Home > Comfort Food > Teatime Treats, Cakes and Bread > San Francisco-Style Sourdough

San Francisco-Style Sourdough

Image of San Francisco-Style Sourdough

Makes 1 Loaf

For the starter

25g/1oz/¼ cup organic plain (all-purpose) flour
15-30ml/1-2 tbsp warm water

1st refreshment for the starter

30ml/2 tbsp water
15ml/1 tbsp milk
50g/2oz/½ cup organic plain flour

2nd refreshment for the starter

90ml/6 tbsp water
15-30ml/1-2 tbsp milk
175g/6oz/1½ cups organic white bread flour

For the dough

100ml/3½fl oz/7 tbsp water
175g/6oz/1½ cups organic white bread flour

1st refreshment for the dough

100ml/3½fl oz/7 tbsp water
175g/6oz/1½ cups organic white bread flour
50g/2oz/½ cup organic wholemeal (whole-wheat) bread flour
7.5ml/1½ tsp salt
5ml/1 tsp granulated sugar
Unbleached white bread flour, for dusting


1. Place the flour in a bowl and stir in enough water for the starter to make a firm, moist dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth. Leave for 2-3 days until a crust forms and the dough inflates with tiny bubbles. Remove the hardened crust and place the moist centre in a clean bowl. Add the water and milk for the 1st refreshment.

2. Gradually add the flour and mix to a firm but moist dough. Cover and leave for 1-2 days as before. Then repeat as for 1st refreshment using the ingredients for the 2nd refreshment. Leave for 8-12 hours in a warm place until well risen.

3. Pour the water for the dough into the pan. Add 200g/7oz/scant 1 cup of starter. If necessary for your machine, add the dry ingredients first. Sprinkle over the flour, covering the water. Set the machine to the dough setting; use basic dough setting (if available). Press Start.

4. Mix for 10 minutes then turn off the machine. Leave the dough in the machine for 8 hours. Add the water for the 1st dough refreshment to the pan, then sprinkle over the flours.

5. Add the salt and sugar in separate corners. Set the machine as before. Press Start. Lightly flour a baking sheet.

6. When the dough cycle ends put the dough on a floured surface. Knock it back (punch it down) gently; shape into a plump ball. Place on the baking sheet; cover with oiled clear film (plastic wrap). Leave for 2 hours, or until almost doubled in bulk.

7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas 8. Dust the loaf with flour and slash the top in a star shape. Bake for 25 minutes, spraying the oven with water three times in the first 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes more or until golden and hollow-sounding. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack.

Energy 2145Kcal/9121kj; Protein 59.8g; Carbohydrate 487g of which sugars 10.8g; Fat 8.6g of which saturates 1.6g; Cholesterol 2mg; Calcium 912mg; Fibre 19.4g; Sodium 1997mg

Related food category: