From Mark Bittman
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups room temperature water
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- In a large pot mix the flour, yeast and salt.
- Add the water and mix the dough.
- Cover for 18 hours.
- Fold the dough a couple of times in the bowl.
- Wait 15 minutes.
- In the bowl shape the dough into a ball and dust with flour.
- Cover and wait for 90 minutes.
- Place your dutch oven, including the lid, in the oven and heat to 450° F. Keep the dutch oven there for 30 minutes after the oven has reached temperature.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to a bit larger than the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Carefully take the dutch oven out of the oven.
- Place the parchment paper in the dutch oven.
- Turn the dough out into the dutch oven. Shake the dutch oven a bit side-to-side. Score the top of the dough.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
The actual recipe calls for turning the dough out onto a work surface and I always find that to be more trouble than it is worth: It’s messy and I end up losing a decent amount of dough. So instead I just do everything in the same large bowl. Either way you still end up with a nice round loaf (boule) of bread.
If you’re using a Le Creuset dutch oven the knob the lid comes with may not survive in the oven. You can either buy a metal one or just remove the knob and use its screw to plug the resulting hole on top.