3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.
- Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.
- Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours. Making it the night before works well.
- Heat oven to 450 F.
- When the oven has reached 450 F, place a CAST IRON pot with a lid, (or alternatively, a regular pot covered in foil) and heat the pot for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour dough onto a very heavily floured, movable surface (cheesecloth, cutting board). With floured hands, shape dough into a ball.
- Cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit while the pot is heating.
- Remove hot pot from the oven, drop in the dough and cover. (Optionally, I suggest first sprinkling a generous pinch of cornmeal in the bottom of the pot FIRST to keep dough from sticking. Another generous pinch sprinkled over the top of the unbaked loaf also adds a pleasant texture to the baked crust!)
- Return to oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
- For softer bread, let bread cool for 5 minutes on a rack. Then, place in a plastic bag but do not seal.
For crustier bread, let cool to room temperature on a rack.