This bread is simple to make, but slow to happen. It needs no kneading, just time.It was first launched onto the world by the New York Times after interviewing Jim Lahey, owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery, and is one of their most popular recipes ever, but it's worth revisiting. The amounts are increased in this version. The dough is very sloppy as it has a large amount of water in it. You mix it together on one day, leave it 24 hours in a coolish place, then roll into a ball and place it in a cast iron pan: a Dutch oven. Let it rise for two hours, then place in a cold oven, and turn the oven to 240 and cook. (More detailed introductions below). It is soft and delicious with a lovely crunchy crust, and makes the best toast ever.
Ingredients: 550 gms strong white bread flour 500 mls of water 1/2 teaspoon of dried yeast 2 teaspoons of salt
Mix the flour, water, yeast and salt into a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave in a coolish place overnight, for at least 12 hours, until the dough is covered in little bubbles.
Take the dough out of the bowl, it will be very soft and wet, and flatten. Fold into three and roll up. Place back in bowl and leave for two hours, covered. It should rise.
Prepare your cast iron pot by lining with baking paper
After two hours take the dough out and roll into as tight a ball as you can.
Place the ball into the pot lined with baking paper and slide four ice cubes under the baking paper (to create steam once the oven heats up). Put the lid on. This is called a Dutch oven and is often used to bake bread.
Place in a cold oven and turn the oven to 240 C
Bake for 20 minutes, then take the lid off (careful it will be hot)
Turn the oven down to 220 C and cook for at least another 20 minutes until it is nicely browned. When you tap the top it should sound hollow
Lift out of the cast iron pot using the baking paper.
Cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes.