Everyone needs a good recipe for a basic crusty bread.  It is a welcome accompaniment to almost any meal and guests are always impressed to find you made something so delicious yourself.  As with many homemade yeast breads, this one is fairly simple.  Most of the work is simply waiting for the dough to rise in its various stages.  The preferment is made the day or night before you make the bread, and this adds great flavor a bit reminiscent of sourdough.  This particular version has a nice crunchy crust but a soft, light and chewy interior.  Heavenly!  I like to serve it with a homemade garlic butter of some sort and lately I have been loving the compound herb butter I made at Thanksgiving.  This recipe makes two large loaves and even if you don’t plan on needing them immediately, I recommend making both anyway and keeping one in the freezer so you have it on hand at a moment’s notice.