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How to bake Easy Sourdough Sandwich Bread for beginners

With step-by-step pictures and plenty of helpful tips for beginners, learn how to make easy sourdough sandwich bread that’s extra soft and chewy.

It comes together with just a few basic baking ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, salt and most importantly, active bubbly sourdough starter. Take your sandwiches up to a whole new level with this delicious and easy to slice loaf.

Easy Sourdough Sandwich Bread:

Though I love a good Artisan Sourdough Loaf as much as the next person, I really prefer this Sourdough Sandwich Bread. It’s so much easier to slice and the pieces are all the same size, which makes for perfect sandwiches every time.

Plus, once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize just how easy and fast the process is. Don’t let the total time scare you, most of that is just letting the dough rest and rise. Your actual hands on time can’t be more than 30 minutes total, maybe even less.

This easy sourdough sandwich bread is also great for kids (and husbands!) who are used to classic Wonder-bread. It looks the same and tastes pretty similar too – just with a slightly sour taste (it is sourdough after all!)

sliced sourdough sandwich bread on cutting board

Sourdough Sandwich Bread Method Overview:

This is by far the easiest sourdough bread you’ll ever make. Once you get the hang of it, the whole recipe will become second nature – easy to whip up in a pinch, no matter how busy you get.

The process is simple. Start by feeding your starter and wait until it doubles in size and gets very bubbly. Then mix together the dough ingredients – starter, water, flour, butter, salt and sugar. Either combine by hand or use an electric mixer (I love my Kitchen Aid bread kneading attachment for this).

Let rest for 30 minutes, then perform a series of stretch and folds. Then cover and let rise overnight on your kitchen counter. In the morning, the dough should be big and fluffy. Roll out into a log shape and place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Leave to rise one more time and then bake for 35 minutes at 380F.

Sourdough Sandwich Loaf Timeline:

When I first started making sourdough I found the timing of it all to be very confusing. So I’m going to share with you the general timeline for me when I make this bread. Play around with it to find what works best for you, depending on your schedule, and also the temperature of your house. This is because when it’s warm the dough will rise faster than when its cold (check out my Sourdough 101 post for more on this).

Day 1:

8AM: Feed starter. This works well for me because I’m usually getting around to making breakfast so I’m already in the kitchen.

5PM: At this point my starter should be bubbly, active, and more than doubled in size. Now I’ll quickly whip together the dough in my KitchenAid while making dinner, and then leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

5:30PM: I perform 1 set of stretch and folds, then cover and leave the dough to rise overnight.

Day 2:

8AM: Shape the dough into a log and place in lightly greased baking pan. Leave to rise for 2-3 hours.

11AM: Bake loaf and then leave to cool.

1PM: Eat some delicious sourdough bread slices and then place the rest in freezer to enjoy later!

sliced freshly baked sourdough sandwich bread on wooden cutting board, sitting on marble countertop and green tea towel

Why Filtered Water?

Though not essential, I’d recommend using water from a high quality filter. Chlorine and other elements in typical tap water can negatively impact (and even kill) the bacteria in your starter, which is needed to give your bread that beautiful rise.

If you don’t have access to filtered water, you might have success using bottled water or boiled water (that you allow to cool first). Otherwise, try tap water and see what happens! Depending on your municipalities tap water quality, it might turn out fine!

And if it doesn’t, well… Making bad bread is all part of the learning process. So if your dough doesn’t rise like it should, just turn it into croutons or sourdough pizza.

Supplies Needed:

Easy Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 150g Sourdough Starter
  • 250g Water
  • 500g All Purpose Flour
  • 15g Sugar
  • 10g Salt
  • 60g Butter

Step One: Feed Starter

Start by feeding your sourdough starter, and wait until it doubles (or triples) in size and gets very bubbly. You’ll want to make sure you feed it enough, so that you can spare 150g of starter, with some left over for your next creation. I suggest 90g of flour and 90g of water.

Step Two: Mix Dough

Once your starter is bubbly, active and has doubled or tripled in size, you are ready to mix the dough.

Using a kitchen scale, add 150g of starter to a large mixing bowl along with 250g of water. Whisk to combine.

Then pour in 500g of all-purpose flour, 15g of sugar, 10g of salt and 60g of melted butter. Combine by hand or with an electric mixer.

Once the dough is well mixed and soft, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

before mixing dough
before mixing dough
after mixing dough
after mixing dough

Step Three: Stretch & Fold

After resting, you can perform your first set of stretch and folds. Gently grab one edge of the dough with your fingers, lift up and stretch, and then press back down in the centre of the dough. Repeat 3 more times, 1 on each side edge of the dough. See video below for a visual.


Lazy Tip: You can perform 3 more stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals if you would like. These help to make your dough stronger and fluffier. But honestly, I rarely do more than one as I’m kinda lazy… and it always turns out fine. So feel free to do it, or skip!


Step Five: Let Rise Overnight

Once you’re done stretching and folding, it’s time to leave your dough to rise overnight. Make sure you cover it with something airtight to stop the dough from drying out. I usually like to use cling wrap, but you’ll probably be fine with 2 damp tea towels. Leave on your kitchen counter until morning.

dough in bowl before rising
Dough before rising
Fluffy dough in bowl after rising overnight
Fluffy dough after rising overnight

Step Six: Add To Loaf Pan

In the morning, your dough should have doubled in size, and be big and fluffy. Lightly flour a wooden cutting board or countertop and scoop out the dough. Fold the edges in until it resembles a log shape.

