Keeping a starter can become a burden if you do not bake bread weekly. Fear not. There are plenty of great easy low-yeast ways to bake excellent tasting bread without a sourdough starter.
French bread is a great and easy way to make a plain loaf with or without a crispy crust. If you add more than the original four ingredients of water, flour, yeast and salt, it is no longer considered French bread
Using a longer rise time and some "steam injection" when baking, you can create a wonderful loaf of bread without the hassle of starter.
According to the Internet, "Bread was enormously important to the French people, that at the time of the French Revolution in the late 1700's, the average Frenchman was reported to have eaten three pounds of bread each day." (Bread History - French. https://www.abigailsbakery.com/bread-recipes/bread-history-french.htm)
French bread is baked in brick ovens place in and out of the oven with a peel. If you bake your own pizza you probably have a pizza peel in your cupboard.
A boule is simply the French word for round. You can bake loaves in any shape you wish. Long thin baguettes were developed in Vienna so the bread could be baked faster.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE FRENCH BREAD from The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe at https://www.iheartnaptime.net/homemade-french-bread.
Bread baked in a covered cast iron casserole can resemble or even exceed a sourdough loaf. Using a slow-rise method gives you wonderful flavor and adding extras like cheese or olives will make you a super star in the kitchen. Oh, and there's no kneading.
Here's a recipe from https://joyfoodsunshine.com/easy-no-knead-bread/
You will need a 3.75-quart dutch oven to bake this loaf.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.