When we're having spaghetti or we're just running low on bread I whip up this loaf in my bread machine. It's easy, tasty, and cheap.
French Bread- 1 pound loaf
Into your bread machine (in whatever order your bread maker calls for) dump:
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups white flour
3/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. active dry yeast
Optional- I sometimes add a 1/2 tsp. of sesame seeds for a hint of nutty crunch. Don't add much more than this or it makes the loaf dry.
I bake the whole thing in my bread machine on the light bread setting but you could whip up the dough in the machine and then form into a loaf and rise.