Recipe For Sourdough French Bread

When my children were young, and I was determined to feed them as healthy as possible, I bought a Sunset cookbook for breadmaking and taught myself to make yeast bread. Making everything from scratch wasn’t a stretch for me since my mother always made everything “homemade.” But although she made scratch biscuits or cornbread every day, she didn’t make yeast breads. So, I was on my own.

I began experimenting with sourdough starters and making my own bread, and this is one of the first sourdough bread recipes I tried. My family loved it, and it was relatively easy to make. So now that I’m retired and have a little time on my hands, I decided to get back into making sourdough breads, and so far, this recipe is again my favorite.


  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast (or 1 tablespoon bulk yeast)
  • 1-1/2 cups Warm Water (about 110˚)
  • 1 cup Sourdough Starter
  • 6 cups All-Purpose or Unbleached Flour, unsifted
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Sugar
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch Mixed w/1/2 cup Water


  1. Combine yeast and warm water and allow to soften for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with sourdough starter, salt, sugar, and 4 cups of flour. Stir until smooth.
  3. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place (85˚) for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled.
  4. Stir in 1 to 1-1/2 additional cups of flour to form a stiff dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking.
  5. Divide the dough into halves and shape (oblong, round, loaf). Grease loaf pans or baking sheet(s) and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal. Add dough to pans and lightly oil or butter the tops of the loaves. Then cover the dough, place the pans in a warm area, and let rise 1 to 1-1/2 hours until doubled.
  6. Adjust the oven racks to the two lowest positions and preheat the oven to 400˚. Combine cornstarch and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  7. When the loaves have doubled, score the tops of the dough with a sharp knife or a razor blade, and brush the loaves with the cornstarch and water mixture.
  8. Place the loaves on the top oven rack to bake. Place a baking pan or a baking sheet with a lip on the bottom rack and add boiling water.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, brush loaves again with the cornstarch mixture, and bake about 20 to 25 minutes longer.
  10. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 loaves.

Anne James

Anne James has a wealth of experience in a wide array of interests and is an expert in quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, mixing drinks (bartending), and making jelly. Anne has a professional canning business, has been featured in the local newspaper as well as on the Hershey website, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is. With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass. Amazingly, she doesn’t need to reference many resources due to her vast wealth of experience. She IS the source. Anne wants nothing more than to pass on her extensive knowledge to the next generations, whether that be family or anyone visiting her website, her YouTube channel, or

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