12 January 2017

Sourdough Sandwich Bread - Two Loaves

Sourdough Sandwich Bread - Two Loaves / www.delightfulrepast.com

This sourdough sandwich bread is a classic wild yeast sourdough bread, meaning it is made without the addition of commercial yeast. While I love the gorgeous crusty round loaves of sourdough artisan bread baked free-form, for mornings we need a loaf that will make tidy slices that are a perfect fit for the toaster.

And this bread makes the best grilled sandwiches ever!


It takes longer to read about it than it takes to make it! Less than a minute for first starter feed, less than a minute for second starter feed, a couple minutes to stir up the dough, a couple minutes to shape the loaves. The rest of the time, it's doing *its* thing while you're doing *your* thing!

You could use 9x5x3-inch loaf pans, 23x13x7cm, but I use this equivalent 9x4x4-inch pullman loaf pan (without its lid). Until this month I had just one of them. But it was getting to be a bit much baking a single loaf every three days, so I got a second pan. Just freeze one loaf until the first is gone.

Sourdough Sandwich Bread in Pan / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you don't already have a sourdough starter, here's How to Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. No need to buy a sourdough starter! It's really simple. All it takes is unbleached all-purpose flour (preferably organic), filtered or bottled water (not distilled or chlorinated tap) and lots of patience. But your patience will pay off.

You wind up with something that will last forever, yes, forever. And you'll never have to buy yeast again. (Actually, I still use yeast for other things, though you can use sourdough starter for everything.)

If you don't have a digital kitchen scale, do get one. It will greatly simplify your baking life, especially for bread, especially if you are new to bread baking and so don't yet have a "feel" for how much flour the dough needs. You are less likely to add too much flour to the dough when you weigh rather than measure. 

Sourdough Sandwich Bread - Two Loaves - Wild Yeast Only / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Sourdough Sandwich Bread 


(Makes two 2-pound loaves) 

The Fed Starter

4 tablespoons starter
2 cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cups water (12 fluid ounces/355 ml), divided

The Dough

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml) water
1 tablespoon salt
6 dip-and-sweep cups (30 ounces/850 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour 


Note: These directions have you giving the starter the first of two feedings the night before the day you plan to bake the loaves.

1 Feed up your starter to 3 cups: Take 4 tablespoons starter out of refrigerated storage container. Put it in a 4-cup glass measure. Stir in 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) water. Stir vigorously, put 2 tablespoons of it in your jar of stored starter, cover loosely and let stand at room temperature overnight, about 8 hours. Leave storage jar at room temperature as well. 

Note: My starter storage jar is just a half-pint canning jar, and it's not even full. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no need to keep huge quantities of starter.

2 In the morning (about 5:00 a.m. for me), stir down the starter and add 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) water. Stir vigorously, put 2 tablespoons of it in your jar of stored starter, cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until the starter is ready to use (in this case, 3 hours). This varies due to many factors, including the maturity of your starter; so give it the float test about every hour to see if it is ready to use. Leave storage jar at room temperature as well.

Float Test: Drop a teaspoon of starter into a glass of water. If it floats, the starter is ready to go. If it sinks, check again every hour. After a few times, you will see a pattern emerge and be able to plan your day accordingly.


Sourdough Sandwich Bread - Two Loaves - starter fed and ready / www.delightfulrepast.com


3 Weigh your flour in a 2-quart bowl. Stir down fed starter and put all but about 2 tablespoons of it into a 4.5-quart mixing bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of starter to your storage jar, stir vigorously and refrigerate. With a dough whisk or large spoon, stir in water, salt and flour (holding back 1/2 cup of flour until the end, as it may not be needed if your measured flour wasn't precisely 30 ounces or the humidity level is different, etc). Stir until it just comes together into a shaggy dough (fairly stiff, but still sticky). With one hand, knead dough right in the bowl, just enough to incorporate all the flour and smooth it out.

4 Divide the dough into two equal portions (again, the digital kitchen scale comes in handy here), and place them in two lightly oiled bowls. I like one of them to be my Pyrex 2-quart glass measure so I can easily see when the dough has doubled. Cover both loosely with lids or oiled plastic wrap or lid and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled (in this case, 7 hours). The time will vary; after a couple times you'll know about how long this might take and be able to schedule your day accordingly.


Sourdough Sandwich Bread - Two Loaves / www.delightfulrepast.com


Note: Or you could let all the dough do its first rise in one bowl, then divide the dough when it's ready for shaping and second rise.
 
