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Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe

easy sourdough bread recipe

Ingredients

  1. To feed the starter: Add 1 cup each of flour and warm water
  2. Stir together and let ferment at room temperature for 5-7 hours, covered. sit the lid of my jar on top, but don’t tighten it. This allows gas to escape as it ferments.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, and 1/2 cups of warm water.
  4. Add fed sourdough starter and mix well.
  5. Remove a cup of this mixture to a fresh jar, fit with lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  6. Going back to the stand mixer, add an additional cup or two of flour until you reach a sticky dough consistency – not a batter you can pour, but not a dough you can knead either. Note: Getting the consistency just right here isn’t super important – just get close.
  7. This is where I like to add whole grains if I’m using them so that they get the full overnight ferment and break down the germ and bran.
  8. Mix together well, then remove bowl and beater from mixer, cover bowl with plastic, and let it ferment at room temperature for the remainder of the evening.
  9. Store in refrigerator overnight, where the fermentation will continue, but more slowly, and encourage the sweeter bacterias to grow.
  10. In the morning remove dough from refrigerator back to the stand mixer.
  11. Add eggs, salt, and sugar, and combine.
  12. Begin adding flour until you reach a very soft, but kneadable dough consistency.
  13. It is important to know that the higher your dough hydration (the less flour), the softer, and fluffier your bread will be, with a thinner crust. Lower hydration (i.e. more flour/stiffer dough) will lead to a denser loaf with thicker crust. The isn’t bad, it just depends on what you want. I like a high hydration loaf for sandwich bread. Something like pretzels or challah bread will need a lower hydration so that you can work the dough.
  14. After you finish adding your flour, set the mixer to knead for five minutes – with a high hydration dough, you don’t need to knead super long as the water gives the protein and gluten more mobility.
  15. Cover, and allow to rise until double or tripled in size. Usually 2-3 hours for me.
  16. Once the dough has risen, grease 4 loaf pans, your work surface, and your hands.
  17. Divide the dough into fourths, and shape into loaves.
  18. Let rise to about 2 1/2 times its original size.
  19. Preheat oven to 350º.
  20. Bake loaves for 30 minutes.
  21. Remove from pans immediately.
  22. To help keep crust soft, bag bread while it is still ever so slightly warm.
  23. Enjoy!