sourdough+loaf of bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe

Today I’m sharing a recipe that will make two beautiful loaves of sourdough bread made with half whole wheat flour and half white flour. It is baked in a loaf pan and makes for a lovely sandwich. I modified a Soft White Pan Sourdough to something closer to our favorite whole wheat loaf that I bake nearly daily.

When I was creating this recipe, I was looking for a sourdough bread that wasn’t terribly crusty. Cause I hate picking the kids sticky peanut buttery crusts off the counter after lunch.

And I was looking for a sourdough bread with a crumb that wasn’t open. Cause I want it to be able to handle any sandwich fixings I want to throw on it. Including nice even layers of mayonnaise instead of some bites filled with surprise pockets filled with mayo.

But I was also looking for a sourdough bread with  crumb that wasn’t terribly dense either. Cause if I want to make a toasted sandwich (like an amazing Toasted Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese, I don’t want it to take all day long. This bread makes a killer sandwich when you toast leftover roasted meat, cheese, mayo, lettuce, & tomato on cast iron using a huge hunk of butter. Especially, roast beef. The sourdough definitely is upping the game on that sandwich!

The downside to this sourdough bread is that the rise time does take a lot longer than a normal bread recipe using commercial yeast. Especially in the winter. It just takes longer for the wild yeast to do it’s job. There are also a few “baby-sitting” steps where you have to set a timer and come back during the rise period to give it a quick “knead” with the mixer. But if you’re wanting to make a sourdough bread for your family to use for their every day sandwiches, this is the one you’ve got to try!

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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sourdough+loaf of bread

Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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5 from 3 reviews


  • Preferment Sponge
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Bread
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter or oil, melted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt


  1. Instead of feeding your starter the night as usual, prepare a stiff preferment sponge by thoroughly mixing all Preferment Sponge ingredients until smooth.
  2. Cover with a sheer cloth and allow to sit at room temperature overnight.
  3. In the morning, add to the a dough mixer all of the sponge and the remaining bread ingredients EXCEPT the salt.
  4. Mix the ingredients for a couple of minutes until they are all incorporated.
  5. Then allow the dough to sit for 20 minutes.
  6. Add 3 teaspoons salt, then mix the dough on low speed for 4 minutes.
  7. Shut off the mixer, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Let the dough sit for an 75 minutes.
  9. Remove the plastic wrap. Turn on the mixer for two turns of the dough hooks. (This develops the gluten.) Recover with plastic wrap.
  10. Let the dough sit for another 75 minutes. Turn on the mixer for two turns of the dough hooks once again. Remove the dough hook. Recover with plastic wrap.
  11. Let the dough sit for another 75 minutes, for a total first rise of 3 hours and 45 minutes.
  12. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two.
  13. Roll out each ball into a rectangle the width of the length of your bread pan. The length of the rectangle isn’t as big of a deal, just roll out enough to remove most air pockets. Tightly roll up jelly roll style, pinching the bottom seam. Pinch the ends, tucking under. Pat nicely into a loaf shape and place into a well-buttered bread pan.
  14. Repeat for the other piece of dough.
  15. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place back in a warm, draft free spot until doubled and a nicely sized loaf. Don’t get impatient and put it in too soon, or it will be dense.
  16. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  17. Slash with a lame, razor blade, or sharp knife down and then brush with tops with melted butter.
  18. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.
  19. Remove loaves from pans and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Author: Reformation Acres

Also check out my other sourdough bread recipes: 

All the flavor of sourdough, yet all the texture of regular bread! |


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  1. Our family loves this bread recipe! Thank you for sharing it! I have been making it for a year. I am able to ferment it for even longer than the recipe instructions to make it even more digestible, then put the loaves in the fridge overnight to bake the next day. Have you ever doubled the recipe to make 4 loaves? Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad you love this recipe. I have not tried doubling the recipe. I just make fresh loaves more often. Thanks!

  2. Absolutely love this bread. It is so tasty and forgiving. I always forget what number rise I’m on or forget to butter the pans, etc but always get great bread. Wonderful for sandwiches and toast. Seems to have a long shelf life too! Love the recipe as written but am experimenting with increasing the whole wheat flour . I am also looking for a similar type loaf but with a rye flavor. I may replace some whole wheat flour for rye and see what happens. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with us.