5 Grease (I use just a little olive oil, about 1/2 teaspoon each) the bread pans, either 9x4x4-inch pullman pans without their lids or 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.

6 Using no more than a tablespoon or two altogether for both, sprinkle countertop with some flour. Gently scrape the first batch of dough onto the floured countertop. Sprinkle with flour. Press each portion gently into a roughly 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Using a bench scraper, if needed, roll the dough into a loaf. With the bench scraper, place dough in the pan, pressing it into the corners. Brush on a little water. Cover it loosely with an oiled or cooking-sprayed piece of plastic wrap. 

Let rise until doubled. If using 9x5x3 loaf pans, it should rise an inch or two above the rim of the pans. If using 9x4x4 pullman pans, the dough should rise to just a little above the top of pans. This can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. The dough needs to rise until the dough doesn't quickly spring back when poked with a floured finger or knuckle.

Today I felt like helping it along a bit after that long first rise in my cold kitchen, so I turned the oven to 200F/93C and left it on for 2 minutes, counting from the time the oven lit, then turned it off and placed the pans in the oven. 

Tip: Check on the dough's progress regularly. After making it a few times, you'll have a better idea of how long it will take. And that will change as the weather changes. I keep my house rather cool in winter, so sourdough bread takes much longer to rise now than it does in summer.

8 Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Just before baking, brush the loaf with a little water.

9 Bake at 450F/230C/Gas8 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400F/205C/Gas6 and continue baking for about 30 minutes or until crust is beautifully golden and middle of a loaf registers 210F/99C on instant-read thermometer

Tip: For reasons I won't go into (something about lactobacilli and yeast and ...), sourdough bread sometimes doesn't brown as well as other breads until your starter matures.

10 Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks  for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before slicing.


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76 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

Wonderful! Love the tender smooth crumb.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. My husband is addicted to this bread!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Sourdough. Always liked the sound of that. Like I’m on a cattle drive and just caught up with the chuck wagon after a long day with no food. Despite the rationing of bread in my list of preferences, that one makes the cut for premium meals. Then, too, the slightly acerbic sourness tantalizes the same taste buds as lemon meringue pie and certain Chinese sauces. Sour sensations are ever more delectable the older you get, methinks. Like certain mustards. BUT…it’s over my pay grade to spend much time on preps, so I’ll pass on this. To the store, I go. Put down my dough and they slip me some sour sensations!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, I've been a fan of all things sour since childhood. What you say about spending the time on making something like this is typical, but what people don't realize is that it takes longer to read this than to make it! Truly! Under a minute for first feeding, under a minute for second feeding, maybe two minutes to stir up the dough, maybe two minutes to shape the dough. The rest of the time it's just doing *its* thing while you're off doing *yours*!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jean I love sourdough bread! I've made a few loafs here and there. I bought the starter from King Arthur Flour and made wonderful bread. I must attempt to make my own unique starter. I've always wished to make that wonderful twangy sourdough bread you can buy in San Francisco. Thank you for sharing all of your tips to starting and making this wonderful bread. ♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Martha Ellen. I hope you'll try your own starter. And my way of maintaining a starter has you storing about a half a cup of it in a half-pint jar and not throwing any away! And you can manipulate the process to make your bread more sour or less sour, whatever you prefer. I recently figured out a way to make it less sour, but we like it "twangy" -- love that word!

Tony Grant said...

Hi Jean. This looks great. I like sourdough bread and usually buy the artisan version from a local bakery. I have had a go at making bread myself on a few occasions but not sourdough bread. The times I have read about how to make a ,"starter," and I have not understood it, is innumerable!!!! I might try again following your instructions!!!! Hope you and Mr Delightful are well?
The world is a very strange place at the moment isn't it? The usual rules of engagement no longer apply. What does morality and honesty mean ?
I will be visiting North America in September. I already have my plane tickets. I am staying with my mate Clive in Toronto. We are getting an internal flight to New York for a few days. We will hit Greenwich Village. I am bringing my copy of Dylan Thomas's complete poems. We intend to drink in the bar Dylan drank in. I will ask if I can do a live reading of some of Dylans poetry. They will either say yes, or, more likely arrest me!! Ha! Ha!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Tony! Yes, you should definitely try it my way. I have a post about how to make the starter, how to make the round artisan loaves and how to make the sandwich loaves. And, yes, Mr Delightful and I are both well. I'm so glad you and Clive are going to hit The Village together! Can't wait to read both versions of the trip!

organicgardendreams said...

