San Francisco Style Sourdough French Bread

Total Time
5hrs 10mins
Prep 4 hrs 30 mins
Cook 40 mins

Crispy crust, sourdough flavor in an easy French bread recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water, mix with starter.
  2. Add 3 cups flour, sugar and salt, stir vigorously 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Cover with a cloth, set in warm place and let rise 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Mix baking soda with 1 cup of remaining flour and stir in, the dough should be stiff.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and begin kneading.
  6. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour or more if needed to control stickiness.
  7. Knead until satiny, between 5 and 10 minutes.
  8. Shape into 2 oblong loaves or 1 large round loaf, place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  9. Cover with a cloth, set in warm place free from drafts and let rise 1 to 2 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
  10. Before baking, brush outside with water and make diagonal slashes across the top with a sharp single-edge razor blade.
  11. Put a shallow pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven.
  12. Bake at 400° F for 45 minutes or until the crust is a medium dark brown.
Most Helpful

DE-VINE!!!! Wonderful recipe...excellent instruction...delicious results ...I followed directions to the letter...made one large loaf that I brushed with salted H20 which resulted w/ a crunchy crisp pretzel like crusty top and perfect airy interior...used Sourdough Bread Starter as my starter (been nursing that since Dec.08) - oh did bake slightly less that 45...{{ one reviewer said 34 that about was when i ck'ed it too, basically get familiar w/ your own oven and the weather ;) }} THE BEST BREAD Thanks for the recipe share...a def. do it again!!! :)

free-free April 01, 2009

Best sourdough I have made so far!! I am new to bread and have been trying to make sourdough, last recipe was not even sour but this one was extra sour! And great crust!!! Here is what I did....did not divide to make 2 loaves, kept it as one in a covered enameled dutch oven (6 1/2 quart size). Oil dutch oven with olive oil and also top of loaf. I did not preheat dutch oven empty first. I put oven on 450 and when up to temp I put the covered dutch oven in. After 30 minutes I took it back out, removed lid, brushed top of boule with cornstarch mixture then put back in oven uncovered and reduced temp to 400. Took about 40? minutes to get a nice medium brown, glad I took it out as bottom was more brown than top. Great crust, great flavor!!! I deflated it a bit by messing with it right before baking (changed mind about parchment paper, flipped it over, peeled off paper, really should of left it alone, my fault, second guessing what I had learned about different ways to cook it) It did NOT stick to my dutch oven, popped right out! Yay!!!. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, I learned a lot from it and it was a turning point for the good in my method for making sourdough, a keeper recipe for sure, excited about making another boule tomorrow without deflating it before baking, ha ha ha ha!!! I am in my mid 40's and trying to make sourdough bread is a first for me, so anyone out there thinking it is too hard, only a professional baker can do it, don't believe it, if I can, YOU can too! Try this recipe FIRST if you really appreciate a good sourdough!

holmberg_sarah June 14, 2015

Was looking for a new recipe for sour dough French bread and, wow!!!!, did I ever find a keeper! Recipe was easy to follow but I changed the temp to 375 and the time to 35 mins. and used an Italian Loaf pan. This bread is light and fluffy inside and beautifully crispy on the outside... taste is phenomenal - yes, that's absolutely correct!! Can't wait to share it with my extended family at the next family dinner. Thank you, thank you so much for sharing with the world :-)

Rene Rice September 22, 2014