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Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

A soft and fluffy sandwich loaf made with sourdough starter.  Perfect for everyday sandwiches and toasting.

This is a recipe for soft, fluffy white sourdough sandwich bread Perfect for toast or sandwiches.

cut sandwich loaf on cutting board

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

Real sourdough method. This recipe rises beautifully without any yeast. It takes a while, but the results are worth it: great texture, sour flavor, and a versatile loaf perfect for everything from BLT to your morning toast.

Super-versatile. Look no further for a soft but sturdy white sandwich bread using your sourdough starter. This bread is soft but hearty

Simple to make. This will take a while, but it’s not hard.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

flour, sourdough starter, powdered milk, salt, sugar, and butter

You’ll need the following

  • sourdough starter (active and mature)
  • all-purpose flour
  • powdered milk
  • sugar
  • salt
  • butter
  • water 
  • egg
  • 8.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 loaf pan
  • stand mixer or bread machine (unless you want to knead by hand)
  • large mixing bowl
  • plastic wrap


Step FouR

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 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.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

Tips for shaping a sandwich loaf:

Shape the dough into a loaf by lightly stretching it in a 9 x 18-inch rectangle shape. Fold the corners of dough together and roll it back up like a log with seams on one side, then put it seam-side down into an oiled loaf pan.

process of shaping sandwich loaf

📘 Related Recipes

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📖 Here’s the recipe

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finished loaf in gold baking pan
sliced sourdough sandwich bread
4.92 from 12 votes

Sourdough White Sandwich Bread

Print Recipe
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
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  • 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


  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir.  Texture should be slightly sticky and will look "shaggy".  Allow to rest 20 minutes at room temperature.
  • Knead by bread machine, stand mixer, or hand until dough is very smooth and elastic (at least 10 minutes.)
  • Allow to rise 4 hours, covered, in a warm place, until very puffy and doubled in bulk.
  • 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.
  • Dust generously with flour and gently rub in.  Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on rack before slicing.



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.


Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: bread
Cuisine: American, european
Keyword: soft sourdough bread, sourdough sandwich bread, white sandwich loaf
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?If you loved it, please leave a review!

Happy Baking

signature with strawberries

45 thoughts on “Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread”

  1. What size bread pan do you use? I use a 9×5 and it seems to take forever to rise 1 inch over the sides of the pan. Could it be the pan size?

    • i use 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 but it the recipe is just slow going. i typically add 1 tsp of yeast and that speeds it up a lot and i still think it has great flavor

  2. 5 stars
    It’s awesome! Just because of the timing of my starter, I formed it into the loaf pan around 7:00pm. Let it rise on the counter for maybe an hour then put it in the refrigerater overnight. Baked up perfectly the next morning. Beautiful oven rise 😍

  3. 5 stars
    I started experimenting with sourdough last summer, but haven’t made sandwich bread yet. Will definitely try this one!

  4. 5 stars
    I really struggled with how to rate this – I’ll give it 5 because it is the first thing I’ve ever gotten to turn out using my sourdough starter.

    It wasn’t at all sour
    It didn’t rise well
    It was quite bland

    I am going to blame all that on my starter and I’ll give it another go shortly.

    Again – I think it’s probably user error, but it did in fact turn out! Yay!

    • lol! thank you….?! if your starter isn’t mature, it can cause your bread to lack flavor. however, this is als0 intended to be a mild sandwich bread, so if you’re looking for something really tart it might not be a great fit. search my site for artisan sourdough or bread machine sourdough if you want something sour. oh or try adding 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid. good luck 🙂

  5. I was wondering why mix the dough by hand and rise first? Why not use the entire 1.5 hour dough cycle on your bread machine(Zojuroshi)?

    • that first mix is what is known as as “autolyse” in sourdough, to help the ingredients hydrate and to improve the rise later. BUT to be perfectly honest if you are using the yeast you can probably skip it!

