I love traditional artisan sourdough bread. It has a rich, deep flavor and satisfying crunchy crust.
But I will admit that artisan bread is difficult to master, and its shape doesn’t always lend itself to the ultimate sandwich.
Lately, I’ve been craving sandwich bread with soft crusts and chewy centers, but I also didn’t want to sacrifice the rich flavor that comes from whole wheat flour and sourdough starter.
So today I present to you maple oat sourdough sandwich bread.
Maple oat sourdough sandwich bread combines the easy-to-work-with nature of white flour with the stronger, richer flavor of wheat flour. And it adds a fun new oaty flavor and texture from old-fashioned oats.
And let’s not forget a hint of sweetness from pure maple syrup. No other sugar needed.
When I bite into maple oat sandwich bread, the first thing I notice is the heavenly soft crust and the chewy texture. And then the sourdough flavor hits after I start chewing.
Because maple oat sourdough has such a long fermentation time, it has a much stronger sourdough flavor than many of my other sourdough recipes. And I honestly can’t get enough of this bread.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Rise time: 18 to 20 Hours
Cook time: 45 to 55 minutes
Total time: 19 Hours to 21 Hours+
For this recipe, you’ll make both a soaker and a dough and then combine them.
For the Soaker
- 100 Grams (1 Cup) Old Fashioned Oats*
- 105 Grams (1/2 Cup) Water
*You’ll also need about 2 Tablespoons Whole Rolled Oats for Sprinkling on the top of the bread
For the Dough
- 230 grams (1 Cup) Milk
- 150 Grams (3/4 Cup) Sourdough Starter
- 80 Grams (1/4 Cup) Maple Syrup
- 14 Grams (1 Tablespoon) Olive Oil*
- 300 Grams (2 Cup + 3 1/2 Tablespoons) Bread Flour
- 100 Grams (1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon) Whole Wheat Bread Flour**
- 10 Grams (1 1/2 Teaspoons) Fine Sea Salt
*You’ll also need a bit more for greasing the pan
**If you can’t find whole wheat bread flour, you can use simple whole wheat flour, though your sandwich bread may have a harder time holding its shape.
When I made this recipe, I used vital wheat gluten to turn my all-purpose flour in the bread flour and whole wheat flour into whole wheat bread flour.
If you want to use vital wheat gluten, you’ll need to adjust your measurements a little.
- 288 Grams (2 1/4 Cups + 1 Teaspoon) All-Purpose
- 96 Grams (3/4 Cup + 2 1/2 Teaspoons) Whole Wheat Flour
- 16 Grams (2 Tablespoons + 1/4 Teaspoon) Vital Wheat Gluten
I love using wheat gluten in my recipes, as it gives the bread a richer flavor and a chewier texture.
Here are a few kitchen basics that you’ll want on hand when you make your bread:
- Kitchen Thermometer
- Kitchen Scale
- Mixing Bowls
- Dough Chopper/Pastry Cutter
- 9-inch by 5-inch Bread Pan
- Wire Cooling Rack
- Oven Mitts
Keep in mind that you can get creative with your kitchen equipment. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test water temperature with your finger. If you don’t have a scale, I’ve provided alternative measurements. And if you don’t have a dough chopper, a sharp knife will do.
Maple Oat Sourdough Sandwich bread does take some time, but fortunately, most of that time occurs during bulk fermentation and requires very little effort on your part.
I’ve given an example schedule for making this bread, but feel free to adjust it to better suit your schedule. Keep in mind that your starter may be more or less active than mine, and you might need to tweak the recipe a little to get the same results.
Feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.
Feed Your Starter – 10:00 AM
I tend to feed my starter at the same time everyday: 10:00 AM. I have a typical morning routine of getting breakfast, cleaning my kitchen, and feeding my starter.
Currently, my starter is 100% whole wheat flour at 100% hydration, and I feed it 40 grams whole wheat flour and 40 grams water daily.
As a result, my starter tends to be a little slow. It takes time for my starter to be bubbly, and it doesn’t get active until later in the day. Sometimes my starter is more bubbly at night than it is in the afternoon.
However, your starter might behave a little differently depending on your flour type and how often you feed it. To make maple oat sourdough sandwich bread, you’ll want to make sure your starter is nice and bubbly. You may need to feed your starter just a few hours before baking rather than first thing in the morning.
