Crumb shot of sourdough sandwich (or toasting) bread.

Easy Sourdough Sandwich (or Toasting) Bread

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf


The makeup of this dough is the same as this sourdough focaccia. Here, the dough is baked in a loaf pan, and there is no sea salt on top.

This recipe yields one large loaf. You’ll need a 10 x 5-inch loaf pan, such as this one. If you only have two smaller loaf pans, such as 8.5 x 4.5-inch pans, you should probably split the dough in half after the first rise.

Plan ahead: This dough rises first for 6 to 18 hours  (or less if it is super hot out or if you live in a humid area) or until the dough doubles in volume; then again for about 4 to 6 hour or until the dough crowns the rim of the baking vessel.

If you’re just getting started with sourdough, check out this post first. You’ll find tips there on procuring a starter as well as how to feed it and maintain it.

Water: Chlorine in water can adversely affect sourdough. Leaving water at room temperature for 24 hours will allow most of the chlorine to escape. When I am in the habit of making sourdough bread, I fill a large pitcher with water and leave it out at room temperature. I use this for my sourdough breads and starter. Truth be told, I’ve used water straight from the tap and have not noticed a difference.

Water quantity: Also, depending on where you live and the time of year, you may need to cut the water back. If you live in a humid environment, for instance, I would suggest starting with 430 g water. If you are not using bread flour, you also may need to cut the water back a bit.


  • 100 g (about 1/2 cup) active starter
  • 10 g (about 2.5 teaspoons) kosher salt
  • 440 g (about 1.75 cups) water, (or less, see notes above) room temperature
  • 512 g (4 cups) bread flour, such as King Arthur Flour
  • a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • room temperature butter, for greasing


  1. Place the starter, salt, and water in a large bowl. Stir with a spatula to combine — it doesn’t have to be uniformly mixed. Add the flour. Mix again until the flour is completely incorporated. Drizzle with a splash of olive oil and rub to coat. Cover bowl with a tea towel or bowl cover and set aside to rise for 6 to 18 hours — if it is super hot out or if you live in a humid environment, it may only take 6 hours. When the dough has nearly doubled in volume, it is ready.
  2. When the dough has nearly doubled, grease a 10 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter (or nonstick spray). Drizzle dough with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Rub your hand in the oil to coat. Use your hand to deflate the dough: pull the dough from the sides and press it into the center. Video guidance here. Turn dough over so seam-side is down and gently stretch into an oblong shape.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan seam side down. Leave alone for 5 to 6 hours or until dough begins crowning the rim of the pan — this may take less time when it is very warm out. Do be patient with this second rise: to get good height, the dough should be above the rim of the pan before you transfer it to the oven. 
  4. Heat oven to 425ºF. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375ºF. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until golden all around. If you have an instant read thermometer, it should register 206-210ºF or so before removing. Remove pan from oven and turn bread out onto a cooling rack. Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Sourdough/Natural Leavening
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: bread, sourdough, sandwich, toasting, natural leavening, wild yeast