This recipe is based on the one found in the New York Times and then there’s the one from Nesting with Grace and I also looked at Pinch of Yum. Basically, there’s very little you need to do to make wonderful bread. All you need is a few minutes of prep time and a lot of waiting time.
Yield:1 -2 loaves of bread 1x
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm, but not hot tap water
To Prepare the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast.
Stir in the water until a thick, messy dough forms. Trust me, it’s not like making pizza dough where you get this nice smooth ball that you gently place in a bowl. Nope, it’s not like that at all. It’s a lumpy mix.
Place it in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot in the house. I sometimes have to turn my oven on 200º just to make sure it’s warm enough. Leave for 12-18 hours or even overnight. but don’t leave the oven on.
Prepare the dough for baking:
Preheat oven to 450º
Place one 6 quart dutch oven or two small 2-3 quart dutch ovens in to then oven to heat.
The dough should be big and have lots of little bubbles. Scrape it out onto a well floured surface and gently shape it (no-kneading) into a ball (or two if you are using small dutch ovens like I did).
While the pans are heating in the oven, place the dough ball(s) onto a square piece of parchment and cover with the plastic wrap again.
Remove the plastic wrap and lift the dough with the parchment paper into the dutch oven.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes if you are baking one large bread or bake 20 minutes covered if you are baking 2 smaller breads.
After 30 or 20 minutes, remove the cover(s) and bake an additional 10-15 minutes so your bread gets a nice color and a little crispy.