Place the water, yeast and salt in a very large mixing bowl. Dump in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is nice and moist. You may need to add a little more water (just a few tablespoons at a time) to get it fully combined. Then you're done mixing!
Cover the bowl loosely and let sit until it has risen and deflated a little (at least 2 hours, preferable 3 hours). Now your dough is ready to be baked or stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To bake the bread: (If the dough is coming from the refrigerator, let it come to room temp before continuing) Lightly dust your hands with flour to prevent your hands from sticking and grab a piece of dough (about the size of a grapefruit). Form it into a boule by pulling the sides of the dough towards the underside of the dough ball and rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. You can also shape the remaining pieces of dough into logs or braids.
Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper or a cornmeal-dusted cutting board. Let the dough rest and rise for about 1 hour.
About 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, put a cast iron skillet or pizza stone on the center rack of the oven and place a roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Dust some flour over the top of your risen loaf and cut a few slashes into the top about 1/4-inch deep. Transfer dough onto the skillet or pizza stone, quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler pan and shut the oven door to keep the steam inside. Bake for 30-40 minutes for a boule shape (20-25 minutes for a log) or until the crust is nice and brown. Cool completely before cutting.
by The Savvy Kitchen