- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 6 1/2 cups unsifted unbleached all-purpose flour
Add the yeast to the water in a five-quart bowl.
Mix in the flour and salt. Kneading is unnecessary.
Let rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse about two hours.
Dough can be used at any time after this first rise.
Store the dough in the refrigerator in a lidded, but not airtight container.
Use it over the next 14 days.
The flavor and texture improves over time becoming more like sourdough.
To make a loaf sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour.
Cut off a grapefruit-size piece of dough using a serrated knife.
Add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands.
Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
Rest the loaf and let it rise for about 40 minutes
Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period.
Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place an empty pan for holding water on bottom rack.
Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour.
Slash a quarter-inch deep cross, diagonal lines, or tic-tac-toe pattern on top using a serrated knife.
After a 20-minutes preheat of oven put bread in oven, even though the oven thermometer won't be at full temperature yet.
Pour about one cup of hot water into the empty pan and close the oven to trap the steam.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.
Bake bread on a pizza stone. An unglazed tile or clay pot drip pan may also be used.
Recipe makes three to four loaves.
Cost about forty-four cents a loaf