Hi Jean, your bread looks fantastic, great texture and color and I can see why it is a wonderful morning sandwich bread.
But to be honest the recipe is too complicated and time-consuming for me to make. The checking on the yeast every few hours just doesn't sit well with my erratic work schedule.
I think I will pass up on this one and wait for you to come up with an easier recipe to follow.
I have to say, though, that I found it very interesting to read about the process of making this bread.
Warm regards,
Christina

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Christina. It's unfortunate that it sounds so much more complicated than it is. It's a really easy thing to manage on a day when you're going to be home most of the day. You have to make it a few times in order to know what to expect in the way of timing. Thanks for commenting. Much appreciated.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I am about to commit a crime, Jean - I don't like sourdough bread. That said, I have the feeling that homemade sourdough sandwich bread, like yours, is a completely different story. To show my trust in you, I am planning to start making this over the weekend.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Haha - and when I said I was going to start this weekend, I really meant START! I just read through the "make your own starter" section. I think I may not be having homemade sourdough sandwich bread until February!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You got that right, David -- February! But I'm thrilled that you're going to give it a go! I'm available for advice and/or cheerleading throughout the process! Yay, team!

Debbie Harris said...

Oh I'm excited to find this recipe! We have a great artisan bakery in our area that has some amazing bread, but I do enjoy making my own and have never made sour dough bread before. I am certainly going to try this. Thank you for sharing your goodness with us.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debbie, it's a process! And it sounds waaaaaay more complicated than it is! Don't get discouraged. Take it step by step, then after a few times you'll find your "rhythm" and wonder what all the fuss was about!

Menaka said...

Such a delightful recipe! I loved the basic sourdough idea! I am really bad at baking, let me try step by step and see if I can get it right this time.

Richard Sheppard said...

Years and years ago I had a sour dough starter in my fridge and used it regularly. then I got out of the habit of using it and it died. *Sigh* So of course, you're reminding me of 1) how easy it is and 2) how great it tastes! I guess I'm going to have to get back to it! Bet it makes great pizza crusts too. Mmmmm. That's what I use to use mine for.

Manu said...

Sally, I've just made my sourdough starter... I can't waiti to try it!!!
Love your bread!
xox

Manu said...

On no, I mean Jean and not Sally...sorry :-)

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I have let my poor sourdough starter go dormant. I am going to resuscitate it once we get home -- hopefully, I can bring it back to life. I like this recipe for a sandwich bread. I bet toasted it's fantastic! Have a great weekend.

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

I really love sourdough bread and have made a loaf here and there over the years. You've inspired me to try it again. The house always smells so good when bread is baking. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Menaka, even if you are "really bad at baking" (and I doubt that!), you can make this bread. And everybody will think you're a genius because they think it's something really difficult! :D

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, I leave my little half-full half-pint jar of starter in the fridge and get it out once a week to make my two loaves. Once I left it in the fridge for three weeks, and it was fine. So if I were going to not bake for an extended time, I think I'd just get it out and refresh it every three or four weeks. I'm going to experiment with freezing a bit of it and see what happens to it. I prefer my regular pizza dough recipe that I developed years ago to the sourdough crust I experimented with. I think if I adapted my crust recipe to use the starter instead of yeast, but kept the method and everything else the same, I might quite like it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Manu, that's wonderful. And as your starter develops and changes over time, you'll be intrigued by the whole process. Let me know how it goes!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marisa, I'm sure you can revive it. Just take your time, don't rush it, maybe several feedings. Yes, it makes wonderful toast. My husband has this sourdough toast every single day for breakfast.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lea Ann, I'm so glad you're going to try it again. You're right about the smell of bread baking. There's nothing quite like it.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

For years I used to make my own bread but that changed when we moved to Santa Cruz. We have the best bakeries with different breads here and I just go and buy it. Your bread looks delicious and I would love to have a piece with sweet butter and jam.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Gerlinde. I would be tempted to buy it too if we had exceptional bakeries around. But I sort of do it for fun! Though this particular bread doesn't require much kneading, I've always found kneading bread dough very therapeutic.

Daniela said...

Oh, I have to try this recipe of yours, I'm a fan of every kind of bread and I love preparing and cooking loaves, especially in the old oven made of stones we have outside ... of course, we may use it only during the good season, but when it's cold I have my electrical oven that works so good !

