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Peggy Crum adapted this recipe from the *original by Mark Bittman as published in New York Times Cooking
Featured Food: bread Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour - all purpose or bread
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t instant yeast or 5/8 t active dry yeast*
  • 1 5/8 c water at room temperature
  • More flour for sprinkling work surface and dusting the dough
  • Optional: cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting
  • *If you are using active dry yeast, dissolve it in a small amount of lukewarm water.

Preparation

Prepping the dough

Place the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your fingers or a whisk. If using active dry yeast that you mixed with warm water, add it now. Pour in water. Stir until a shaggy, sticky ball of dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Wait patiently.

Getting ready to bake

Sprinkle flour onto the counter or bread board. Scrape the fermented dough out of the bowl onto the floured surface. Sprinkle dough with flour. Fold the dough onto itself 2 or 3 times. Let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours.  

Place Dutch oven or covered casserole dish in the oven. Preheat oven to 450o F. Make sure the covered pot sits in the oven for at least 30 minutes before adding the bread dough.

Bake

Sprinkle the dough with cornmeal, wheat bran, or more flour. Carefully remove the covered pot from the oven; remove the lid and set it aside. Work quickly to place the dough, flour/cornmeal/wheat bran side down, into the hot pot. Cover and return it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove bread from the pot with spatula or tongs and set on cooling rack.

Here's the hard part: Allow your hot, crusty, aromatic loaf to cool before slicing into it.

*Find the original recipe here

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