Clay's Multi-Grain Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf

Recipe photo

This unusual sandwich bread has the chewy texture of an artisan loaf, rather than the soft/tender texture of a typical loaf-pan bread. Happily, this makes it perfect for sandwiches: easy to slice (no crumbling), and sturdy enough to pack for lunch. And its tangy, rich taste is perfect with grilled veggies, ham and cheese, chicken salad, and all manner of favorite fillings.

Our thanks to reader Clay Blackwell of Lynchburg, Virginia, who shared this recipe with us.

New to sourdough? Find the help you need for all of your sourdough baking at our Sourdough Essentials page.

Clay's Multi-Grain Sourdough Sandwich Bread

star rating (93) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf
Published: 09/21/2010


Tips from our bakers

  • Doesn't sourdough starter need to be fed before using? Well - not necessarily. So long as you're using a recipe with added yeast, you can use sourdough straight from the fridge; just assume your rising times will be slightly longer. One caveat: if your sourdough hasn't been fed in a long time - e.g., it has a layer of dark liquid on top - best to feed it before using.
  • Since sourdough starters vary quite a bit in consistency, from thin as popover batter to thick as soft dough, it's difficult to give an exact amount of flour. If your starter is very thin, you may need an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour, beyond the 1 1/2 cups, to make a dough that's sticky, yet still stiff enough to hold its shape.
  • If you find you haven't left yourself enough time to complete this bread on schedule, shape and place in a loaf pan; cover the pan, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 18 hours. The bread will rise slowly in the fridge. Next day, let the loaf rest at room temperature for a couple of hours, or till it's as risen as you like; then bake as directed.


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1) Combine all of the ingredients — in a bowl, the bowl of an electric mixer, or the pan of your bread machine — and mix and knead to form a smooth dough. The dough may start out shaggy, then become stickier as you knead; if you use a stand mixer, by the end of a 7-minute knead it'll be sticking heavily to the sides of the bowl. That's OK; if you can scrape it off the sides of the bowl and it feels firm enough to hold its shape, and doesn't stick to your floured or oiled hands, it's fine.

2) Cover the dough, and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours; it'll become puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

3) Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan. Gently deflate the risen dough, and shape it into a log. Place it in the pan, cover it lightly, and allow it to rise until it crests at least 1" over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The bread doesn't have much oven-spring (i.e., it won't rise much once it's in the oven), so be sure to let it rise fully before baking. A loaf risen 1" over the rim of the pan will be denser and more close-grained; letting it rise higher will give you a "spongier," lighter bread. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

4) Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 minutes if it's as brown as you like it. When it's done, the bread will be golden brown, and will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.

5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack, to cool completely.

Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 32g Servings Per Batch: 16 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97 Calories from Fat: Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: Trans Fat: Cholesterol: 0g Sodium: 168mg Total Carbohydrate: 17g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 03/02/2015
  • Lady of Shallots from KAF Community
  • I've made this loaf a couple of times now with different variations, and I haven't been disappointed yet. It always comes out moist with a well-developed gluten structure that holds up to cutting and sandwiches. I tend to make it with rolled oats in lieu of the harvest grains blend, because I have them on hand. For a much stronger sourdough flavor, mix at night, put it in the fridge, then before work put it in its pan to rise through the day. The sourdough is much milder if made as per the recipe. It is also noticeably moister if you prepare it like the Vermont WW Oatmeal bread (soak the oats/grains in boiling water or whey along with a tablespoon of butter instead of olive oil and honey or sugar), although soaking the water up in the oats can decrease the overall yield (haven't tried upping the moisture yet for this prep). One thing I've noticed - it always takes longer than the recipe suggests to get the full rise. Took about four hours the first time I made it, and about six the second - a nice, hands-off bread to make if you're going to be around the house to be ready with the oven when it's ready to go in.
  • star rating 02/25/2015
  • Julie Leonard from KAF Community
  • This turned out very well, I used a combo of 7-grain cereal and seeds (millet, sesame, poppy, & sunflower). I found the blog pics to be helpful in determining the amount of water to use. I will be making this again soon.
  • star rating 02/03/2015
  • Lucy from li
  • Beautiful texture. Rose more than I do specter. Delicious. I'll make this one again
  • star rating 12/11/2014
  • mpstonge from KAF Community
  • This bread was so good! Whenever I ask my kids what kind of bread I should make, they always ask for sourdough. I usually make the multigrain sourdough or the seeded sourdough because I like the boule and baking in my clay pot. Yesterday, I decided to give this one a try. Delicious! I came out pretty well even if my first rise didn't rise much. My second rise did better. I needed to bake it much longer than 35 min to get the internal temperature to 190 F and I didn't need to tent it with foil at all.
  • star rating 10/25/2014
  • smitht3 from KAF Community
  • This is a wonderful use for fed and unfed sourdough. I just started using sourdough purchased from KAF and it isn't as difficult to maintain as I thought it would. I don't eat as much bread as I used to, so was worried about maintaining and using the sourdough often enough. I'll definitely be using it to make this recipe at least a few times a month. I substituted rye flour for the wheat flour called for in the recipe and used vital wheat gluten instead of the whole wheat improver. The rise was quite good, easily doubling in size during the proofing stage and rising a good 1.5 inches above the rim in the loaf pan. The only thing I may try to do is to reduce the amount of yeast. I think my sourdough was very active after a feeding, so the bread tasted a bit more yeasty than I expected. I may also try adding some caraway seeds on the next bake and substituting the vital wheat gluten with the rye improver. I think this recipe lends itself very well to experimentation :) The final result was a delicious loaf with a slight tang, crunch exterior, denser but soft crumb - delicious!
  • star rating 10/18/2014
  • jon pedersen from quartz hill ca.
  • star rating 09/10/2014
  • jon from quartz hill, ca
  • star rating 08/31/2014
  • Grnmtnkntr from KAF Community
  • This is my go-to recipe for using unfed starter because I hate to throw any out when I feed mine each week. My husband enjoys this loaf for sandwiches. I was distracted chatting with a friend when I was baking last week and used a half tablespoon measure instead of a teaspoon when adding the yeast. I realized that I had added 3 teaspoons instead of two, but decided to just go with it. It rose faster than I expected on the second rise, hanging over the sides of the pan, so I deflated the dough, reshaped it and let it rise again. The result was a higher, lighter loaf about which my husband raved. I guess I'll continue to make those "mistakes" even when I'm not distracted.
  • star rating 07/15/2014
  • sfreshwater from KAF Community
  • Kudos to Clay for this delicious recipe. I had a little problem which I'm sure was my fault but I ended up with very slack dough and I wasn't sure how much more flour to use so I just took a chance with it. It is fantastic, chewy, great flavor, east put together, perfect slicing and the crunchiest toast ever. I wanted to try out my new cuisinart convection bread machine, I retired my wonderful old Oster because here in southern Nevada it's pretty hot in the summer to use the oven but with this bread machine I get the same results as my gas stove convection. The loaf is perfect and I added the 1/8t sour salt and some Vital Wheat Gluten. I also used the 100% WWW. It didn't have the round smooth dome but rather a bumpy top but it has the most delicious flavor. I'm not a big fan of sour dough bread but this one will be in my bread machine a lot and next time I'll add a little more flour so I can work with it better. All in all I give this bread an A+ thank you Clay
  • star rating 05/21/2014
  • Leah H. from Peoria, IL
  • This was the first recipe I made with my KAF sourdough starter and it's my new favorite! We went through a loaf in 2 days when it normally takes us 5-6 days to go through a loaf! Easy to make and delicious!
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