When an airy, classic loaf of sourdough bread just isn’t going to cut it for making a good sandwich you need a recipe for Sourdough Sandwich Bread. This one is a hearty, seedy, whole grain twist on my regular sourdough sandwich bread.
There’s a bakery where I grew up, that has all sorts of seedy baked goods. To me, nostalgia is a cheese-filled twisted seedy breadstick. I just can’t help myself. Or their bread I believe they call “Hikers” bread, is what I had in mind when I was coming up with this recipe for Seedy Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread.
I’ve been making a loose version of this for a year or two but finally got it together enough to measure and record things so you too, could have a good seedy whole-wheaty sandwich loaf.
The eggs are optional although I obviously recommend them. People add a powdered supplement called lecithin to whole wheat bread to make it better…lucky for you, eggs naturally have lecithin in them and you’ll notice a different in how it holds up for a sandwich and stays softer for more days.
Yes there are many many chewy, big holes loaves of sourdough recipes out there, and they’re delicious. But when it comes to packing cold lunches, frankly, I don’t feel they fit the bill. I need a sandwich bread to be good for making cold sandwiches for 2-3 days after its baked, which is why I have my plain Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe, and now you can add this to your repertoire.
Many seedy breads call for hydrating the seeds separately, draining the water, then adding to the dough. Quite frankly…I don’t need extra steps in my life. I’ve explained how I compensate for the seeds in this method for Seedy Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread.
Seedy Whole-Wheaty Sandwich Bread
- 1 1/2 cups active sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup sugar or 2 tbsp honey
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2 cups water, if you want a shorter rise, add warm water. Longer rise, add cold water
- 2 eggs Optional
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, I use fresh ground hard red wheat
- 1/3 cup small seeds, such as poppy, sesame, flax, chia or millet
- 2/3 cup big seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds, even a soft nut like walnut would work
- 4 cups white flour
Seedy Whole-Wheaty Sandwich Bread Dough
- Mix starter, sugar, salt, water and eggs well together in a stand mixer or by hand. (I use a Danish dough whisk by hand.)
- Add whole wheat and the seeds, then add white flour. (This dough is going to be a little stickier than my sourdough sandwich bread recipe, because the seeds and whole wheat take time to soak up all the liquid. It should still be a nice formed dough, just not as smooth.)
- Mix it together just enough for their to be no dry flour, then cover and let sit 30 minutes. (This lets the whole wheat soak up the liquid and gives you a taller loaf with a softer inside crumb.)
- Now knead it together 15-20 folds, right there in the bowl, it'll still be a little stickier because the seeds take longer to hydrate, but still a nice workable dough, not sloppy at all.
- Now, choose your path for first rise depending on your schedule and weather. Warmth speeds up sourdough, cold slows it. This is all on counter unless specified.
- Let the dough sit for 12-18 hrs.
- Shape it and allow for a second rise of 2-3 hrs. (If your house is really nippy in the morning like mine, I often preheat the oven for 2 minutes, with the bread pans in there, turn it off, then let it rise for an hour or two. This way I'm not waiting all day for them to be ready)
Alternative Winter Rising
- Let the dough sit for 4-6 hrs.
- Shape it and put it in fridge for 12-18 hrs. (Take it out an hour before baking to come to room temperatures. Our laundry room is fridge-ish temp so we put them back there.)
- Before baking when I use this method, I put bread pans in oven, turn oven on for 2 minutes then turn it off. Let sit in warm oven an hour, take out, then preheat oven for baking. This is my current favourite method.
- Let it sit for 6-8 hrs.
- Shape and rise a second time for 1-2 hrs.
Shaping Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- After your first rise, its time to shape! Dump your dough onto a floured surface and divide into two.
- Press each piece of dough roughly into a 6x8inch rectangle.
- Fold like a letter with long sides in then flip it seam side down to let rest for about 10 minutes. (This is called a preshape/bench rest and makes your loaves taller!)
- Prepare your loaf pan by lining with parchment or greasing the pan.
- After the bench rest, flip seam side up, press into rectangle again but this time roll it up, and tuck sides under to make a tidy loaf, then put into the loaf pan.
- Let rise for second rise depending on which path you choose. It's not going to be doubled, more like 1 1/2, noticeably more puffy for sure though.
Baking Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Using your sharpest knife, slash the loaf by slicing a one inch deep line down the length of the bread. You can get artistic or just leave it at that. This allows the bread to expand and rise in the oven better.
- Put pans into oven and bake for 25 min, turn around and then bake 20 more.
- Remove bread from oven and put on a cooling rack. Remove from pan and let cool until around room temp. Its hard to wait but I promise its worth it! The bread is still finishing up baking as it cools.
More Sourdough Recipes
Once you’ve mastered working with sourdough you’ll find you’re wondering what other recipes you can try with it now? Here are my tried & true favorite sourdough recipes!
- Sourdough 101
- Sourdough Boule
- Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Sourdough Honey Oat Bread
- Sourdough Biscuits
- Sourdough Focaccia (or Pizza Dough)
- Sourdough Cinnamon Twists