I'm sharing a recipe today from my sister in law Darcy. I never knew it was simple to make your own french bread till she brought this to a family dinner.
Now I'm so happy to have the recipe. It's fabulous.
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. dry yeast
1 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. oil
6 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
In a large bowl combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Stir vigorously. Add remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir down. Repeat this process 5 times, which will take one hour.
Place dough onto a floured surface. Knead only enough to coat dough with flour so it can be handled; divide in half. Roll into two rectangles about 9X12 inches long. Roll up from long side. Moisten seam with a small amount of water and pinch to seal.
Arrange both loaves lengthwise on a large, well-greased cookie sheet. Place seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30-45 minutes. Glaze with beaten egg (brush on very gently). Use a very sharp knife to gently make 3 diagonal gashes in the top of each loaf.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to cooling racks and cover with towel (this keeps the crust soft). Serve warm. Makes 2 loaves.