This recipe orginally appeared in the NY Times in November 2006 and was an immediate hit with lots of folks reporting great success.
The original article may still be available at:
but the supplementary articles - the detailed recipe and some follow-up ideas seem to have disappeared. I cloned copies to .pdf files and here they are:
First of all, read the article but be aware that it does not contain a detailed recipe, but it does have a good explanation and some nice pictures: Original article from the NY TImes.
This is the recipe itself: Recipe.
A few weeks later the NY Times published a followup article that summarized how people got on with the recipe and suggested some variations: Fine tuning.
We have made several loaves now and have had most success with white flour. We have tried wholewheat flour with added gluten but the results are rather heavy - tasty but dense.
In general, we use a little more salt (2 tsps), a little less water (1.5 cups) and reduce the closed pot time to 20 minutes and extend the open pot time by 10 minutes. I (Don) like the bread a little less moist than the recipe produces which is why we have made these changes. But, the bread seems to be very forgiving and we have not made anything that we did not enjoy eating.
The other thing that we do is to use a well-floured flexible mat (silicon or plastic) to drop the dough onto after its initial rise. This stage can be messy but you can use the mat to fold the dough over onto itself as described in the articles. Then we simply dump the resulting dough ball into a floured (cornmeal or any coarse grain will do) plastic bowl and leave it there for 2-2.5 hours. We miss out the stage involving tea cloths and a 15 minute rise time. This works for us and cuts down on the sticky stage.
Oh, one last thing - each loaf must be eaten in one sitting, preferably while still warm.