I still find it amazing that you can combine 3 simply ingredients and get something as beautiful as a loaf of bread. This is my recipe for a great loaf of bread. It takes time, but oh so worth it. This is from Jim Lahey’s book My Bread, and his bakery in New York, the Sullivan Street Bakery. Lahey has searched for great bread in Europe, and one of his favorite places is Forno Campo de Fiori in Rome. I will be in Rome later this week, and this will be one of my first stops. If you want to see a great video on making bread, check this out as well at the New York Times web site.
My method is very similar to the video. I use.
3 cups of flour
1 1/3 Cup of water
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon of salt
I mix all ingredients together in a bowl for only 30-45 secs until it’s a ball of dough.
I cover it with a tea towel and let it sit for 18 hours. (Yes, for bread on Sunday you have to start Saturday)
2 hours before you will cook it, I take it out of the bowl, and make the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface.
I wrap the dough into a ball again and dust it with cornmeal so it doesn’t stick to the towel, which I wrap around the dough.
I let it raise for another 1-2 hours.
30 mins before it should go into the oven, I pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees, with a 5 litre heavy pot, like a http://www.lecreuset.ca
After 30 mins, I take out the pot, put the bread in upside down so the seem faces up, cover the pot and put it back in the over to cook for 30 mins. After 30 mins, I remove the lid and then bake for another 20 mins until the bread is a chestnut brown. (CAUTION: This pot will get super, super hot, use heavy oven gloves when doing this.)
I then take the bread out and let it cool on a rack. After 30 mins, Enjoy.