Homemade sourdough sandwich bread is easy to make. This recipe is simple and made from scratch with a homemade sourdough starter. This sliced bread is ideal for sandwiches and paninis. Step by step with video and expert tips included.
9x 4 x 4 sandwich loaf pan (total dough weight 962g) (71% Hydration)
90gLevain prepared 5 hours ahead or sourdough starter
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Levain - In a medium bowl, combine the sourdough starter, water, and flour. Stir well to combine. Cover and leave to rise for 3 to 5 hours at room temperature until double in size. Pro tip - You can make the levain for up to 5 days in advance and leave it in the fridge.
Autolyze - In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk, eggs, and sugar. Combine well. Add the flour and salt followed by the starter. Stir well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cover the bowl and leave to rest for 60 minutes.Pro tip - Autolyze will help strengthen the gluten formation on the dough. In the video, I combined the wet and dry ingredients separately, but you can do it all together in the stand mixer as well.
Knead - Next, knead the dough with a dough hook attachment on medium speed for 4 to 6 minutes. Then, add the soft room temperature butter and knead for another 4 to 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic.Pro tip - The dough will still be very soft, yet smooth, shiny, and very elastic when you do the windowpane test.
30 g Butter
Bulk ferment - Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Leave the dough to rise in the refrigerator (38°F / 3°C) for 6 to 8 hours.Pro tip - The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The highly enriched dough will rise very slowly.
Degas - When double is size, punch down and transfer to a clean work surface. Break any large air bubbles and shape the dough into a ball again. Pro tip - At this point, if you are not ready to shape and bake the dough you can put it back into the oiled bowl and let it rise again in the fridge for another 6 to 8 hours.
Divide - Roll the dough into a cylinder and divide the dough into 4 portions. Alternatively, you can also roll the dough into one large log to make classic sandwich bread. Pro tip - Weigh the 4 portions to ensure they are similar in size. Mine was about 215 to 240 grams each. These will rise about an inch over the rim of the pan.
Shape - Roll each portion into a tight roll. To do this correctly, flatten the dough on an unfloured surface. Then, fold the top and two sides in. Then, roll towards you into a sausage shape. Place the pieces into a buttered sandwich loaf pan seam side down. (loaf pan size in the ingredients)Pro tip - For a single large loaf, do a similar method, flatten, fold both sides into the center then roll from the top to the bottom.
Prove - Cover with a clean kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place proof for about 2 to 3 hours or until almost double in size.Pro tip - Spray the plastic wrap with oil to prevent it from sticking to the rolls. In summer, the dough may rise in 90 minutes while in winter it can take up to 3 hours.
Preheat oven - Preheat the oven at 375°F / 190°C / Gas mark 5 for at least 20 minutes.
Egg wash - Brush the loaf with egg wash, milk, or cream.Pro tip - Egg wash is a full egg with 2 tablespoon of water. An egg wash will give a nice golden color. If you can't use egg, milk or cream will work just as well. Do not use oil or butter as it will create a crust.
Bake - Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until lightly golden on top. Pro tip - If the top of the sandwich bread is getting too dark, tent it with aluminum foil.
Cool - Take it out of the pan, and brush it with melted butter. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert on a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting. Pro tip - Do not leave the bread in the pan for too long as the steam will make the bread soggy on the bottom.
I have given two popular loaf pan measurements (9-inch and 8-inch) so you don't have to recalculate your pan dough.
To get the best outcome from bread recipes it is best to weigh the ingredients rather than use cup measurements.
The timeline for bulk fermentation and proofing is quite large 8 to 16 hours from counter to refrigerator. This means you can start the process 24 hours ahead and not be overwhelmed with the process.
The timeline is a guide to use and can be adjusted to your own convenience.
Use a kitchen scale when baking with sourdough because that will give you an accurate measure.
This dough with 53% hydration with a 100% hydration starter. This means I use an equal amount of dough, water, and starter to make my levain.
The dough is not very loose but it is quite stretchy. If you are new to sourdough, take your time and work slowly. In winter it helps to work with chilled dough.
For the best rise, make sure to preheat your home oven for no less than 10 minutes before baking.
Cool the bread on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. This will prevent the bread from drying out.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you