Make the Soaker and The Dough – 8:30 PM to 9:00 PM
In a small, microwave safe bowl, make sure your water is room temperature, about 68 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees to 22 degrees Celsius). Heat if necessary. Add oats, stir, and set aside. It’s fine that the water doesn’t fully cover the oats.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, sourdough starter, syrup, and olive oil.
Add the flours and mix until well incorporated. The dough will seem dry at first, but it will soften as stir. Continue to mix by hand for about 5 minutes until the dough goes from shaggy and loose to soft and smooth.
Cover your dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Combine the Soaker and the Dough – 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM
After 30 minutes, add the soaker to your dough. Knead and mix the dough until the oats have evenly distributed throughout the dough. It may take 2 to 3 minutes, but eventually the dough will come together. It will feel sticky, stiff, and wet – so don’t be afraid to get a little messy while working with the dough. If you need to, periodically scrape your fingers with a fork and work in stuck dough.
Cover and let rest for another 30 minutes.
Stretch and Fold the Dough – 9:30 PM to 10:30 PM
After you’ve mixed your dough and let it rest, it’s time to stretch and fold the dough. Stretching and folding helps develop gluten, which gives your bread a better shape.
Grab a corner of your dough and pull it up until you meet resistance (without snapping the dough).
Then fold the dough over itself.
Repeat until you’ve worked your way around the dough then let your dough rest for 30 minutes.
If time permits, stretch and fold your dough for a total of three times with 30 minutes between each fold. If you have a tight schedule, you can move straight on to the bulk fermentation stage.
Bulk Fermentation – 10:30 PM to 10:30 AM
After your last fold, cover your dough and let it rise overnight at room temperature, about 10 to 12 hours. Because my house has uneven heating and cooling, my kitchen tends to be a little colder (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit), so I let it rise about 12 to 14 hours overnight. If your kitchen tends to be a little warmer, you may need to cut your bulk fermentation to 8 to 10 hours.
You’ll know your dough has finished rising when it has doubled in size. It should look airy and light rather than dense. If you jiggle the bowl, the dough should jiggle a little too.
My container has a lid that keeps the dough from drying out. If your bowl doesn’t have a lid, consider using plastic wrap, a bowl bonnet, or a damp towel to ensure your dough stays nice and wet.
Pre-Shape the Dough – 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Turn your dough out onto a floured work surface. You may have to wet your fingers a little to coax the dough out without it sticking.
Gently grab a portion of the dough and stretch it until you meet resistance. Then fold the dough toward the center.
Grab another side of the dough, stretch it, and fold it to the center. Repeat until you’ve worked your way around the dough. Use your dough scraper to flip the round so the seams face down.
Cover your round with a damp tea towel (or just flip your bowl over the top) and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Shape the Dough – 11:00 AM to 11:10 AM
Lightly grease a 9-inch by 5-inch (23-centimeter by 12-centimeter) bread pan.
Use your dough chopper to flip the round back over, so the seams are up again. Gently shape your round into a rectangle, using your fingers to dimple it as you (much like you would with focaccia). You want your rectangle to fit your loaf pan, so try to make your loaf about 6 inches wide by 10 inches long (don’t worry if it’s not perfect – we’ll be folding it!)
Carefully fold down your dough two-thirds of its size length wise (hotdog fold if that helps). Crease the fold with the side of your hand and pinky finger.
Fold the bottom third of the dough up toward the crease. Pinch the seam closed.
Fold each side inward, about 1 inch depending on how big your initial rectangle was. If you need a guide, set it next to your bread pan.
Use your dough scraper to flip your round over again, so the seams are back on the bottom. You should now have a nice looking sandwich loaf shape. If you struggled with the shaping, you can gently role the dough back and forth a little to fluff it up a bit.
Cover your dough with a damp tea towel and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Second Rise – 11:10 AM to 12:15 PM
Now that you’ve got your dough shaped, it’s time to get it in the pan. To make sure it holds its shape, gently cup the sides of the dough and pull it toward you. You want to get the skin taught without breaking it. If needed, you can fluff up the ends again to make it fit in your bread pan.
Repeat with the opposite side. Your loaf will seem a little bit skinny, but it will relax after you get it in the pan.
