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Sourdough French Bread

Since receiving the recipe for the Sourdough Starter, I've made this French bread countless times. In fact, one year I donated 2 dozen loaves for a benefit dinner! These loaves rival any found in stores and can be made with relative ease. — Delila George, Junction City, Oregon
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    2 loaves (10 slices each)


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1-3/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup Sourdough Starter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the Sourdough Starter, oil, sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough additional flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently 20-30 times (dough will be slightly sticky). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each into a 12x8-in. rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch ends to seal. Place seam side down on 2 greased baking sheets; tuck ends under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • With a sharp knife, make 4 shallow diagonal slashes across top of each loaf. In a small saucepan, combine water and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Brush some over loaves.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Brush loaves with remaining cornstarch wash. Bake until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 116 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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  • Jan
    Oct 11, 2020

    This is a very easy recipe. I will definitely be making it again. The only issue I had was it didn't want to brown I ended up baking it for an additional 13 min. Maybe next time I'll try a egg wash rather then the water & corn starch. It is still delicious ??????

  • Martha
    Sep 16, 2020

    Know one is forcing you to make it Sarah. I have several times and not only does the yeast make it a timesaver. It comes out perfectly and delicious every time! Great with herbs or kalmata olives.

  • tekinha
    Sep 8, 2020

    I’ll make this bread soon but I need to say to Sarah that sourdough is also a flavor for your bread and you CAN use yeast for a shorter rise time.

  • Bette
    Aug 2, 2020

    This is so good. I followed the suggestions to increase the starter and make the starter mixture the night before, then add sour salt with the salt. I made a round loaf in a dutch oven, baking it 20 minutes covered and then another 20 uncovered, then turned off the oven and cracked the door to let it cool awhile before turning it out on the rack. My daughter says I can't it again as she can't stay out of it. It would have been even better we'd been able to wait for it to cool entirely.

  • Ashley
    Jun 28, 2020

    This recipe is perfect if you want a mild sour dough taste. When I want a stronger tang I like to add 3/4 tsp of citric acid along with the salt in the recipe, and I increase the amount of starter to 3/4th a cup-1 cup. I also let dough rise for an additional hour during both rising times.

  • Angela
    Jun 8, 2020

    This is the best tasting French bread with a fairly simple recipe. My kids keep asking me to make it again and again with my husband nodding In agreement. Plus I get 2 loaves out of it. I will never buy store bread again. Just follow the recipe and it’s perfect every time.

  • G B
    May 31, 2020

    No comment left

  • Leslie
    May 17, 2020

    First time I have made this recipe. I adjusted as follows: 1. I mixed: 240 grams of flour 280 grams of water 56 grams sourdough starter the night before as someone suggests below. In the morning, I mixed the remainder of the ingredients. [be sure to remember to subtract the ingredients used overnight.] 2. I used Bread Machine [instant yeast] as that is what I have on hand. To use the Bread Machine yeast, I reduced the amount of yeast by 25% - that measures out to 9.46 grams of Bread Machine yeast; 3. I added that to the remaining dry ingredients [270 grams flour, 2T sugar, 2t salt, 2T canola oil. I heated the remaining 112 grams of water and added that to the mixture]. I added all of that to the sourdough starter/flour-water mix I had prepared the night before. I mixed everything in my KitchenAid mixer with dough hook. I likely added about another cup of flour to get the mixture to form into a soft ball. [otherwise too sticky.] Where I could convert from volume measurement to weight measurement I did. 4. Also as someone suggested below, I had a pan of water in the oven to be able to get a great crust. Looks amazing and tastes as great as it looks!!

  • aaltvater
    Apr 22, 2020

    The best French bread I think I’ve ever had. Super easy, thank you!

  • karen
    Mar 5, 2020

    I simply followed the very easy recipe and to my great satisfaction I enjoyed two loaves of delicious sourdough french bread. The only thing I did differently was to put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven, which I learned is important to get that great crunchy crust. My loaves look stunning and the taste lives up to how they look. This recipe will go to my "top three" recipe file! You've GOT to try this!