Recipe: Sourdough French Bread San Francisco Style

Title: Sourdough French Bread, San Francisco Style
Categories: Breads, French
Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 c Hot water 2 ts Sugar
1 pk Active dry yeast 2 ts Salt
1 c Sourdough starter 1/2 ts Soda
4 c Unsifted flour About 2 cups unsifted flour.

Dissolve yeast in hot water, pour into large mixing bowl and mix with
starter. Add 4 cups flour, sugar and salt and stir vigorously for 3 or 4
minutes. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until double in
bulk (1 1/2 to 2 hours). Mix soda with 1 cup of the remaining flour and
stir in; the dough will be stiff. Turn dough out onto a floured board and
begin kneading; add the remaining 1 cup flour or more if necessary to
control the stickiness. Knead until satiny -- between 5 and 10 minutes.

Shape into oblong loaves or one large round loaf (my preference). Place on
a lightly greased cooky sheet, cover, and place in a warm place; let rise
to nearly double in size -- time will depend on warmth of spot -- 1 1/2 to
2 hours in most kitchens.

Before baking, brush outside with water, 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 in a hot oven -- 400 egrees -- until the
crust is a medium dark brown (about 45 minutes for oblong loaves and about
55 minutes for the large round loaf).

For a more sour bread, leave out the yeast and 1/4 c of water but include
the rest of the warm water, all the starter, 4 cups of flour, sugar and
salt. Set this sponge after stirring vigorously in the afternoon and allow
to set over night in a covered bowl. In the morning dissolve the yeast in
1/4 c of hot water and stir thoroughly into the sponge. Then add your
additional flour and soda and follow the remainder of the instructions from

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