An easy sourdough bread recipe beloved by many for generations. This sourdough sandwich bread recipe uses clean ingredients, potato flake starter, and is beginner friendly. Add a notch in your homesteading belt and learn how to make the best sourdough sandwich bread at home!
Origins Of This Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe
I have no claim to fame with this recipe. It’s as old as time.
I like to imagine it began in the kitchen of an old English cottage with a thatched roof, cobblestone walled garden, and a sweet old lady wearing a linen dress and apron. It probably didn’t but a girl can dream.
I grew up eating this particular bread as a kid. My mom didn’t make it often but when she did, it was a real treat and the entire loaf would be gone within hours.
My husband also grew up on this bread as did his dad and the roots just keep going deeper. His grandmother (Mamaw) is actually who shared my first starter with me!
What Does This Sourdough Sandwich Bread Taste Like?
This easy sourdough bread recipe yields a loaf of bread that is tall, soft, maintains its crumb, and tastes slightly sweet.
It is sturdy enough to withstand a mound of deli meat, soft enough for a scrumptious pb&j, and hearty enough to be fried into a grilled cheese.
Of course, it’s made with such clean ingredients that eating it warm and plain is just as heavenly.
What Kind Of Bread Is This?
I’ve heard this type of sourdough bread called Amish bread, friendship bread, and just regular sourdough bread.
I affectionately call this Sweet Southern Sourdough. This isn’t your artisan sourdough that everyone decided to try and learn how to make during lockdowns in 2020.
My husband’s grandmother makes this same sweet Southern sourdough my mom used to make and the last time we visited, she sent me home with starter and a recipe.
I made bread the very next day and it was heavenly. Soft, slightly sweet, held up to meat and cheese, and wasn’t as fussy to make as regular sourdough.
Is This Bread Recipe Clean?
What I liked most about this bread, is I have full control over the ingredients I use. While my mom used canola oil in the 90s, I use organic avocado.
Instead of refined white sugar, I use organic cane sugar. You could probably even use maple sugar or honey in place of organic cane sugar but I haven’t tried that myself.
Instead of cheap instant mashed potatoes, I use non-GMO and organic unseasoned potato flakes.
So even though it’s not artisanal San Franciscan sourdough, it’s still a little boujee. 😉
Is Sourdough Starter Hard To Maintain?
Yes, you will need a sourdough starter for this bread. Where I live, people pass starters around and share with friends and neighbors.
With that said, it is possible to make your own and it’s even easier to maintain it. I wrote a separate blog post all about that.
You can also buy starter from people on Facebook Marketplace and Etsy if you don’t want to make your own!
What Kind Of Flour Is Best For This Sourdough Sandwich Bread?
There’s great debate as to which flour is best for bread baking. All purpose flour and bread flour are the two most common flours people work with.
Both flours are made from whole wheat but bread flour has a higher protein percentage, otherwise referred to as hydration, and is better for the texture you want in bread.
All purpose flour can work but the texture will not be as soft and you’re more likely to have dense or gummy bread.
It is important that you get unbleached flour and, if your budget allows, organic. This will prevent you from consuming grains that were previously sprayed with glyphosate.
How Long Does It Take To Make This Sourdough Bread?
Technically this bread is a two day process, or 36 hours.
On day one you will feed your starter and let it sit for 8 to 12 hours. Sometimes, I do this the night before I want to bake, before I go to bed. On day two, you will mix the dough and let it rise for 8 to 12 hours. This will be done in the morning when you wake up. Later that evening, you will punch down, seperate, and knead the dough before its second rise. It will rise agin for 8 to 12 hours (basically over night). On day three, you will wake up and bake your bread. There’s no better way to start the day than the sweet smell of fresh baked sourdough wafting through the home.
Alternatively, I start the process (feeding the starter) when I get up in the morning and finish the second day around supper time. Either way works fine!
This easy sourdough bread recipe makes two loaves of bread. I tend to keep one on the counter, one in the freezer, and one rising on the stove for the next day. This allows me to keep a cycle going of fresh bread through the week.
Of course, you can adjust this schedule to fit your own needs, this is just what works for me!
Storing Your Sweet Sourdough Bread
Your homemade sourdough sandwich bread is completely free of preservatives therefore it will not keep as long as one bought at the store.
Your bread will stay fresh on the counter for up to 3 days before it starts tasting stale.
A bread box would be ideal but a storage bag can work as well. Be sure to cover it tightly and keep as much air out as possible.
Alternatively, you could keep your bread covered in the refrigerator up to one week.
To freeze the bread, wrap it tightly in cling wrap or foil then place inside a ziplock bag. It should keep for several months this way. Thaw on the counter at room temperature when you’re ready to eat!
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup starter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons potato flakes
- 1.5 cups filtered water
- 1 cup fed starter
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup honey (or sugar)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 cups bread flour
- Feed starter 8 to 12 hours before you want to bake. Leave on counter to rest.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the liquid ingredients and whisk well with a dough hook or fork.
- Add the flour and salt (and sugar if not using honey) and use a dough hook or fork to incorporate. Mix well. The dough will be sticky and lumpy.
- Cover lightly with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature (at least 75F) for 8 to 12 hours until doubled in size.
- Prepare two loaf pans and lightly flour a work surface.
- Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out onto the work surface.
- Lightly knead the dough a few times and use a bench scraper to cut unto two equal pieces.
- Form each piece into a shape similar your pan and place inside the pan.
- Cover lightly with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature (at least 75F) for 8 to 12 hours.
- Bake at 350F until golden brown on top, 35 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from pans immediately and cool on racks.
Anna's note: I like to feed my starter in the morning when I get up, around 7am. I let it feed all day and prepare the dough the same night before bed, around 6 or 7pm. I let the dough rise all night and first thing the next morning, i punch down and do the second rise. Then I bake the bread that afternoon in time for supper. All in all, it's a 2 day process.
Mamaw's note: Can be made in bread machine. Use dough cycle and pour in warm water, starter, oil, honey/sugar, salt, and flour. When cycle is complete, remove dough, divide in 2 parts, place in pans, and let rise until dough comes above the pans. Bake according to directions above.