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Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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Now that we are all baking with sourdough, let’s make some Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread, shall we? This bread adds some complex flavors, incorporating whole wheat flour and honey into an amazing, light-tasting bread! Perfect for sandwiches or avocado toast!

I’m on that sourdough train and can’t be stopped. Let’s make Overnight Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Bagels, Sourdough Sandwich Bread (the regular version), and my all-time favorite – Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough Bread!

Sliced sourdough showing the half loaf of bread.

Best Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

Ohmygosh, yes! They hype is real and sourdough REALLY IS the best. I’ve been making it for a year and a half now, and we are IN LOVE with the taste.

My original sourdough starter, named Gertie, is still going strong. I’ve used her magic for numerous loafs of sourdough and she hasn’t let me down yet! If you weren’t aware of naming your starter, now you know it’s a thing. She’s alive and real, and she deserves a proper name!

If you’d rather work with yeast, or just don’t have a starter (get one STAT!), we also love my momma’s yummy Chewy French Bread or a hearty Multi-Grain Seeded Bread

A loaf of wheat sourdough sandwich bread inapt.

Make your own sourdough starter at home with just a few simple ingredients using Sourdough Starter Basics. In just over a week’s time and a little bit of patience, you’ll be ready to use your active starter to make the best sourdough bread!

Ingredients Used

  • Bubbly Starter – The starter is THE most important part of sourdough bread making. It takes a little time, but you will be rewarded over and over again.
  • Milk – We normally take 2% in our coffee so that’s what I use in most of my cooking/baking. You can use whatever dairy you have handy, but I recommend staying away from skim. You’ll want to warm the milk slightly.
  • Filtered Water – Use a filtered water, either out of your refrigerator filter system or use bottled water. The water should either be room temperature or slightly warmed before adding it to the sourdough process.
  • Oil – I used extra-virgin olive oil. You could also use vegetable or canola oil.
  • Honey – I love using honey in combination with wheat flour.
  • Flour (Unbleached) – For this recipe, use a combo of whole wheat, bread flour and all-purpose flour. Organic is normally unbleached, btw.
  • Salt – I use a fine sea salt.

How to make Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Step 1
Carefully measure out all the ingredients and combine (in order listed on recipe card) in a mixing bowl. Use a fork and stir. 

Step 2
Then use your hands to bring the ingredients together. It will look shaggy. Cover with a damp towel and let it sit for 45 minutes. (Be sure to set a timer.) This is the AUTOLYSE.

Step 3
After 45 minutes, start the stretch and folds. Use your hand and lift the dough up on one side, stretching it upward, and then punch into the center of the dough. Turn the dough and repeat. Continue this process for about one minute. This is the STRETCH AND FOLDS. Form the dough into a smooth ball, and place towel back on the bowl.

Step 4
Let the dough rise for 6-8 hours. It should almost double in size and appear soft on top. Small air bubbles may appear as well. This is the BULK RISE. (During this bulk rise, I often do additional stretch and folds during the first hour.)

Depending on the time of day, you can prepare the bread for baking. I normally place the dough into my refrigerator overnight, however. (The bulk rise is very flexible. You can adjust the time to work with YOUR schedule!)

Step 5
Add a light dusting of flour to a baking mat or clean surface. Remove the dough to the flour and gently form into one oblong shape to fit the loaf pan. Don’t punch the dough down because you don’t want to remove all the air. Let dough sit for five minutes.

After five minutes, use your hands to pull the dough toward you, dragging it along the mat to tighten it up. Repeat in the other directions to tighten.

The dough log after shaping.

Step 6
Spray a loaf pan with baking spray. Place the dough inside the pan. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise until doubled again, or so that the bread is just starting to rise above the rim of the pan. This may take 3-6 hours or so, depending on many factors. This is the SECOND RISE.

Step 7
Bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pan in the oven and bake for 38-43 minutes. This bread is better if baked at a lower temperature than my other sandwich bread.

Step 8
Let cool. Remove pan and place bread on a cooling rack. Brush some butter on top of the loaf to create a shiny exterior.

Step 9
Slice. Let the bread COMPLETELY COOL before slicing.

A loaf of bread being sliced.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is sourdough? Sourdough is a slow-fermented bread that doesn’t require store-bought yeast to make it rise. It’s a LIVE fermented culture which creates a natural leavening agent. A starter is required to make sourdough.
  • What is a starter? A starter is a live culture made over a series of days, consisting of flour and water. It can be kept alive for years with periodic feeding.
  • How do you make a starter? A starter can be created in less than a week with a simple combo of unbleached flour and filtered water. It’s a process of removing half of the starter and then “feeding” it every day, storing in a jar on your countertop, and getting it to a bubbly, sour point where it floats in water. More on this later.
  • Is sourdough bread healthy? Sourdough bread is NOT gluten-free, as it contains flour, but its long fermentation helps break down this gluten. It’s easier on the gut because it’s more digestible and easier for the body to absorb. It’s also DELISH!

