Sourdough Sandwich Loaf
The inspiration for this loaf came from @autumn.kitchen who shared an enriched sourdough sandwich loaf on her Instagram account. I started with that but I wanted to see if I could create something that my dairy allergic sister could eat and using minimal ingredients (hence why I didn’t even include egg in the recipe). Fair warning though, like all sourdoughs – proofing time can vary depending on the strength of your starter and the temperature of your room. If you have a smaller Pullman Pan, you just need to work out the volume of the pan and scale the ingredients accordingly.
310g baker’s flour + 20g extra to add when the olive oil goes in
115g active 100% hydration starter
20g olive oil
22cm X 10cm X 10cm Pullman Pan (approx. 2.2L)
Mix 310g flour with the water, salt and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and set aside for 1 hour to autolyse.
After one hour, add the starter and using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough in the stand mixer for 5 minutes on a low setting. On a KitchenAid it’s setting 2. Pour in the olive oil and the 20g of flour and knead for another 5 minutes.
Check the dough is ready by doing a window pane test. Lightly wet your fingers with water and tear away a little piece of dough, roll it up and then begin to stretch it out. It’s ready when you can stretch it thin without ripping it. I find I usually end up kneading for a total of 10 minutes after the oil goes in but I like to check it after 5 minutes to see how it’s progressing.
Turn the dough out and shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled glass bowl and cover. Set aside to proof for at least 3-4 hours. This part will depend on the temperature of the room. You’re looking for the dough to look more puffed, almost double in size and when you look underneath the bowl, you can see bubbles. All this indicates that the dough is thriving.
When you’re ready to do a final proof, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured bench top. Divide it into 3 pieces and pre-shape them into taunt balls and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. Make sure you cover the dough with a tea towel.
Prepare the Pullman Pan by greasing the inside of the pan with either a spray on oil or melted butter.
Take one ball of dough and flatten it into a rectangle, about 10cm wide. You’ll have the shortest edge facing you and you’ll fold in one of the longer sides 1/3 of the way in and then fold the other side over the top – basically creating a narrower rectangle. Starting from the bottom edge closet to you, you’ll roll it up. Place this in the Pullman pan and repeat with the other two pieces of dough.
Cover the Pullman Pan with a tea towel (I prefer a shower cap that I keep in the kitchen) and allow to proof till the dough is about 1.5-2cm from the top of the tin. On a cold day I prefer to do this by warming up my oven on the lowest temperature setting for a few minutes, turn it off and then put the Pullman Pan inside – proofing time can still end up taking 3 hours. If the oven feels a bit too hot, wait a little bit before putting the Pullman Pan in – every oven is different so use your judgement on that one. If you let it sit on the bench on a cold day, it takes forever to proof which then makes the bread end up tasting quite sour.
If you decide to leave your dough to proof in the oven, remember to remove it before preheating the oven for baking!!
About 30 minutes before you plan on baking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees (conventional). When you’re ready to bake, make sure you grease the underside of the lid before sliding it on. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The loaf is ready when you remove the lid and it has a beautiful golden crust. Tip the loaf out immediately to cool on a baking rack.
- I feed my starter the night before (approx. 12 hours before I plan on mixing the dough) at a ratio 1:2:2 – starter: flour: water. This is during the cooler months and room temperature overnight can drop to 10-12 degrees. I don’t find I need to refeed my starter the next morning before using it. How long your loaf proofs for will be very dependent on how strong your starter is so if it suits you to build a starter in the morning and use it 4-6 hours later, then go for it. You know your starter better than anybody else.
- Remember during hot weather the timings may vary – expect faster bulk proofing time and final proofing time.
- Baking time can vary so after you make your first loaf, you might find that if the crust is too crispy, you reduce the oven temp after the first 10-15 minutes and just bake at 170 degrees for a bit longer.
- If you want to bake without the lid and have it rise above the pan, you’ll need to increase the volume of everything by 15-20%