(Loosely Based on Jin Lahey's original method) Makes 1 large Round loaf. This creates a tasty bread with incredible texture, lovely and soft on the inside with a cracking crisp slightly flaky crust.
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2teaspoon active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water (about 43 - 46 degC )
In a bowl, whisk flour, salt and yeast until well mixed. Pour in warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir until a shaggy, stringy, dough forms. The mixture will be wet and very sticky to the touch.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap, a tea towel or a plate and set aside in a warm (I use the hot water cupboard on a cold day) place 8 to 18 hours until dough rises, bubbles and flattens on top. If after dough has risen and you’re not ready to use, just ensure the dough is covered and place in the fridge for up to 7 days. Heat oven to 220 deg C. Once oven is preheated, place a Staub Cocotte with lid in oven 30 minutes before baking. I use a 24cm, but also works in the 26cm.
Generously flour a strip of baking paper (I use Terinex Siliconized baking paper) Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to turn the dough onto the baking paper in one blob. The dough will cling to the bowl in long, thread-like strands and it will be quite tacky. This is what you want don't add more flour. Instead use lightly floured hands to gently and quickly lift the edges of the dough in toward the centre, effectively folding the dough over onto itself. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round. Don’t knead the dough. Leave on bench in a warm place to rise for 40mins, covered with a dusting of flour or a cotton tea towel that’s been generously dusted with flour
Remove Staub from oven, pick up the ends of the baking paper and drop paper & dough into the Staub, put some slash marks on the top of the bread, these will open up while cooking to create beautiful crusts and edges, cover with lid and return to oven.
Bake bread 45 minutes covered, then another 10 to 15 minutes uncovered until dough is baked through and golden brown on top. Cool for at least 20- 30 mins before slicing (trust me it’s worth the wait)
This recipe can take flavours very well, if you’re wanting to make this a Sundried tomato bread or sweet onion or parmesan feel free to add flavours at any point, for sundried tomato bread I’d fold through chopped sundried tomatoes and some fresh chopped thyme at stage 4 when I’m doing the nudging and tucking, for a Parmesan or sweet onion bread I’d add these at stage 1 when I’m doing the mixing of the flour, salt, yeast before sitting for 8 – 12 hours.
If you’re wanting to make this using whole-wheat:
• 2 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more for the work surface
• 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
• 1/2 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
• 1 1/3 cups cool (55 to 65°F) water
• Wheat bran, cornmeal, or additional flour, for dusting.
Then just use exactly the same method as above, replacing the dusting flour for cornmeal gives this bread another interesting texture. Cook well!