Fantastically Easy Sourdough Bread

The finished bread with a fine, moist and tender crumb and crisp  crunchy crust.

Delicious with your favorite soup or Minestrone or my Clean Out The Fridge Southwestern Soup shown above.

Original recipe for Quick Sourdough Starter and San Francisco Style French Bread by Rita-Davenport adapted by Paulette Motzko.

November 29th, 2016

Updated December 3rd, 2016

Photography by Paulette Motzko

Copyright November 2016
This bread begins with this Quick Overnight Starter consisting of:

2 cups warm water hundred (105 degrees F), 1 envelope active dry yeast or 1 tablespoon, as called for in Rita Davenport’s recipe, 2 cups all-purpose flour.

Simply mix all the ingredients together and put it in a large bowl covered only by a paper towel or a cotton kitchen cloth  for 24 hours. I put mine and then clean kitchen sink because when I mix the active dry yeast it was “exploded” and it will make the sourdough starter expand.

After the 24 hours the starter is ready to use in any recipe.

I put mine in a large Wide Mouth Mason jar to use and store.

 When you replenish the starter, you simply mix in equal proportions of flour and the warm water and then let it sit out for another 8 hours to bubble around.

San Francisco-style French Bread

One and a half cups warm water about 105 degrees Fahrenheit

1 envelope active dry yeast or one tablespoon

1 cup sourdough starter

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoon sea salt

5 to 6 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

More water if needed to get the right temperature so the dough is not to dry. This bread is best when the dough is nice and moist to the touch and that way the interior will be tender and, cooking with a pan of water that forms steam inside the oven,  the outside crust  will be nice and crisp.

I invested in 5 silicone basting brushes and I absolutely love them! So use them for marinades comma use them for brushing oil in my non stick skillets and in my other saute pans, and in. In the case of making this bread, it’s awesome to brush the water on the ropes before they go into the bake. 

If you like baking like I do, the silicone basting brushes also come in handy for brushing on egg white or egg yolk to other baked items. And you can put them in the dishwasher and the bristles never come out.

The Bread How To:

For starters, I cleaned out both my sinks in the kitchen and I reserved all the flower that would be used for the bread in a large Pyrex measuring cup.

I put my large Rubbermaid cereal container that contains my unbleached all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour and put them in the sink. That way flour doesn’t get all over the place and I can just wash any flour down the sink, set of making a mess all over my counters.  If you simply don’t like my way of doing things, simply  dont do it -and do it your way! That’s what I did that made it very easy and awesome and I loved it so much I thought I would share what worked for me…. and that’s what a blog’s all about ain’t it?

Mix the yeast with water and let it sit until it gets bubbly about 5 minutes.

Add in the sourdough starter, 2 teaspoon sugar, salt and enough flour if she can mix it with your KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook. What you want to see is a nice moist though. You do not want this dry or it will make your bread dry and heavy. It’s better to add less flour than more when you’re making bread because you can take the flour out of it but you can surely add a little bit more into it later.

 Once you get a wonderful texture on your bread, and it starts holding shape, knead the bread in your KitchenAid mixer on the setting one or two, or by hand about 10 minutes.

 You’ll know it’s needed enough when it holds together nicely, but the dough still feels a little moist to the touch.

Grease a bowl with nonstick canola oil or avocado oil spray and put the nicely needed round ball of dough in the oiled bowl. Spray some of the non-stick spray on top of the dough ball, that will assure that your dough will not dry out. 

Cover with a clean kitchen or a paper towel and let rise for about one or two hours until it’s almost doubled in size, checking after 1 hour.

After the love has risen, Anna very nice clean empty work area to buy the dough into two equal portions. I love my 16 by 20 marble slab that I got from Sur La Table and I use a dough cutter that I got from a restaurant supply to cut the dough in half.

Shape into two long loaves,  about 10 inches to 13 inches long by 3 inches wide. this time around was the first time I baked my French bread in actual French bread  baguette pans and it made a huge difference in the way the finished bread came out. I bought my French bread baguette pan on Make sure that if you buy one that it fits your commercial oven because many of them are not made to fit inside a home oven. Make sure and check the dimensions of what your oven is and make sure the pan you order isn’t for a professional Bakery! 

These look like they came out of the French Boulangerie.

Pre-heat your oven – 400 degrees Fahrenheit and put inside the oven a large pan full of water, which will create steam inside of your oven when the bread bakes. This help form a crisp, wonderful crust. 

Form you’re so heads into too long baguettes.  Try and get the Brita skinny as you possibly can. How I did mine was I held up the two halves and then I form the baguettes in midair just kind of holding them letting the weight of the dough stretch them out.  can I turn the do the opposite way in Hip stretching until the dough looked the way I wanted.

Take your to put them inside a guy get paid if you are lucky enough to have one, and spray with nonstick spray  and then sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal.  When I sprinkle the cornmeal I went over my sink so that all the excess would go in my sink instead of all over the place.

Set the pan(s) in a warm place  and let the dough rise until doubled in size.

 Brush the tops of the loaves with water with a pastry brush. With a very sharp knife make diagonal slashes in the tops of the loaves as shown here.
 Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack- also a very wonderful thing to have if you are a baker.
 Anyone that gets one of these wonderful loaves will be genuinely touched and you’ll warm their hearts. Make some homemade soup and put it in mason jars and give a bag at at this wonderful bread to some of your dearest people with it. 

Written by Paulette Motzko 

Copyright November 2016

Any leftover starter you have can be used on countless other wonderful sourdough dishes, such as the Sourdough Molasses Cookies.