The easiest and best French bread you will ever make. Simple ingredients, mixed in a stand mixer or by hand. Makes two huge loaves!
**Please read recipe notes before beginning if you live in a humid environment!**
In a separate large bowl combine warm water*, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Stir well.
Add the yeast mixture to the warm water-flour mixture. Mix together with large wooden spoon or paddle attachment.
Add the remaining 3 cups of flour, a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
When the dough has risen, stir down with a large spoon. If making in a stand mixer, turn the machine on low for a few seconds until the dough is deflated, and push dough to bottom part of bowl with a spatula.
Repeat 5 times, every ten minutes, for a total of 60 minutes of rising and then punching (or pushing) down.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half of dough in a 9x12 rectangle on a floured surface.
Roll the dough up like a jelly roll (long way). Place the dough on a greased baking pan (jelly roll pan), with the seam side down. Both loaves will fit on one pan.
Score the bread across the top 3 or 4 times, and brush with beaten egg (if using).
Let rise for 20-30 minutes in warm place.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes in lower half of oven, until golden brown. Or you may bake at 350-375 convection for 18-20 minutes until golden.