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Soft Crust Sourdough Bread Recipe

Sourdough Sandwich Bread loaf on a wooden chopping board.
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Whilst a traditional Sourdough Loaf is the best crusty bread that’s perfect for open sandwiches and as a sidekick to your soups and stews, it isn’t always fit for purpose when you want to make a sandwich or a toastie. Here, we are sharing a simple Soft Crust Sourdough Bread recipe, that has a texture similar to brioche, a wonderful sourdough tang and is made in a loaf tin. Perfect for breakfast toast and lunch-on-the-go sandwiches!

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Can You Make Sourdough Bread Soft?

A great way to transform your traditional Sourdough Bread into a fluffy Sourdough Sandwich Loaf is to substitute the water in the dough with milk. Take it a step further and add a good knob of butter, and you have yourself a wonderfully soft enriched bread that not only makes a perfect sandwich but is great served slathered in butter for your breakfast toast.

The last step in creating this loaf is brushing the top with an egg wash to keep the sourdough sandwich bread crust soft (as opposed to crusty sourdough). You can choose to brush it with milk, but it won’t be as soft and will be a bit lighter in colour.

Can I Make Wholewheat Sourdough Sandwich Loaf?

This time, I am sharing a Soft Crust Sourdough Bread recipe, made with white strong flour, but if you wish you can replace 100g of white flour with rye or wholewheat for a healthier option with more fibre. Adding spelt flour will work very well too!

Does Sourdough Sandwich Bread Taste Sour?

Using sourdough to make sourdough sandwich loaf will completely transform your bread! Don’t get me wrong, your bread will not taste sour – but it will have a slightly tangy aftertaste!

What is more, I always recommend keeping a sourdough starter relatively low acidity (high acidity can really slow the rise, more on this topic here). But just a bearly noticeable sourdough tang does wonders to otherwise quite plain and unmemorable loaf.

Sourdough Sandwich loaf in a loaf tin.

Tips for Making the Best Sourdough Sandwich Loaf:

  • It may go without saying, but make sure you use your sourdough starter at its peak. Once you fed your starter, make sure it at least doubles in size and use it before it starts deflating. This will ensure the yeast in your starter is at its strongest and can do its job in rising the dough properly.
  • Whatever type of flour you’re using in this recipe, make sure that at least 2/3 of it is strong bread flour (meaning that the protein in it is at least 11%).
  • Warming the milk before using it to make the dough helps with the rise. Especially if the temperature in your kitchen is below 20°C. However, if you’re in no rush, use cold milk, and leave it to prove for longer.
  • For the best result, brush the top of your loaf with egg wash before baking. Whilst milk also works, the crust will be softer and deeper golden brown colour if you use eggs (or egg yolk only).
  • We used a tbsp of honey (approx.10g) in our Soft Crust Sourdough Sandwich Bread. It doesn’t make the bread sweet but adds to the depth of flavour. You can skip the honey or substitute it with a level tbsp of sugar.

Method

Day 1: Make the Dough and Stretch and Fold

First thing in the morning, feed your starter in the ratio of 1 part starter: 1 part flour: 1 part water and leave it for 4-6 hours to at least double in volume. Alternatively, feed your starter the night before in the ratio of 1 part starter : 2 parts flour : 2 parts water and leave it to grow overnight.

Once your starter has doubled in volume, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to cool down to just warmer than room temperature. Mix flour, milk mixture, starter and honey in a bowl of your stand mixer (we love Kenwood). Fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment. Start running the stand mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, then increase the speed and knead for 6-7 minutes.

Tip the dough onto a clean surface and using a dough scraper tuck the sides under in swift motion to form a tight ball of dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the centre. Repeat with the other three sides. Then flip the dough over. Alternatively, perform coil folds. Cover and leave again for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, fold and stretch again using your prefered method. Do so two more times (4 times in total). Cover and leave in a warm spot to prove for 2 hours. The dough should have considerably risen during this time.

Cover the dough very well and pop it in the fridge to continue slow proving overnight.

Day 2: Shape, Proof and Bake

Take the dough out of the fridge in the morning and leave it at room temperature whilst you lightly grease a large loaf tin with some oil.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Trying to keep the air in the dough as much as possible, stretch the dough into a rectangle, the length of your loaf tin. Then roll the dough to form a tight log.

Place the dough log into the tin, cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film and leave in a warm spot to rise until the dough is doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Uncover the dough. Using a very sharp knife, a razor or a bread scorer, make a couple of slashes across the dough. Brush the top of the loaf with a beaten egg.

Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown. If you have a kitchen thermometer, check that the internal temperature is 88-93° C. Leave the loaf to cool down in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

Soft Crust Sourdough Bread on a large wooden chopping board.

Ways to Use Soft Crust Sourdough Bread

There are a number of things this Sourdough Sandwich Loaf can be used. Try the following:

  • Make delicious sandwiches with your favourite fillings.
  • Take toasties!
  • Serve it toasted with butter and jam at breakfast time.
  • Any leftovers are perfect for french toast a couple of days after baking!

Recipes Using Active Sourdough Starter

For other Sourdough bakes, using active starter, have a look at our other recipes below:

Recipes Using Sourdough Discard

If you are looking for ideas to use up that Sourdough discard, we would like to tempt you with the recipes below:

Recipe Card

Sourdough Sandwich Bread loaf on a wooden chopping board.

Soft Crust Sourdough Bread

Whilst a traditional Sourdough Loaf is the best crusty bread that's perfect for open sandwiches and as a sidekick to your soups and stews, it isn't always fit for purpose when you want to make a sandwich or a toastie. Here, we are sharing a recipe for a simple Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread, that has a soft crust, a texture similar to brioche and a wonderful sourdough tang. Perfect for breakfast toast and lunch-on-the-go sandwiches!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 35 mins
Fermenting, Proving & Autolyse: 16 hrs
Total Time 17 hrs 35 mins
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine Sourdough
Servings 15 slices
Calories 110 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 360 g strong white flour
  • 220 g active sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 240 ml milk
  • 30 g butter unsalted
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • tsp salt
  • 1 egg (beaten) for egg wash

Instructions
 

Day 1:

  • First thing in the morning, feed your starter in the ratio of 1 part starter: 1 part flour: 1 part water and leave it for 4-6 hours to at least double in volume. Alternatively, feed your starter the night before in the ratio of 1 part starter : 2 parts flour : 2 parts water and leave it to grow overnight.
  • Once your starter has doubled in volume, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to cool down to just warmer than room temperature. Mix flour, milk mixture, starter, and honey in a bowl of our standing mixer. Fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment. Start running the stand mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, then increase the speed and knead for 6-7 minutes.
  • Tip the dough onto a clean surface and using a dough scraper tuck the sides under in swift motion to form a tight ball of dough.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the centre. Repeat with the other three sides. Then flip the dough over. Alternatively, perform coil folds. Cover and leave again for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, fold and stretch again using your prefered method. Do so two more times (4 times in total). Cover and leave in a warm spot to prove for 2 hours. The dough should have considerably risen during this time.
  • Cover the dough very well and pop it in the fridge to continue slow proving overnight.

Day 2:

  • Take the dough out of the fridge in the morning and leave it at room temperature whilst you lightly grease a large loaf tin with some oil.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Trying to keep the air in the dough as much as possible, stretch the dough into a rectangle, the length of your loaf tin. Then roll the dough to form a tight log.
  • Place the dough log into the tin, cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film and leave in a warm spot to rise until the dough is doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Uncover the dough. Using a very sharp knife, a razor or a bread scorer, make a couple of slashes across the dough. Brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown. If you have a kitchen thermometer, check that the internal temperature is 88-93° C. Leave the loaf to cool down in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 242mgPotassium: 51mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Sandwich Loaf with Sourdough, Soft Crust Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Bread Recipe, Sourdough Bread with Soft Crust, Sourdough Sandwich Bread, Sourdough Sandwich Bread Loaf, Sourdough Sandwich Loaf, White Sourdough Sandwich Loaf
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10 Replies to “Soft Crust Sourdough Bread Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This is so perfect!! It really turned out amazing!

    1. That’s great, Toni! Thanks for trying the recipe 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I love making homemade bread, and your sourdough recipe is definitely a keeper, thanks!

    1. Homemade bread is the best! Thanks for the feedback, Natalie!

  3. Sisley White - Sew White says: Reply

    5 stars
    I adore sourdough and this loaf I just ate fresh and still warm with lots of butter.

    1. Being able to have the bread still warm is one of the best things about making it at home for us! So glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says: Reply

    5 stars
    Your breads are always amazing! I didn’t know you could make a soft sour dough and it’s such a great idea for sandwiches. Gorgeous bread.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! What a lovely feedback 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    What a delicious looking loaf – you’ve inspired me to dig out my sorry looking starter from the back of the fridge and start feeding it. Yum!

    1. Kate, I’m so glad you feel inspired! Hope you revive your love for making sourdough! 😀

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