Dissolve the molasses in a little tepid water taken from 6¼ cups.
Add this to the flour, then mix in the rest of the water, going carefully at the end in case you don't need quite all of it.
The finished mixture needs to be too wet to leave the sides of the bowl clean; * it should feel 'slippery' but not completely sloppy.
Half fill the pans with the mixture, cover them with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel, and leave to rise.
Meanwhile set the oven to 400°F.
When the loaves have risen to within ½ inch of the tops of the pans, put them in the oven.
Bake large loaves for 45 minutes, and small ones for about 35 minutes, or until they are brown and firm to the touch, and sound hollow when you slip them out of the pans and tap them on the base with your knuckles.
If you wish, you can crisp the base and sides a bit more by putting the loaves back into the oven for a few minutes after you've taken them out of the pans.