Total Time
12hrs 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 12 hrs

This method is pretty easy and makes a great flavored French Bread. I have used it a lot over the years and have lost the recipe couple of times (forcing a major recipe cleanup)... it's one I definitely don't want to lose. I learned it at a bread making class. I often double the recipe. The 12 hours "cooking time" is really the time the sponge must sit to develop flavor, plus rising time.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Sponge

  • 1 teaspoon yeast or 14-12 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • Finish

  • 1 teaspoon salt (don't add yet, but be sure not to forget it!)
  • flour, enough to make a workable dough


  1. Mix yeast or sourdough starter with water and 1 cup flour.
  2. Cover and let rise overnight.
  3. Add salt and enough flour to make a workable dough (I usually use 30-40% whole wheat flour for a more nutritious final product).
  4. Knead, shape, and let rise until almost double.
  5. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for ~20 minutes.
  6. To acheive a better crust, preheat a shallow pan on bottom rack, and pour in 2 cups of water when you begin baking bread. This is one of the secrets to the desired crust on a French or Artisan bread.
  7. Enjoy!