Most of the time, I like making big crusty loaves of lean sourdough, but sometimes it's nice to have a loaf that produces evenly shaped slices for sandwiches. This bread is the best of both worlds (and it makes excellent grilled cheese sandwiches).
This bread is also very good at helping us practice "delayed gratification." The dough requires about six hours of rising. Studies have shown (citation should go here) that individuals who are good at delayed gratification are more successful (it has something to do with toddlers and marshmallows). I vote for baking more sourdough bread just to practice delayed gratification.
It's worth the wait.
Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Adapted from Wild Yeast. Makes two one-pound loaves.
622 g bread or unbleached all purpose flour
323 g water
16.2 g salt
65 g room temperature unsalted butter
31 g honey
33 g milk powder
411 g fed 100% hydration sourdough starter
- Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer on low with the dough hook until it comes together. Add more flour or water by tablespoons as needed. If it is humid, start with about 300 grams of water.
- Mix at medium speed for about seven to ten minutes.
- Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and allow to to rise for three hours, doing a stretch and fold (see the video in this post for a demonstration of the technique) at the one hour and two hour mark.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half.
- Form the dough halves into rolls, spray with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 bread pans with spray oil.
- Shape the dough into loaves by flattening it, tightly rolling it (imagine a jelly roll with no jelly), and placing it into the loaf pans.
- Spray the loaves with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until the dough crests by about 1 1/2 inches above the top of the pan, about 3 hours.
- Place a pizza stone, if you have one, on the lower middle rack of your oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a broiler pan on the lowest rack.
- Place the loaf pans on the baking stone or rack, pour one cup of boiling water into the broiler pan, and shut the oven door. Reduce the temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Bake the loaves for 25 minutes, removing the steam pan at 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the pans and place them directly on the stone. If you don't have a stone, place them on a sheet pan. This will brown the crust.
- Bake for 20 minutes more, until golden brown, and the internal temperature of the bread reaches 200 degrees F.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.