Anna's Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Why this recipe works:

The addition of milk, honey, oil, and an egg enrich the dough and keep it soft.  The plentiful amount of sourdough starter ferments and leavens the whole wheat flour easily.

Flour:

Here are different flours that I have tested for this recipe:

Azure Market Organics Unbleached Bread Flour, Ultra-Unifine, Organic  Excellent results.  Bread raises well and is soft and fluffy.  (This is not surprising because a small amount of bran has been sifted out of the flour.)

Berrybrook Hard Red Whole Wheat Flour from Glory Garden  Bread is not as soft and fluffy as with the Ultra Unifine Flour but is still very good.

King Arthur Organic Stone-Ground White Whole Wheat Flour  Using this flour, my dough would tear or crack instead of becoming elastic and stretchy.  The loaf was dense and crumbly.  I don't recommend this flour for this recipe.

Note:

The starter and flour must be measured by weight for accuracy since the volumes can vary greatly.  All other ingredients can be measured by volume.

Anna's Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

  • 475 grams hard red or white whole wheat flour
  • 350 grams active sourdough starter at 100% hydration
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt

The evening before bake day:

Drop a spoonful of starter into a glass of water to perform a float test.  If the starter floats, it's ready to use.  If it sinks, feed it again and wait till the next evening to mix the dough.

Place all ingredients EXCEPT salt in a mixing bowl and combine until a shaggy dough forms.  Allow to autolyse for 15-30 minutes.  Autolysing it allows the flour to absorb the water before the salt has a chance to draw it away.

Add salt and knead for 5 minutes.  While kneading, observe the moisture level of the dough.  It should be soft and stretchy.  If it's tough and hard, add more a few more tablespoons of water.  If it's too sloppy and wet, add more a few more tablespoons of flour.

Turn the mixer off and allow to rest for roughly 30 minutes.

Knead on low speed for another 5 minutes.

Allow to rest for roughly 30 minutes.

Knead on low speed for another 5 minutes (you can skip this step if you don't have time).

Cover the dough loosely and leave at room temperature overnight to proof (I leave mine in the bowl of my mixer with the lid on.)

By the next morning, the dough should be almost doubled in size.

Prepare a 4 x 8 bread pan with oil or parchment paper.  Shape the dough into a log and place in bread pan.  Cover loosely with plastic or a towel to prevent it from drying out.

Allow the dough to rise until almost doubled in size.  Mine usually takes about 4-12 hours.  Check it frequently to make sure it does not over-ferment and spill over the sides of the pan (been there done that!).

By afternoon, the dough should be ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 500.

Score the loaf with several slashes 1/2"-1" deep and promptly place loaf in the oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 350.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 190-200.

Optional: Rub a stick of butter over the warm surface of the crust to give a glossy appearance.

Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.  Ideally, allow the bread to cool another 30-60 minutes before slicing.

Leave a comment below if you have questions, need more clarification, or want to share your success with the recipe!

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Comments

Anna Anderson

This is delicious bread! My husband likes it b/c it has a softer crust than most sourdough bread. Thanks, Anna!

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