This delicious artisan loaf is made from 4 simple ingredients. Bread flour, salt, yeast and water. It is not only simple but also very easy to make. The only catch is that the dough needs to be made 12-18 hours in advance so a little planning ahead is necessary.
Anytime we are having some friends over or making a homemade soup I throw this easy dough together and leave it on my counter overnight. Then a few hours before I need it I shape it, let it rise and bake it. This bread is fool proof.
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup water
Stir dry ingredients together. Add water and mix. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with seran wrap and leave it on your counter for 12-18 hours.
Dust counter with small amount of flour. Dump the dough onto the floured counter (*note: do not add any flour to the dough. The flour on the counter is only there to help you handle the dough). Form a round loaf by tucking all the edges into the bottom and pinching.
Place the round on a towel that is dusted with your choice of either more flour, corn meal, wheat bran, etc. Cover the bread with the towel. Allow dough to sit until doubled, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. When dough is doubled place the round into the bottom of a greased dutch oven. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes. Take lid off and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the bread is nicely browned.
Remove bread from dutch oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.