11 December 2014

Sourdough Sandwich Bread - Wild Yeast Bread

Sourdough Sandwich Bread / www.delightfulrepast.com

This sourdough sandwich bread is a classic sourdough bread, meaning it is made without the addition of commercial yeast. Baked in a loaf pan, it has the chewy texture of an artisan loaf but in a shape handy to slice for sandwiches or toast. Ohhh, the toast!

You don't need a heavy-duty stand mixer or strong arms for kneading. You don't need a pizza stone or a cast-iron Dutch oven, just a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; I use this equivalent 9x4x4-inch pullman loaf pan (without its lid). 

Sourdough Sandwich Bread in Pan / www.delightfulrepast.com

Here's How to Make Your Own Sourdough Starter soon. 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. 

Sourdough without added yeast is definitely as much art as science, so prepare to adjust to its timetable; it's not going to adjust to yours! It can take as long as 34 to 42 hours, but that's mostly time it's sitting around doing its thing while you're going about your business. 

Sourdough Toast / www.delightfulrepast.com

Sourdough Sandwich Bread 

(Makes one 26-ounce loaf)

1 1/2 cups fed 100% hydration sourdough starter (Follow Steps 1 and 2)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 dip-and-sweep cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided 

1 Feed up your starter to 1 1/2 cups: Take 2 tablespoons starter out of refrigerated storage container. Put it in a 2-cup glass measure (It actually holds 3 cups, so shouldn't overflow when it doubles). Stir in 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. Stir vigorously, cover loosely and let stand at room temperature for 8 or 12 hours. 

Tip: See schedule below to plan your bake. 

2 Stir down starter and add 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water. Proceed as in previous step. 

Sourdough Starter / www.delightfulrepast.com

3 Stir down fed starter and measure 1 1/2 cups of of it into 2-quart glass measure. With a dough whisk or large spoon, stir in water, salt and 1 cup flour. When all the flour is incorporated, stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour a half cup at a time. Stir until dough 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, about 20 times in all. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap or lid and let stand at room temperature overnight. 

Tip: Any leftover fed starter can be added to your stored starter in the refrigerator (Stir it vigorously and let stand at room temperature for a few hours; this feeds the starter for the week) or just kept on the counter if you're making more bread in a day or two.

4 Grease bread pan. I use a 9x4x4-inch (1.5-pound) pullman pan (without its lid). It's about the same capacity as a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. 

5 Using no more than 1/8 cup altogether, sprinkle countertop with some flour. Gently scrape the dough onto the floured countertop. Sprinkle with flour. Press gently into a roughly 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Using a bench scraper, fold one third of the rectangle toward the center, then fold the other end to the center, like a letter. With the bench scraper, place folded 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. 

6 Let rise until doubled. If using 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, it should rise an inch or two above the rim of the pan. If using 9x4x4 pullman pan without its lid, the dough should rise to below or just even with the top of pan. 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. 

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.

7 Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Just before baking, brush the loaf with a little water.

8 Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue baking for about 30 minutes or until crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf registers 210 degrees 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. If you're into the well-browned crust, take the loaf from the oven about 5 minutes early and brush the top with a little olive oil and put it back in.

9 Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack for 1 1/2 hours before slicing.

Sample Baking Plans

Schedule with two 8-hour feedings
Day 1
6:00 am First feeding
2:00 pm Second feeding
10:00 pm Make dough
Day 2
10:00 am Shape loaf

Schedule with two 12-hour feedings
Day 1
9:00 pm First feeding
Day 2
9:00 am Second feeding
9:00 pm Make dough
Day 3
9:00 am Shape loaf

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celia said...

It looks wonderful Jean! Gracie does a great job! :)

Angie's Recipes said...

I am a fan of natural levain bread! Your sandwich came out gorgeous, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Celia! In the morning I'll tell Gracie what you said! ;-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thanks! And you work all kinds of interesting grains into your bread and other recipes!

Anne said...

Looks a good airy loaf of bread.

Linda Kay said...

That looks really yummy. I am going to a Christmas Bread Loaf exchange this morning, so am looking forward to bringing back four loaves of some very interesting breads.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Anne! I'm making another loaf today.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Linda. I've never heard of a bread exchange, just cookie. I'd much rather go to a bread exchange!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

By jing and gee whillikers, I believe you have concocted the exception to my bread resistance. Is that sourdough…doughy, damp, damp doughy? Yes! I believe it is. And is the crust slightly crisp? Again, it seems to be yes. Now that is a bread I can – um – sink my teeth into. What a great sponge for butter that will be!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, I've overcome your bread resistance at last! My highest blogging achievement of 2014, no doubt! Cheers! :D

Bethany Carson said...

Looks good! My sister made sourdough a while back.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Bethany! I think I'll be making it regularly. Been reading that even people who are gluten intolerant can eat organic sourdough without any problem.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I'm new to sourdough and have never made any in a normal bread pan. I've formed on a baking sheet and I'm going to use the hot pan method next. THEN I'll try this. :)

Quinn said...

