If you’ve been looking for a sourdough discard bread machine recipe, this recipe is for you! Making sourdough in a bread maker is possible with some adjustment.
This recipe is for making sourdough discard sandwich bread in a bread maker from start to finish.
If you have a bread maker, you might wonder if it’s possible to make sourdough bread in it.
The short answer is – no you cannot bake “traditional sourdough” in your bread machine. However, with a few tweaks you can bake a tasty sourdough discard sandwich loaf – from start to finish – in a basic bread maker.
Creating a Sourdough Discard Bread Machine Recipe
I have clicked on many “bread machine sourdough” recipes – only to be disappointed because they aren’t really cooking the sourdough in the bread maker. They are just using the bread machine for the mixing and kneading (similar to how you’d use a stand mixer).
Now there’s nothing wrong with this – I’ve even written this article on using your bread machine for traditional sourdough bread (it just can’t handle the process from start to finish).
But as a busy mama to 3 boys, I needed to find a sourdough bread machine recipe that I could load the night before and wake up to fresh sourdough bread. Not a big ask, right?
Well, it is possible – but there are a few caveats.
A basic bread machine will not be able to bake a traditional sourdough loaf from start to finish. There are few reasons for this:
- the settings on a basic bread maker are programmed to rise commercial yeast and they are too short for wild sourdough yeast.
- the bread maker cannot shape and tension your dough like you can by hand.
Newer, fancier models of bread machines like this one can make sourdough bread, however it will still be a sandwich style rather than a traditional sourdough loaf.
With this mind, I set about creating a sourdough discard bread machine recipe that could be made, from start to finish in a bread maker.
All you have to do is add the ingredients and the bread maker will do the rest.
Sounds good? I promise it is tasty!
How Is Sourdough in a Bread Maker Possible?
Now, as I explained earlier, traditional sourdough in a bread maker is not possible due to the shorter rising cycles based on commercial yeast.
So, in order to make sourdough in a bread maker, you will need to use some commercial yeast. I generally use 7g, however you can experiment and you may be able to get away with less. It’s fun to experiment, right?
Because you are using some added dried yeast, using discard is totally ok (and in fact it’s a great way to use it up).
I find this bread is a convenient way to add some sourdough goodness to a fast loaf. It’s hands off – which suits me mid week when I’m juggling kids, farm life, writing and general mama duties!
Type of Bread Machine for Sourdough Bread
When developing this recipe I used a Panasonic Bread Maker. It is not fancy, just a basic bread maker with a range of settings that are unfortunately not customisable.
But I am able to make a successful sourdough discard sandwich loaf in this bread machine.
If you are interested in buying a bread machine specifically for sourdough, these two options have sourdough functions and can be programmed to suit sourdough rising cycles.
This means you would not need to use commercial yeast.
Tips for Making Bread Machine Sourdough
Bread Machines often get a bad rap for making sub par loaves, however there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best possible loaf of sourdough discard bread from a bread maker.
- Add the water and other liquids into the pan first, then add dry ingredients on top. This helps ensure that the bread machine doesn’t leave any flour unmixed. If there are patches of flour or unmixed dough, scrape the sides of the pan down with a silicone spatula.
- You can use All Purpose flour for a sandwich loaf – it has a lower protein content which is perfect to achieve the texture of sandwich bread. Bread flour is perfectly fine too – but you will get a softer texture with All Purpose flour.
- Don’t be afraid to check on your dough through the process (if you’re not sleeping). Open the lid! Trust me, you want to see that dough being kneaded, it’s like a little monster! Don’t be afraid to add extra liquid or flour if you think the dough needs it.
- Learn your bread maker’s cycle and check the shape of your dough before it rises. Don’t be afraid to take the dough out and reposition it. If the dough looks too loose or like it’s not going to fill the whole pan, I take it out, shape it and pop it back in.
- You can even add some fancy twists or score your dough once you learn your machine’s timing! Run your machine a few time while you’re home so you take note what functions it performs and at what time intervals during the machine’s dough preparation cycle. This way you can intervene if you want/need to.
- If you are able to (and you’re not sleeping) take the paddle out of the pan before your bread bakes so you don’t get the hole – unless you have this bread machine which automatically lowers the paddle for you – cool right?
- When you take your sourdough discard loaf out of the bread machine, remove it from the pan and then place it back inside the machine, with the lid slightly ajar for air flow. This will ensure your bread maker sourdough loaf doesn’t get a wrinkled crust as it cools. Never let it cool inside the pan with the lid closed.
While this sourdough discard loaf made in a bread machine uses very basic ingredients (flour, water, salt, sugar and butter) – you can add other flavors and additions to create different loaves:
- Honey Oat Loaf – Add 30g of honey to the ingredients (you can then leave out the sugar). Then when the bread is rising, spray the top with water and sprinkle with rolled oats.
- Country Grain Loaf – Add 100g of your favorite seeds to ingredients (seeds like flax, sunflower, chia, poppy, sesame and oats work really well). This will give you a light country grain loaf.
- Whole Wheat Loaf – Swap 250g of All Purpose or Bread Flour for 250g of whole wheat flour for a soft, whole wheat sourdough sandwich loaf.
If you have got a bread machine tucked at the back of the cupboard, I hope this inspires you to get it out and try this sourdough discard bread maker recipe.
The following recipe is based on my Pantry Mama Easy Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread Recipe.
Sourdough Discard Bread Machine Recipe
- Bread Machine
- 260 g Water
- 500 g All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
- 100 g Sourdough Discard
- 40 g Butter
- 20 g Sugar
- 7 g Dried Yeast
- 10 g Salt
- Add all of your ingredients into the pan of your bread machine. It's easier if you add the liquid first and then the dry ingredients on top. It makes it easier for the bread maker to knead the dough.
- Depending on your bread machine and how quickly you want your bread, select a setting for your loaf. You can use the full program or the express program. If you are able to select the size of the loaf, go for "extra large" and set the crust to dark so you get a nice crunchy crust.
- If you can, remove the paddle from your pan before the bread starts to bake – this will ensure you don't get the hole in your bread where the paddle sits.
- Once your sourdough discard loaf has finished baking, remove from the pan as soon as possible to avoid it sweating. Place the bread back into the machine with the lid ajar for air flow to avoid a wrinkled crust.