A Basic and Simple Sourdough Tin Loaf (Makes 2).

A simple and easy to make sourdough tin loaf. While I often bake batard style loaves we really enjoy having a tin loaf at home for weekdays. Quickly toasted for breakfast or made into a hearty sandwich for lunch, this sourdough bread is a wonderful household staple.

sourdough tin loaf
Photo: Alex Nirta

This basic sourdough recipe uses no white flour, but still has that soft, airy crumb that you look for in a sandwich loaf. The recipe, inspired by a formula given to me by amazing baker Michael Ranaudo, focuses on stone milled flour and has an incredible depth of flavour.

This recipe contains a few affiliate links but all of the products are products I use daily in my baking. The links don’t cost you anything extra but give me a small commission and that is a great way to help support my blog so I can continue to grow my small but mighty business.

Sourdough tin loaf

Flour Specs:

For this sourdough tin loaf I am using 1847 Daily Bread flour. For anyone without access to 1847 flours, I have tested a few variations, including a 50% bread flour and 50% whole wheat sourdough tin loaf that yielded excellent results.

  • 100% organic stone milled 1847 daily bread flour
  • 13.5% protein

Sourdough Tin Loaf Specs

Yield2 X 1000 gram loaves
Total dough weight2000 grams
Pre-Fermented Flour4.22%
Levain % in Final Dough13%
Total Hydration78%
The hydration on this can be adjusted dependent on your flour.

The bread tins I am using for this formula are 24.5cm length by 11cm deep by 9cm deep. For anyone working in inches that’s 9.75 X 4.5 X 3.75 inches. If you don’t have a bread tin I really like USApan Bakeware and Rackmaster pans but anything will do. You can scale the formula to fit any size loaf pan using my sourdough tin loaf calculator.

Sourdough tin loaf
Photo: Alex Nirta

Total Formula

WeightIngredientBakers %
1013 gramsStone Milled Bread Flour100%
765 gramsWater75.54%
73 grams Butter (unsalted)7.18%
73 gramsHoney7.18%
21 gramsSalt2.11%
56 gramsRipe levain5.49%

Note: The hydration on this can be adjusted dependent on your flour.

sourdough tin loaf

Sourdough Tin Loaf Dough Schedule

To help simplify the process I have created some sourdough schedules. These schedules are meant to be used as guidelines. Keep in mind that temperatures, starter health are just a few of many factors that can change your dough times.

Sourdough tin loaf dough schedule

Mix the Sourdough Tin Loaf Levain – 12:30pm

This sourdough tin loaf uses a stiff levain. This bread is really an everyday bread and I don’t want an overly sour final product. They honey, butter and grains are meant to compliment each other with some subtle sourdough acidity that brings the flavour together. While you can do an overnight build with a very low inoculation 3-5% I prefer to keep the levain on the sweeter side.

Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Using slightly wet hands round the levain into a ball and place into the jar. Cover with a lid. I like to place an elastic band around the top of the levain at the beginning of the feed so I can monitor its growth. This build should take about 3.5-4 hours at 26°C/80°F.

Over the holidays I got a Brod & Taylor proofing box. For years I relied on moving my starter around using different water temps depending on time of year I have found the proofing box to be quite a handy kitchen tool. You can certainly achieve the same results without it but it takes out a bit of the guess work. Simply set the proofer to the desired temp and go. Keep in mind if your levain is really cold it will still take time for it to come up to temp.

WeightIngredientBakers %
42 gramsStone milled bread flour100
28 grams Water at 26°C/80°F65
56 gramsLevain130
Total: 126 grams
sourdough tin loaf
Levain right before the mixing the autolyse

Autolyse (fermentolyse) – 4:00pm-5:00pm

As this is a simple sourdough tin loaf I have added the levain with the autolyse. By using the autolyse technique we can decrease our mixing time and allow the butter and honey to incorporate well. If you want to skip the autolyse step you can but remember you need to mix the dough well before you add the honey and the butter.

WeightIngredient
970 gramsStone Milled Bread Flour
737 grams Water at 26°C/80°F
126 grams Stiff levain
  1. Add the water and levain to the mixing bowl.
  2. Add the flour to the bowl and mix well until there are no dry bits.
  3. Cover and leave in a warm place ideally the same as your levain build.
  4. Autolyse for 1 hour with an ideal temperature of 26°C/80°F.

Please note: that this autolyse is WITH the levain and WITHOUT the salt, butter and honey.