  3. I have tried to make a sandwich loaf with my Dorothy (starter) with 0 success, until now! I can’t believe it worked. I’ve never seen my dough get so fluffy. You would have thought there was store bought yeast in it! The loaf was a tad dense because my gluten wasn’t completely formed, I’ll do better next time. It was a large clump of dough and hard to stretch and fold for me . My family still loved it and had PJ sandwiches on warm bread. I don’t eat bread but I almost cried when I cut into this. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m so grateful for your help!!!!

    1. Great question! It’s my understanding that the salt will inhibit the leavening process from getting off to a strong start. So if you wait, you will get a better rise.

  4. I tried the fancy shmancy sourdough recipes on a couple other sites. This one is the best. It is so light and fluffy.
    It’s perfect.

  5. It kind of depends on how leisurely you go about your kneading. Since it's all done on low speed in the mixer, my hand mixing times are pretty much the same as the mixer times. I might go a minute or two longer just to be safe.

  6. I don't have a mixer. Would I modify this by just kneading by hand? If so, what would the times be for that, or how will I know when it has been kneaded enough each time? Sorry, I am new to bread making.

  7. I made this recipe yesterday and it was, hands down, the best sourdough bread I have ever made. One change I will make in the future is to use slightly larger loaf pans. I used my 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ pans and the loaf nearly spilled out after rising. I froze one loaf (before the second rise in the pan) for fresh bread next week. Will post how that works out. This really has quite the oven spring!

    1. How did it turn out Tina? That would be incredibly convenient if it did. Looks fantastic and I’m so glad that it turned out so well for you!

      1. Funny you just asked. I have this page up right now as I am making the preferment tonight. The frozen loaf worked out just as well as the one I baked the same day. I love it. It is just my husband and I so we only need one loaf a week, Now I can make this recipe every 2 weeks and we always have bread! I thawed the frozen loaf overnight in the frig and then set it out in the morning. After it had risen a couple of inches above the bread pan, I slashed it with a lame and baked. This is definitely my “go to” recipe. I use heirloom wheat for both the wheat berries and all purpose – Turkey Red and/or Red Fife. Thank you so much for this recipe. I am also making the preferment for your muffins tonight. I have some bananas to use up!

  8. I just made this with 100% hard white whole wheat that I ground several weeks ago, and I am sold. This is the best whole wheat bread I've ever made, and I even forgot to add lecithin and gluten, like I normally do. Thank you!

  9. Here’s one last update: I’ve been striving for really sour bread. i’m using a ‘wild’ starter made in my kitchen and commented last month about cutting the sugar in half for this recipe.

    Well, yesterday I made this recipe with several changes. I left out ALL the sugar and the honey, used 3/4 c buttermilk and 1 1/4 c water for the liquid, used melted butter after baking instead of before, and otherwise made it as written.

    The loaves were PERFECT. Heavenly! Delicious! Sour and fluffy. This will be our go-to sandwich bread recipe from now on!

    1. Really appreciate you sharing your variations! Glad it worked so well and you found a recipe you can use!

    2. Really appreciate you sharing your variations! Glad it worked so well and you found a recipe you can use!

  10. These loaves are divine! I have been trying out soaked/soured sandwich bread recipes, and your is by far the best. Thank you! This will probably end up being our “daily bread,” these next few years in seminary!

  11. another comment. . .i wish you could take a picture of this “jelly roll” step. when you get it in the bread pan (before baking) should it fit exactly or be somewhat smaller than the pan?

    1. It’s about as long as the pan, but not nearly as wide. Maybe ⅔? With the other ⅓ being evenly divided on each side. Next time I whip up a batch I’ll try to remember to take a picture. 🙂

    1. Yes, that’s correct. I use the same mixer times for hand kneading as well. Hope it turns out well for you!

  12. I just made this, exactly as written, today and it is the FIRST true sandwich bread I’ve ever successfully made! As others have said, the oven spring is incredible! I love everything about it.

    I’d like to reduce the sugar a bit – has anyone tried leaving out the brown sugar altogether? I like a sour sourdough.

