An old-fashioned sourdough French bread

This is a hearty bread, possibly heavier than many people are used to. The flavor is wonderfully tangy, and complements just about any meal. Try it with garlic butter!

This bread is slow raising. I usually spend two days on it!start the dough one day, let it rise overnight, then form the loaf and bake the next day. This recipe is from The Complete Sourdough Cookbook, by Don and Myrtle Holm.


(1 loaf)


  1. Combine milk, sugar, salt, and shortening in a pan. Heat until shortening melts, then cool to lukewarm (about
  2. Stir milk into starter. Add flour gradually, forming dough that pulls away from sides of the bowl.
  3. Kneed until smooth (about 15 min.), adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the board. When done, the dough will be fairly heavy, but smooth in texture.
  4. Place in a well-greased bowl and raise in a warm place until doubled.
  5. Form into a long loaf (about 16 inches long). Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise again, until almost doubled.
  6. Cut diagonal slits in top of loaf with a sharp knife, and bake in a 400 degree oven until done, about 30-35 min.
  7. Remove from pan, and let cool in a draft-free location.


Be careful that the milk mixture has cooled before adding it to the starter. If it's too hot, you'll kill the starter and the bread won't rise.

Since the dough rises for a long time, I usually cover it with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.

If you want a chewy crust, brush the top of the loaf with a mixture of corn starch and water before baking. Also, placing a pan of water in the oven while baking will make the crust a little softer. I usually brush the loaf with butter after baking.


Difficulty: moderate.
Time: 1 hour preparation, long rising time, 1/2 hour baking.
Precision: measure the ingredients.


Bill Turner 
Hewlett-Packard Personal Software Division, Santa Clara, CA 
Recipe last modified: 3 Jan 86

Original header

From: bill@hppsd2 (Bill Turner)
Subject: RECIPE: Sourdough French Bread
Date: 31 Jan 86 05:13:20 GMT
Organization: Hewlett-Packard PSD, Santa Clara CA
Approved: reid@glacier.ARPA

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