Classic San Francisco Sourdough Bread

Recipe by startnover
READY IN: 12hrs 30mins
YIELD: 2 loaves


  • 2
  • 6 -8
    cups flour (this depends on altitude and how thick your sourdough starter is)
  • 1
    cup sourdough starter (unproofed)
  • 2
    teaspoons salt
  • 2
    teaspoons sugar
  • 12
    cup water
  • 12
    teaspoon cornstarch


  • In a large bowl, combine the water, sourdough starter and 4 cups of flour.
  • Mix well and cover with plastic wrap in a warm place 8-12 hours (I do it over night).
  • The next day stir in the salt and sugar and add flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time to make a very stiff dough .
  • Knead till smooth.
  • Cover and let rise 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
  • Punch down and divide in half.
  • Knead till smooth and form into rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rise till double and puffy (1 to 1-2 hrs).
  • While this is rising mix the 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tsp cornstarch in a small bowl and microwave till boiling, remove from heat and let cool.
  • Heat oven to 400°F.
  • Carefully place a small pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Cut two slashes across each other on top of each loaf.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Pull out the rack and baste each loaf well with the cornstarch mixture.
  • Close the oven and allow to bake another 20-25 minutes. Loaves should be a light golden color and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • You are suppose to allow this to cool for 2 hrs to develop the sourdough flavor fully -- we wait maybe 30-45 minutes!