Sourdough Sandwich Bread

This is an older recipe for sourdough sandwich bread I used to bake often. I now almost exclusively use this recipe for soft sourdough sandwich bread.

Soft, tender and yummy, this sourdough sandwich bread is made with instant yeast and a ripe sourdough starter. When I first started making sourdough bread, it never occurred to me to make a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread. I love the crusty artisan bread so much and I had a favorite white sandwich bread recipe already, so I never thought about looking for a soft sourdough sandwich bread. That all changed a few months ago.

Sourdough sandwich bread

This recipe was originally posted at the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic. These were my thoughts at the time:

During this coronavirus pandemic, yeast is proving difficult to find. I am looking for more and more recipes that don’t use very much yeast so I can conserve the amount of yeast I do have – considering we don’t know when this pandemic is going to end. This sourdough bread is perfect because it calls for such small amount of yeast and can even be made with no yeast at all – I now recommend this soft sourdough sandwich bread if making bread with no commercial yeast at all.

Sourdough Bread Takes Longer to Rise

With the amount of sourdough starter used in this recipe, the rise time will be a little longer than most commercially yeasted breads. That is the nature of sourdough and natural yeast. Look for the signs that your sourdough sandwich bread is ready to bake. Make sure that your bread has doubled in size, filled out your loaf pan and is light and aerated before baking.

Use Discard or the Levain Method in the Recipe

Originally I posted this recipe using a levain method. This is a great way to bulk up your sourdough starter and make the resulting bread even better. Because you’re using instant yeast you can also substitute sourdough discard for the levain in this recipe if you’re looking for a faster way to make this bread. Just substitute 330 grams of sourdough discard for “all of the levain” in the recipe. I also love this recipe for sourdough discard sandwich bread that has become my new go-to recipe.

Tender Crumb and Easy to Make

The crumb of this white bread is absolutely delicious, tender and great for the perfect sandwich, cinnamon sugar toast or just to eat plain. My whole family loves this bread and even when this whole pandemic ends, it will be one of my go-to white bread recipes. The sourdough doesn’t give much “sour” flavor to the bread, it just enhances the tenderness and flavor. It is such a delicious bread that I am already scheming for when I can make my next loaf. If you have a sourdough starter you’ve been playing around with these last few weeks, this is definitely a recipe you will want to try and bookmark. It’s delicious!

The sourdough gives this loaf a beautiful crumb and flavor

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover sourdough sandwich bread?

Let the bread for a few minutes before taking out of the pans. Let it cool completely on a baking rack before slicing. I freeze the slices and toast or defrost as needed.

Can I make this bread without the instant yeast?

You can. Leave out the instant yeast, keep the dough warm (78 ℉) for about 4 hours. Then shape the dough and let rise at a warm temperature (mid 80℉) until puffed up and filled out the loaf pans. This will typically take around 10 + hours depending on the temperature of your dough. You can see a detailed schedule on my soft sourdough sandwich bread for an idea of how to adapt this recipe.

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Soft, tender and yummy, this sourdough sandwich bread is made with instant yeast and a ripe sourdough starter.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rise Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf


Overnight Levain (Keep levain around 75℉ for 10-12 hours)

  • 40 grams sourdough starter
  • 150 grams all purpose flour
  • 150 grams warm water

Sourdough Sandwich Bread Dough

  • 340 grams warm water about 1 ½ cups
  • All of the ripe levain, see recipe notes
  • 50 grams granulated sugar about 1/4 cup
  • 20 grams salt 2 ½ teaspoons
  • 10 grams instant yeast 2 teaspoons
  • 50 grams egetable oil or any neutral flavored oil about ¼ cup
  • 690 grams all purpose or bread flour about 4 ¾ cups


  • The night before making the bread, mix the ingredients to form the levain. This levain should move fairly quickly and should be very bubbly and may have fallen a little before you use it. Because you are using instant yeast in this recipe, this will add good flavor to the dough.
  • In the morning mix together the water, all of the ripe levain, sugar, salt, instant yeast and vegetable oil. Add flour a cup at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. The dough will still be sticky but should form a ball easily. Knead for 5-10 minutes. This helps develop the gluten and elasticity in the dough.
  • Put a drop of oil in a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel (or plastic wrap) and let rise in a warm place. To encourage rising I turn the light on in my oven (don’t turn the oven on) and place my covered dough inside the oven (not directly under the light). This acts as a “proofing” box and will keep the temperature warm for a quicker rise. Alternatively, you could use a bread proofer to help you dough rise.
  • After the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto the counter and cut in half. This recipe makes two loaves of bread. Shape the dough into a rectangle. You will be rolling the dough into a cylinder shape. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll up the dough. Take care to press in the dough at the seam after each roll and pinch the seam closed at the end.
  • Transfer the dough, seam side-down to a bread pan. I use an 8.5 by 4.5 bread pan. Repeat with the second loaf of bread.
  • Allow the dough to rise again (1-2 hours), covered and in a warm place. The dough should rise over the top of the bread pan, have doubled in size and feel light and airy when touched.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 40 minutes. Top with melted butter if desired. Enjoy!


Because this recipe uses active yeast, it is not using the sourdough starter to rise. You could also substitute 330 grams sourdough discard for the levain in this recipe. If you are looking for a recipe that uses 100% sourdough to rise, you can find that recipe here.  
Keyword sourdough discard bread, sourdough discard sandwich bread, sourdough discard sandwich bread recipe, sourdough sandwich bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Looks delicious. We don’t eat anything but home-baked sourdough, and haven’t used commercial yeast at all. I love the artesan loaves I can make in a banneton, but basic sandwich bread is pretty satisfying to make too. And it disappears just as fast round here.

  2. How do you cover the loaves after forming for the final rise? I have trouble with things sticking to the dough.

    1. I usually use a shower cap. I have to pull up in the middle of the shower cap so that it fills with a little bit of air and allows room for the dough to rise. Sometimes covering it with a kitchen towel will help and even a little sprinkling of flour over the top of the loaf can help it not stick to a kitchen towel if you go that route.