- 2.5 Cups Warm Water
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 6 Cups Flour
- In a large mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast.
- Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Stir in salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Stir vigorously.
- Add remaining 3 cups of flour slowly as needed and mix well.
- Let rest in bowl 5 minutes.
- Stir down.
- Repeat process 2 more times.
- Place dough onto a floured board.
- Knead only enough to coat dough with flour so it can be handled.
- Divide into half or thirds.
- Flatten out into rectangle, roll up from long side.
- Moisten seam with small amount of water and pinch of salt.
- Arrange loaves lengthwise on a large, well-greased or parchment covered cookie sheet.
- Place seam side down.
- Spray top with cooking spray and let rise about 20-25 minutes.
- Use a very sharp knife to gently make 3 diagonal gashes in the top of each loaf (do not deflate the bread).
- Then put into oven.
Optional Step 4A:
- Place the baking sheet in the hot oven.
- Immediately toss 3-4 ice cubes on the bottom of the oven (this gives a delicious, classic, French bread crispness to the crust).
- Close the oven door quickly but don't deflate the bread!
- Bake at 375 degrees for 23-25 minutes.
- After removing from the oven, butter tops of bread.
- Cool on racks and cover with a towel (this keeps the crust soft).
- Serve warm.