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 this Soft White Pan Sourdough to something closer to our favorite whole wheat loaf that I bake nearly daily.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Instead of feeding your starter the night as usual, prepare a stiff preferment sponge by thoroughly mixing until smooth the following ingredients:
1 c. sourdough starter
1 c. water
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
Cover with a sheer cloth and allow to sit at room temperature overnight.
In the morning, add to a dough mixer:
All of the sponge
1 c. water
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter or oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
Mix the ingredients for a couple of minutes until they are all incorporated. Then allow the dough to sit for 20 minutes. (Autolyse) Add 3 1/3 t. salt, then mix the dough on low speed for 4 minutes. Shut off the mixer, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
Let the dough sit for an 75 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap. Turn on the mixer for two turns of the dough hooks. (This develops the gluten.) Recover with plastic wrap.
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.
(My house is kept a breezy and frigid 66 degrees right now, which is not conducive to rising bread, so I like to set it near the warm stove at this point. I'll bake something else to have it warm, like muffins.)
Let the dough sit for another 75 minutes, for a total first rise of 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two.
Roll out each ball into a rectangle the width of the length of your bread pan. (Does that make sense?) 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. Repeat for the other piece of dough.
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.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slash with a razor blade or sharp knife down and then brush with tops with melted butter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.
Remove loaves from pans and transfer to a cooling rack.
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