Indulge in the joy of homemade sourdough discard sandwich bread, a recipe that transforms your saved sourdough discard into a versatile, tangy, and incredibly soft loaf. Perfect for everything from gourmet sandwiches to decadent French toast, this bread will revolutionize your homemade sandwich game.
Prep Time: 30 min
Rest Time: 2 hrs
Bake Time: 40 min
Let’s talk sandwich bread, shall we? That humble yet ever-present staple of our lives. The reliable toaty sidekick to your morning scramble, the vessel for your noontime turkey club, and the unsung hero of that late-night grilled cheese craving. Sandwich bread. But not just any sandwich bread – we’re talking about the kind that makes you question why you ever settled for store-bought, plastic-wrapped mediocrity.
After countless hours of experimentation and bread-related soul-searching, I’ve got a recipe that’ll change the way you think about sandwich bread. It’s a game-changer, a life-enhancer, and quite possibly the best thing since… well, sliced bread.
In this little corner of the Internet, I’m about to reveal the secrets of crafting sourdough discard sandwich bread. Yes, you heard me right. This is an ideal way to use the discard you’ve saved from all those rounds of feeding your sourdough starter. It’s not just delicious; it’s sustainable, thrifty, downright versatile and features the perfect ever-so-slight bit of sourdough tang. From epic sandwiches and morning toast with jelly to thick-cut slices for decadent bread pudding and mouth-watering French toast, this bread has your culinary adventures covered.
So, if you’re ready to take your sandwich game to the next level, bid farewell to insipid store-bought loaves, and embrace the world of homemade bread, let’s dive right in. Trust me; you won’t regret it.
- 7 g Dry Yeast
- 20 g Sugar
- 250 g Warm Water
- 100 g Goat’s Milk (or Whole Milk)
- 80 g Butter (Room Temperature)
- 120 g Sourdough Discard
- 650 g Bread Flour
- 10 g Kosher Salt or Fine Sea Salt
A Word on Salt: You’ve got some freedom in the salt department here. The important thing is to measure it by weight, not volume (as you may have noticed, I’ll seldom hit you with volume measurements). I’m a fan of kosher salt because it’s free from additives that can mess with the taste. It does have bigger grains, which some say don’t blend in as well, but in my experience, they play nice. Fine-grain sea salt is another solid option, giving you the best of both worlds. I’d avoid iodized salt, but even if that’s all you’ve got, it’s not a deal-breaker.
A Floury Note: Now, if you’re out of bread flour, don’t sweat it. Unbleached all-purpose flour will do the job just fine. Bread flour packs more protein punch, adding structure and chewiness to your baked goods, perfect for bread. All-purpose flour will work too, but it’ll make things a bit more tender, and you might need to toss in a touch more to keep that hydration level in check.
Activate the Yeast
Combine your warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let them cozy up for a few minutes to get that yeast all activated and ready to work its magic.
Combine the Ingredients
Stir in your milk and that trusty sourdough discard you’ve been saving. Give them a good mix until they’re playing nicely together. Mix in the salt and flour until you’ve got a rough, shaggy dough forming. I typically do this in the bowl of my stand mixer by hand with a Danish whisk.
Note: Some folks like to let the dough chill for about 30 minutes at this point, but I’ll be honest; I’m usually too eager to get to the good stuff and haven’t noticed a massive difference. So, I skip this step and dive right into the next one.
Knead It Like You Mean It
Now, if you’re rolling with a Kitchenaid Pro Stand Mixer like me, slap that bowl in there with the dough hook. Pro tip: go for the spiral dough-hook attachment instead of the standard hook; it’s a game-changer. Start the mixer on low; I usually set it at 1 or 2.
Texture Matters: Here’s where the artistry comes in. Keep an eye on the texture. Depending on factors like elevation and humidity, your dough might need more or less flour. The goal is dough that’s elastic and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, almost like it’s cleaning up after itself. You’re on the right track if it feels a tad sticky but doesn’t turn your hands and the bowl into a doughy mess. If it’s holding on like your stage-five clinger of an ex, toss in a bit more flour. If it’s looking too dry, a smidge more water should do the trick. Be judicious; tiny adjustments make a big difference.
Once your dough kneads away in the mixer for 6-8 minutes, it’s time for its beauty rest.
The First Rise
Grab a damp kitchen towel; I picked up these dedicated farmhouse-style ones just for bread-making solely because they look good in pictures for social media. Since we’re using dry yeast instead of the fed sourdough starter, this rise will be much faster than a standard sourdough loaf. Cover your dough bowl with the damp towel, and find a cozy spot to rise. Leave it be for around an hour or until it puffs up to about double its original size. Keep in mind that if you’re in a warmer climate, it might rise even faster, while in a chillier abode, it could take a little longer to get its rise on.
Prep the Pan
While the dough is on its way to doubling in size, let’s prepare the pan. I’ve tried all sorts of pans, but I’m all-in on these trusty 9×5 non-stick steel loaf pans for this recipe. As for greasing, I’ve got a soft spot for bacon grease I’ve saved and rendered from my tremendous consumption of bacon, but butter or a light coating of oil will do the job just as well. Here’s the key: dust the pan with a gentle shower of flour. I use a flour/powdered sugar shaker to ensure everything gets a good coating. Then, give the pan a little tap and roll it around to make sure that flour’s everywhere it needs to be. Finally, tip out any extra that accumulates.
