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Place the water and then the rest of the ingredients into the bread pan. You can make a little indent on top of the flour in order to avoid the yeast falling into the water (until the machine starts). Do not combine the salt with the yeast (as the salt can kill the yeast). Place the yeast & salt in separate parts of the bread pan.
Put your machine on the "Dough" setting and press the start button. In our bread machine, the kneading & rising on the dough setting takes about 1:30 hours.
When your bread machine has finished, unplug the machine & pour the dough onto a cutting board. Wear oven mitts (as the bread pan/bread machine may be hot). Sprinkle some flour on the cutting board (before you pour the dough) in order to avoid the dough sticking to the cutting board.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts if you want to make 4 skinny baguettes (roughly 12 inches long). Or divide the dough into 2 equal parts in order to make 2 thicker french bread "rolls".
Roll the divided dough with your hands into your preferred shape (i.e. baguette or thicker bread roll). See our tips below on shaping the bread dough (especially about the making the dough roll about 1/2 the width of your desired end product... as the dough expands as the yeast rises).
Place the shaped dough onto a nonstick baking sheet.
Coat the dough with olive oil. Use a small pastry brush.
Cover the dough & baking sheet with a light kitchen cloth or plastic wrap in order to protect from dust, etc.
Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
During this "rising" time, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
After the hour, remove the covering from the dough and "score" (slice) the top of each dough roll with a sharp knife. Make diagonal slices about 1/2 inch deep and about 3 inches apart. This will help prevent the bread from cracking during baking. See the tips below about how to score bread.
Place the baking sheet in the oven. It should bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Wear oven mitts.
At the 8-10 minute mark, turn the baking sheet around in order to ensure an even "browning" of the bread. Wear oven mitts.
Remove the baking sheet when done and place the bread on a cooling rack. Wear oven mitts.