Use your dough scraper to scoop your dough and transfer it to the pan. If your edges don’t quite look as pretty as you like, you can use a lightly moistened rubber scraper to push in on the sides.
Cover your dough with a damp tea towel again and let it proof until the dough reaches about 1 inch above the lip of the pan. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending on your room temperature. If you have a colder kitchen, you may need a few hours.
Bake the Dough – 12:15 PM to 1:00 PM
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsuis).
Remember those 2 tablespoons of oats from back in the ingredient list? Lightly spritz your dough with water and sprinkle the oats over the top of your loaf.
Place loaf in oven and reduce temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Fahrenheit). Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and use aluminum foil to tent your bread (so the crust doesn’t brown too much). Put the bread back in the oven and continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Not sure if your bread is done yet? Use your kitchen thermometer to test it. Internal temperature should read 190 degrees to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (87 degrees to 96 degrees Celsius.)
Let your bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Transfer your bread to the wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
Slice and enjoy!
My family loved this bread and couldn’t wait to eat it right out of the oven. But if you can’t eat your bread fast enough, you can leave it at room temperature for 3 to 4 days or freeze it for up to two weeks.
Just the Basics
Sourdough Maple Oat Sandwich Bread
- 100 Grams Old Fashioned Oats (1 Cup)
- 105 Grams Warm Water (1/2 Cup)
- 230 Grams Milk (1 Cup)
- 150 Grams Sourdough Starter (3/4 Cup)
- 80 Grams Maple Syrup (1/4 Cup)
- 14 Grams Olive Oil (1 Tablespoon)
- 300 Grams Bread Flour (2 Cups + 3 1/2 Tablespoons)
- 100 Grams Whole Wheat Bread Flour (1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon)
- 10 Grams Fine Sea Salt (1 1/2 Teaspoons)
- Feed your starter and make sure it’s nice and bubbly before baking.
- Combine the oats with the water and set aside.
- Mix the milk, sourdough starter, maple syrup, and olive oil. Add in flours and salt until well incorporated. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Work the oat soaker into the dough. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Stretch and fold the dough three times with 30 minutes rest between each folding session.
- Cover and let the dough rise at room temperature overnight for about 10 to 12 hours.
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and pre-shape the dough into a boule. Cover and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Shape the boule into a sandwich loaf and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer the sandwich loaf to a lightly greased bread pan. Cover and let rise until dough has reached above the lip of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 450° Fahrenheit (232° Celsius).
- Spritz the dough with water and sprinkle additional oats over the top. Place the loaf in the oven and reduce the temperature to 400° Fahrenheit (204° Celsius).
- Bake for 25 minutes and then tent the loaf with aluminum foil. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let bread cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing and serving.
Secrets to Success
The secret to making great maple oat sourdough sandwich bread is: don’t rush it.
The hardest part about making this recipe is waiting.
When I first tried the recipe, I got antsy. My kitchen stayed between 65 and 68 degrees most of the day, and the second rise took much longer than I wanted it to. I went ahead and baked it a little early.
Here was the result.
Yes, it was a wonderfully delicious loaf. But look at that split!
That’s the split of an under proofed loaf. Although I provide a timing estimate to guide you through the bread baking process, remember that it’s still just a guide. Your kitchen temperature and your starter activity will affect your loaf.
If your bread seems like it isn’t doing anything, give it time. More than two hours. More than four hours, if you need to. I gave my loaf an extra three hours of rise time, and it still wasn’t enough.
Not sure if your bread is ready to bake?
Give it the old poke test! If your dough springs back quickly, give your bread more time to rise. If it collapses, your dough has risen too long and you should definitely go ahead and bake it. Ideally, when you poke your dough, it should rise back slowly without collapsing.
Curious about calories? Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect with maple oat sourdough sandwich bread:
I cut this loaf into about 12 slices. You may like thicker or thinner pieces, however, and your calories per piece may differ a little.
Did You Try It?
I know maple oat sourdough sandwich bread takes a long time to make. But it’s definitely worth the wait. If you have a weekend to give it a try, I highly recommend it.
I’d love to hear about your experiences, too. Did you have a hard time shaping? Did you enjoy the flavor? What would you do differently? Share your thoughts, comments, and suggestions below!