Prep: 20 min Rise: 18-24 hours Cook: 45-60 min Total: About 26 hours Yields 1 loaf
20 ounces bread flour (about 3 ½ cups)
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt with a wooden spoon or dough whisk.
1 5/8 cups water (13 fluid ounces)
Add water and stir until combined. The dough will be very sticky and unfinished.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 18 to 24 hours at room temperature. The dough is ready to shape when the surface is dotted with bubbles.
1 tablespoon flour
Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, quickly and gentle shape dough into a ball.
2 tablespoons flour or cornmeal
Coat a clean towel or baking sheet with flour or cornmeal. Place dough seam side down, dust with more flour or cornmeal, and cover with plastic wrap.
Let dough rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
After 1 hour of rising, place a 5- to 8-quart heavy pot (cast iron or enamel) in the oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
Once dough has completed it’s second rise, using pot holders careful remove the pot from the oven. Remove plastic wrap from dough and careful dump dough into the pot. Shake pot as necessary to even out dough. Put lid back on the pot and return to oven.
Bake at 450°F for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pot and continue to bake until bread is browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the dough reads 195°F, about 15 additional minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack until room temperature, about 2 hours. Slice, serve, and savor every bite.