Shaping the Dough
Now that the dough’s done its thing and doubled up, it’s time to unleash those Play-Doh skills you honed as a kid. Tip the dough onto your countertop and shape it into a rectangular form with the shorter sides facing you. You can use your trusty hands, but I usually grab my rolling pin and gently nudge it to stretch the dough to about a 12″x 20″ rectangle. Here’s the trick: leave the middle slightly thicker than the edges because you’re about to fold in those edges on either side, giving you a neat 9″x 20″ rectangle. Smooth out those folds a bit to even things out.
Roll, Rise & Prep
Next, start rolling the dough into a log from the short side, keeping it nice and snug. Once it’s all rolled up, seam-side down, it’s time for a bit of a tightening. Place your hands at the base and gently pull the dough towards you from all sides, but keep it on the countertop. With your masterpiece shaped, pop it into your greased and floured loaf pan for round two of rising. Cover it with that damp towel again and let it rise until it’s just peeping over the tin’s edge.
When your dough has finally peeked over that edge, fire up your oven to around 350F/180C. Put one rack on the bottom level with a pan of water and another on the center level. Ensure there’s nothing above the center rack that could interfere with a further rise of the dough. The water in the pan is your secret weapon. It keeps your loaf delightfully moist during the oven spring, letting it expand, and it helps give you a nice thin crust.
Bake to Golden Brown
Once your oven’s nice and toasty, put your loaf on the center rack and set your timer for roughly 40 minutes. At around the 15-minute mark, throw on an oven mitt, grab that pan of water, and let the bread do its thing solo. Keep an eagle eye on your bread. At that 40-minute mark, it should be rockin’ a gorgeous golden brown hue, and that’s when you’ll want to pull it from the oven.
Rubdown & Cool
Immediately after pulling your bread from the oven, dim the lights, put on some Barry White and give your loaf a rubdown with a pad of butter that would make any masseuse envious. The butter provides your crust that soft, shiny finish we all love in a soft sandwich bread. After I’ve given the butter a few minutes to work its magic, I’ll slide the bread out and let it cool on a wire rack. It should slip right out of the pan.
Patience is Key: Now, I get it; you’re itching to slice into it, but here’s the kicker: give it a couple of hours. Let all that butter soak in, and make sure it’s completely cooled. Sometimes, it can feel cooled on the outside, but the inside’s still warm. Trust me; the wait pays off big time. This cooling session helps you get those perfectly clean slices we all associate with top-notch sandwich bread.
Slice & Savor
Once it’s cooled down, you’re in the home stretch. It’s time to grab that bread knife and start slicing. Seriously, invest in a decent bread knife. It doesn’t have to be expensive but will make a world of difference. Depending on your game plan, I usually go thin for sandwiches and toast with one half and super thick for French toast or bread pudding with the other. Enjoy the fruits (or should I say breads?) of your labor!
Super-Soft Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread
Indulge in the joy of homemade sourdough discard sandwich bread, a recipe that transforms your saved sourdough discard into a versatile and incredibly soft loaf with just the slightest hint of sourdough tang. Perfect for everything from gourmet sandwiches to decadent French toast, this bread will revolutionize your homemade sandwich game.
Combine water, sugar, and yeast. Leave them for a few minutes for the yeast to activate.
Stir in the milk and sourdough discard until well-blended.
Mix in the salt and flour until you’ve got a rough, shaggy dough forming.
Optional: Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes on low in your stand mixer until it’s slightly sticky but elastic and peeling away from the sides of the bowl.It's critical to keep an eye on the texture of your dough. If it's too sticky and making a mess on the bowl and your hands, add more flour a tiny bit at a time. If it's way too dry, add more water a tiny bit at a time. A little bit goes a long way.
Grab a damp tea towel to cover the bowl and place it in a warm area for about an hour to rise until it doubles in size.Keep a close eye on your dough. Depending on the environment of your kitchen your dough could take a longer or shorter time to rise.
While the dough is rising, grease a bread pan and sprinkle it in a generous coating of flour. Tap it around and pour out any accumulated excess.
Once the dough has doubled, tip it onto the countertop and shape it into a rectangular form with the short sides facing you.
Use a rolling pin to stretch the dough to approximately a 12″ x 20″ rectangle. Fold the edges in to create a 9″ x 20″ rectangle and smooth things out.
Start rolling the dough into a log from the short side, keeping everything nice and snug.
With the seam-side down, tighten up the loaf by placing your hands at the base and gently pulling the dough towards yourself from all sides.
Place the rolled loaf into your greased and floured loaf pan. Cover it with a damp tea towel and place in a warm spot to let it rise until it's just over the edge of the loaf pan.
When your dough is finally rising just over the edge of the loaf pan, preheat the oven to 350F/180C with one rack at the bottom and one center rack.
Place a pan full of water on the bottom rack.The water in the pan will keep the loaf moist during the oven spring, allowing it to expand and giving it a thinner crust. Ensure that there's nothing above the center rack that would inhibit a further rise in the bread.
Once the oven is up to temp, put the loaf on the center rack and set your timer for 40 minutes.
Around the 15-minute mark, remove the pan of water.
Keep an eye on the bread and remove it from the oven around the 40-minute mark or when it’s golden brown.
Immediately out of the oven, give the loaf a generous coating of butter.
Once the butter has had a few minutes to soak in, tip it out onto a wire rack to cool for a couple of hours.Waiting until the bread is completely cooled will make it significantly easier to slice and provide better structure. Even if it feels completely cool on the outside, give it plenty of time as it may still be warm on the inside.
Slice the bread to your chosen thickness and enjoy!