A light, crusty sourdough bread that is ideal for sandwiches, this easy loaf is made in the bread machine.
About a month ago, I mentioned that I would be sharing my favorite sandwich bread recipe soon. My reason for waiting this long to post it is that I wasn’t completely satisfied with how the recipe had turned out, and wanted to test it a few more times. To me, my cooking/baking blog equals more than just trying a new recipe, taking a bite and saying, “Oh, that’s good,” and then posting it here.
Cooking and baking are kind of like art and science mixed together. I have to take a bite of a food and say, “Wow, that is delicious”, before I post it on my blog. If it’s just so-so to me, I’m not sharing. Even when I do enjoy the way a dish or baked good turns out and go to post it here, I’m never fully satisfied with it or with my writing. For that reason, I often find myself going back and editing or completely rewriting (or even deleting entirely) posts that I’ve already published. Perfectionism can be a frustrating thing sometimes, because the reality is nothing I post will ever be “perfect”, and if anyone reads my blog and decides to try my recipes there is no guarantee that they will like them as much as I do. These are the kinds of things that keep me awake at night (go figure). Actually, no, not really. If someone doesn’t like my bread and gets mad I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. 😉
This bread is by far our favorite sandwich bread. I rarely buy sliced bread from the store anymore, and when I do it tastes a little bland compared to homemade.
I am generally not a bread machine fan, and make most of my yeast breads and doughs without the use of one. The machines seem fickle to me, and what works in one person’s machine one day might not work well in someone else’s. There is also a certain “feel” to a dough when it’s just right (but please note that I am by no means an expert 🙂 ), and a bread machine lacks the human element. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer the control of making the bread myself. However, there are a few exceptions, and this sandwich bread is one of them.
When I first learned to use a bread machine, I always put the wet ingredients in first, followed by the dry, with the yeast added last. This recipe goes completely against all of that, but it works well for me and provides a delicious, crusty loaf that rises almost all the way to the top of my machine. I first came across the general idea for this recipe somewhere on allrecipes.com when I was looking for bread machine recipes awhile back. However, I then proceeded to change amounts and types on about five of the ingredients, so it’s not really the same recipe anymore.
Side note: If you’ve never read the comments beneath the recipes on allrecipes.com, they can be quite interesting. They are often a combination of helpful and amusing. I love it when someone gives a recipe a 5-star rating and then proceeds to leave a book-long comment describing all the changes they made. Random person: “It was a great recipe and we loved it! I replaced the flour with ground coconuts from the tree in my backyard, switched out the yeast with fairy dust, and replaced the raisins with dried berries from the jungles of Bilikazoo.” Me: “Well, that was exceedingly helpful.” (I have no idea if Bilikazoo is really a place. I just made that up.)
Note: If you don’t want to make sourdough bread or don’t have any sourdough starter on hand, this bread turns out fine if you just leave the starter out and simply follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
Bread Machine Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- 1 cup very warm (not hot) water
- 1 packet (.75 oz.) quick rise yeast
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
Pour warm water into bread machine pan. Add yeast and honey and stir to dissolve in water. Let stand for 7-8 minutes or until yeast is foaming/bubbled up. Add remaining ingredients to pan in order listed above: starter, olive oil, salt, whole wheat flour, and unbleached flour. Close lid and select “Basic” setting. Press start. (My machine takes 3 hours and 20 minutes; time may vary slightly between machines.) When machine is finished, carefully remove pan and turn out bread to cool on wire rack. Allow bread to cool slightly before slicing.
~K in the Kitchen