Fruited sourdough bread: sandwich perfection

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When you think sourdough, you probably think:

A) San Francisco;
B) Crusty bread;
C) A lot of of work to make.

None of which paint an accurate picture of the sourdough bread pictured above. Which is:

A) A Vermont native;
B) Soft inside, with a chewy crust;
C) Potentially ready to enjoy in under 4 hours.

Have I piqued your interest?

Hope so. Because this bread makes the BEST toast, the BEST sandwiches and, if you’re a fan of the sweet/salty flavor combo, the ABSOLUTE BEST grilled cheese ever.

And yes, it can be made, start to finish, in under 4 hours. So long as you have your starter ready to go…

Did you know that by clicking anywhere on this block of pictures, you can enlarge them to full size? Go ahead, give it a try; it’ll work for any of our photos.

When making yeast bread with sourdough starter, I like to feed it first; it helps the bread rise.

Wait a minute – don’t you always have to feed your starter before using it?

Nope. If you’re using it in waffles, or chocolate cake, or popovers, or pretty much anything beyond yeast bread, sourdough starter can easily be used without offering it a meal first.

Which makes the non-yeast recipes listed above ideal for what, class?

That’s right – using up the “discard” sourdough you’d ordinarily throw away when you DO feed your starter prior to making yeast bread.

But, since we ARE making bread here, best to feed your starter first. If you have your own method, go for it. If not, here’s how I do it:

Pull your sourdough starter out of the refrigerator. Stir in any clear, amber, or dark-colored liquid that’s collected on top. If the liquid is pinkish, discard all of the starter and begin again; pink signifies harmful bacteria.

Discard all but 4 ounces (a generous half cup) of the starter. Stir in 1/2 cup (4 ounces) lukewarm water, and 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.

Cover and let rest at warm room temperature until the starter is bubbly and looks active, which will probably take 8 to 12 hours or so.

Bringing your starter up to snuff may take more than one feeding, if it’s been neglected. Questions? See our complete guide to sourdough maintenance.

Combine 2/3 cup (about 5 1/2 ounces) fed starter with the following:

2/3 to 3/4 cup lukewarm water*
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon to 4 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup potato flour or 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
1/3 cup rolled oats, traditional or quick
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup chopped Granny Smith apple (about 1 small apple), peeled or not
1 cup raisins, golden or dark

*In summer, or during hot/humid weather, reduce the water by 1 tablespoon.

Mix and knead to form a smooth yet sticky dough. This will take about 7 minutes at medium speed in your stand mixer. If you’re kneading by hand, it’ll take about 10 minutes, and you’ll want to keep your hands well greased.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl (or 8-cup measure, as I’ve done here).

Cover it, and allow it to rise for about 90 minutes. The dough will become puffy, though it probably won’t double in bulk.

Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.

Gently deflate the risen dough, and shape it into a log. Place it in the pan, and cover it lightly.

Let the dough rise until it crests about 1″ over the rim of the pan, 60 to 90 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 to 20 minutes; it will continue to brown slowly.

When it’s done, the bread will be golden brown, and will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.

Remove the bread from the oven, and after a couple of minutes turn it out of the pan. Run a stick of butter over the top, if desired; this will yield a soft crust and, of course, wonderful, buttery flavor.

Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

And buttering. And enjoying.

Or grilling, to make Grilled Cheese with Apple and Arugula.

Whoa… trust me – this is one REALLY good sandwich!

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Fruited Sourdough Sandwich Bread.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. bibiswas

    Just cut a warm slice (after waiting the customary 15 minutes), buttered it and offered to share with my husband – he gobbled it up without giving me any! The bread sliced like a dream, soft and shiny buttery top and as a bonus – my kitchen smells like fall with the apple-y aroma! The recipe worked very well – got all consistencies and timings right, bread rose well. I used parchment paper to line my glass pyrex loaf pan – came off beautifully. I will make a grilled sandwich with mozzarella, homegrown tomato and basil for tomorrow’s lunch with this bread. By the way, this is my first ever “sandwich” bread even though I have been successfully making sourdough bread, pizza etc. for years. Guess the easier stuff intimidated me more? I am super excited about baking my first ever sandwich bread this time. Thanks Ms. PJ for sharing your creation

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying this bread – though I can’t take credit for it. Charlotte, one of our test bakers, created this recipe for our catalogue, and she’s responsible for the grilled cheese angle, too – brilliant! Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  2. Ginger

    I think this bread looks wonderful. My picky family would disagree. If I left out the fruit, would I need to adjust anything? Or maybe I’ll just make a loaf all to myself. :-) Thanks.

