This has become my favorite loaf to make. It’s so big, and tall, and luscious. Give it a try with the recipe below and let me know how it turns out. Post a picture of your loaf in the comments!
Sourdough Sandwich Loaf:
Begin with approximately 2 cups of activated sourdough starter. This means that the starter should have been fed within the last 2-3 hours. I don’t specifically measure. I just eyeball it.
Add the following…
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbls honey
1 1/2 cups water
Stir all this into the starter.
Next add your flour. If you are using an all purpose starter, add the all purpose flour first. If you have a whole wheat starter or other whole grain add the whole grain flour first. You want to be sure that the flour that your starter is used to being fed is mixed into the starter well before another type of flour is added. So….
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 – 2 1/2 cups whole grain flour
The whole grain flour could be whole wheat, spelt, etc. I use freshly milled flour.
The reason I give a range here on the flour is that this can vary for you depending on how thick/thin you keep your starter. I typically use about 2 cups of whole grain flour.
The other thing to keep in mind is that this is a fairly stiff dough. For those of you used to high hydration loaves, you may feel like you are over flouring here.
After you have mixed in the flour that your starter is typically used to being fed, then mix in the other flour one cup at a time. You need to read your dough after the first cup of flour. You are going for a dough that is fairly stiff and just cleans the side of the bowl.
After you think you have added enough flour, covet the bowl with a wet towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
After the first 30 minute rest, you want to perform 4-5 sets of stretch and folds every 20-30 minutes. To execute a stretch and fold, reach under the dough and pull a section of the dough up and fold it toward the center of the dough. Do this all the way around the circumference of the ball of dough. Let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes, and perform another stretch and fold until you have done it 4-5 times.
Now give the dough a final 20 minute rest and while you prepare your loaf pan.
I use an Emile Henry Italian Baker (affiliate link). As you can see, this is an extra-large loaf pan. You could use an oval Dutch oven to make this loaf, or divide the dough into two regular sized loaf pans. You could also cut the recipe in half if you only want to make one loaf in a regular sized loaf pan.
If using loaf pans, butter or grease your pans well.
After the dough has completed its final rest (divide it in half if using two loaf pans) and then flatten it into a rough rectangle just slightly smaller than the length of your pan. Roll it into a log shape, pinch the seam closed, and place it in the loaf pan for its final rise. If you have the EH Italian baker, cover the dough with the lid while it rises. (Note: if baking in a Dutch oven, let your dough rise in a covered, oblong banneton, and use parchment paper to line your Dutch oven with rather than greasing it.)
Let the dough rise until it reaches the top of your loaf pan or banneton.
Once it had risen to the top of the pan, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Once the oven is hot, place your loaf pan in the oven and bake covered for 30 minutes. Then remove the cover and bake for 15 more. If baking in regular loaf pans, you can bake uncovered, just watch the loaf for the last 15 minutes to be sure that it is not browning too quickly. If you find it browns too fast, reduce the heat to 350 for the last 15 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack and enjoy your beautiful loaf!
2 cups sourdough starter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbls honey
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups of flour (same as starter)
1 3/4 – 2 cups flour of choice
Mix all ingredients well. Perform 4-5 sets of stretch and folds. Shape and place in loaf pan for second rise. Preheat oven to 400 when bread reaches the top of the pan. Bake for at least 30 minutes or until golden brown.
I have always been a fan of sourdough bread and since embarking on my own sourdough baking journey, I’ve had my ups and downs with it. The boules are pretty but not really something “practical” for my family’s daily needs. Well, along comes this version which I just had to try. To be honest, it was the crust that called to me and I wasn’t disappointed! This so far, is the best sourdough loaf I’ve ever baked and the crust itself is a treat. I have no idea why since I really know next to nothing when it comes to the science of baking. Thank you for sharing, Rachel!
Hi. I’m using an einkorn sourdough mother..so my first 2 cups of flour will be einkorn. Should I add a 15 minute additional rest time or use less flour. My einkorn mother is a lot thinner than my Kamut. Thanks Cheryl
If your starter is on the thin side you’ll probably be okay without a rest time. But it certainly won’t hurt to add a rest. I do that occasionally if I’ve mixed it up quickly and I want to be sure not to add too much flour. I use either freshly milled spelt or white wheat for this recipe and I don’t normally do rests now that I have a feel for the recipe.
It seems to take a long time to rise. I use white wheat that I grind myself too. Do I need to cover them in the loaf pans. I really want to get this right. I’m having trouble getting my husband off white store bought bread. He loves my homemade bread but doesn’t like to make sandwiches with it
Sourdough does take longer than yeast. Mine can take anywhere from 1.5-3 hours to rise. It could take longer. A lot depends on how active your starter is, and how cool/warm your kitchen stays. It’s best to cover them while they are rising so they don’t dry out. My baking pan has a cover, but you could use a wet towel. Post a picture and let me know how they turn out.
I can’t get my loaves to rise past this point. This is after several hours on counter and overnight in the fridge. Help!
Glad we were able to figure out that putting into one long Pullman pan, rather than two, solved your problem. 😊
Had to give it a try and they look great! I don’t have the cool pan you do so I just made in regular pans with a pan of hot water at the bottom of the oven for steam. Can’t wait to cut them open. Thank you!!! ❤️
Thanks Maria! I’m so glad that they turned out well. When I want a smaller loaf, I do mine in regular loaf pans too. 😊