Add yeast to water, then add salt and sugar. Stir until the yeast dissolves.
Beat the flour into the yeast water, a cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to
stir. Add as much flour as you need to make a smooth dough. Knead until smooth.
Brush top and sides with oil and cover the dough with a towel. Let stand in a warm
place to rise until double in bulk.
Turn the dough onto a floured bread board and shape into long French loaves.
Place the loaves on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and let stand to rise
for 5 minutes.
Slash the tops of the loaves in several places, brush them with water and place
in a cold oven.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a pan of boiling water in the oven with the loaves and bake them for 45
minutes, or until crusty done.