Baking the Perfect Loaf of Bread at Home
- 3 cups (430g) flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups (345g or 12oz) water
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) yeast
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon (8g) salt
- olive for coating
- extra flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal (for dusting)
- Two mixing bowls
- 6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, LeCreuset cast iron, or ceramic
- Wooden spoon
- plastic wrap
- two or three dish towels (not terry cloth)
When I’m in New York City one of my must stops is at the Sullivan Street Bakery in Soho. Jim Lahey is the owner and master baker. This man knows his stuff. This forumla and process was created by Jim. If you follow this recipe exactly and I mean exactly you will start yourself on the road to bread baking heaven.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl,
- Add the water and incorporate by hand or witha wooden spoon for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 12 hours at room temperature.(approx.65-72 degrees F)
- Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice.
- Let the dough rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface.
- Next shape the dough into a ball.
- Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran,or corn meal.
- Place the dough seamside down on the towel and dust with flour.
- Cover thedough with a cotton towell and let rise 1 to 2 hours at room temperature,until more than doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees.
- Place the pot in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to baking to preheat.
- Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough in the pot seam side up.
- Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes uncovered until the loaf is nicely browned..