From Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NY Times 11-08-2006
INGREDIENTS3 c. all purpose flour
¼ t. instant yeast
1 ¼ t. salt
1 5/8 c. water
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water and stir till blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature, about 70 degrees.
Lightly flour work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle with more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton (not terry cloth) towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and let rise for 2 hrs.
When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least 30 minutes before dough is ready, get a 6-8 qt. cast iron, Pyrex or ceramic pot and put it in the oven. Heat to 450°.
Open oven door and take lid off the pot.
Slide hand under towel (or use pizza peel) and turn dough over into the pot, seam side up.
It will look like a mess, but that is o.k.
Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
Cover with lid and bake 30 min.
Remove lid and bake another 15-30 min. until desired browness.
Cool on a rack.
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