Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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Everyone loves Sourdough White Sandwich Bread, an everyday recipe you’ll make again and again. This loaf rises without any extra yeast. While it takes some time, the results are worth the wait. You’ll have bread that has great texture and a tangy flavor. It’s perfect for everything from a classic BLT to your morning toast.

The best part? It’s easy to make. It takes a while but most of the. time is hands-off. And if you don’t find adding a little (optional!) yeast, it will be ready in a few hours.

sliced loaf of white sourdough sandwich bread.

Sourdough White Sandwich Bread

A soft and fluffy sandwich loaf made with sourdough starter.  Perfect for everyday sandwiches and toasting.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
rising 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 10 minutes
Serving Size 16 slices

Ingredients 

  • ¾ cup sourdough starter (active and mature)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water may need a bit more depending on how hydrated your starter is
  • 1 egg

Instructions 

  • Mix. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir.  Texture should be slightly sticky and will look "shaggy".  Adjust flour or water if needed. Allow to rest 20 minutes at room temperature.
    ingredients in mixing bowl before and after stirring.
  • Knead. Knead by bread machine, stand mixer, or hand until dough is very smooth and elastic (at least 10 minutes.)
    stand mixer with smooth dough.
  • First rise. Allow to rise 4 hours, covered, in a warm place, until very puffy and doubled in bulk.
    dough shaped into a ball before and after rising.
  • Shape. Shape into sandwich loaf and place in greased loaf pan.  Cover with heavily greased plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until dough rises 1-2 inches over the top of the pan.  (You can place the loaf in the fridge if it's getting late and continue the rising process in the morning.) ½Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    risen loaf on counter.
  • Bake. Dust generously with flour and gently rub in.  Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on rack before slicing.
    fulled baked loaf on marble counter.

Video

Notes

For a softer, fluffier loaf, add 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast and cut the rising times to 1 hour each.  It will have less sour flavor.
If you need help shaping your loaf, scroll below the recipe for step-by-step instructions.

Get ready to experience the joy of making sourdough bread from scratch.

cut sandwich loaf on cutting board

You’ll need the following

  • Sourdough Starter: The heart of this recipe! It must be active, well-fed, and bubbly.
  • Powdered Milk: Enhances the bread’s tenderness and shelf-life.
  • Butter and Egg: Contribute to the loaf’s soft, rich crumb.
flour, sourdough starter, powdered milk, salt, sugar, and butter
  • Large Mixing Bowl: For combining and resting the dough.
  • Bread Machine or Stand Mixer (optional): Eases the kneading process.
  • Loaf Pan: Shapes and holds the bread during baking.
  • Plastic Wrap: Helps in the rising process.
  • Oven Thermometer: Ensures accurate baking temperature.
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👩🏻‍🍳 How to shape a sandwich loaf

Shape the dough into a loaf by lightly stretching it in a 9 x 18-inch rectangle shape. Tuck in the corners and then roll down. Remember the saying “shoulders in, head down”.

process shots of shaping sandwich loaf

Roll it up like a log with seams on one side. Pinch all seams closed. Then put it seam-side down into an oiled loaf pan.

rolled up log of dough.
loaf pan showing dough being shaped into loaf

🍴Instructions

Step One: Mix the Dough

process shots of mixing ingredients, kneading bread for sourdough sandwich bread
Grab these Pioneer Woman mixing bowls (my favorite for baking!)

First, you want to combine all your ingredients in a large bowl, gently stir, and let them rest. When you are working with a sourdough starter it’s always helpful to let everything hydrate before you knead. Anywhere between twenty to forty minutes is good, covered with a tea towel. The dough will seem shaggy and slightly sticky, but it will all smooth out during kneading.

If it seems very dry and the flour is not incorporated, add water a tablespoon at a time. If it seems too wet and a ball is not forming, add flour a tablespoon at a time.

Step Two: Rise and shape

risen dough, shaped dough, sandwich loaf after second rise, and fully baked sandwich bread
Goldtouch bakeware helps your loaf brown evenly

After a three-hour rise in a warm place, the dough will be puffy. This is good! If it’s not there yet, leave it longer. Sourdough requires patience, and this dough is enriched so it will be even slower

After the rest, knead the dough. A bread machine or stand mixer works well for this. We are not doing a typical sourdough kneading process, but following a yeast bread process. The full dough cycle on your bread machine will work very well. The dough should be very smooth and bouncy feeling once it is fully kneaded.

Now we shape it into a loaf. The basic objective of this is to not have seams on the outside of the loaf. I don’t always get this done perfectly, and that’s okay. Just fold and press so that the outside is smooth.

Step Three: Bake

Flip it over, gently place in the loaf pan, and cover with generously greased plastic wrap.

When the dough has risen 1 inch or 2 inches over the top of the pan, it’s ready to bake. Generously but gently cover the top with flour.

And now bake until a nice golden brown.

🥫 Storage instructions

Don’t the bread before you store it. This will help keep the bread from drying out.

Store the bread in an airtight container. This will help keep the bread from getting stale.

If you are not going to use the bread right away, you can freeze it. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before freezing. It freezes very well.

🔍 FAQs

Do I really need powdered milk for this recipe?

Yes! It’s the magic ingredient for a high-rising, soft loaf. You can find it in the baking aisle of your grocery store very inexpensively.

Can you add yeast to a sourdough recipe?

You sure can, and it works beautifully with this particular loaf. You don’t need it, but it will cut the rise times to about 1 hour each and give you a fluffier loaf.

Can I use whole wheat flour?

I always recommend starting with a small amount, maybe 25% of the flour. If you like the results, increase a bit more next time. But expect a somewhat denser loaf.

📘 Related Recipes

finished loaf in gold baking pan
Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread
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47 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been using this recipe to make a loaf every week for a year. Always a success. Much softer crust than previous recipe was using. I have been making sourdough bread for 5 years, same starter. This is best most reliable recipe have used.

  2. Hi Katie! I’m a sourdough “newbie”. Roughly how long is the rise in step 4, once the bread is in the loaf pan? Excited to try this one! Thank you, Christine

  3. 5 stars
    I can’t say enough about this recipe! Very pleased with how it turned out. A few days later and it is still soft and fresh for sandwiches. Thank you!