San Francisco Sourdough French Bread
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 cup Sourdough Starter
- 4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 to 2 1/2 more cups flour
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Combine water, starter, 4 cups flour, sugar and salt in a glass
bowl. Mix well, cover lightly with a towel folded into several thicknesses,
and let stand at room temperature for approximately 18 to 24 hours
or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Mix 1 cup of the remaining flour with 1/2 teaspoon of the baking
soda and stir this into the risen dough until it is very stiff.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead approximately
1 more cup of flour and a little more baking soda into it. Knead
it for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
- Shape into 2 long loaves or 1 large round loaf, place on a lightly greased
baking sheet, cover, and let stand in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours
or until almost doubled in size. You may wish to sprinkle cornmeal
on the greased baking sheet or line it with kitchen parchment before
placing the bread on it.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make a wash, bring 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/3 cup water to
a boil in a small pan over low heat. Stir until it becomes thick
- Brush each loaf with it. OR brush a little water on top
of the loaves and make a few diagonal slits across the top with
a sharp knife.
- For a crustier bread, place a shallow pan of water
in the bottom of the oven.
- Bake for approximately 45 to 50 minutes
or until the crust is a medium dark brown.
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