1) Mix all the dough ingredients together, using 6 cups of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and satiny. The dough should be on the slack side, but not oozy; it needs to be able to hold its shape in the oven.
2) Cover the dough, and let it rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
3) Gently deflate the dough and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into six pieces.
4) Form each piece of dough into a 7" to 8" torpedo shape, and place on a baguette pan (two loaves per groove), or on parchment-lined baking sheets.
5) With a serrated knife or lame, make three slashes in the tops of the loaves.
6) Cover and let rise until puffy; this should take approximately 30 minutes. While the loaves rise, preheat the oven to 425°F.
7) Spray the loaves with Quick Shine or water, and top with Artisan Bread Topping, if desired.
8) Bake for 10 minutes, spraying the loaves with water two more times. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until loaves are a deep golden brown.
9) Remove the loaves from the oven, turn them out of the pan(s), turn off the oven, and return the loaves to the oven, with its door cracked open a couple of inches, to cool completely.
Yield: six 8" loaves.