There are two very important things I've learned from making French bread. You don't need a special pan (though I use one now) to have it rise and hold its shape. The trick is you don't let it double in size. It rises in the oven to its full shape. The other thing I like to do is to put a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven. This makes a nice crisp crust. I received this recipe from my sister-in-law. When she makes this recipe, she makes 3 loaves on a cookie sheet. I make 2 in the French bread pans.