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The best homemade bread! Soft, chewy sourdough bread with a beautiful golden brown crust. This easy homemade bread recipe makes two loaves and is the perfect white sandwich bread.
If you’re looking for a way to use up sourdough discard, this recipe is it! No need to have active, bubbly starter for this recipe. It’s quick. It’s easy, it’s delicious…and perfectly sliceable for sandwiches.
It’s important to know that you need a sourdough starter before you make this homemade bread. Sourdough starter takes at least 48 hours, but has better flavor the longer it sits. You can find complete instructions on how to make sourdough bread starter here. It’s an easy recipe!
The sourdough does not have to be active to use in this recipe.
Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe
We call this a “lazy” sourdough bread. If you are looking for an artisan sourdough bread, this is not it. Those type of loaves have to rise overnight. This recipe is for when you want a quick loaf of bread, which is why it still uses yeast.
This bread isn’t as chewy as an artisan loaf, but if you use bread flour has a chewier texture than traditional white bread. It’s a great way to use up sourdough discard since it still has yeast to help it rise.
Once you have the sourdough starter discard, mixing the bread is just like any other bread. This is an easy recipe we’ve made over and over again and had turn out perfectly every time. I love how the crust browns into a beautiful color that reminds me of autumn.
When I mix up yeast breads I use my stand mixer to knead the dough. If you happen to have a bread maker, you could use the dough setting and knead the dough that way.
But don’t worry…if you don’t have either of those appliances you can still make this bread! Simply mix the dough up in a large bowl and then knead the dough by hand for about 5-6 minutes.
About the milk: You want the milk to be warm, about 110-115 degrees so that the yeast can start to activate. Be sure it isn’t too hot!
About the yeast: The most important thing to remember about yeast is to make sure it is fresh. There’s nothing worse than getting part way through your homemade bread recipe and realize that the bread isn’t rising due to old yeast. Our favorite yeast is Red Star Platinum Yeast. It produces beautiful, tall loaves, every time. This yeast is an instant yeast so you don’t have to wait 5 minutes for the yeast to “proof”. Add the yeast to the warmed milk and then you’re immediately ready to add in the rest of the ingredients and mix.
About the flour: To make a rustic, chewy loaf of bread, you’ll want to use bread flour, which is a high gluten flour. If you want your bread softer in texture you can use all-purpose flour. The recipe calls for 4 ½ cups of flour. The dough should be slightly tacky when you touch it. If you feel you need to add a little more flour (especially if kneading by hand), add the flour a tablespoon at a time. I wouldn’t add more than an additional ½ cup flour. The more flour you add, the drier and harder your bread will be.
About rising bread dough: To allow the bread dough to rise until it is almost double in size. I like to set my oven to 170 degrees for a minute or two to let it warm. Then turn off the oven and place the covered bowl (with the dough inside) on the oven rack. Close the oven door and your dough will have a cozy, warm place to rise. My dough normally takes about 30-35 minutes to rise. This can potentially take around 60 minutes though, so be sure you plan enough time. Temperature, humidity and altitude can all play a part in how long it takes bread dough to rise.
The second bread dough rise: After the dough has risen once, you’ll divide the two in two, shape them into loaves and place them in a greased 9×5 or 8×4 loaf pan. Either size will work. Cover the pans and allow the loaves to rise for an additional 20-25 minutes before you bake them.
Golden Brown Bread Crust
To get this lovely golden brown color, whisk together an egg and one tablespoon of water. Brush this on top of the loaf before baking. You can also brush a tablespoon of oil on top of the loaf of bread once the bread loaves have risen.
4 1/2cupsbread flour(plus an additional ½ cup for handling the dough)
For the topping
2tablespoonscanola oil OR
Pour the warmed milk into the bowl of a stand mixer*. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk.
Add the sourdough starter, canola oil, salt, sugar, baking soda and flour.
Using the dough hook, mix the ingredients on medium speed until they are combined. Then set the mixer to medium speed and knead for 4-5 minutes. The dough should be slightly tacky to the touch. If you think the dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, being careful not to add too much flour.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double.
Divide the dough into two loaves and place them in greased 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans.
