Make the dough - Add water, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and combine using the dough hook or add to a large bowl and whisk together. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
Add 2 cups of the flour, the salt and mix until combined either using the dough hook on the lowest speed or using a wooden spoon in a bowl. Slowly add the remaining flour until all combined and then knead for 7 minutes on the lowest speed of the mixer or for 10 minutes by hand or until the dough is soft and smooth, and when you make an indent in the dough with your finger, it springs back.
First rise - Lightly oil a large bowl and once the dough is kneaded, transfer it to the oiled bowl, Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour)
Shape and second rise - Once risen, gently punch the dough down and split it into 2 portions. Roll out each piece of dough into a rectangle approximately 30cm by 20cm and use your fingertips to make indents all over the dough to remove any air bubbles. Tightly roll the dough into a loaf shape, pressing together the seam - you may also want to tuck in the ends of the loaf. Repeat with the second loaf.
Carefully transfer the shaped loaf on to a baking tray lined with a silicone liner or baking paper and using a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes the whole way along the top of the loaf (about 10 slashes) Cover with a tea towel and put it back in the warm place to rise again until almost doubled in size - approximately 30 minutes.
During the second rise, heat the oven to 200°C/392°F
Bake - Once the bread has risen for the second time, carefully place in the oven and throw a few ice cubes in the bottom before you shut the door. This helps to make the crust crispy. I bake one loaf at a time, but if your oven has a convection setting, bake them both together.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Bake the second loaf.
Allow to cool slightly on the bench before slicing and serving. Store bread in a bread bag or container on the bench for a day or two but it's best eaten on the day of baking.
The amount of flour will vary slightly - it always does with bread! You want the dough to be slightly sticky - it should stick to the bottom of the bowl when kneading, but pull away from the sides. Add extra flour or water to get it to this point.