Warning: you will never buy store French bread again!
1/2 c warm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 c hot water
3 T sugar
6 full cups flour, divided
1 T salt
1/3 c oil
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Combine 3 cups of flour with hot water, sugar, salt, and oil. Add yeast and remaining flour. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes and then stir down. Repeat the rest and stir down 4 times.
Turn onto a floured surface and divide into 2-3 parts. Roll into a "9x12" triangle and roll up like a jelly roll. Arrange the seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Slash diagonally 3-4 times then brush with beaten egg.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (closer to 20). Makes 2-3 loaves.