A hearty loaf filled with grains & seeds, Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread has a subtle tang of sourdough. Great for sandwiches or toasted with butter!
Making something wholesome
[Side Note: a version of this post first appeared on my OutlanderCast column, March 20, 2020 ]
I'm on something of a DIY kick.
I made old-fashioned homemade peanut butter, and I wanted a rustic multigrain bread recipe to serve it on. Plus, I wanted to use my weekly sourdough starter discard.
So I went searching...
What I found was King Arthur Flour’s Multigrain Sourdough Boule, that featured ripe sourdough starter and a blend of different grains to add texture and crunch to the loaf.
I adapted the recipe to use less unfed sourdough starter, and shaped it into a sandwich loaf rather than rounds. I wanted more subtle sourdough tang that wouldn't clash with a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.
My Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe fit the bill perfectly!
Collecting the ingredients
Unfortunately, I don’t have multigrain blends sitting around the house on any given day.
Luckily King Arthur Flour had me covered on that also. I ordered their Harvest Grains Blend with eight types of grains and seeds in the mix. You can use whatever mix of whole grains you'd like.
You could also leave out the whole grains and just increase the all-purpose flour by one cup. But it really wouldn't be a multigrain bread recipe anymore, now would it?
How you measure your ingredients matters
I've said it before and I'll say it again...it's best to use a kitchen scale to measure out your ingredients. That way you will get consistent results.
That's especially true for flour. If you just scoop up flour using a measuring cup, you could be packing it in tightly or not be getting enough in the cup. It all depends in how you scoop and how well aerated (sifted) your flour is.
Having too much or not enough flour leads to bread dough with widely different textures (i.e. too dry or too wet).
If you don't use a kitchen scale, at least use the "spoon & level" technique to measure your flours. That is, spoon flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
Believe me, it makes a difference.
How to shape sandwich bread dough
The steps for making a sourdough sandwich bread recipe aren't that different from any other type of bread. There's just the extra step of soaking the grain blend in boiling water to soften it, then letting it cool before proceeding with the kneading and the first rise.
This can even be a multigrain bread recipe for a bread machine...just soak the grains before putting them in the bread machine with the rest of the ingredients in the order your machine uses. Be sure to use the manual cycle if you want to shape the dough into a sandwich bread.
Shaping the dough to create a sandwich bread loaf isn't difficult. I learned this technique when I visited King Arthur Flour's campus.
- Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle (or as close as you can get...mine below was more of a circle) about an inch high
- Fold the upper two corners to meet in the middle, like when folding a paper airplane
- Fold the point down to be even with the lower edge of the folded corners
- Repeat the process until you've run out of dough
- Pinch the sides and the seam closed, then roll the dough back and forth on the counter to insure the shape is even.
After letting the shaped dough rise in the pan, slash the top and sprinkle it with whatever topping you'd like. I used sesame seeds, but you can use whatever seed blends you'd like.
A versatile sandwich bread
The flavor of this multigrain sourdough bread is wonderful — nutty with a subtle sourdough tang and a bit of crunch in each bite. Toasting it really makes it shine, with all the grains adding even more nutty flavor.
And that peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Well, let me just say that making your own homemade peanut butter, topping it with homemade strawberry jam, and serving them on a slice of homemade multigrain bread is totally worth the effort!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
When you maintain a sourdough starter, you have a dilemma. What do you do with your unfed sourdough starter discard? I've got lots of suggestions for sweet and savory ways to use your fed sourdough starter and the sourdough starter discard. Here are a few samples...
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Multigrain Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- parchment paper
- 1 cup Harvest Grains Blend, see Recipe Notes
- 1½ cups water, boiling
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sourdough starter discard, unfed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon yeast, instant or rapid rise, see Recipe Notes
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, or your favorite blend of seeds for topping (optional)
- Use a kitchen scale to measure out your ingredients. That way you will get consistent results. Otherwise, use the "spoon & level" technique to measure your flours. That is, spoon flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the Harvest Grains Blend and boiling water. Let them cool to lukewarm, about 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining dough ingredients, and knead with the dough hook until you've made a soft dough, adding additional water or flour, in 1 tablespoon increments, as needed. The dough will be slightly sticky, and can depend on the humidity of the day.
- Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise in a warm place until it's almost doubled, about 1 to 1½ hours. You can use a bread proofer or the oven with just the light turned on.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it. Shape it into a loaf by patting it out into an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangle, then folding the upper corners in to the middle. Fold the point down to where the fold starts, then repeat until you get a log shape. Roll the log to seal the seam down. See the pictures in the post to see how to do the shaping.
- Spray a standard loaf pan with baking spray, then line with parchment paper. Leave an overhang on the long sides to ease the loaf out of the pan.
- Place the loaf into the prepared loaf pan and cover it with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the loaf rise until it's very puffy, about 1 to 1½ hours.
- Towards the end of the rising time, place a large saucepan filled with water on the bottom of the oven. This creates steam and helps to give the loaves a crusty exterior. Preheat the oven to 425°F, allowing at least 20 minutes of preheating before baking to avoid hot spots.
- Just before baking, brush or spray the rounds with water, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds (if using). Use a very sharp knife to make several slashes on the top.
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and check for doneness. The bread will be done when the interior measures 200°F as measured with a digital thermometer (or when the bottom sounds hollow when knocked).
- Place on a rack and cool completely. Slice and enjoy!