2 pkg active dry yeast
2 1/2 c water (110F)
6 c flour
1 tbs salt
Glaze: 1 egg white whisked into 2 tbs water
Proof yeast in warm water plus 1 tsp of the flour for 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and add remaining water. Add salt and flour a little bit at a time, stirring after each addition, gently at first then becoming more vigorous. When most of flour is incorporated, sprinkle counter with remaining flour. Turn out dough. Knead until dough is moist and satiny (this will be a bit moister than usual). Let rise slowly until doubled in bulk -- about 1 hour. Punch down and shape (one loaf or 2 baguettes). Let rise a second time until doubled. Baste loaf with glaze. Make 3 or 4 diagonal cut(s) in top of loaf with a very sharp knife. Bake in a 450 degree F oven 45-50 minutes for a 1 1/2 lb loaf or 15-20 for small baguette, rebasting halfway through baking time. Bread will sound hollow when tapped when it is done.
Recipe featured in Bread Daily on 9/24/01.