2cupswater(warm water - 110 degrees F/43 degrees C)
1tablespoonactive dry yeast
5cupsbread flour(plus ½ cup for working surface)
In a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl, add the yeast and sugar to warm water (110 degrees F/43 degrees C) and allow the yeast to activate for 10 minutes until it is foamy or frothy. Add salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and stir for 2 minutes or until all of the flour is moistened.
Mix in the remaining 2 cups of flour until a stiff dough ball is formed, then knead by hand for 10 minutes. In the stand mixer, knead with the dough hook at medium speed for 3 minutes, allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes, then knead for an additional 4-5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic when done kneading.
Transfer the dough to a well oiled large bowl, turning to coat all sides of the dough with the oil. Cover with oiled plastic wrap (cling film) or a damp towel and allow to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and divide into equal portions for either two loaves or four baguettes. Shape the dough into slender loaves or baguettes and place onto a greased and cornmeal coated baking sheet. Slice across the tops diagonally to score them, cover and let rise an additional hour or until doubled in size.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the internal temperature is 205 degrees F (96 degrees C). Cool on a wire rack.
If you would like a faster rise time, use 1 teaspoon active dry yeast per cup of flour (depending on how much flour you use if scaling this recipe up or down 3 teaspoon = 1 tablespoon).*For an extra crunchy crust, use a spray bottle to spritz the loaves intermittently during the baking time.