A simple and easy recipe for homemade sourdough sandwich bread. Made with all purpose flour and just a touch of butter. I like to make the dough at night so we can have fresh bread in the morning. This loaf freezes well (whole or sliced). I recommend this loaf pan.
For best results, please weigh your ingredients instead of using measuring cups.
Here’s why: weight and volume measurements are not equal, only approximate! This is especially important regarding the sourdough starter. If your starter is very bubbly, 1/4 cup might only weigh 30 g which is too little for this recipe (you need 50 g). The dough will take forever to rise! Same goes for the flour… 4 cups might end up weighing way over 500 g depending on how tight the flour was packed into the cup. You’ll end up with dry dough.
I used Whole Foods 365 Everyday all purpose flour for this recipe. King Arthur and Trader Joe’s ap flour will work as well. If using another brand with a lower protein content (i.e. Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Heckers) consider reducing the total water amount by 15 g.
- 500 g (4 cups) all purpose flour
- 60 g (4 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 12 g (1 tbsp.) sugar
- 9 g fine sea salt
- 50 g (1/4 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter (100% hydration)**
- 270 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) warm water
** If the weather is not warm enough, sometimes the second rise can take longer than expected. To speed up the rise, use an 8.5×4 inch loaf pan (instead of a 9×5 inch pan), increase the amount of starter and decrease the amount of water for best results. Please choose one of the following adjustments below, keeping the rest of the ingredient quantities the same:
- 100 g starter + 255 g water
- 150 g starter + 250 g water
Additionally, because temperature controls time you can also increase your surrounding temperature for the bulk or second rise, as needed. Place the dough in a proofing box set to 75-80 F. Or, preheat your home oven to 75-80 F and then shut it off immediately (use an oven thermometer to make sure it’s set to exactly 80 F and not higher!). Place the covered dough inside until it bulks up. Do no use this option overnight- it will be too warm.
Baking Schedule: this is an overnight dough which takes approximately 10-12 hrs to rise @ 68 F. Start the night before, in the evening, and plan to bake the following day. If it’s warmer than 68 F the dough will take less time to rise. Alternatively, start in the morning and bake in the afternoon or evening.
Mix the Dough
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, butter, sugar and salt. Mix on low speed until combined; the butter should look like crumbs.
Add the starter and warm water. Mix until the flour is fully absorbed (get in there with your hands to finish mixing). The dough will feel slightly sticky and elastic at this stage. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, replenish you starter with fresh flour and water.
After the dough has rested, switch to the dough hook and run the machine on medium-low (#3 on a KitchenAid) for 6-8 minutes. The dough will feel soft and supple and not stick to your hands. If it does, add a dusting of flour.
Note: If you do not have a stand mixer, the dough can be made by hand. After mixing and resting for 30 minutes, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth, soft and elastic. Do not worry about under/over kneading. Relax into the process and focus on the texture, not the time.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise overnight at room temperature (68 F) until double in size, about 10-12 hrs. Please refer to the Baking Schedule above for additional rise time options.
Shape the Dough
In the morning, coat an 8.5×4 inch loaf pan with butter.
Remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently flatten the surface to release any large air bubbles.
Roll the dough into a log tucking the ends underneath. Rest for 5-10 minutes. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you to tighten its shape. Using a bench knife, place the dough into the loaf pan seam side down.
Cover the dough with lightly oiled or buttered plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature until it has risen to about 1-inch above the rim of the pan (check the height by looking at the domed center portion of the dough). You are not looking for it to double in size. For timing, this can take anywhere from 1 1/2-2 hours (or more!) depending on temperature and the amount of sourdough starter used. Remember, the warmer it is, the faster the dough will rise. Refer to the “helpful tips” at the top of this post.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Note: For higher oven spring, preheat to 500 F instead. Reduce to 375 F once the dough goes into the oven and bake as directed.
Bake the Dough
Bake the dough on the center rack for about 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
This sandwich loaf will stay fresh for up to 3 days, stored in a plastic bag at room temperature.
Keywords: sandwich bread, all purpose flour, sourdough, sourdough bread, easy bread, artisan sourdough, artisan sourdough made simple, recipe