Artisan breads can cost you quite a bit at the grocery store or bakery. Make your own with only four ingredients and no kneading required! This is a perfect and simple artisan bread.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- Cornmeal as needed
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until blended; the dough will be shaggy and very sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at warm room temperature (about 70°F) until the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and fold the dough over onto itself once or twice.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
- Generously coat a cotton towel, preferably a flour sack towel (not terry cloth), with cornmeal. Put the dough, seam side down, on the towel, and dust with more flour or cornmeal.
- Cover with another cotton towel and let rise until the dough more than doubles in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.
- At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, put a 2 3/4-quart cast-iron pot in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over, seam side up, into the pot; it may look like a mess, but that is OK.
- Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
- Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the loaf is browned, 15 to 30 minutes more.
- Transfer the pot to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Using oven mitts, turn the pot on its side and gently turn out the bread; it will release easily.