Nothing beats a classic, this soft, fluffy Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread is perfect for sandwiches and toast. This recipe marries the convenience of commercial yeast and the flavor of sourdough discard for a loaf that comes together in a few hours instead of days.
You can’t beat the flavor that sourdough imparts on Sandwich Bread. Although it is totally different from basic sourdough bread, it's delicious in it's own unique way. This sandwich bread is most like classic white bread that makes the best peanut butter jelly sandwiches, French toast or Bostock Pastry.
A good naturally leavened enriched loaf could take upwards of 16 hours to make. That’s because enrichments like butter, milk and eggs which impart the cloud-like texture of Sandwich Bread also drastically slow down fermentation. I love having this recipe in my arsenal when I need to whip up a flavorful loaf quickly, without having to settle for store-bought.
Why use commercial yeast with sourdough discard?
Commercial yeast is much more efficient at metabolizing sugars in flour than the natural yeast present in sourdough cultures. This allows fermentation to occur at a much faster rate, so dough rises much faster. The result is bread that is ready in a manner of hours instead of days.
However, in exchange for convenience you’ll have to give up the rich flavors and nutritional benefits that come with the long fermentation period that occurs when you use sourdough. While you won’t get the intense flavor development of a two-day fermentation, adding sourdough discard to your bread will add a more nuanced flavor than just using commercial yeast on its own.
Short on time but still want delicious freshly-baked bread? Try my recipe for Sourdough Discard Irish Soda Bread, Sourdough Discard Hot Dog Buns, Sourdough Discard Soft Pretzels, Sourdough Discard Focaccia and Sourdough Discard Dinner Rolls.
Baking with sourdough discard
Since you are not using it as a leavener, your sourdough starter does not need to be activated or fed for it to work in this recipe. You can use your sourdough discard straight from the refrigerator. If you’re using sourdough that’s been in the fridge for weeks it will add more acidity to your loaf, which you won’t get when using a freshly fed starter. Both will work for this recipe but you’ll get different results.
What you need
All-purpose - with its lower protein content, all-purpose flour will impart the fluffy texture that you want in a sandwich loaf.
Whole wheat flour - the perfect amount of whole wheat flour adds another dimension of flavor but won’t compromise the texture of this bread (feel free to substitute any other type of wheat, such as Kamut, spelt or einkorn or just use all-purpose if you don’t have whole wheat flour in your pantry).
Sourdough discard - adds another dimension of flavor to your loaf.
Commercial yeast - the main leavener for this recipe. Both active dry or instant yeast will work in this recipe.
Milk, sugar, eggs and butter - these classic enrichments add richness and tenderness to bread.
Salt - brings out the flavor in bread and strengthens the gluten strands in the dough.
How to shape a sandwich loaf
This is my preferred way to shape my sandwich loaves because I find that there's less of a chance for my bread to crack during baking.
1. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough out into a 9 by 4 inch oval
2. Starting from one of the shorter sides, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
3. Lightly grease your loaf pan. Place each cylinder of dough into the loaf pan.
4. Brush proofed dough with egg wash
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Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread
- 9 by 4-inch Pullman pan
- Cooling rack
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- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 30 g whole wheat flour
- 7 g Instant Yeast
- 25 g granulated sugar
- 6 g salt
- 75 g sourdough discard
- 150 g milk
- 1 egg large
- 28 g unsalted butter softened
- 1 egg large
- Pinch of salt
- Make the dough: Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy dough and no traces of dry flour remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes, this rest period will make the dough much easier to work with.
- Knead the dough: Turn the dough out on a clean work surface (you shouldn’t need to flour your surface, but if your dough feels too sticky feel free to use a little bit of bench flour). To knead the dough, hold the bottom of the dough with your fingertips, fold the dough over itself, then push it out using the heel of the palm of your hand. Repeat until the dough looks cohesive and smooth.
- Let the dough rise: Round the dough into a tight ball and place it in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in volume, about 1 to 2 hours.
- Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release the air. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Round each portion into a tight ball, cover the dough with plastic wrap. Let the dough relax for 15 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough out into a 9 by 4 inch oval. Starting from one of the shorter sides, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.
- Lightly grease your loaf pan. Place each cylinder of dough into the loaf pan.
- Let the dough proof for the second time: Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until the dough looks puffy and has filled up to at least ½-inch to the top of the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven: When the dough is close to being ready, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Brush the dough with an egg wash: Whisk together an egg and a pinch of salt. Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the dough with an even layer of egg wash.
- Bake the loaf: Bake the dough for 30 to 35 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and the bread registers at 190 F when probed with an instant read thermometer.
- Enjoy and store: Transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Store slices in a ziplock bag for up to 5 days at room temperature.
These recipes were developed and tested using grams for precise measurements. To increase your chances of success, I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. I've included rough volume estimates (in tablespoons and cups), but they might not be totally accurate.
Remember all ovens are unique, these recipes were tested in my oven which runs cooler than others. You might need to lower the temperature if your bake appears to be browning too quickly. Monitor your bake closely and make adjustments if needed.