Dissolve yeast in 1/4 c. warm water.
(Water should be about the temperature of a baby's bottle. Test a drop on your wrist - it should feel warm, neither cold nor hot. If it's too hot, you'll kill the yeast.)
Sprinkle sugar over the yeast. Let stand five minutes and let it start building bubbles.
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add remaining 1 cup of water.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour-salt mixture. Combine until it forms a sticky ball. Knead and add flour a little at a time to make a smooth dough, about 10 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Flip, so that the top ends up with a slight film of oil. Cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Punch down, form into two long loaves. Place into french bread pan
. Cover, let stand in a warm place and allow to rise another hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mist loaves before putting them in, or just wet your hands and slide them over the loaves. Bake 30 minutes.
You are now ready to stick them in your bicycle basket and bike around picturesque villages. Or, share and enjoy.
Adapted from The French Don't Diet Plan
, by W. Clower