- 3 cups lukewarm water or 120 degrees
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast (store your yeast in the fridge to prolong freshness)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons salt (kosher or coarse sea salt is best)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 6 1/2 cups unsifted flour (all-purpose or bread) see notes for whole wheat
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and warm water. Allow to sit for 6 to 8 minutes until water is foamy. Add salt and vinegar. Mix in flour a cupful at a time until it’s all incorporated. Dough will be slightly wet.
- Cover your dough with a tea towel and set it on top of the fridge (usually a draft free warm place) to rise for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the dough has at least doubled in size.
- Cover dough (make sure it can still breathe, don’t seal completely) and place in fridge for 8 hours.
- Take 1/2 of the dough (or 1/3 for a smaller loaf) out of the bowl, it’s very wet, so lightly flour your hands, and pull it into the shape of your loaf. Dust the top with flour and slash it with a sharp knife (flour keeps your blade from sticking) and let it rise for about 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with cast iron Dutch oven inside.
- Carefully place loaf into Dutch oven with the lid and bake for 25 minutes with lid on, remove lid and bake for another 10 minutes until golden on top. (No cast iron Dutch oven, see notes for alternate baking instructions)
- No cast iron Dutch Oven, no problem: Place a metal broiling pan in the oven on the lowest rack and preheat to 450 degrees. Place loaf on a cookie sheet, cast iron skillet, or baking stone and place in oven. Quickly pour a cup of HOT water into the broiler pan and shut your oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Flour. Use unsifted all-purpose or bread flour. Spoon flour into measuring cup and level. You can use whole wheat or fresh ground, but reduce flour to 5 1/2 cups and increase only if the dough is too wet and won’t hold any type of shape. I’ve successfully done half whole wheat and half all-purpose at the full 6 and 1/2 cups.