh out your ingredients using a kitchen scale.
  • First, weigh out your sourdough starter, water, milk, brown sugar, and melted butter and mix this until combined and the starter is well distributed.
  • Next, in the same bowl add the flour. Mix this by hand, Danish dough hook or with the dough hook attachment on low speed, until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Let rest (autolyze) for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes add the salt and knead for 8 minutes. Scraping the sides of the bowl as needed to get it all incorporated.
  • Transfer to a large bowl that has been greased and cover with a wet tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise for around 3-5 hours at room temperature (71-74 degrees) for its first proof. You want the dough to start to rise and be puffy. It doesn’t need to be all the way doubled.
  • Once your dough has risen some, take and shape the loaf and place seam side down in a greased bread pan. You can grease your loaf pan with either canola oil, olive oil, (any of your favorite oils should work) or butter.

Shaping a bread loaf:

  • To shape the loaf, remove from the bowl and gently flatten into a rectangle on a clean work surface. (No lightly floured surface needed.)
  • Then take one of the long sides and fold into the center of the rectangle. Take the opposite side and fold on top of that.
  • Starting at one of the short ends, fold over each of the ends. Take and pull the dough toward you to create some tension on the top of the loaf. Don’t pull too much because you don’t want the bread dough to tear.
  • When the bread loaf is shaped and placed in a greased loaf pan you will cover it with a wet tea towel and place it on the counter for the second rise. Let it set overnight or for 8-10 hours. This is the bulk fermentation.  (This part will depend on the warmth of your kitchen mine is ready to bake at 8-10 hours in a 67 degree house. Adjust the time depending on your kitchen temperature.

The Next Day/Bake Day

  • When your bread is risen to about 1 inch above the rim of the pan it is ready to bake. First thing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove your loaf from the oven and pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Soft Crust:

For a softer crust, butter the top of the bread while it is still warm. You can easily do this by taking a small amount of butter and rubbing it over the top of your loaf.

Baking tip:

If your house is cool like mine, 69 degrees in the winter, you can take and place your loaf in the oven with the light on. This will help the dough rise faster.  

Makes 1 loaf of bread.

Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread: A Recipe from the Farm

A soft and flavorful sourdough sandwich bread. Perfect for that PB & J or any sandwich really.
Print Recipe
top view of sliced bread

Ingredients

  • 175 g Active Sourdough Starter
  • 100 g water NON chlorinated
  • 175 g whole milk
  • 10 g brown sugar
  • 15 g butter melted
  • 475 g all-purpose flour
  • 6 g kosher salt

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer weigh out your ingredients using a kitchen scale.
  • First, weigh out your sourdough starter, water, milk, brown sugar, and melted butter and mix this until combined and the starter is well distributed.
    Dry ingredients and salt in bowls
  • Next, in the same bowl add the flour. Mix this by hand, Danish dough hook or with the dough hook attachment on low speed, until a shaggy dough forms.
    Shaggy dough in bowl
  • Let rest (autolyze) for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes add the salt and knead for 8 minutes. Scraping the sides of the bowl as needed to get it all incorporated.
  • Transfer to a large bowl that has been greased and cover with a wet tea towel or plastic wrap.
    kneaded dough ready to rise
  • Let rise for around 3-5 hours at room temperature (71-74 degrees) for its first proof. You want the dough to start to rise and be puffy. It doesn’t need to be all the way doubled.
    1st proof complete and ready to shape
  • Once your dough has risen some, take and shape the loaf and place seam side down in a greased bread pan. You can grease your loaf pan with either canola oil, olive oil, (any of your favorite oils should work) or butter.

Shaping a Bread Loaf:

  • To shape the loaf, remove from the bowl and gently flatten into a rectangle on a clean work surface. (No lightly floured surface needed.)
    shaping sandwich bread step 1
  • Then take one of the long sides and fold into the center of the rectangle. Take the opposite side and fold on top of that.
    shaping sandwich bread step 2
  • Starting at one of the short ends, fold over each of the ends. Take and pull the dough toward you to create some tension on the top of the loaf. Don’t pull too much because you don’t want the bread dough to tear.
    shaping sandwich bread stage 3
  • When the bread loaf is shaped and placed in a greased loaf pan you will cover it with a wet tea towel and place it on the counter for the second rise. Let it set overnight or for 8-10 hours. This is the bulk fermentation.  (This part will depend on the warmth of your kitchen mine is ready to bake at 8-10 hours in a 67 degree house. Adjust the time depending on your kitchen temperature.
    shaping sandwich bread last step

The Next Day/Bake Day

  • When your bread is risen to about 1 inch above the rim of the pan it is ready to bake. First thing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.
    all proofed and ready to bake
  • Remove your loaf from the oven and pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Butter the top for a soft crust.
    freshly baked with butter on top

Notes

Soft Crust:

For a softer crust, butter the top of the bread while it is still warm. You can easily do this by taking a small amount of butter and rubbing it over the top of your loaf.

Baking tip:

If your house is cool like mine, 69 degrees in the winter, you can take and place your loaf in the oven with the light on. This will help the dough rise faster.  
Servings: 18 slices

I hope you love this recipe and can use it to feed your family and friends well. I love slicing it up and having some stashed away in the freezer for when I need it. It will also come in handy this planting season when tractor lunches are common, and sandwiches are made often!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or thoughts on the recipe! Thanks for stopping by!

Sincerely,

Mariah | TheFarmChicken

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FAQ:

It says this recipe makes 1 loaf. Can I double it?

Yes, you can easily double this recipe and make 2 loaves!

Why is my sourdough sandwich bread dry?

Did you add extra flour? If you add too much flour to the dough it will be dry. The dough might be a little sticky but try to avoid adding any flour you shouldn’t even need any for the counter when shaping your loaves.
It may also be because you overbaked it.

Can you cold proof sourdough sandwich bread?

I have not personally had good luck with this. You may be able to right after shaping but make sure to bring the dough to a warm temperature and let it rise to an inch above the pan rim before baking it!

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Psalms 24:10
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