*Do not use self-rising flour.
The traditional flavor and texture of French bread is developed by making a sponge and by refrigerating the shaped loaves before baking. A sponge is a bread-dough mixture made in the first step with the yeast and some of the flour and water. Spraying the loaves with water and adding a water pan to the oven help to make a crunchy crust. For the most delicious French Bread serve it the same day you bake it.