Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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


  • 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


  • 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.



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


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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Recipe Rating


  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?

    1. 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!

    1. 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)?

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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. Could I use 1 cup of white wheat flour and 2 cups of all purpose flour? Would I need to adjust anything else?

  11. 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?

    1. 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. 🙁

  12. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

      1. Awesome! Thanks for your prompt response. I will let you know how it goes

  13. 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.

  14. 5 stars
    Can you use Ground flax, Chopped sunflower seeds, and old-fashioned rolled oats without affecting the outcome of the bread?

    1. 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 🙂

    1. 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

  15. 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