In a 5 or 6 quart bowl or lidded food storage container, dump in the water and add teh yeast and salt. Because wea re mixing in the flour so quickly it doesnt matter that the salt and yeast are thrown in together.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir with a long handled wooden spoon. Stir it until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough. It will be a wet dough.
Put the lid on the container, but do not snap it shut. You want the gases from the yeast to escape. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours to rise. When you first mix the dough it will not occupy much of the container. But after the initial 2 hour rise it will pretty much fill it. DO NOT PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH!! Just let it settle by itself.
The dough will be flat on the top and some of the bubbles may even appear to be popping. (If you intend to refrigerate the dough after this stage it can be placed in the refrigerator even if the dough is not perfectly flat. The yeast will continue to work even in the refrigerator.) The dough can be used right after the initial 2 hour rise, but it is much easier to handle when it is chilled. It is intended for refrigeration and use over the next two weeks, ready for you anytime. The flavor will deepen over that time, developing sourdough characteristics.
The next day when you pull the dough out of the refrigerator you will notice that it has collapsed and this is totally normal for our dough. It will never rise up again in the container. Dust the surface of the dough with a little flour, just enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands when you reach in to pull a piece out.
You should notice that the dough has a lot of stretch once it has rested. (If your dough breaks off instead of stretching like this your dough is probably too dry and you can just add a few tablespoons of water and let it sit again until the dough absorbs the additional water.)
Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough using kitchen shears* and form it into a ball. For instructions on how to form the ball watch one of our videos. Place the ball on a sheet of parchment paper… (or rest it on a generous layer of corn meal on top of a pizza peel.)
Let the dough rest for at least 40 minutes, (although letting it go 60 or even 90 minutes will give you a more open hole structure in the interior of the loaf. This may also improve the look of your loaf and prevent it from splitting on the bottom.) You will notice that the loaf does not rise much during this rest, in fact it may just spread sideways, this is normal for our dough.
You can also try our “refrigerator rise trick,” shaping the loaves and then immediately refrigerating them overnight. By morning, they’ll have risen and are ready for the oven after a brief room-temp rest while the oven preheats (click for instructions).
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a Baking Stone* on the center rack, with a metal broiler tray on the bottom (never use a glass vessel for this or it will shatter), which will be used to produce steam. (The tray needs to be at least 4 or 5 inches away from your stone to prevent it from cracking.) Cut the loaf with 1/4-inch slashes using a serrated knife. (If your slashes are too shallow you will end up with an oddly shaped loaf and also prevent it from splitting on the bottom.)
Slide the loaf into the oven onto a preheated stone (the one I’m using is the cast iron) and add a cup of hot water to the broiler tray. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until a deep brown color. As the bread bakes you should notice a nice oven spring in the dough. This is where the dough rises. To insure that you get the best results it is crucial to have an Oven Thermometer to make sure your oven is accurate. If you used parchment paper you will want to remove it after about 20-25 minutes to crisp up the bottom crust. Continue baking the loaf directly on the stone for the last 5-10 minutes.
Allow the loaf to cool on a rack until it is room temperature. If you cut into a loaf before it is cooled you will have a tough crust and a gummy interior.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (1532g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 77 (3%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 8.6g||11 %|
|Saturated Fat 1.3g||7 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 3.3g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 44.5mg||2 %|
|Potassium 1151.3mg||30 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 621.7g||183 %|
|Dietary Fiber 24.7g||99 %|
|Sugars, other 596.9g|
|Protein 88.8g||127 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 2981
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