Mix the Dough – 5:00pm

WeightIngredient
73 gramsRoom temperature butter 
73 grams Honey
21 gramsSalt

You want the dough to be well developed before adding the fat honey and sugar. If you add the fat too early you can still mix the dough to full development but it will take a little bit longer.

  1. Mix the dough on 1st speed for 4 minutes.
  2. With the mixer running, drizzle in the honey and add the salt.
  3. Add the butter in pieces and make sure it is fully developed.
  4. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough into a lightly oiled cambro or bowl for bulk fermentation.

Notes:

  • Mixing times may vary depending on your flour and the batch size.
  • Check the dough temperature right after mixing. I like to use an insta-read Thermapen Mk4.

Desired Dough Temperature – 24°-25C/75.2-77°F

Bulk Fermenation 5:15pm – 8:45pm

Bulk ferment the dough for 3.5 hours. If you are making this dough with a stone milled flour, keep in mind it has it will have a high enzymatic activity as well as honey which will speed up the fermentation. I find this dough can move really fast so I like to shape it on the shorter side of the bulk fermentation.

  1. Bulk ferment the dough for 3.5-4 hours.
  2. Give the dough 3 stretches during the bulk fermentation. Leaving at least one hour between the last fold and the end of bulk fermentation.

Divide and Preshape 8:45pm

  1. Place the dough onto an un-floured work surface.
  2. Using a dough scraper, cut the dough in half. You can divide this by eye and sometimes I do but if you really want to figure out the exact loaf size for your pan weigh each piece of dough.
  3. Using the dough scraper gently round the dough into a ball.
  4. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes on the work bench for 20-30 minutes uncovered.

Final Shape – 9:15pm

For the final shape I like to shape this similar to a batard but a little bit longer so it fills out the bottom of the tin.

  1. Lightly flour the top of your loaf and flip it over on to the table.
  2. Bring the bottom up and seal.
  3. Stretch the sides out and bring them into the center to make a tight package. Bring the top down about 1/3 of the and press it gently into the loaf.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you are left with a cylindar shape similar in length but slightly shorter than your loaf tin.
  5. Gently place the dough into the loaf pan (depending on your bread pan you may need to grease it lightly).
  6. Leave the dough out uncovered for 30 minutes before placing a reusable bag over it and placing it into the fridge.
sourdough tin loaf

Cold Fermentation and Final Proof 9:30pm – 9:30am the next morning.

This sourdough tin loaf is best when left to cold ferment overnight. If you’d like to do a same day bake and ambient proof the final proof will take about 2.5-3 hours so if you don’t want to be up late, start your dough a little earlier than the suggested timeline in this recipe. Depending on your fermentation you can leave it out after shaping for about an hour before placing it into the fridge.

Sourdough tin loaves tend to get a little bit of condensation on top from the bag they are covered with. If this happens you can uncover the loaf for a few hours to help dry out the surface. The dry surface will be much easier to score than if it is wet.

Baking 9:30am – 10:00am

Depending on the size of your bread tin and your dutch oven you may or may not be able to bake these inside. If you are fortunate enough to have a large dutch oven you can preheat it with the lid on and bake the pan loaf inside the dutch oven. Half way through the bake remove the entire dutch oven from the oven leaving the tin loaf inside. In my experience if you leave it in the dutch oven the sides do not colour properly.

Alternatively you can use a stone or the base of a challenger bread pan, pizza stone or baking steel.

  1. Remove the dough 1-2 hours before baking.
  2. Place the base of your challenger bread pan in the oven and preheat to your ovens hottest setting.
  3. Score the loaf with one single slash down the middle.
  4. Place the tins on the base of the challenger pan and the rest of the base with ice (so it creates steam).
  5. Drop the oven temperature to 243°C (470°F) and bake for 20 minutes with steam and 38 without.
  6. Remove the loaf from the oven and remove the sourdough tin loaf from the bread pan (carefully). Allow the loaf to cool fully before slicing.

Notes

  • If you’d like a crisp outside, remove the sourdough tin loaf from the bread pan fairly quickly so that it does start to steam and soften the curst.
  • If you’d like the loaf to be a bit softer with less crust leave it in the pan for 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven.
Sourdough tin loaf

Sourdough Tin Loaf Final Thoughts

It took me a long time to really enjoy using my loaf pans. While my favourite shape is a batard there is something fun about the challenge of making a delicious tasting tin loaf with great texture. Once I played around with formulas I really started to get a high reward out of slicing into this bread. While this recipe is written in detail the formula (I think anyways) is rather approachable and any level of baker can make this.

