Classic Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Compared to my last post, this is a more classic sourdough loaf. Like the other loaves, it has a great crumb and tender texture inside but this loaf has a crispy top crust and a more pronounced sourdough flavor.

This recipe is from Bob’s Red Mill. The original recipe states that it is ideal for all kinds of sandwiches, as well as toast, bread pudding and bread crumbs. We enjoyed it for wonderful sandwiches and toast, but making bread pudding with this beautiful loaf might need to happen in the future. 🙂

Yield: One 2-pound loaf

  • 1 ¼ cups room temperature water, 75°F (10 fl oz)
  • 2/3 cup active sourdough starter (6 1/2 oz)
  • 3 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (1 lb)
  • 1 T table salt or 4 tsp Kosher salt
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve water and starter.
  2. Add flour and mix until a rough and shaggy dough forms, about 4 minutes (low-speed if using an electric mixer).
  3. Cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Add salt and mix until a slightly soft and elastic dough (which easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl) forms, 6–10 minutes by hand or about 2–4 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer. To ensure proper gluten development, tear off a small piece of dough and stretch it as thin as possible; if a thin, transparent “window” is visible without any tearing, the dough is ready to proof.
  5. Transfer dough to a large lightly oiled bowl, turning dough to coat all sides in oil. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 30 minutes.
  6. Punch down the center of the dough and fold all four sides into the center. Flip dough upside down, cover, and let rise again, another 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat the punch and rise a total of four times (2 hours). The dough has properly proofed when a light push with a finger leaves an indentation that does not spring back.
  8. Remove proofed dough from the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Gently stretch into a 10-inch rectangle. Fold the short ends of the dough to meet in the center. Fold the top of the dough to the center and lightly seal with fingertips. Fold the top of the dough to the bottom and seal with the heel of the hand, then gently roll into a 6-inch long cylinder. Cover and let rest 15–20 minutes.
  9. Uncover the dough and turn the cylinder seam-side-up on a floured work surface. Press and gently stretch the dough to a 6-inch rectangle. Fold the top of the dough to the center and press with the fingertips to seal and tighten. Fold the top of the dough to the bottom and seal with the heel of the hand. Gently roll the dough into a tight and smooth 8-inch loaf.
  10. Place the dough in a lightly oiled 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic and proof until puffy and an indentation does not spring back, 30–40 minutes. (My final rise time was about 1 hour, just until the dough rose over the rim of the loaf pan.)
  11. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 450°F. Place a baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven and place a baking stone (if using) on the center rack. Make sure the oven (and baking stone) preheat for at least 30 minutes.
  12. When the dough is ready to bake, gently score the top of the loaf with a few slashes using a lame, kitchen shears, razor blade, or very sharp knife.
  13. Place the loaf pan on the preheated baking stone and pour 4 cups of water into the baking pan on the bottom rack. Quickly close the oven door and let bake at 450°F until browned on top, 35–45 minutes. To ensure doneness, gently remove the bread from the pan and tap the bottom of the loaf–a hollow sound should be audible. Using a probe thermometer, test for a final interior temperature of 200–210°F.
  14. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

No-Knead Sourdough Bread

I have been sharing quite a few sourdough recipes… and I have quite a few more. 😉 I made many of these baked goods while waiting for my sourdough starter to become fully active- which took a full month!

Now it’s (finally) time to share the most simple and delicious sourdough bread recipe I’ve made thus far. It is a sourdough version of the famous Dutch oven “no-knead” bread. Heavenly.

The recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. I weighed the ingredients. I liked that the bread bakes on a piece of parchment paper inside the Dutch oven which is an improvement from the classic Sullivan Street No-Knead Bread. The preparation process begins the night before baking the loaf.

Yield: 1 large round loaf

Time: 1 1/4 hours, plus 14 hours resting

  • 18.3 oz (3 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur or substitute any brand bread flour)
  • 1 3/4 tsp fine sea salt or coarse salt
  • 12.6 oz (1 1/2 cups plus 4 tsp) water, room temperature
  • 3 oz (1/3 cup) mature sourdough starter
  1. Ideally, feed your starter the morning you are planning to make the dough. Leave it at room temperature for up to 12 hours. (I weighed and fed 3oz of starter with equal parts water and flour and left it loosely covered at room temperature for 10 -12 hours.)
  2. Whisk flour and salt together in medium bowl. (I try to start the process at 7pm)
  3. Whisk room-temperature water and starter in large bowl until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture to water mixture and stir using wooden spoon, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until dough comes together, then knead by hand in bowl until shaggy ball forms and no dry flour remains.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 18 hours.
  6. Lay 12 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter and spray generously with vegetable oil spray.
  7. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead 10 to 15 times. (I lightly flour my hands as well.)
  8. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. (For the best rise, you want to create a smooth, round, somewhat taut top.)
  9. Transfer dough, seam side down, to center of parchment.
  10. Pick up dough by lifting parchment edges and lower into heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Adjust oven rack to middle position and place a metal loaf or cake pan in bottom of oven.
  12. Place pot on middle rack and pour 3 cups of boiling water into pan below.
  13. Close oven door and let dough rise until doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with your floured finger, 2 to 3 hours.
  14. Remove pot and water pan from oven; discard plastic from pot.
  15. Lightly flour top of dough (I use a small sieve) and, using razor blade, kitchen shears, or sharp knife, make one 7-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. (Using kitchen shears, I made a large # on the top of the dough instead.)
  16. Cover pot and place on middle rack in oven.
  17. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake bread for 30 minutes (start timing as soon as you turn on the oven).
  18. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. (I baked mine for an additional 22 minutes.)
  19. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

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