Sourdough Sandwich Bread

I love those round loaves of sourdough bread, crunchy crust, chewy interior with lots of holes …… but this is not one of them.  Sometimes I also just want a soft sandwich loaf with all the flavour of my sourdough breads.  This makes enough for 2 loaves.  I made one in a traditional loaf pan and the rest of the dough turned into the most amazing rolls I’ve ever come up with.

Soft sourdough 6

Ingredients

Levain

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (128g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (128g) cool water (60° to 70°F)
  • 3 tablespoons (44g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter

Dough

  • 5 1/4 cups (631g)  Unbleached Bread Flour or  Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • scant 6 tablespoons (50g) milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) water (70° to 80°F)
  • all of the ripe levain
*All-purpose flour will produce a somewhat stickier dough.

Instructions

  1. To make the levain: Mix all of the levain ingredients together and place in a covered container with room for the levain to grow. It will almost double in size, and will take about 12 hours to ripen (ferment) at room temperature (70°F). When perfectly ripened, there’ll be large bubbles (mostly below the surface) creating a somewhat rippled effect. It’ll appear almost fluffy. If the levain is covered with a froth of tiny bubbles, it’s a bit over-ripened; but don’t worry, you can still use it.
  2. To make the dough: Mix and then knead together all of the dough ingredients, including the levain, to make a smooth, supple, and not overly sticky dough.
  3. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into 8″ logs. Place the logs in two lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap (or a couple of plastic shower caps), and let the loaves rise until they’ve crowned about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 1 to 2 hours.
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Look at all this from just a few moments work!  I almost injured my arm I was so enthusiastically patting myself on the back.

This recipe yielded such a beautiful soft sandwich loaf for sure, but it was these rolls that stole the show.  The dough is tender and incredibly flavourful.

Soft Sourdough 1

It’s the same principal as a cinnamon bun – but savoury!  You can fill the roll with anything you like.  Today I used Black Forest ham, cut into small squares, and spicy Calabrese sausage cut into little strips along with kalamata olives and diced yellow pepper.

Today I got frustrated because I wasn’t able to use tomato sauce like the pizza roll I envisioned.  So, Plan B …… I defrosted one of my basil almond pesto blocks, stirred in a bit more olive oil and spread that over the dough.  In the end, it was the happiest of Plan B’s ever!  In fact I got so excited by how good it was smelling that I rolled it all up, forgetting to add cheese.  Oh well, another Plan B – cheese sprinkled over the top before baking.

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A mixture of aged white cheddar and mozzarella graced the top of these rolls right before baking and it was just fabulous.

I’ve been reading a lot of the King Arthur Flour website recipes during my sourdough explorations, and this recipe also came from there.  We don’t have any of that particular flour around here, but I wonder how much difference that makes?  We do have Rogers Flour locally and that is what I have been using with great success.

Olive Sourdough Loaf

Okay, my goodness …. you have to try this loaf.  Love kalamata olives any day of the week, but add them to a loaf of sourdough goodness, include some fresh garlic chunks and oregano right out of the garden and you have a sure fire winner.

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I think it is the combination of sourdough starter with the yeast that creates the perfect crumb and texture for soft and delicious bread.

  • 1 cup (227g) sourdough starter, ripe (fed) or discard
  • 1 1/4 cups (283g) lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup (50g) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped; or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups (539g to 574g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup (71g to 142g) drained, pitted, and coarsely chopped kalamata olives
  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the olives, mixing and kneading to form a smooth dough then fold in the olives.
  2. Cover the dough, and allow it to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
  3. Gently divide the dough in half; it’ll deflate somewhat.
  4. Shape each piece of dough into a round loaf. Place each loaf on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
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Knead the olives in until the dough is soft, only slightly sticky to the touch, and smooth.

Olive loaf 1

This loaf came out of the oven looking irresistible.  It was amazing!

 

 

olive loaf 4

I was looking for a loaf shape today, so baked them in these pans.

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Just look!  These olive loaves were absolutely perfect – the texture and flavour can’t be beat.

This recipe came from the King Arthur Flour website, and if you ever have any questions about baking, check out their website, they have everything.

 

Easy, authentic Sourdough Bread

It’s the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, and like everybody else on Instagram, I’ve slipped down the rabbit hole of sourdough.  From initially thinking this is far too much work, don’t like being a slave to a starter, and ending up being a sourdough convert is very much a slippery slope folks, so don’t start unless you are prepared!  I’ve tried a variety of methods, and ended up with a variety of breads, all delicious, but this one … it’s going to be my house bread.   Chewy, dense, yet somehow light … it’s the perfect sourdough loaf.

Sourdough best

This loaf just made me happy, and when Sloan said she loved it, I was content.

  • 50 grams or bubbly sourdough starter, 1/4 cup
  • 350 gramswarm water (80° F)(1 ⅓ cups plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 500 grams bread flour (4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) You can use other flours, too: white unbleached flour, white whole wheat, or spelt. Whole wheat flour will be denser and won’t rise as much as white flour. For your first few loaves, you’ll have more success if you don’t use it. Don’t use gluten-free flours.
  • 9 grams finely ground sea salt ( 1½ teaspoons) or Himalayan salt

You need to make sure your sourdough starter is bubbly and ready to go. If it has not been fed recently then take a few spoonfuls of sourdough starter from your fridge and give it that much flour and water and let it ferment for 6 – 8 hours.

NIGHT PRIOR TO BAKING

Before bedtime (the night prior to baking), gather all your ingredients.

Close to your bedtime, add the bubbly sourdough starter and warm water to a ceramic bowl. Mix them together with a whisk until well combined.

Then add the flour and salt and combine together with a stiff spatula. You can also use your hands to get the flour fully incorporated. The dough will look a little scraggly, feel dense, and stick to your fingers. Try and scrape off as much dough from your hands as possible but don’t over mix it at this point. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, flour your hands and work the dough into a smooth ball. Do this by folding the dough over and pressing it into the center until the dough starts to turn into a smoother ball.

BAKING DAY

In the morning, use your spatula and gently pull the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust your hands with flour and start at the top and fold the dough over to the center, repeating on all sides (add more flour if needed).
Then flip the dough over and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

 

Line an 8-inch bowl with a towel and dust generously with flour. Make sure your hands are still floured and pick up the dough and place it in the bowl with seam side up.

Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your pot, leaving excess so you can grab the bread and take it out of the pot. Place your parchment paper over the bowl and invert the bowl to allow the bread to release onto the paper.

With a small razor blade or serrated knife, score the bread with four slashes.

Pick up the parchment and carefully place your bread in the pot.

Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue baking for 30 more minutes.

You can take it out of the pot and onto the rack to bake for 5 minutes longer to darken the bread if you’d like.

When bread is done, take bread out of pot and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes to an hour, although we often can’t wait to eat it! Store loaf in a bag on the counter, or this bread freezes beautifully

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Apparently the overnight rest helps to give the bread some volume, and more flavour, but also helps with the digestive properties – whatever the reason, it works!

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This bread was moist, tender and oh so delicious – it will be on repeat around here.

If you would like a little more guidance, lots of clear photos, and many sourdough tips, head on over to the site I got this recipe from – Cultured Food Life.