How to make it

  • In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl (DO NOT USE METAL), combine flour, salt and yeast. Mix well to combine dry ingredients. Add water. Mix well with a spoon. No need to beat this, just get all the flour absorbed – you might need a little extra water if it is very dry where you are.
  • Step 2: Let it rise! Cover your dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (at least 70°).
  • Step 3: Transfer to parchment paper (or waxed paper) for final rise.
  • This part can be a little sticky and tricky, so be patient. Your dough should be well risen after the 19-24 hour rest period. Sprinkle some flour over the top and start scooping the dough together – use more flour if needed. Place the dough on a well-floured piece of parchment paper. It must be well floured, or the dough will stick. Now, simply fold the dough from the sides, and then the top and bottom, like you were folding all four sides to the center, and flip it over. Roll up the top of the parchment paper so the dough has a little covering, like a tent. Let the dough rest on the paper 1-2 hours, or until about doubled in size.
  • Step 4: Selecting baking pans.
  • After the crucial long rise period, the second most important item is the selection of a baking dish. You need to create an oven within an oven which will produce the steam you will need to achieve the desired crust. Selecting a proper baking pan means finding a round dish that will handle lots of heat and has a lid. A 4-5 quart size Le Cresuset Dutch oven is recommended but make sure that you put foil over the handle of the lid to protect it from the heat. If you do not this type of pan, Pyrex, Corningware or a clay baker will work quite well. If using Pyrex – use new, the older Pyrex gets the more likely that it will shatter. If using a Pyrex bowl, use Pyrex pie plate as a lid.
  • Step 5: Time to bake!
  • About ½ hour before baking, place your baking dish in a cold oven to preheat. You should not need to grease the pan, but feel free to if you desire. It is unnecessary with Pyrex. Set oven to 475°. When the oven has reached the temperature, open the door and pull out the rack with your preheated pan. Take the dough in the parchment paper and plop it into the pan, being VERY CAREFUL!! The dough does not need to be perfect – this is a rustic loaf. Carefully place the lid on the pot and slide slowly back into the oven. Close the oven door and set timer for 30 minutes.
  • DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR TO PEEK! After 30 minutes, open the oven and CAREFULLY remove the pot lid. Set the lid in a safe place to cool. Close the oven door and set your timer for another 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the loaf to see if it has sufficiently browned. If not let it bake an additional 5-7 minutes.
  • Step 6: The grand unveiling.
  • Carefully remove the baking bowl from the oven, flip the bread out of the baking dish and carefully place the bread on a cooling rack. If all went correctly, the bread will ‘sing’ to you as it cools, there will be crackling noises which will indicate the crust is perfect. Resist cutting your bread until it has cooled at least 1 hour.
  • Use your imagination with the recipe by using different types of flour (whole wheat, rye, or spelt), and you can add things such as chopped olives or dried tomatoes.
  • Storage: Keep this bread out of the refrigerator! It will ruin the crust. Keep it cut side down covered with a paper towel or cloth towel. You do not want to keep it in a plastic bag either, it will ruin the crust also.

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  • 22566 7 years ago
    Very nicely done.
    Kind Regards
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