An excerpt tips from Red Star Yeast site: "An American version of the classic French Bread. Spray or brush with cold water during baking for crispy crust. The bread is best eaten the day it is made."
Red Star Yeast original recipe
1 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 plus cups bread flour (See author's note)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1/4oz/1 packet)
3 tablespoons cornmeal
In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour and other dry ingredients. Heat water to 120º to 130ºF. Combine dry mixture and water on low speed; beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and taper ends to seal. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. With very sharp knife, make 2 or 3 diagonal slashes across top of loaf. Brush with cold water. Bake in preheated 425ºF over 30 to 40 minutes. Spray or brush loaf with cold water several times during first 10 minutes of baking for a crisper crust. Remove from cookie sheet; cool.
Author's Note: The original RSY recipe called for 3 1/4 cups bread flour but I found that I needed more than 3 1/2 cups flour and the dough still came out beautifully soft and supple.
Red Star Yeast series:
Multigrain Oatmeal Bread
Marbled Rye Bread
Dark Pumpernickel Rye Bread
Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
Date and Orange Tea Ring
Granola Crunch Coffeecake
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Minced Onion Celery Seed Savory Cheese Rolls