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Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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Are you looking for a recipe to make soft sourdough sandwich bread? This sourdough sandwich bread recipe will give you the soft, slightly tangy, sourdough sandwich of your dreams! 

When you picture sourdough bread, chances are good that you’re envisioning a classic, crusty, rustic loaf. But what if you want the health benefits of sourdough in the form of a soft and chewy sandwich bread? That’s where this recipe comes in.

sliced sourdough sandwich bread

I’ve shared several other delicious sourdough recipes on the blog, like sourdough chocolate chip bread, sourdough flatbread, and sourdough cinnamon rolls. But this one, I’m particularly excited about… because I’ve been taking my time testing and perfecting this no-knead sourdough sandwich bread recipe, and now it’s finally here. I’m happy to report that it’s very simple to make, and so delicious!

So, why would you want to make soft sourdough sandwich bread? Well, this easy recipe will produce golden brown bread with a soft crust that might be more familiar (and therefore appealing) to younger children, or anyone who prefers softer bread.

The traditional bread loaf shape of sourdough sandwich bread also means it is easier to fit into kids’ lunch boxes. 

While crunchy sourdough bread can make for some excellent sandwiches, sometimes you just miss the chew of a soft bread sandwich.

sliced sourdough sandwich bread on board with avocado and bacon and cheese

how to make soft sourdough sandwich bread 

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of sourdough. Not only is sourdough tasty, this natural yeast has numerous health benefits compared to store-bought bread and bread made with traditional yeast.

The bulk fermentation process in sourdough neutralizes the phytic acid in wheat, allowing for better gut absorption of minerals like iron and zinc. It also partially breaks down gluten, making sourdough bread easier to digest for people who are sensitive to it. 

If you’d like to hear me explain more about sourdough, check out this video on my YouTube channel. 

All of these characteristics of true sourdough make up the reason I prefer homemade bread over store bought. 

unsliced sourdough sandwich loaf with ramekin of butter

using a sourdough starter

For this recipe, you’ll need an active sourdough starter. Quick breads like banana bread, will work with sourdough discard, but for soft sourdough sandwich bread, you’ll want a bubbly, active sourdough starter that is ready to leaven. 

Here are my tricks to help you get your own sourdough starter active, bubbly, and ready for sourdough sandwich bread. 

  1. For a few days before baking, feed your starter consistently (every 12-24 hours). 
  2. Always feed at least an amount equal to the starter you have on hand. For example, if you have about 1 cup of starter, you’ll need to stir in at least 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour per feeding. If you end up with excess starter, you can make some of our favorite recipes in my Sourdough Discard Favorites ebook!)
  3. Plan to use your starter 4-8 hours after feeding, when it is most active. You’ll want the starter to be super bubbly. You can do the sourdough float test to ensure that you have an active starter that is ready for bread-making. 

tips for making soft sourdough sandwich bread

  • Because this recipe is no-knead, you can make your bread in a bowl with a spoon or your hands OR a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
  • Bread pans: I would prefer a glass bread pan or pullman loaf pan for this recipe, but silicone or metal would work as well. 
  • Other recipes for sourdough sandwich bread call for commercial yeast, but as long as your starter is active and you have a warm place to let your dough rise, this recipe will produce the fluffiness and soft texture of traditional sandwich bread without the need for that. 
  • This bread freezes well! If you have a large family like I do, consider doubling or tripling the recipe and freezing a few loaves. I let my double batch of sourdough rise all together and then divide it into loaves before cooking.
  • If your dough doesn’t seem quite smooth enough after resting and stretch and folding, feel free to give it a few quick kneads on the counter.
shaping sourdough bread for sandwiches

soft sourdough sandwich bread ingredients

This delicious bread requires only six simple ingredients:

  • Sourdough starter
  • Water
  • Sugar (I prefer organic)
  • Bread flour
  • Oil (avocado or olive oil are the best combination of healthy and neutrally flavored)
  • Sea salt

instructions for making soft sourdough bread for sandwiches

1. Mix everything together in the bowl of a stand mixer, OR with a wooden spoon/clean hands until all the flour is absorbed and the bread dough is somewhat smooth. 

2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

3. Complete a set of stretch and folds by gently coaxing the dough from one side of the bowl, stretching it upwards by a few inches, and then folding it towards the opposite side. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat this process 3 times, pulling the dough from the sides of the bowl until you’ve made a circle.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let the dough complete the first rise in a warm place for 12-24 hours until doubled.

