What bread is more classic and more French than the baguette? This recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking is simple, really. Just flour, water, yeast, and salt. But with bread baking, ingredients are sometimes less important than technique. Take the same ingredients, even in the same quantities, and if you handle them in a different way, you'll end up with a completely different bread.
Here is one of the most popular recipes The Times has ever published, courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery. It requires no kneading. It uses no special ingredients, equipment or techniques. And it takes very little effort — only time. (Photo: The New York Times)