- 1½ cups lukewarm water (heated to around 100°F)
- 1 packet instant or active dry yeast
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Make the Dough
Mix: In a very large mixing bowl, combine the water and yeast. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon or mix with your fingers. Takes only a minute, if that. No need to knead, just mix. You just want everything combined with no streaks of flour left and you’re done.
Rise: Cover container with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area for 2-4 hours.
Separate: Once done, if making the master recipe, pull away 1/4 of the dough and refrigerate the rest to bake later. If making the halved recipe, pull away half of the dough. Store the unused dough covered tightly with plastic wrap or in a bowl covered tightly covered and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The longer it stores will enhance the flavor.
Shape: Lightly dust your hands and flat surface with flour or cornmeal, so it won’t stick. Take your dough and place it on the floured flat surface. Gently pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. Also, don’t worry if the bottom is a little bunched, it will flatten out upon the second rising.
Rest: Place your dough ball onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper (if not using parchment paper, place on a flat surface dusted with cornmeal or flour), and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. No need to cover it. If the dough has been refrigerated, it helps to let it rest a little more until it’s no longer chilled.
Bake the Dough
Prep oven and dough: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Dust a little flour on top of your loaf, and using a knife slash the top, about ¼ inch deep, in a cross, tic-tac-toe, or scallop pattern.
Bake: Place prepped dough in center of baking vessel and place in the oven, center rack, for 35–45 minutes, until you get a nice brown crust. Carefully remove from oven, let cool a few minutes and enjoy!