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Sometimes new recipes throw me for a loop.
I try and try and try again to get a recipe just right, and it seems like no matter what I do, things just fall flat.
But sometimes failures lead to new and exciting things. When I took a break from trying to make an artisan-sourdough whole wheat bread, I decided to play around with a rye and wheat sandwich bread.
A beautiful new recipe of my own creation: Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough Sandwich Bread.
Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough has such a fun mix of flavors. The light sweetness from the honey. The subtle tang from the sourdough. And the wholesome earthy undertones from the rye and the whole wheat flours.
And this bread is ridiculously soft.
When I bite into the bread, my first thought is, “Oh wow. It’s like a cloud.” And then I’m hit with that lovely blend of flavors that play off each other. They make my tongue do a little happy dance as I reach for some more butter to spread over everything.
And another great thing about this Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough Sandwich Bread? It’s easy to make! You use sourdough discard to give the bread flavor, rather than needing an active sourdough starter. You don’t have to worry too much about timing your starter to get peak rise time because the commercial yeast does all the hard work for you.
Although this bread tastes amazing with just a bit of butter, it’s also a fantastic choice for making turkey bacon sandwiches.
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Rise time: 3 1/2 Hours
Cook time: 45 Minutes
Total time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Ready to make some awesome sandwich bread? Make sure you have the following ingredients on hand before you start:
- 8 Grams (2 Teaspoons) Dry Active Yeast
- 240 Grams (1 Cup) Warm Water
- 85 Grams (1/4 Cup) Honey
- 56.8 Grams (4 Tablespoons) Butter, Melted
- 113 Grams (1/2 Cup) Sourdough Starter Discard
- 178 Grams (1 3/4 Cup) Rye Flour
- 344 Grams (2 1/4 Cup) Whole Wheat Bread Flour*
- 10 Grams (1 1/2 Teaspoon) Fine Sea Salt
- 1 Large Egg
*If you don’t have whole wheat bread flour, you can make your own with this substitute:
- 326 Grams (2 Cups Plus 2 Tablespoons and 3/4 Teaspoon) Whole Wheat Flour
- 18 Grams (2 Tablespoons and 1/3 Teaspoon) Vital Wheat Gluten
Strong bread flour or vital wheat gluten are essential for a recipe like this one. Whole wheat flour and rye flour are difficult to work with, as the bran and germ from the grain will cut through the gluten. The extra gluten keeps your bread together and helps it keep its shape.
Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough Sandwich Bread does require a few basic kitchen essentials to make:
- Kitchen Scale
- KitchenAid Standing Mixer
- Measuring Cups, Bowls, and Spoons
- 4 to 6 Quart Container with Lid
- 9-inch by 5-inch Baking Pan
- Aluminum Foil
- Wire Cooling Rack
- Oven Mitts
*You don’t have to use a standing mixer if you don’t have one. You can mix and knead this bread by hand; however, it will take much longer.
Have your ingredients? Your equipment? Ready to bake some Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough Sandwich Bread?
To start, combine the warm yeast, warm water, and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir until the grains dissolve, and let proof for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the sourdough starter discard, and again, let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
While the yeast mixture proofs, take a few moments to whisk the flours and salt (and vital wheat gluten if needed) together. Add the flour mixture to the bowl of the standing mixer, and use the dough hook to mix the ingredients. While the dough hook mixes everything, add the egg and the butter.
Continue to mix until the dough pulls away and cleans the sides of the bowl, and let it knead the dough for you for about 5 minutes. If you’re mixing everything by hand, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and slightly elastic.
Shape the dough into a round and place in a lightly greased container.
Let rise until double in size, about 2 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Gently dimple the dough out into a rectangle shape.
Fold the bottom half of the rectangle upward about 2/3 of the way.
Fold the top half so it meets the bottom of the rectangle.
Gently fold in the sides of the loaf.
Flip the loaf over seam side down. Use your hands to gently cup and shape your loaf. Transfer the loaf to the lightly greased pan.