Expert Tips

  • Make sure your starter is ready. If you store your starter in the refrigerator between use, make sure it’s active and ready to go before baking with it. I often feed it 2-3 times before using it after resting (i.e. sleeping in the refrigerator).
  • Be flexible. If you’re bulk rise is taking longer than normal, or the starter isn’t as bubbly as you’d like it, be flexible. You can add time to either of these, and still make delicious bread. Many factors will come in to play as to when your sourdough is ready. In the summer months, the humidity and heat will make the process shorter. In the winter months, the process may be longer.
  • Measure carefully and then adjust as needed. Make sure you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients in grams. This is important. Even with measuring carefully, you MAY need to adjust slightly. When your hands are on the dough doing stretches and folds, you will come to feel if more water/more flour is needed to make the dough pliable and soft. This comes with practice. 
  • Practice. Like I said above, as you practice making this bread and enjoying the bounties, you’ll learn all the little nuances to the sourdough process. Practice makes perfect!
  • Let the bread cool. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to slice the bread immediately after coming out of the oven. If you do this, it will be doughy tasting. Let the bread completely cool before slicing!
Side shot of sliced sourdough whole wheat bread.

See my post on how to store sourdough bread for maximum freshness! Let’s not let our hard work go to waste and savor every single morsel of sourdough.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

Sliced sourdough showing the half loaf of bread.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Now that we are all baking with sourdough, let's make some Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread, shall we? This bread adds some complex flavors, incorporating whole wheat flour and honey into an amazing, light-tasting bread! Perfect for sandwiches or avocado toast!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 16 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 16 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10 slices (one loaf)
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 100 grams active bubbly sourdough starter
  • 150 grams warm milk
  • 175 grams warm filtered water
  • 40 grams olive oil
  • 40 grams honey
  • 125 grams whole wheat flour – unbleached
  • 350 grams bread flour – unbleached
  • 35 grams all-purpose flour
  • 12 grams fine sea salt

Instructions

  • ** It's important to measure the ingredients for this recipe in grams. The kitchen scale I use is linked in the recipe. **
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the carefully measured out ingredients, in the order listed. Start mixing with a fork, and then use your hands to bring everything together. The dough will look scraggy. Cover with a damp towel, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
  • Do a stretch and folding of the dough for about one minute, rotating the bowl as you do the folds. Place the dough seam-side down in the bowl, and cover with the towel again. Leave it set on the counter-top for 6-8 hours, or overnight depending on several factors. The dough should double in size.
  • If you'd like, set the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This will add to the "sour" taste of the dough.
  • Dust your counter or a baking mat with a light amount of flour. Move your dough from the bowl to the counter and form into your desired shape. Don't punch down, but pull the outsides inward to form shape. Let the dough sit for five minutes.
  • Pull the dough towards you and away, trying to get the dough to be as tight as possible.
  • Place the dough into a loaf pan, and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rise until nearly doubled in size. The time this takes may vary greatly.
  • Bake. When the dough is risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees for about 38 – 43 minutes. This bread is better if baked at a lower temperature than my other sandwich bread.

Notes

EXPERT TIPS:
  • Make sure your starter is ready. If you store your starter in the refrigerator between use, make sure it’s active and ready to go before baking with it. I often feed it 2-3 times before using it after resting (i.e. sleeping in the refrigerator). 
  • Be flexible. If you’re bulk rise is taking longer than normal, or the starter isn’t as bubbly as you’d like it, be flexible. You can add time to either of these, and still make delicious bread. Many factors will come in to play as to when your sourdough is ready. In the summer months, the humidity and heat will make the process shorter. In the winter months, the process may be longer.
  • Measure carefully and then adjust as needed. Make sure you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients in grams. This is important. Even with measuring carefully, you MAY need to adjust slightly. When your hands are on the dough doing stretches and folds, you will come to feel if more water/more flour is needed to make the dough pliable and soft. This comes with practice.
  • Practice. Like I said above, as you practice making this bread and enjoying the bounties, you’ll learn all the little nuances to the sourdough process. Practice makes perfect!
  • Let the bread cool. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to slice the bread immediately after coming out of the oven. If you do this, it will be doughy tasting. Let the bread completely cool before slicing!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 473mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

3 Comments

  1. Amazing! Sourdough for the win!

  2. Linda Aull says:

    This is a delicious and homey recipe. It’s rich in flavor and smells wonderful. I like to toast a slice, smear it with peanut butter and drizzle it with honey. So comforting!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh I love the idea of adding honey! So glad you are enjoying sourdough baking, Linda! 🙂

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