Sourdough Sandwich Bread



After years of sourdough artisan style boules, something was missing in my bread repertoire. I worked on this recipe to create the perfect, soft, slightly sweet sourdough sandwich bread. It’s become a staple in our home. If you have a starter and a stand mixer, this recipe is very easy to incorporate into your kitchen routine.

Tools
Stand mixer and dough hook (optional)
12-14″ loaf pan, ideally Pullman loaf pan
Plastic wrap
Scoring lame or sharp knife
Cooling rack

Recipe
Yields one 13″ loaf

Ingredients

Levain
160g all purpose flour
160g 90-95F water
80g starter

Bread
440g all purpose flour
110g whole wheat flour
250g 90-95F milk
50g unsalted butter, melted
45g honey
12g salt
Levain

Additional
Olive oil or butter for greasing
1 egg white for wash
2 TBS seeds (I like sesame or poppy)

Day 1
Mix together levain ingredients in a bowl before you go to bed. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a non-drafty spot for ~8-12 hours. Levain should double in size and be very active with many bubbles.

Active levain ready to be mixed

Day 2

Autolyse
In the morning, mix together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and milk in the bowl of your stand mixer (if using) until just combined. Let stand for 20-30 min.

Mix
Next, add the remaining ingredients, adding all of the levain. Using your dough hook, mix at a low speed for 10 min, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice to evenly distribute ingredients.

If making by hand, knead for ~10-15 min, adding only small amounts of flour to prevent sticking to your board. The dough should be smooth and only slightly tacky.

Dough at the right consistency

Bulk Ferment
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 6-8 hours.

Shape
Gently place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten dough into a rectangle and shape into a loaf the size of your pan.

Proof
Transfer shaped dough to your lightly oiled loaf pan. Grease the middle of a piece of plastic wrap with olive oil or melted butter (you can reuse the same piece you used to cover your bowl). Cover your loaf pan with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until dough reaches the top of the pan and starts to push against the plastic wrap, 2-3 hours.

Bake
Preheat your oven to 475F.

Separate egg white from yolk in a small bowl. Save yolk for another recipe. Whisk white and a pinch of salt with a fork.

Brush egg white onto your loaf.

Score loaf down the middle ~1/4-1/2″ deep.

Sprinkle with seeds.

Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 10 min.

Turn heat down to 375F and bake for an additional 30 min.

The loaf should have risen an inch or so above the top of the pan and have a nice golden brown crust. If you are unsure, stick a meat/candy thermometer into the center of loaf. Bread is done at ~190F.

Carefully take out of oven and gently slide loaf out of pan onto cooling rack. I slide it on its side and quickly set upright while wearing my oven mittens. If it feels stuck, gently glide a butter knife around the perimeter of loaf pan,

Let cool for at least an hour before slicing.

Will stay good for ~1 week stored in a plastic bag at room temperature out of direct sunlight.


Note on baking schedule
This schedule assumes you’ll bake in the evening on the second day. Here’s an alternative schedule:

Day 1
Mix levain in the morning.
Autolyse and bulk ferment in the afternoon.
Proof overnight in fridge.

Day 2
Finish proof at room temperature in the morning.
Bake.

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