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

5 5

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!!! :)

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 :-)

4 5

Pretty good recipe. My starter is relatively fresh, so it was not strongly sour. I dusted sheet pan with cornmeal and sprinkled sesame seeds on top. Thankfully, I read reviews and shortened baking time to 35 minutes or it would have burned. All in all, I would make it again. However, it did lack the chewy texture I prefer in french bread.