5. Butter/lightly spray your loaf pan or cover with parchment paper. Lightly flour your countertop or work surface, and turn the dough out onto it. Gently stretch into a small rectangle, then fold the dough into a log shape. You can tighten the surface of the dough by gently pulling it towards you on the countertop.

6. Place the log seam side down into your pan for a second rise, at least 30 minutes-1 hour.

7. (OPTIONAL: Brush an egg wash of beaten egg + water over the top for additional browning & sheen.) Bake at 375 in the center of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until golden and internal temperature is at least 180F.

​8. For the best results, let the bread rest on a wire rack until it cools slightly. 

inside of sourdough sandwich loaf

sourdough sandwich bread FAQs

Is sourdough bread good for sandwiches?

This soft sourdough sandwich bread makes excellent sandwiches. Not only is it softer than traditional rustic sourdough bread, but it is also traditionally shaped making it easier to fit in kids’ lunchboxes or bento boxes. 

How long does homemade sourdough sandwich bread last?

If my husband and four boys had their way, a loaf of this delicious bread would be gone within hours!

However, if stored in an air-tight plastic bag, it should last up to a week. This bread also freezes well and, wrapped properly, can be stored for several weeks and even months. 

You can read all about how to store sourdough bread in this post and find out my favorite products for helping your bread stay fresh. 

Do I have to use bread flour for sourdough sandwich bread?

Generally, bread flour has a higher protein count and gives a more dense and chewy structure than all-purpose flour. However, when combined with sourdough starter and a no-knead recipe like this one, bread flour gives a fluffy texture with a higher amount of protein. 

You can read more about What Flour To Use for Sourdough in this post.

If all-purpose flour is what you have in your pantry, you CAN substitute it directly (1:1). If you are using whole wheat flour, you might need to decrease the water in the recipe by ⅓-½ cup. 

final thoughts

Sourdough can create such versatile and healthy breads. If you are looking for a change from the crusty crunch of rustic sourdough, this soft sourdough sandwich bread recipe will give you all of the health benefits of sourdough with the fluffy softness you’ve been craving. 

Find the printable recipe card for Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread below, and let me know in the comments what you think. If you love this recipe as much as we do, I’d love it if you left a five-star review, which helps other sourdough enthusiasts find my recipes!

sourdough sandwich bread on serving board with bacon and cheese
5 from 1 vote

Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread

This sourdough sandwich loaf is so simple to make and truly delicious. The perfect sourdough bread for when you want a softer crust!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Proofing Time:12 hours
Total Time:13 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup active sourdough starter 80g
  • 1 1/3 cups water 290g
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar 40g
  • 3 1/3 cups bread flour 475g
  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado or olive oil 10g
  • 2 tsp sea salt 10g

Instructions

  • Mix everything together in the bowl of a stand mixer, OR with a wooden spoon/clean hands until all the flour is absorbed and the dough is somewhat smooth.
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Complete a set of stretch and folds by gently coaxing the dough from one side of the bowl, stretching it upwards by a few inches and then folding it towards the opposite side. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat this process 3 times until you’ve made a circle. If the dough still isn't smooth, let it rest another 15-30 minutes before completing another set of stretch and folds, or knead it for a few minutes on the counter.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let rise for 12-24 hours until doubled.
  • Butter/lightly spray your loaf pan. Lightly flour your counter top, and turn the dough out onto it. Gently stretch into a small rectangle, then fold the dough into a log shape. You can tighten the surface of the dough by gently pulling it towards you on the counter top.
  • Place the log into your pan for a second rise, at least 30 minutes-1 hour.
  • (OPTIONAL: Brush an egg wash of beaten egg + water over the top for additional browning & sheen.)
  • Bake at 375 in the center of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until golden and internal temp is at least 180F.
Course: bread
Cuisine: Sourdough
Keyword: easy bread, sourdough, sourdough bread
Servings: 10
Calories: 180kcal

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3 Comments

  1. Would I be able to bulk ferment in fridge for more flexible baking schedule? If so how long would you think?

    1. I would bulk on the counter for at least 6-8 hours and then put in the fridge if you need to! I have done that before. You can shape it beforehand or let the dough come closer to room temp, shape, then bake. If you do bake this dough cold I have found it helps to make sure the oven is nice and hot and be prepared to bake an extra 5-10 minutes.