San Francisco Style Sourdough French Bread

Recipe by Pa. Hiker
READY IN: 5hrs 10mins
YIELD: 2 loaves




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