Combine 2 cups flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl; mix well, and set aside.
Combine water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan; cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 120° to 130° on candy thermometer. Add to flour mixture; stir until dry ingredients are moistened and dough forms a soft ball. Beat at high speed of an electric mixer 3 minutes or until smooth. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 12 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until dough is doubled in bulk.
Divide dough into 3 portions; roll each portion into a 13- x 10- inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle jellyroll fashion, starting at long end. Pinch seams and ends together to seal.
Grease 2 baking sheets, and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheets.
Cut 4 to 5 diagonal slashes, 3/4-inch-deep, in top of each loaf. Brush with water. Cover and repeat rising procedure 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes (do not preheat oven) or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool bread immediately on wire racks.
Note: Baked loaves may be frozen and thawed for later use.
Oxmoor House Homestyle Recipes