Another bonus of tin loaves for me is they take up less fridge space. When I do larger bakes I can sneak 2-4 sourdough tin loaves into the fridge along side my bulky bannetons.

Other Sourdough recipes

If you enjoyed this sourdough tin loaf recipe, check out some of my other sourdough recipes like my beginner sourdough loaf, my 100% whole wheat sourdough and 50% sourdough recipe section.

Sourdough Tin Loaf Recipe Card:

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sourdough tin loaf

A Basic and Simple Sourdough Tin Loaf (Makes 2).


Description

A simple and easy to make sourdough tin loaf. While I often bake batard style loaves we really enjoy having a tin loaf at home for weekdays. Quickly toasted for breakfast or made into a hearty sandwich for lunch, this sourdough bread is a wonderful household staple.


Scale

Ingredients

For the levain:

  • 42 grams stone milled strong flour
  • 28 grams water Water at 26°C/80°F
  • 56 grams levain

Autolyse:

  • 970 grams stone milled strong flour
  • 737 grams water at 26°C/80°F
  • 126 grams ripe levain

Mix In:

  • 73 grams room temperature butter
  • 73 grams honey
  • 21 grams salt

Instructions

For the levain:

Mix all the ingredients until well combined.  Let rise for 3-4 hours in a warm place at 26°C/80F.

For the Dough:

Autolyse:

  1. Add the water and levain to the mixing bowl.
  2. Add the flour to the bowl and mix well until there are no dry bits.
  3. Cover and leave in a warm place ideally the same as your levain build.
  4. Autolyse for 1 hour with an ideal temperature of 26°C/80°F. 

Mix the dough:

  1. Mix the dough on 1st speed for 4 minutes.
  2. With the mixer running, drizzle in the honey and add the salt.
  3. Add the butter in pieces and make sure it is fully developed.
  4. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Place the dough into a lightly oiled cambro or bowl for bulk fermentation.  Desired Dough Temperature – 24°-25C/75.2-77°F

Bulk Fermentation:

  1. Bulk ferment the dough for 3.5-4 hours.
  2. Give the dough 3 stretches during the bulk fermentation. Leaving at least one hour between the last fold and the end of bulk fermentation.

Pre-Shape

  1. Place the dough onto an un-floured work surface.
  2. Using a dough scraper, cut the dough in half. You can divide this by eye and sometimes I do but if you really want to figure out the exact loaf size for your pan weigh each piece of dough.
  3. Using the dough scraper gently round the dough into a ball.
  4. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes on the work bench for 20-30 minutes uncovered.

Final Shape

  1. Lightly flour the top of your loaf and flip it over on to the table.
  2. Bring the bottom up and seal.
  3. Stretch the sides out and bring them into the center to make a tight package. Bring the top down about 1/3 of the and press it gently into the loaf.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you are left with a cylindar shape similar in length but slightly shorter than your loaf tin.
  5. Gently place the dough into the loaf pan (depending on your bread pan you may need to grease it lightly).
  6. Leave the dough out uncovered for 30 minutes before placing a reusable bag over it and placing it into the fridge.

Baking

  1. Remove the dough 1-2 hours before baking.
  2. If you have a challenger bread pan you can place the bottoms of the pan in the oven and preheat to your ovens hottest setting.
  3. Score the loaf with one single slash down the middle. 
  4. Place the tins on the base of the challenger pan and the rest of the base with ice (so it creates steam).
  5. Drop the oven temperature to 243°C (470°F) and bake for 20 minutes with steam and 15 without.
  6. Remove the loaf from the oven and remove the sourdough tin loaf from the bread pan (carefully). Allow the loaf to cool fully before slicing.

Notes

  • The hydration on this can be adjusted dependent on your flour. If in doubt start with a bit less water.
  • This autolyse is WITH the levain and WITHOUT the salt, butter and honey.
  • Mixing times may vary depending on your flour and the batch size.
  • Check the dough temperature right after mixing. I like to use an insta-read Thermapen Mk4
  • If you’d like a crisp outside, remove the sourdough tin loaf from the bread pan fairly quickly so that it does start to steam and soften the curst.
  • If you’d like the loaf to be a bit softer with less crust leave it in the pan for 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. 
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