Once I learn to make the starter, I'll be trying this recipe! Sounds and looks delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maureen, I used to do the hot cast-iron Dutch oven thing, then I switched to a pizza stone type thing. Still do that, too, but my husband has an easier time making his own toast in the morning with regular size bread so I tried the bread pan thing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Quinn, thank you! I'll be posting How to Make Your Own Sourdough Starter next week.

Sippity Sup said...

The crumb on that was indeed designed for terrific toast (and tea). GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Greg, let's not forget the tea! I could live on toast and tea!

Michelle said...

Sourdough bread is my favorite! I've never attempted bread making before, but I just might have to try it now! Pinning and sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Michelle! Much appreciated. Bread is a lot of fun. And, like I always say, kneading bread dough (which you don't need to do with this bread) is sooooo therapeutic!

bj said...

i'm not a bread maker but love it to the moon and back. Yours really looks awesome.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, BJ! This is super easy, but it does take planning. Which is hard to do sometimes when there's just too much going on!

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Hi Jean, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving the nice comment on the meatloaf muffins I made! Your bread looks so good. Thanks for sharing.
Julie @ Julie's Lifestyle

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Julie! One of my favorite sandwiches of all time is sliced meatloaf on sourdough with lots of mayo and a little Dijon mustard and ketchup.

Brooks said...

Jean, I'm loving this post! I made a wild yeast grape starter a while back, and I feed it weekly. This recipe will be ideal to use it, because now I have a serious toast craving.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Brooks, I'm so glad! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I've been making it every other day so that we never run out.

Decor To Adore said...

My husband and son have a goal in 2015 to bake a loaf of bread a week. This is truly a winner.

My wish is that your holiday season is filled with peace, love and joy.

May you and yours be blessed with health and happiness in the new year.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much! I love that your husband and son are going to share this activity! If they get going now on the starter (which I'll be posting in two days), they'll be ready for 2015. They're going to find that it's so easy they'll want to make it at least twice a week!

Chris said...

I honestly need to use my sourdough starter more. This sandwich bread looks fabulous and would be perfect for a delicious ham sammy or grilled cheese. Pinning Thank you for linking up with #FoodieFridays this week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Christie, thank you! Funny, I had a ham sammy on it yesterday and a grilled cheese on it today!

Swathi said...

Delicious loaf, love the crust and crumb, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Swathi. People tend to think of sourdough as just crusty and chewy, but it can be made to be soft as well. I like it both ways and every way in between, so I alternate!

Swedish Mike said...


that looks ace! If I could bring myself to try my hand at baking again I'd give this a go.

Having said that - I might trick Han into baking it for me.

I had something that resembles this, flavoured/baked with olives and rosemary, just yesterday. Worked ace with some cheeses and charcuterie.

// Mike

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mike! I don't eat a lot of charcuterie, but it's fabulous with cheeses, avocado, eggplant, all sorts of things. Give it a try. Use my How to Make a Sourdough Starter post and get started! Or "startered"!

Maestro de Juegos said...

I know this is an old post, but I'm hoping to get some help. I've tried this recipe twice, and failed both times. The problem is in the final rise, in the loaf pan. Simply stated, it doesn't rise much.

The first time I tried this, the dough seemed too dry, and would not accommodate all the flour in the final mixing step. This didn't rise at all in the pan.

The second time, I added a little water to help incorporate all the flour, and perhaps I added too much. But this batch at least rose halfway up the side of the pan.

I'm a novice baker, but I've had my share of successes and I can't figure out what is going wrong. Any ideas?

Many thanks,

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Randy, as I mentioned in the post, how long the dough takes changes with the weather. In this hot weather, I feed the starter on 8-hour schedule, the first rise takes only about 3 or 4 hours, and the second rise about 3 hours. Like this:

Day 1 1pm Feed starter
Day 1 9pm Feed starter
Day 2 5am Make dough
Day 2 8 or 9am (approximately) Shape loaf
Day 2 12n (approximately) Bake

If you let the starter "overwork" by letting it go too long after the feedings, it will not be as active. To know how wet the dough should be, when you do the brief kneading right in the bowl, the dough should not be sticking to your hand much. If you let the dough have too long a first rise, it will not be as active.

I make this twice a week, and I noticed as the weather warmed up the loaf wasn't rising in the pan as well as it usually did. That was why I shortened the time between starter feedings and the first rise time. Once I did that, the loaf rose as it should and had been in cooler weather.

Hope this helps. Let me know!

Missy said...

Help!!! I am trying sourdough again after a few years and moves, and I’m home more hours now, so why not. I thought my new starter was doing well and ready for our first loaf of bread (I followed all the steps for feeding and resting for 7-8 days) but I tried to do the first feeding step for this recipe and leave it overnight, but today it does not look well. Not too bubbly and I don’t think it grew then settled last night. The rest of my starter is in the fridge. What should I do???

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Missy, sometimes it takes two weeks to get a starter ready to go to work. Read this post: https://www.delightfulrepast.com/2014/12/how-to-make-your-own-sourdough-starter.html and also tell me what quantity of starter you have right now. We'll get it going!

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I was almost ready to go back to store bought bread but thanks to you I have found my recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Glad to hear it! My husband can't stand even his favorite store-bought breads since he got used to eating this homemade sourdough every day.