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50/50 Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

It is always nice to have a sandwich loaf around the house. I have a couple of toddlers at home and these days they've been on a grilled cheese streak. My regular loaves make for some pretty great grilled cheese, but these loaves make for a more classic style sandwich. And it's alright not to be fully crusty all the time. If you have been making regular free form "artisan" style loaves, then a sandwich loaf is going to seem very easy... almost cheating. I suppose it kind of is, because you have a tin that is going to hold the shape of your loaf while baking. It is also something that you can decide to do partway through your bulk fermentation without any prior planning. Sometimes if I have dough that seems a little over hydrated and soupy I will simply shape as best I can and then place it in a bread tin to finish off the cold proof in the fridge (rather than my normal Banneton). My preferred way to do it is to simply put the dough in my tin on the last coil fold. I have included a video in the Notes section that demonstrates this technique.

You can basically turn any loaf into a sandwich loaf, so play around with it and find what works for you. I do prefer a higher ratio of whole wheat flour for these as anything less than 50/50 tends to have a crumb that is a little too "open" for my style. If I am doing a sandwich loaf I don't want too much peanut butter or melted cheese dripping out. I also find these loaves to be a good way for new bakers to try their hand with high hydration doughs since at the end of the process you still have a tin to hold everything together.


Ingredients (One Loaf)


10:00pm- Overnight levain build with 10g Starter: 35g cold water: 35g Flour (75% white, 25% Rye)

7:15am- Autolyse with 280g of the water

8:00am- Mix in 75g of Levain

8:30am- Mix in salt  with the remaining 20g of water

9:00am- Coil Fold

9:30am- Coil Fold

10:00am- Coil Fold

11:00am- Coil Fold

12:00pm- Coil Fold and place in bread tin. Continue the fermentation while in the tin.

1:30pm- Place the bread tin in the Freezer. Preheat oven and Challenger Bread Pan to 500°F

2:15pm- Mist the top of the dough with water and then add sesame seeds (Optional). You can score the top if you would like, but for this loaf I decided to just let the dough do its thing and burst open on its own. Bake inside the Challenger Pan at 450°F for 22 minutes with the lid on and then 23 minutes with the lid off. I also add an ice cube just before putting the lid on the help generate more steam.


  • This sandwich loaf can work with any hydration and flour combination. I used Red Fife wheat, but feel free to use any whole wheat flour. Play around with what you like and take notes of your results. Adjust accordingly for next time. Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help.

  • I baked this as a "same day" loaf but you could put the dough in the fridge instead of the freezer and keep it in there until the next day (or the day after) if that would work better for your schedule.

  • The bread tin that I use is a the "1 pound"pan by Chicago Mettalic and is 8.5"x 4.5" and 2.5" tall. The Pan can be found HERE

  • Steam is a very key aspect of getting good oven spring. My home oven does not hold steam very well at all, thus I achieve better results while baking in a "Dutch Oven". The great thing about the Challenger Pan is that a bread tin actually fits right inside! I have found that with a loaf any larger than this I will bump the top of the pan but that is not a huge issue, just something to keep in mind.

  • I always used to struggle with getting my loaves out of the tins cleanly. Now I make a liner out of parchment paper and it makes the whole process incredibly easier than before. See the photos in the gallery of what that liner looks like.

  • I like to pop the dough in the freezer because I find it is nice working with cold dough and the bread seems to get better oven spring that way. I leave the dough in there anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.


Your fermentation times may vary depending on a lot of different factors. Use these times for the folding and the duration of the Bulk Fermentation only as a guideline. What worked for me may need to be tweaked a little bit for your bake.



Susanna Faygenbaum
Susanna Faygenbaum
Sep 01, 2021

Hi there, how would you bake this without challenger pan? i only have a loaf pan with no cover, can i bake it straight like that?

Crusty Calvin
Crusty Calvin
Sep 01, 2021
Replying to

Yeah you can bake it as usual in your loaf pan. The challenger pan just retains steam and helps the loaf rise a bit more. Not necessary, but nice!

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