Cover and let rise until the dough reaches above the lip of the pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). Bake for 20 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil to keep the crust from over browning. Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
If you have a digital thermometer, the internal temperature of the bread should read between 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (90 to 93 degrees Celsius). If you don’t have a thermometer, the crust should have a light gold color and the bottom of the loaf will sound hollow when thumped.
Turn the bread out onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving. If you cut into the bread too soon, the bread might be a little gummy inside, as the bread finishes baking with its own residual heat.
While you wait, feel free to brush your loaf with butter to soften the crust and give it extra flavor and color.
After you loaf has cooled, you can slice it and serve it, or bag it to keep it fresh.
Since this is a sourdough bread, it will keep fresh for about 5 days on the counter at room temperature. Do not refrigerate the loaf, as refrigeration makes the bread go stale faster. If you can’t eat the bread fast enough, feel free to freeze it and then thaw and toast it later.
Just the Basics
Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- 8 Grams Dry Active Yeast (2 Teaspoons)
- 240 Grams Warm Water (1 Cup)
- 85 Grams Honey (1/4 Cup)
- 56.8 Grams Butter, Melted (4 Tablespoons)
- 113 Grams Sourdough Starter Discard (1/2 Cup)
- 178 Grams Rye Flour (1 3/4 Cup)
- 344 Grams Whole Wheat Bread Flour (2 1/4 Cup)
- 10 Grams Fine Sea Salt (1 1/2 Teaspoon)
- 1 Large Egg
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine warm water, honey, and yeast. Stir until all grains dissolve. Let proof for 10 to 15 minutes until yeast is puffy.
- Add the sourdough starter discard to the yeast mixture and stir until well incorporated. Let proof for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a separate container, whisk together the rye and wheat flour (and vital wheat gluten if needed) and salt.
- Add the flours to the yeast and use the dough hook on low to combine.
- While the dough hook is running, add the egg and melted butter. Mix for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough pulls away from and cleans the sides of the standing mixer bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and shape into a round.
- Transfer the round to a lightly greased container with lid. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk and the dough is light and puffy, about 2 1/2 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Shape into a sandwich loaf, and transfer to a lightly greased 9-inch by 5-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough breaches the lip of the pan, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius).
- Bake loaf for 20 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil to prevent browning, and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Internal temperature should read between 195° to 200 °Fahrenheit (90 to 93° Celsius), bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when thumped, and crust will have a nice light golden color.
- Turn out loaf onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Secrets to Success
This sandwich bread recipe comes together easily, so it’s a great one for beginning bakers. However, you should note that whole wheat flour and rye flour can be slightly more difficult to work with than all-purpose flours because they still have the bran and the germ from the berry.
Wheat bran and germ can act like little knives in your dough, cutting through the gluten that gives your bread its shape. When shaping your dough, use a gentle touch. The dough can tear easily, resulting in holes in your crust.
You should also note that I milled my own rye and wheat flours for this recipe. I have a Wondermill and used whole wheat and rye berries. If you’re looking for an in-store equivalent, I suggest using a dark rye flour, rather than a medium or light flour, as this will give you the closest match to home-milled flours. Dark rye flour still has the germ and the bran that give this bread a lot of flavor, texture, and fiber.
Honey Wheat and Rye Sourdough Sandwich Bread has a lot of honey and butter in it to give it its soft texture and delightful flavor. But these extra ingredients do add up if you’re tracking calories. Here’s what you’ll find inside:
Keep in mind that this nutrition information was calculated for a loaf cut into 14 slices. Your slices may be bigger or smaller than mine, and you’ll want to adjust your nutritional information accordingly.
Did You Try It?
I absolutely loved this bread and the way the flavor comes at me in tasty waves. But what do you think of the recipe? Is the honey too strong? The sourdough too subtle? Let me know in the comments below! Your feedback helps me make great recipes even better.