Since we live here at Tenuta Geremia I have given boot to some country traditions such as that of making bread on Saturdays ... and during the Holiday Season on our table there's always a loaf of Cottage Bread which is always so little for us all ... truth is that in my family all love bread !

One thing is certain ... my loaf won't become so gorgeous as yours :)

With utmost gratitude I'm sending blessings of joy on your weekend ahead,
may it be filled with joy and love, Dearest one !

Xx Dany

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dear Dany, I'm always glad to see a family carrying on or starting a family tradition of breadmaking, whether in an outdoor stone or brick oven (how I wish I had one of those!) or a standard indoor oven. If you make my sourdough starter and sourdough breads, be sure to let me know. Have a wondrous winter!

Bernideen said...

Oh how lovely. You are a 5 STAR baker! Thanks for sharing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Bernideen! I certainly do love to bake.

Kathleen Aherne said...

It looks delicious, Jean. I like sourdough bread, I did make it a few times but that was many years ago.

Kathleen
Blogger's Pit Stop

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kathleen. There are soooo many things I haven't made in many years! Not enough hours in the day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jean,

I haven't baked sourdough bread before and would like to try making my own starter, (I read your post about that.), and give your recipe a try.

We are having extremely cold and snowy weather at the moment and dealing with it is taking up extra time but maybe when we get a break I try this bread. Thank you again for all your recipes.

Oh, we love our W√úSTHOF Classic 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife so much that we are wanting to buy a couple more in different sizes. Since we could our current shorter style French knives almost daily we thought we would get one of those and a cook's knife of some size. What do you enjoy using the most out of yours? Thank you again for such a lovely giveaway. This knife is the Best!

Love,
Lily

Amy at love made my home said...

I love sourdough bread. Freezing one loaf is a great idea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lily, I'm so sorry you're having such extreme weather. But when it's a bit better ... I know you're going to have fun with the sourdough! Glad you're enjoying the utility knife. I also love my extra-wide 6-inch cook's knife (you can look up my review post of that one as well) and the bread knife. I have the 8-inch cook's knife as well, but I more often use the 6-inch. It's just easier for me to handle. But they're all great. Stay warm and cozy! Hugs!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Amy. It has really simplified my life!

Margie said...

Nice! Why am I always hungry after reading your posts? HA!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaw, Margie, that's sweet! I guess that's what I should be aiming for, right?

Jeanie said...

This looks super-yum! I'll have to pass this one on to the baker-in-chief, Rick!

Thanks for your visits and comments. Sorry you couldn't get the audio going on Rick's "melancholy waltz" -- I checked and it was working on mine so who knows if blogger was having a temper tantrum, if it was a volume thing or what. No matter, the visit is what counts!

Keep hygge!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jeanie! I think Rick would really have a lot of fun with sourdough. Though I've never met him, I'm almost sure of it! And I'll check out the waltz again, but not today because my computer is not being very cooperative today.

Marilyn Lesniak said...

I love making sourdough bread! Thanks for sharing at #WonderfulWednesday! Enjoy your week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Marilyn. Always happy to find another sourdough baker!

Candace Kage said...

I have sourdough starter on my counter all the time. One of our favorites bread to make. Thanks for linking up with Blogging Grandmothers.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I'm glad to hear it, Candace!

The Lazy Gastronome said...

This looks really good and I'd love to try it, but where do you get the starter starter? It would also be great if you shared this on our What's for Dinner Sunday link up!
http://www.lazygastronome.com/whats-dinner-sunday-link-79/

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, TLG! You actually make your own starter! And I show you exactly how to do it at the How to Make Your Own Starter post that is linked. I hope you'll give it a try!

The Lazy Gastronome said...

I missed that link - headed back!! And Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner link up!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, TLG!

Grammy Dee said...

Thank you Jean for partying with us at Blogging Grandmothers Link Party. I shared your post on my social media sites.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Grammy Dee! Much appreciated.

Clearissa Coward said...

I have always been afraid to try making my own bread. Always seemed waaaaayyyy to hard. But maybe you have removed some of the fear. Some! :) Thank you for linking up with us at #blogginggrandmothers. I have shared your post on my social media. :) See you next week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Clearissa. How I wish I could coach you in your own (or my) kitchen and convince you altogether! :-) Thank you for sharing on your social media. Much appreciated.