    • 5 stars
      Wonderful bread! I added the yeast and it turned out perfect. This is my new go to sandwich bread. I make a lot of crackers with my sourdough discard- Italian wheat w/parmigiana and sharp cheddar crackers with white flour. I make sourdough bread about every 1 1/2 weeks so I have a lot of discard. I freeze some and dry some. I will make this quite often! Thank you for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I have been making this at least once a week since July and it comes out perfectly every time! Great recipe!
    Now I need a whole wheat version that works as consistently well 🙂

  7. I really like your basic sourdough recipe. I would like to try the sandwich loaf recipe, and am wondering if you have suggestions for adapting it as a vegan recipe.

    • hi heather! I’ve never personally tried this, but I had a reader who used plant milk and flax eggs (reduce the water by the volume of the plant milk) and said it worked! you could also simply leave those ingredients out. it wouldn’t be as soft as this loaf, but still good!

  8. I have instant yeast, will that work? And should I use the same amount written ?

    If I don’t use yeast and only use sourdough starter will that reduce the softness of the bread?

  9. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  10. Hi Katie, love your site – very inspiring!
    I am in the UK but i do have cups. am confused as to what all purpose flour is? My understanding is that it is plain flour over here. However as this is a recipe to make bread is this not strong flour aka bread flour? Am asking because i currently have this loaf in the oven but the mix was about the same consistency as my starter so like a pancake batter…. so much so i have had to add another 1 cup of bread flour – not sure how its going to come out as the finished dough was still very wet and very difficult to handle. Do you have any ideas?

    • hi dawn! all purpose is I believe what you would call “plain” flour. you can definitely use bread flour but I prefer plain in this recipe because i’mg going for a soft texture. now about your dough being too wet…. I am very confused by this! as you can see the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour and only 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup starter, so it usually comes out a little dry if anything, which is why the directions say to add a little more water if needed. and bread flour should make it even dryer. so I am not sure what happened with your dough! the consistency you are going for is definitely that of a traditional yeasted bread: smooth and perhaps slightly sticky, but still easy to handle. I am sorry it did not turn out for you. 🙁

  11. Love your site and looking forward to making a lot of your recipes. My first attempt at this bread was not bad but not great. However, this is the recipe that I want to get right. I would have like more rise, but I was impatient and probably did not wait long enough. What is the purpose of flouring the top of the bread? Would an egg wash work instead? Also, for the 2 Tablespoons of butter – is it softened butter? melted butter? This may be obvious to experienced bakers but I will most likely never achieve that rank. I also had some issues that I won’t go into (because they were just my everyday baking mishaps and nothing to do with your recipe…) The flavor was very good and loved the texture!

    • hi pam! let me try to help! first to address your questions- flouring the top is just for looks and and egg wash would be perfect as well. the butter should be softened.

      now about the rise… this recipe relies on both the starter and the yeast to help it. rise, so if your starter is still new that could be the issue. your rising time is very variable with sourdough- sometimes it takes a really long time if your kitchen is cool. I would recommend the next time you pop the dough into a very slightly warmed oven and see if that helps. also if your dough was very dry, it can be dense and that will slow down the rising. it if seemed stiff, add just a tablespoon or so more water which will make the dough a bit lighter and help it rise more. it does take a little experience to know when a bread dough is just right. you will get there, don’t worry! feel free to email me a photo of your next attempt and we will work on it together. 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe worked very well for me. I used a glass and a stoneware loaf pans. I cut the temperature back to 425 degrees instead of 450. I prefer a little lighter top crust. This bread made great toast, sandwiches and was great in my panini press for nice crispy sandwiches.

  13. 5 stars
    Can you use Ground flax, Chopped sunflower seeds, and old-fashioned rolled oats without affecting the outcome of the bread?

    • Betty, anything you use will affect the outcome of the bread a little. I do add different things to this loaf and it still works (white whole wheat flour, etc.) just substitute 10% of the flour for what you would like to try and experiment! :). if you want to do old fashioned oat, heat up some of the water you are using for the recipe and pour it over the oats. add them to the dough once they’re cooled. I have an oatmeal bread recipe that used this method 🙂

    • yes you can do 1/2 cup milk instead of the water. it may rise a little slower and won’t be quite as fluffy. for whatever reason, powdered milk always makes bread softer

  14. Hi Katie, thanks for letting me join you 😀 im in the uk and we dont use cups, ive google how many ounces to one cup , i get either just over 8oz or 6oz please could you weigh your cup of flour to check please! ty Tracy


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