The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


jclcf's picture

Basic Sandwich Loaf Recipe

March 24, 2013 - 6:47pm -- jclcf

I want to make my own whole-wheat sandwich bread, but there are so many recipes... Which is the basic recipe (proportion of ingredients) for this kind of loaf, or can I use any recipe since I shape it as a sandwich bread? Some of the breads don't use any kind of fat or oil in their recipes, there's any sandwich loaf without any extra fat from butter, oil or shortening?

jarkkolaine's picture

This week, I have been reading Sandor Katz's wonderful book, The Art of Fermentation. For most part, the book is not about bread, but as bread is mostly about fermentation, the book is helping me a lot in understanding what happens in the dough   and when growing yeasts.

Last night as I was reading the book again, I had a revelation: you can drink yeast water. And in fact, a lot of people are doing it already--they just have a different name for the drink!

Or what do you say? This recipe for fruit mead from The Art of Fermentation looks just like the one I used to start my yeast water (except that I used some black tea in it at first):

 Mead is honey wine. It can be flavored in infinite variations, and many of the fruits and other botanical flavorings you can add to it also serve as sources of yeasts and yeast nutritients.


My typical proportion, measuring by volume, is 1 part honey to 4 parts water. For a lighter mead (or if I'm adding a large amount of sweet fruit), I'll dilute each part honey with 5 to 6 parts water.


Thoroughly dissolve honey in water by vigorous stirring or shaking. Be persistent if necessary. Leave the vessel capped, or cover it to keep flies away; any covering, from a cloth to a tight-fitting lid, is okay. 


Stir or shake, vigorously and frequently, several times a day for a sustained couple of moments.


After a few days of frequent stirring, you will start finding the honey water with bubbles on the surface and an effervescent release when you stir. [...] Keep shaking and stirring a few more days and the bubbles will build into a formidable force.


...and so on. The instructions continue to explain how you can then further process the mead to get more alcohol and a more refined taste by aging the drink. 

From all of this,  I'm ready to equate yeast water = fresh mead.

Another revelation from this section of the book (to me) was that the purpose of the shaking is to get oxygen into the mix so that yeast cells can multiply.  

S. cerevisiae and many other yeasts, much like the cells of our bodies, are capable of both anaerobic fermentation and oxidative respiration. In the oxidative mode, yeasts grow and reprodue much more efficiently but do not produce alcohol. Vigorous stirring stimulates yeast proliferation by providing aeration.


I still don’t have all the answers, especially for the difference in bacteria between sourdough and yeast water, but this is getting interesting--and soon, I’m going to start a new batch of yeast water, this time with the idea of drinking most of it and baking only with the remains…


And then to my most recent bake, with sourdough and yeast water.

For a long time already, I have been baking most of the bread we eat at home, so when this summer we bought a toaster and my wife and kids started buying toast bread from the store, I knew I had to do something about this. Buying toast bread (of all things) was diluting all my credibility as a real bread home baker! ;)

I have been experimenting with different bread recipes for a while now, but wasn't satisfied until I finally found txfarmer’s recipes again. Although I had seen and admired them before, I had never gotten around to trying them before now. And I had never worked the dough for 40 minutes before either. Doing this, as suggested by the recipe, made all the difference!

The bread is soft, delicious and has a fine, sweet and a little sour taste that I enjoy. 

My older son says he likes it but still prefers the storebought with no taste at all… So, maybe next I’ll try to do this without any sourdough. Let’s see! 

I’m not going to rewrite the whole recipe here as you can get it from txfarmer's blog. But I made a few changes, which may or may not be interesting. So, here we go.

 The yeast water had been sitting in the fridge for about a week and gotten a lot of color from the fruit (peaches and grapes):


I used 100 grams of sourdough starter in one build (at 100 % hydration) and 200 grams of yeast water in two builds (100 % hydration) and reduced the amount of milk accordingly. Also, the original recipe used milk in the starter as well. I used water as yeast water comes with its own water… 

Final dough:

  • 100 g sourdough starter, refreshed about 8-10 hours before mixing the dough
  • 200 g yeast water starter (built in two steps during the same 8-10 hours)
  • 450 g bread flour
  • 60 g sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 120 g egg whites
  • 6 g salt
  • 160 g milk 

I’m very happy with the results and will definitely be making some variation of this bread again. Next, with some darker grains, maybe a bit of rye or at least wholegrain wheat.

