I found this recipe via pinterest awhile ago and finally tried it. I researched around the www and adapted this recipe's rise time after reading this recipe. It was incredibly yummy and had that wonderful crackle-like-real-french-bread-when-you-push-on-the-crust noise after coming out of the oven. It takes awhile to make because of the rise time, but it's worth it. This bread is now going to be a staple for my meal plans for the coming winter months. We had it with potato soup the other day and it was perfect. It takes awhile to make (14-20 hours!) because the rising time is so long, so be sure to plan in advance!adapted from Simply So Good and The New York Times
3 cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. yeast
1-1/2 cups water
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix with a spoon just until a dough begins to form - the dough will be messy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours (the closer to 18 hours, the better - make the dough the night before you want to eat it).
Once dough has risen, punch down. Generously dust a (clean) kitchen towel with flour and shape dough into a ball (boule!) on the floured towel. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 1-2 hours.
When dough only has about a half hour left to rise, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a 6 or 8 quart dutch oven with a lid (I used my Le Creuset) in the oven as it heats (be sure to use a pot that will do ok in the high heat). When dough is finished rising, remove pot from oven and carefully transfer the dough to the pot - gently pick up the towel and turn the dough over carefully into the pot.
Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for 15-20 more minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't get too brown on top! Remove from pan and cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!
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