San Francisco Sourdough Bread

San Francisco Sourdough Bread

Donna 0

"Use a good sourdough starter, one you have tended to, for best flavor."

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings 145 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 24 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 145 kcal
  • 7%
  • Fat:
  • 2 g
  • 3%
  • Carbs:
  • 26.4g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 5.1 g
  • 10%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 11 mg
  • 4%
  • Sodium:
  • 267 mg
  • 11%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

On Sale

What's on sale near you.


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add milk and softened butter or margarine. Stir in starter. Mix in up to 3 3/4 cups flour gradually, you may need more depending on your climate.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.
  3. Punch down, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place on a greased baking pan. Allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.
  4. Brush egg wash over tops of loaves, and sprinkle with chopped onion.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or till done.
Tips & Tricks
Sweet Corn Bread

See how to make moist, slightly sweet corn bread.

Braided Easter Egg Bread

Round, braided Easter bread decorated with natural or dyed eggs.

Rate recipe

Your rating


Reviews 322

  1. 382 Ratings


After using this format, the recipe is very good with some modifications. First off, it should never be called SF Sourdough Bread for the same reasons as mentioned before, PLUS - I live in San Francisco, and we rarely see bread served with onion on top of sourdough. Other specialty breads, yes, but to us, that's corrupting the true SF style sourdough. It should simply be called "Onion-Topped Sourdough". Second, I HIGHLY recommend using water instead. Real SF Sourdough never has milk, and use can sugar and sea salt for improved flavor. The yeast is marginal, as it's not often used here. That's supposed to be why the starter is used, but it doesn't rise correctly unless you use 1 cup starter per loaf and extend the rise time out to 2-3 hours in a warm oven. Also use Unbleached flour for denser bread (more like SF). Next, use ONLY the egg white to lightly brush on top of the loaf right before baking, not with the yolk. Last, there's no mention in the recipe what to do with the last Tbsp of water. I'd omit that, as the egg white does not need water added. If you want closer to authentic SF Sourdough, don't use the onion. After those modifications, you'll have a great loaf! You're getting tips direct from a SF born and raised bread lover.. Enjoy! :)


I haven't tried this recipe yet, I just wanted to point out that sourdough starters made in different places have different levels of sour flavor - my starter will taste differently than one made in another state, for example. Therefore, unless you're IN San Fran, you're unlikely to make a sourdough that tastes like San Fran sour; this may explain why some folks think the recipe produces bread that is not sour enough.


Unfortunatly, my established starter was dumped down the drain by a well meaning daughter-in-law so this was made with a newly established starter. It only had a mild "tang" but I would suspect that was because of my immature starter. The texture of the bread was awesome. If you spray water on your oven walls a few times in the first few minutes of baking,the steam will encourage a thicker and crustier crust. It also helps to put a shallow pan containing water on the bottom rack and leave it during baking. This makes lovely loaves and can't wait to try it when I have a good strong starter. Thanks for the recipe, Donna!