Appeared in the article The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work
by Mark Bittman in the November 8th, 2006 New York Times
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hoursā€™ rising
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting [I
used bread, also suggested is substituting 1 cup whole wheat flour*.]
- 1/4 teaspoon instant [aka Rapid Rise, QuickRise, Instant Active Dry, Perfect Rise, or Bread Machine Yeast]
- 1 1/4 [1 3/4] teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast
and salt. Add 1 5/8 [1 1/2] cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. [I put it on top of my
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on
it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let
rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently
and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal [rice
flour was suggested as it won't get gummy**]; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.
Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and
will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to
450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart [about a 4-quart pot is preferred] heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic)
in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over
into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed;
it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 [10 or 15]
minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf.