3cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for shaping
1/4teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2cupswaterplus 2 tablespoons
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, yeast, and water. Stir this bread dough until it is well mixed. It will look “shaggy” and will not have a uniform texture. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 12 to 14 hours in a room that is at least 70 degrees F.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Quickly shape into a ball and fold over one or twice, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with cornmeal, wheat bran, or flour and turn dough onto it, placing the seam side down on the towel.
Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional cornmeal/wheat bran/flour and cover with another clean towel. Let rise for an additional 2 hours or until the dough does not spring back when poked. Place a heavy covered pot, such as a Dutch oven, in the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat the pot for at least 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. Remove the top towel from the dough.
Carefully slide your hand under the towel underneath the dough, and flip the dough over into the pot. The seam side should now be facing up. Place the lid back on the pot, and place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pot lid and bake an additional 15 to 30 minutes, until the bread is beautifully brown. Cool the bread on a cooling rack before slicing.