Shaping the dough on floured cutting board


Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and place dough into the pan. Spray a sheet of cling wrap with oil and cover the pan. The oil is important because you don’t want the cling wrap to stick to the dough. Leave the dough to rise until it grows just above the top edge of the pan.

Before rise
After rise

Step Seven: Bake Bread

Once the dough has risen, pre-heat your oven to 380F. Once ready, remove cling wrap and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove bread from the oven and allow to cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes before taking out and leaving on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

How to store Homemade Sourdough Bread so it lasts?

Unlike store bought bread, homemade sourdough bread is made without preservatives. And while that is certainly better for your health, it does make storage a little different.

Here’s what I do:

  1. After letting the bread cool for 1 hour, slice the entire loaf.
  2. Leave what you plan on eating over the next 48 hours in an airtight container on the counter.
  3. Place the rest into a ziploc bag and put straight into the freezer.
  4. When you want more, remove slices from the freezer the night before and let defrost in an airtight container on the counter.
  5. If you’re in a hurry and want more bread right away, just pop the frozen slice in the microwave for 30s and/or in the toaster.
  6. Usually the pieces aren’t too hard to take apart when frozen, but if you are struggling with that – just place a piece of parchment paper between each slice.
Sourdough sandwich bread sliced inside a plastic ziploc bag, ready for the freezer
Sourdough sandwich bread sliced inside a plastic ziploc bag, ready for the freezer

Pin It For Later!

If you bake this easy sourdough sandwich bread, be sure to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@gwenthemilkmaid) so I can see it.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Easy Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Learn how to make soft and fluffy sourdough bread using active bubbly sourdough starter. Made with all purpose flour, butter, sugar and salt, this super easy recipe is perfect for all your sandwich and snack creations.
Print Recipe
sliced sourdough loaf
Prep Time:1 day 4 hours
Cook Time:35 minutes

Ingredients

Starter

  • 90 g all purpose flour
  • 90 g water filtered

Dough

  • 150 g sourdough starter active and bubbly
  • 250 g water
  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 60 g unsalted butter melted
  • 15 g sugar
  • 10 g salt

Instructions

Feed The Starter (8AM):

  • Start off by feeding your starter with 90g of water and 90g of all purpose flour. Stir to combine, close the lid and keep the jar on counter until it is bubbly and active.
  • Notes: Sourdough starter is happiest at a temperature of 75 – 85F. Depending on where you live and the season, you might need to place it somewhere in your home that is closest to that temperature (like near a radiator or in the oven with the light on to stay warm, or in the basement if it needs to keep cool.)

Mix The Dough (5PM):

  • Once your starter is bubbly, active and has doubled or tripled in size, you are ready to mix the dough.
    Note: Depending on your starter and the temperature of your home, this can take anywhere from 6-12 hours (longer if its cold, shorter if its hot).
  • Using a kitchen scale, add 150g of starter to a large mixing bowl. Pour in 250g of water and mix. Then pour in 500g of all-purpose flour, 15g of sugar, 10g of salt and 60g of melted butter.
  • Mix ingredients until combined into a soft dough. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer using a dough hook attachment.
  • Once dough is mixed well, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. I recommend using a damp tea towel to prevent the dough from dying out.

Stretch & Fold (5:30PM):

  • After resting, you can perform your first set of stretch and folds.
  • Gently grab one edge of the dough with your fingers, lift up and stretch, and then press back down into the centre of the dough. Repeat 3 more times, 1 on each edge of the dough. *See video in tutorial above for a visual.*
  • Optional: You can perform 3 more sets of stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals if you would like. These help to make your dough stronger and fluffier. But honestly, I rarely do more than one as I'm kinda lazy, and it always turns out fine. So feel free to do it, or skip!

Let Rise Overnight:

  • Cover the bowl with cling wrap or 2 damp tea towels and leave to rise. It's ready once the dough has doubled in size.
  • Timeline: Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the dough might rise too fast to leave overnight. If you find this is the case, then I would suggest making your dough in the morning so you can keep an eye on it. Play around with the timeline suggested to find what works best for you.

Shape The Loaf (Day 2 8AM):

  • Lightly flour a wooden cutting board and scoop out dough. Fold the edges in until it resembles a log shape.
  • Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and place dough into the pan.
  • Spray a sheet of cling wrap with oil and cover the pan. The oil is important because you don't want the cling wrap to stick to the dough.
  • Leave dough to rise until it grows just above the top edge of the pan.
    This usually takes about 2 hours for me, and I like leaving the dough in the oven (off, but with the light on) to speed up the process (the light makes the inside of the oven slightly warm).

Bake Loaf (Day 2 10AM):

  • Remove cling wrap and bake loaf at 380F for 35 minutes.
  • Allow to cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes before taking the bread out and leaving on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Storage Tips:

  • This will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container on your kitchen counter.
  • If you don't plan on eating it all during that time, I suggest storing the slices in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Then when you want a slice, take it out the night before to defrost (again – in an airtight container). If you're in a hurry, you can pop the frozen slice in the microwave or toaster and eat immediately.
Servings: 12 slices

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