    1. It can’t hurt to try leaving the sugar out. My people are very apprehensive about the sourness of the sourdough so it does tame it down. But I wonder if if feeds it? I guess there’s only one way to find out 😉 So glad you liked it! I thank you for taking the time to leave feedback on the recipe 😀

      1. I actually went ahead and tried it last week – used 1/4 c honey and no brown sugar. The loaves were still just lovely and big and delicious! Noticeably sour, which I prefer. I did let the third rise go too long so they cracked in the oven, but that’s a side effect of having a kid to pick up from school every day. Thanks again.

  13. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I have a Sourdough starter that I’ve kept going for several years, but never much liked the bread I made with it. YOUR recipe was fabulous. Tried it twice this week now, and it’s some of the best bread I ever made. First time I followed it exactly, second time, I was able to push the whole wheat to 100% and got the same wonderful results. This is now our Daily Bread! I have six kids and moved out to a rural area on three acres 2 years ago. We are slowly learning the homesteading thing – your website is a blessed resource for me. Chickens and Ducks are here, we planted an orchard, and the garden is hopefully to come this year. THANKS!!!

    1. Nancy, Hearing this thrills me!! I’m so glad this recipe is such a hit! And I’m thankful for the feedback on the whole wheat. I’m excited for your future on your growing homestead. Difficult though it may be, it sounds like your growing wisely- slowly! Burnout is a great way to end up hating the “simple life.” Hope your garden does wonderfully next year!

  14. Thanks for these great recipes! I’ve used this loaf recipe a few times now. The first couple times, I didn’t let it proof long enough, so it came out dense, but still delicious! Making another batch now. My son reacts badly to gluten, but found that sourdough bread made this way (and your muffin recipes- a God send!) and fermented at least 7 hours are wonderful! He loves them and they don’t make him sick! 🙂

    1. This is awesome KT! I love getting feedback on my recipes and so rarely do, so hearing such a wonderful one made my day 🙂 I’m so thankful you were able to find something that your son can enjoy!

  15. Okay, I’m sorry……but I just have to say something, so please don’t hate me. Technically speaking (and many bakers are technical = D ), ‘autolyse’ is just flour and water; this step is used to hydrate the flour and help develop gluten without kneading, it doesn’t have yeast (or any leavening agent) mixed in it. Whew! I’m glad I got that off my chest. Anyway, your bread looks sooooooo delicious!

  16. Have you ever tried this with a slow 2nd rise, say 7+ hours? All my sourdough must be fermented at least 7 hours since the last addition of flour, or I react badly to the gluten. Just wondering if there’s a specific reason to only rise the dough 3 hours and 45 minutes the second time… Thanks! 🙂

    1. I haven’t Raia. My kids aren’t keen on very sour sourdough so I try to keep the souring time low. That said, I see no reason why you couldn’t experiment with this recipe. I came up with it by studying others and combining it with my favorite bread ingredients and lots of experimenting to get what we wanted so I would encourage you to do the same! 🙂

  17. Wow! I just took my loaves out of the oven. They got some serious oven spring. I’ve never had a yeasted loaf take off like that. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. If I grind my own wheat, do you know what kind of grains would you use for this recipe? Thanks! Just found your blog tonight! 🙂 Love it!

    1. Thanks Lauren 🙂
      I’ve never experimented with different types of flours as we don’t have any allergies or intolerances here. I too grind my own wheat and would have used that or that cut with unbleached all purpose flour.

      1. So for the two types of flour, when grinding your own wheat, you just use the same type of grains/flour? So if I had soft white wheat berries, just do 2 3/4 cups + 2 3/4 cups? 🙂 Sorry I’m asking so many questions! We’ve tried to make sourdough bread several times with wheat flour and its just never turned out right…. would love to try it your way since your bread looks fabulous!

        1. I have never tried it with soft white wheat… I brought sww home one time and my son did actually have a reaction to that and broke out in hives pretty bad so I’ve never used it for bread baking since. As a result, most of my bread is 1/2 hard red wheat we grind and 1/2 apflour in order to get decent texture.

          Sorry to rabbit trail… But yes, were I to use sww, I would add the two together and see how that turned out first. Hopefully delicious! You’ll have to let us know 🙂

          1. It worked great! I ended up adding some spices to the top with olive oil to make a savory dinner bread and it was a hit! 🙂 Thanks for your help!

  19. How do you store the second loaf until you used it and how do you store it after you have cut into it?

    1. I wait until the loaf is cool, and wrap in plastic, then in a zip loc bag, into the freezer. It freezes wonderfully.