Pamela S said...

I really enjoyed this. I have never made bread from the starters, just the cakes many years ago. I loved those so I bet your bread is delicious. Remember how everyone use to have these starters. Thanks for the recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Pamela! I never made the cakes. But I've always loved sourdough bread. Will be starting to feed the starter tonight for two more loaves!

Gingi Freeman said...

Mmmmmmmm, anything with sourdough bread is a straight up winner! Great post! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Gingi! We looovve sourdough bread! And my husband is simply addicted to this one!

Kirsty - Winnettes said...

I have always wanted to make Sour Dough but I am a little unsure about to make my 'starter'. This is a brilliant guide. You made it all sound so easy and bread is my kryptonite when baking!
#DreamTeam

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kirsty, fear no more! You can DO this! Thanks so much.

Miz Helen said...

Your bread looks fantastic, wish I had a slice right now, yummy! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. We look forward to seeing you again real soon!
Miz Helen

Nikki Frank-Hamilton said...

Jean, years ago I had a friendship bread starter, and we loved it. But now that I cannot have gluten I am wondering if this would work with a gluten free flour substitute? I'm going to have to check that out, I would love to be able to bake my own gluten free bread and have fresh bread for all of us. Especially with your tips, this wouldn't take that much time and we'd all be extremely happy. Crossing my fingers that it will work.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Miz Helen! I'd like to be going to *your* house for dinner tonight!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Nikki, some people who can't have gluten, even celiacs, can actually digest *true* sourdough wheat breads. True sourdough breads have no added commercial yeast. You might look into the research. But even if that won't work for you, you *can* make gluten-free sourdough.

Pauline Wiles said...

As always, this looks amazing and if not pure magic, then alchemy at the very least! One day I hope to see you demonstrate some of your wonderful techniques and offer fans a taste of the results!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Bread is quite magical, isn't it, Pauline? You bring up an interesting thought: I wonder how I would like doing a demonstration. I'm not someone who likes attention, more of a behind the scenes sort; but it might be fun to teach a small group!

aginglikeafinewine.com said...

Sourdough bread is my absolute favorite, but I've never tried to make it. I'm feeling inspired to give it a try after reading your post. I had never heard of the "starter" either and find it very interesting. Thank you for sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, ALAFW! Glad you're feeling inspired to give it a try! Do let me know if you have any questions and keep me posted on your progress.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I received a sourdough starter from someone almost 14 years ago, that was supposedly from the Civil War, and I've been making bread with it ever since. Your bread looks so good, Jean. I've also read of the importance of the lactobacillus which the sourdough bread has, which adds to its health benefits. Aren't we the healthy ones? I'm addicted to this bread and have a piece of toast from it every morning!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

How fun! Yes, Kitty, we are the healthy ones! :D You sound just like my husband, addicted to the sourdough bread (except, unlike him, *you* actually make the bread as well).

Ashley said...

i remember when my dad used to make homemade bread when i was a little girl...
i wish i had the time to try out this recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ashley. What a beautiful childhood memory of your dad!

Annette, 3 Little Buttons said...

Oh yum, that looks amazing. I am a fan of sourdough bread. Not that I would be able to make it myself (I might try though - can see hubby already looking worried). Thank you so much for sharing with the #Dreamteam :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Annette, too funny! Tell your hubby not to worry - it *looks* way more complicated than it *is*! You can do this.

Joan Blindt said...

Hello! I just purchased a Pullman pan to make "regular" shaped loaves of sourdough, and that's how I found your site. I appreciate the recipe but hope you can clarify how the recipe changes if you already have a healthy sourdough culture going? I keep mine at room temperature and feed it 2x/day. I'm guessing I can skip the first few steps of your recipe, but I'd like to know exactly how much starter I should be including in this recipe. Thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hi, Joan! No changes. I also have a healthy sourdough culture going, but I keep just a small amount in a half-pint canning jar in the refrigerator and feed it just once a week when I make two loaves for the week. But whether your stored starter is refrigerated or room temperature, just take 4 tablespoons out of the storage container, as called for in Step 1, and proceed with Step 1. This means the recipe will work for everyone, regardless of what hydration their starter is. If I just said, say, 3 cups of starter, one person might have a very wet starter and another might have quite a dry starter, and then that would throw everything off. Does this make sense? If not, let me know, and we'll work on this until we get it figured out for you!

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