MarieH's picture

I have been working on developing a sourdough sandwich bread. I have taken my inspiration from recipes here on TFL and from King Arthur Flour. I finally settled on a formula that I am really happy with. The bread is soft with a tender crumb but the best part is the flavor. I used a starter to provide a very slight tang to the bread flour and added white whole wheat flour, golden flax meal, whole rye flour, and hi-maize cornmeal. I learned from Jeffrey Hamelman’s formulas that a small amount of an ingredient can have a big impact. If you try this recipe, I hope you like it as much as I do.  ~Marie

Super Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

11 ounces 100% sourdough starter, fed or unfed (see note)

11 1/2 ounces water

1 ounce vegetable oil

1 ounce sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 ounce golden flax meal

3 ounces potato flour

11 1/2 ounces bread flour

4 ounces white whole wheat flour

1 ounce corn meal (I used hi-maize)

2 ounces whole rye (pumpernickel) flour

4 teaspoons instant yeast

Note on the starter: the starter is more for flavor than lift. I usually build the 11 ounces a few days ahead and refrigerate it until I am ready to bake.

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and with the dough hook, mix on speed 1 for one minute to create a shaggy dough.

Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.

Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes.

The dough will start out shaggy, then become stickier as you knead. Don’t adjust with flour or water until you have kneaded for 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl. The dough will stick to the sides of the bowl. It is the right consistency if you can scrape it off the sides of the bowl and it feels firm enough to hold its shape.

Knead for 3 more minutes. Scrape the bowl to create a rough dough ball. Cover the dough, and allow it to rise at 78 degrees for 1 hour (you will need a longer rise at lower temps) until doubled in bulk.

Lightly grease two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pans. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. The dough is sticky and you will need to flour your hands and the board to prevent sticking and tearing. Gently deflate the risen dough, divide in to two equal pieces, and shape into loafs. Place dough in the pans, cover lightly, and allow it to rise until the dough crests 1 1/2” over the rim of the pans, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting with foil after 20 minutes. When done, the bread will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer and will be golden brown.

Remove the bread from the oven, remove from pans, and cool completely on a rack.

 After 5 minutes kneading:

After full kneading and scraped down:

Finished Loaves:

dabrownman's picture

Thanks Franko for the 'Pate Push'

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dabrownman's picture

Some recent bread made into lunches , the last bloom of the jackaranda and a blueberry, blackberry, chocolate cheese cake.

Sweet Tader Toast with caramelized minneola marmelade


dabrownman's picture

Isand66 will love my 3 backpacking alcohol stoves that I made from beer cans.  They weigh virtually nothing and will each boil 2 cups of water in 6 minutes.  Then there is this weeks benetton find for 50 cents this time.  Next would e a very nice lunch with YW chai seed orange turmeric bread.  Today's new batch if aranchello.  Part of this weeks batch of marmalade, strawberry ginger apple jam and caramelized minneola marmalade.  Two mini BBQ / smokers made from tin cans and tea tins.  A nice  vegetarian lunch of failed hamburger buns made originally as a kaiser roll (that were too soft and disintegrated as hamburger buns) that were resurrected as a grilled pepperjack cheese sandwich, bean dip, chips, salad and little melon.  Even rejected failures can usually be used for something else like croutons, altus, bread crumbs.....

How do you like the pictures my newer, if still old, Sony webbie Video camera takes?

jamesjr54's picture

Made Floyd M's Honey Whole Wheat today. For the 1 hour whole wheat soak, I used 9 oz KAF White Whole wheat, 3 oz Hodgson's Whole Wheat, and 4 oz Bob's Red Mill Spelt. I use active dry yeast activated in 3 Tbs water. ~10 oz. total KAF bread flour. Added 1/3 C roasted unsalted sunflower seeds and 2 Tbs canola oil. Having read through the comments, I heeded Jmonkey's and others advice and did 2 stretches at 30 and 60 mins of the total 90 minute bulk proof. 75 minutes in the pans (afraid of overproofing with 3 Tsp of yeast), then 45 minutes in preheated 375 oven.

The crumb is ragged because it cooled for a grand total of 3 minutes before our son had a sandwich emergency brought on by a Chemistry II quiz! Tastes delicious! Thanks Floyd and everyone!



amy bassett's picture
amy bassett

I just love this recipe, thanks to Floyd for posting it!  It is just sweet enough and soft enough that you can't stop eating them!  I made these to go with my blackened salmon burgers............YUM!!  The sweetness of the roll was just a delicious combo!


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