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 recipe#13750 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

Was looking for a new (to me) recipe to try and glad I found this one. So easy with a nice light sourdough flavor. The outside was had a nice crusty outside and soft crumb. I did make it in the dough cycle of my bread machine shaping after it completed and baking in the oven. Before putting in the oven I brushed the top with and egg wash and sprinkled with some course seasoned salt. Didn't change the recipe but I think it enhanced the look and gave a nice flavor hit when you take a bite. Taking one of these on a hike and picnic this Memorial weekend and think it'll be a huge hit with everyone

Bonnie G #2 May 27, 2016

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 13, 2015

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