    You may omit the fruit is you prefer, no changes. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    Yum! Can this be made in the bread machine-either the dough cycle or all the way through baking?

    Sarah, I’d do it using the dough cycle, then take it out to bake. It might very well do fine on the regular cycle, but since I haven’t tested it – not sure. If you try baking this in your bread machine, let us all know how it turns out, OK? Thanks – PJH

    Reply
  4. mstebby

    I made this last night and brought it in for my ‘test subjects’/work mates. They liked it and my favorite taste tester (my son) said, “yummy Mommy”, so that was a good sign!
    I was thinking of adding nuts to it. Mine seemed a bit too raisin-y. I might cut back a bit next time. Overall great reviews and everyone really liked it.

    Glad to hear it – especially the “yummy Mommy”! :) PJH

    Reply
  5. jama

    This bread, toasted , with Nutella and homemade fig jam. New favorite breakfast! It seems a little too tender, though. Did I not knead it long enough?
    This bread is supposed to be on the soft side, but if it is so tender that it is falling apart, it could have been over-baked, over-proofed, or yes, it may have needed more gluten development. ~Amy

    Reply
  6. bakerjoy

    I have a sourdough starter that has been in the family almost 50 years. I seldom stray from the ‘tried and true’ white or 11-grain but had to try this one! It was excellent. Great taste, texture, etc. On my second try, I used 1/2 golden and 1/2 dark raisins PLUS 1/4 cup sunflower seeds. YUMMY! Next go, I think I’ll substitute some dried cranberries. Thanks for another favorite!

    Reply
  7. J.T.

    I still have a dry Alaskan Sourdough starter kit purchased in the early 1970s… will this still work?
    Give it a try, you never know!

    Reply
  8. Jhineugene

    I like to use all sourdough and no commercial yeast, so I doubled the starter and did a preferment with the starter, flour and water (I had some potato water so I used that) overnight. Also substituted some honey for the sugar and threw in a handful of sunflower seeds. The bread is both beautiful and delicious; thanks for sharing it with us!
    Thank you for sharing your tweaks and twists. I especially love the seeds you added. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  9. SNJ

    Is there a substitute for potato flour or potato flakes?

    You could try using a bit of tapioca flour instead, but the potato flour/instant mashed potato flakes really do create a fluffy, tender dough. You can also omit the potato completely and just use an equal amount of regular flour to make up the difference. The bread will still turn out quite tasty, just not as soft in texture. Kim@KAF

    Reply
  10. SWS

    Wondering why the ingredient list indicates to divide the flour. Can’t see directions to use the divided flour in the instructions.
    thx

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      No idea – it doesn’t say “divided” in the recipe, just the blog. A little gremlin must have added it! Thanks for noticing, I’ll fix it. PJH

  11. ResGar

    I love this bread. I’m making it today and noticed that the instructions say to reduce the amount of water used during hot weather. Why is this? I would imaging you’d need a bit more water to cover losses due to evaporation.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Actually, during hot/humid weather flour tends to absorb moisture like a sponge; thus you need to cut back on your liquid in the recipe a bit, since the flour is already “damp” to begin with. Make sense? PJH

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Well, a 9″ x 5″ pan is about 25% to 30% larger volume than an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ – so using that info., hopefully you’ll have good success! Of course, you can also simply bake in the larger pan and end up with a shorter loaf… PJH

    2. Susan Reid

      Just a few changes to increase the size: Use 3/4 cup of starter, 1 cup of water, and increase the flour to 2 3/4 to 3 cups, depending on what the dough needs. Everything else can stay the same. Susan

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