Some of you may remember my recipe for artisanal bread, or rustic loaf. I've been refining it, and I've got it pared down to a much simpler process. Try this.
At 6pm the day before:
20 ounces unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 scant teaspoon yeast
2 cups cold water
Stir all ingredients together into stiff dough. Spray lightly with oil, cover tightly with saran wrap, and let sit overnight on the counter. It will double, if not more.
Anytime before noon the next day, with oiled spatula gently fold dough over on itself.
Spray lightly with oil, cover tightly with saran wrap, and let rise until double, 4 - 6 hours.
Heat oven to 450F, with cast iron dutch oven and lid in the oven.
When oven is heated, remove dutch oven and lid from oven. With oiled spatula encourage dough gently into dutch oven. Shake to round and center dough. Spray dough lavishly with water, cover, and put in oven. Bake 50 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 425F, remove lid, and bake for 20 minutes more.
Cool on rack.
It still takes two days, but man is it worth it.
*I get my bread water out of the refrigerator dispenser. It's filtered. This bread seems to really like it.
Cook screwing with the recipe even more:
*For this batch, I substituted 5 ounces of whole wheat flour for 5 ounces of unbleached white flour. A visiting friend likes brown bread.