Ben Starr

The Ultimate Food Geek

Simple Sourdough Sandwich Bread (for lazy people)

Ben Starr, the Ultimate Food Geek, teaches a simple sourdough sandwich bread with no kneading, slapping, or folding, using unfed, cold starter straight from the fridge.

(For printable recipe, move to the bottom!)

My favorite kitchen scale. (Restaurant grade, takes AA batteries or plug in.)

My Pullman loaf pan.

My favorite bread knife. (offset handle, serrated blade, cheap enough to replace every few years)

My favorite kitchen thermometer. (solid company, and you can pay more for a faster version of their thermometers, but this one is just fine)

Bread box. (best for storing pre-sliced bread)

Beeswax bread cloth. (AMAZING for keeping loaves fresh and soft for days, better for loaves that haven’t been completely pre-sliced)

NOTE: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you buy something from one of my links, I’ll get a few cents. Thanks!


In a large bowl, add:

3oz / 85g all purpose flour (bread flour will also work)
3 Tbsp (1.5oz / 42g) unsalted butter, sliced thin
3oz / 85g boiling water

Let it sit for a few seconds to melt the butter, then stir until thick and pasty. Work all the melted butter into the paste so it’s evenly mixed. Then add:

2oz / 57g sugar (or 1oz / 28g honey)
3oz / 85g buttermilk
(if you can’t find buttermilk, use half sour cream/creme fraiche/yogurt and half milk)
1 egg
6oz / 170g sourdough starter at 100% hydration
(cold, unfed, straight from the fridge)

NOTE: If using robust, frequently fed starter, the recipe will work, but rise times will decrease…as will flavor.

Stir with a whisk until well mixed. Then add:

12oz / 340g all purpose flour (or bread flour…you can sub up to 6oz/170g whole wheat flour here, if you wish, but add 1 ounce of water to the wet ingredients if you do)
0.5oz / 14g salt (any type)

Stir until too difficult to mix with a fork, then use your hands to bring the ingredients together into a cohesive, smooth dough, about 1 minute. The dough should be slightly tacky, but if it’s too sticky to work with, your starter is over-hydrated and you need to correct it. Add a bit more flour to the dough to fix the current problem.

Grease the bowl and cover with a non-permeable, solid covering. (Pot lid, sheet pan, plastic wrap, etc. NOT a kitchen towel.) Rise at room temp for 12 hours, or until double. (If using robust starter, you may achieve doubling in 6-8 hours or less.)

On a floured surface, gently stretch and pat (de-gas) the dough into a rectangle about the width of your loaf pan. Shape the loaf as you prefer. I use the King Arthur method.

Place the loaf in a greased loaf pan. Cover and rise 2 hours or until double. (Robust starters may only need 1 hour.)

Bake on the center rack of a preheated 375F oven for 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 195F / 91C.

Cool fully before slicing, ideally 8 hours.

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