Total Time
15hrs 50mins
Prep 15 hrs
Cook 50 mins

You can produce an authentic French loaf in your own kitchen. This really works! Adapted for the bread machine from a recipe found in "World Sourdoughs From Antiquity", by Ed Wood. Prep time includes proofing time for sourdough starter.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put ingredients, in order listed, into bread machine pan.
  2. Set machine for dough cycle and start.
  3. At end of dough cycle, turn dough out onto a floured surface.
  4. If dough is too sticky, knead in a little additional flour.
  5. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and flatten each into a 1 1/2 inch thick oval.
  6. Fold oval in half once lengthwise and pinch seam to make an elongate loaf.
  7. Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet and place the loaves on the sheet seam side down.
  8. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F) until about doubled in bulk.
  9. Place a shallow pan of hot water on the lower shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  10. Make shallow slashes in tops of loaves with a razor blade or finely serrated knife, held at a 30 degree angle.
  11. Place the loaves in the oven and immediately spray them and the oven walls with water from a fine mister, and avoid spraying oven light.
  12. Repeat this spraying 3 additional times at one minute intervals.
  13. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until brown, but remove pan of water from oven after the first 15 minutes.
  14. Remove loaves from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.
  15. *To proof sourdough culture, start with 1/2 cup of culture and stir into it 1 1/2 cups warm water and 1 1/2 cups flour.
  16. Cover with plastic and let sit 8 to 12 hours (the longer it sits, the more 'sour' your bread will taste).
  17. At this point, measure out the 2 cups required and proceed with recipe; returning any extra to the starter pot to save in the refrigerator until you want to use it again.
Most Helpful

Donna, this is a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing it. I made mine into two long loaves in a french bread form. Although i sprayed them with water when they went into the oven, I find that a pan of ice cubes works nicely. Plus, you don't have to mess with it once the bread is in the oven. Thanks again.

Normaone March 24, 2003

Superb! Light and a nice thick crust. Hope you don't mind DonnaM I was concerned there was no sugar so I added 1Tblsp sugar as well as 1 tsp Vital Gluten. I read that it helps with sourdough. I will be making this one again and again!

Sage October 30, 2002

Nice, light loaf with good texture and flavor. I had one cup of sourdough starter in my freezer, so I thawed and proofed it as directed in step 15. Then I followed the mixing and kneading directions. I put all the dough in one large loaf pan. After making slit in top of loaf, I spritzed the top of loaf with water. I put sauce pan of water and the loaf of dough in a COLD oven and turned temp. to 375 degrees and baked the required time - about 40 minutes. The bread turned out very light and high, as it rose even more while the oven was heating. I will be making this bread weekly for sandwiches. Thanks Donna for a very good recipe!

BeachGirl May 03, 2003