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The Overnight Very Best Sandwich Loaf

This overnight sponge and dough process produces the very best Sandwich Loaf. Give it a try and add a comment to let us know if you agree!

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This overnight sponge and dough process produces the very best Sandwich Loaf. Give it a try and add a comment to let us know if you agree!

For the sponge


500g Shipton Mill traditional organic white flour

(OR 300g Shipton Mill traditional organic white flour + 200g Shipton Mill stoneground organic  wholemeal flour)

5g or1/2 sachet organic dried yeast or 10g fresh yeast

10g salt

1 teaspoon malt extract

300g cool water (as in temperature, not provenance!)


Mix the malt in the water and mix all ingredients well, kneading briefly to form the dough. Place in a bowl inside a large plastic bag and leave for 12-15 hours ... overnight, in the morning, or however suits your schedule. The sponge can be refrigerated for 24 hrs after the ferment if necessary.

The dough


The sponge from above

500g Shipton Mill traditional organic white flour

300g  warm water (25°C)

10g salt.

Dissolve the salt in the water.

Add the sponge to the other ingredients, mix and knead well for about 5 minutes until soft and smooth. This will be sticky-ish at first, but dust the kneading surface with flour and keep going until the texture is soft and smooth.. Those with a mixer are getting it easy!, but you may need to dust the mixing dough with a little flour as it mixes.

The texture of a tinned loaf needs to be softer and more flowing than with a free-form crusty bread. The tin enables a rise without spreading and the desired softer texture. Place in a bowl inside a large plastic bag in a not-cold spot. Leave for 1 1/2 hours, by which time it will have doubled in bulk.

Oven should be 230°C

Divide into half, re-shape and form into rounds with a seam/navel on the bottom and a smooth dome with some surface tension. This is “rounding” and creates integrity.

Cover with cloth and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Roll or fold into a cylindrical shape. Place in the pre-oiled tins with any folds or seams on the bottom, with a nice domed top…as best you can. Enclose in the-large-plastic-bag in the warm spot.

After 45 minutes, the dough will be peeping over the top…or should be. Wait up to an hour for the dough to be dome-ing out of the tin, but not overflowing!.

Place a tray of water in the oven on a rack below the bread, wait a few minutes and place the loaves in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the water tray (which will now be steaming so take care) and turn the oven down to 210°C. Bake for 15-20 minutes more. Turn out the loaves on to a wire cooling rack and leave as long as possible to cool.  As with the previous recipe, return the loaves to the oven for a few minutes if you like the crusty / tinned hybrid, as many do.

Wrapped in a cotton tea-towel then inside a plastic bag, this loaf keeps extremely well and makes fabulous sandwiches, and then toast of distinction. Incidentally, for those like myself who have wondered why “bread crumbs” (well, the commercial variety!) were ever an ingredient in anything, use this loaf when on its last legs to make crumbs, and proceed ...

IDEA: check the website for more recipes for sponge and dough breads. Simply type “sponge and dough” into the search bar near the top on the right.

Click here for more on the Sandwich Loaf.

Added by: webmaster

Tags: Bread Sandwich

Add comment
Recommended to all white bread lovers

I found this recipe on this site several when I was new to breadmaking. It produced the first white loaf that my children complimented and it's become a favourite. Excellent for butties. Even better for toast. If anyone asks me which recipe to follow to produce a banging good white loaf, I recommend this one.

Mr Matt Exley 18 June 2020

Stiff dough

My husband made the starter last night and has gone on to do the next stage. He was surprised how stiff the dough was to knead. It will be interesting to see how the loaf turns out. Should he have added more warm water?

Cath 05 March 2018

Half-ing the recipe?

Is it just a case of half-ing the sponge and second stage for one loaf or will this disturb the process?

Hinson3rd 04 August 2016

RE: Half-ing the recipe?

Yes, in theory at least!

tom 09 August 2016

best ever sandwich bread

You say add the sponge to the dough which contains just flour water and salt but no yeast is this right Many Thanks

mayo41 30 December 2014

RE: best ever sandwich bread

Yes, that's right; you don't add more yeast in the second stage & I omit the 10G salt when making the sponge.

Martin 04 January 2015

diastatic or non-diastatic malt powder?
Like previous comment I would like to know if this recipe asks for diastatic or non-diastatic malt flour?

Lyn Lowenstein - me@lynlowenstein.co.uk 29 October 2013

First class sandwich loaf best I have ever made, if you can find one better bake it.

Jim Keery - Jimbo 23 October 2013

This is a great semi white loaf and works every time. I love to listen to the crust cracking after taking it out of the oven as it cools. It tastes wonderful, chews well and lasts for days. If sold, it would restore the reputation of white bread to what it once was and how I remember it tasting as a child.

Martin Ransley - Martin 02 October 2012

This bread is yum and if I don't stop sneaking a slice I'll end up like a whale. Makes gorgeous crunchy toast too.

Brenda Abbott - brenda@babbott2.orangehome.co.uk 11 March 2012

I tried this out at the weekend and the result is quite good (appearance and taste), however, I found this dough a real struggle to deal with. It was SO soft, that I could hardly knead it, let alone shape it. I have been used to soft doughs for a while now and have learned that you are not supposed to add any more flour, but water if need be. But this was a lot stickier than anything I have had before. Has anybody else found this dough very difficult to handle, or did I do something wrong I wonder? Thanks in advance for any helpful comments:)!

Maren Johannsen - mjohanns@hotmail.co.uk 05 March 2012

The loaves had a perfect chew and lovely crust that made for a perfect dessert with a bit of set honey. Bliss!

Mara Shaw - mara2loon@gmail.com 04 March 2012

Can this recipe be adapted for use in a bread machine?

susan macgregor - susanmacgregor@btinternet.com 02 March 2012

malt extract type?
is the malt extract diastatic or non-diastatic? thanks

ROMAN HARABURDA - rharaburda@tiscali.co.uk 02 March 2012

To burn or not to burn?
We’re having a debate here as to whether the top of these loaves should be very dark / a bit burnt. As with my Proper Sandwich loaf, my test loaf was a bit burnt on top – didn’t look so good, but tasted great! And John D said, “When I was making these loaves commercially at Daylesford (with Shipton flour), the father of one of the managers was very thrilled to get such bread again and urged me on to seriously “brown” ( black actually!) the top as he remembered it that way, and loved it. Is this an step back to an old taste lost due to the modern search for visual perfection?

Web Master - webmaster 01 March 2012

RE: To burn or not to burn?
I'd always go for a darker crust - it's the difference between the supermarket and you..although some supermarket bakeries do burn their loaves, notably S*&%$^ys, but they still taste of cotton wool..at least it will be a CRUST, not just dark bread.. I've not tried this recipe yet, but it looks ok, my sponge recipe is 100% hydration for the sponge, and then the sponge used represents 30% of the bread dough weight, with 46% flour, and 24% water - I use a no knead/stretch & fold technique, and this works ok with looser doughs, may be an extra stretch & fold to give it some body. I'll give your recipe a try and see what I get!

- greenwaybaker 06 March 2012

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