I've been baking bread with my bread machine for about two years now. It's not bad, it tastes good and it saves money. But I could never dream that I might someday be able to bake a loaf which tasted like a French baguette. But it just happened. Here's the recipe.
I use a basic bread recipe. Four cups of flour (usually half whole wheat and half white), a tablespoon of salt, two tablespoons of sugar, two cups of water, one tablespoon of yeast. This makes enough for two loaves of bread.
This time, for some reason, the bread dough was very sticky. As usual, I mixed it in the bread machine and took it out after two hours. Because it was very sticky and was rising really well, I made four thin baguette type loaves from it. I then coated the bread with egg (I use both the white and the yellow for coating).
So far. so good -- this was pretty standard for me. But then I did the thing which I believe made the bread really excellent. I baked the loaves at 450 degrees Fahr., and put a bowl of water in to provide moisture.
These two additions made the bread fabulous -- as good as I've ever tasted. If you like French bread, you'll love this recipe.