Cover the loaf pans and allow the dough to rise for another 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uncover the bread pans. To get a lovely golden brown color, whisk together an egg and one tablespoon of water. Brush this on top of the loaf before baking. OR you can also brush a tablespoon of oil on top of the loaf of bread once the bread loaves have risen.Both will give you a brown top, but the egg wash makes a shiny top.
Bake the bread loaves for 25-30 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the loaves should sound hollow when you tap it.
Allow the loaves to cool 10 minutes in the pans, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
*If you don’t have a stand mixer, just mix the ingredients in a large bowl and then knead by hand for 5 minutes.**We call this a “lazy” sourdough bread. If you are looking for an artisan sourdough bread, this is not it. Those type of loaves have to rise overnight. This recipe is for when you want a quick loaf of bread, which is why it still uses yeast.**
Does the baking soda add to the rise/leavening. I like your recipe except I would like it a little more sour so I would like to omit the baking soda which I know takes away some of the sourness. But I don’t wanna take away from the leavening affect. Also, I’m wondering if being in a high-altitude affects the rise of the dough? I live in Utah and I had to let it rise quite a bit longer than the recipe called for and I still think it needed a longer rise and I didn’t get as good an oven… Read more »
Luv this as it’s so easy! Would you please clarify – on the 2nd rise is the rest time 20min as stated in the recipe or until it has doubled in the bake pan?
My go-to bread recipe when I have sourdough discard! Really light, fluffy, and delicious. I usually use 3.5 cups of AP flour and 1 cup of white wheat flour, and this ratio seems to work really well. I also double the salt per some of the comments. I’m a single person so usually keep my bread in a bag in the fridge after the first few days to avoid mold – this bread keeps super well and toasts up nicely. Thanks for this great recipe!
I have this dough proofing for the first rise. So easy to make. Perhaps those who say it is not sour enough have not let the starter sour for enough days. Thank you for an easy recipe. It is important to be thankful someone shares a recipe that they have tested.
I just posted a comment on how easy this recipe was to make. It rose well and turned out great. Thank you!!
Great recipe. Have to say was a bit intrigued by the use of the tiny amount of baking soda, but allowed that it’s purpose was similar to adding it when using buttermilk…anyway, made recipe as written for first time and it was easy, delicious and my family enjoyed it. It will now be my go to for my discard as I only make actual “sourdough bread” about once/twice a week. What a way to use up discard. I just put it in a container that lives in my fridge, when I get a cup, time to make the sandwich bread.… Read more »
Please help! I’ve tried this recipe twice, both times I’ve got a good rise with each rise. However, when I remove the tea towel or oiled (sprayed) plastic wrap, the dough will deflate a bit, and deflate even more as I bake the bread.
Love the idea of being able to use up the sourdough discard, but is it really needed? I bake sandwich loaves with very similar amounts of the other ingredients, and they also make great bread. Seems to me its just way to use up the discard. Not complaining at all, just an observation. BTW, did your recipe just this morning, they turned out wonderful!
Love this recipe! So great for using up extra sour dough starter while waiting to make your Artisan Sourdough. I followed the recipe exactly the first time. Then I substituted 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour for some of the white flour. Delicious. I make 4 mini-loaves from the recipe.
Wondering if you can omit the yeast and just let it ferment in the fridge for a few days? Or should I just find a different recipe?
I substituted the milk with coconut milk in making this recipe, I found there to be nothing noticeable in the finished product! Yummy either way:))
This recipe is really good!!
My sourdough starter wouldn’t rise and I was getting tired waiting😬. I decided to make a regular bread and this recipe perfect!! Thank will definitely save this forever and ever.
I added 1 more tblsp of sugar since we like ours on a little sweet side and it was good ❤️
Thank you for this❤️❤️❤️
We’ve made this bread twice, now. The children love it!
I’m wondering- Can I use water instead of milk in this recipe?
Ok- hands down- what a beautiful, delicious loaf of bread! I had a small amount of dough left and cut out fall leaves to put on top! The grandkids love this! I took the pan of rolls and froze them. Did that after first rise, shaped and froze. These will be a Christmas gift to my grandkids! Thank you so very much for your recipes!
Does this have to have the baking soda in it, since it has sourdough starter, and yeast in the dough? If so, can you please explain to me why? Thank you.