There is nothing I love more than toasty loaves of french bread right out of the oven. If you steam the oven correctly, you can be guaranteed a lovely crumb and a light, sponge of a center. Someday I will have baguette pans and these loaves will become less chubby, but for now they are perfect for holding spreads, earth balance, apple butter, and chunky preserves. Not to mention their aptitude for becoming gorgeous stacks of french toast the morning after!
I am under the belief that bread recipes have personalities and that they find you, like a good pair of used boots or an animal companion. I started with Mark Bittman's easy-peasy no-knead recipe from How to Cook Everything and then tweaked it a tad to involve more yeast, sugar, wheat flour, and handling.