This recipe is very straightforward and reliable. It doesn’t require kneading or special tools. It’s also remarkably difficult to mess up – even if you don’t do all the steps correctly, the bread still turns out well. We discovered that it goes well with ribs, because you can use it to soak up any extra sauce.
Baking note: The bread takes 2 days to make: 1 hour the first day, and another 3 hours 40 minutes the second day.
Adapted from Peter Reinhardt
Yield: 1 loaf
- 284g (2 1/4 cups) bread OR all-purpose flour
- 227g (1 cup) warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Day 1: Takes about 1 hr
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well (stir with wooden spoon).
- Repeat 4-5 times:
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm place.
- Wait 10 min.
- Lightly oil a work surface and wet your hands so they don’t stick to the dough as much.
- Remove dough from bowl and fold in thirds like a letter.
- Rotate 90º and fold in thirds like a letter again. The dough will be extremely wet and gloopy at first.
- Return to bowl with folds facing down.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for ~23 hours.
Day 2: Start at the same time as day 1, takes about 3 hrs 40 min
- Take dough out of fridge and set it in a warm place.
- Wait 1 hour.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally flour it.
- Transfer dough gently to paper. Try not to degas it, but it’s okay if it happens.
- Dust top of dough and hands with flour, and gently coax dough into rectangle shape.
- Fold like a letter, gently.
- Place seam down on parchment.
- Wait 2 hours. Halfway through, preheat oven to 500ºF. (You won’t bake the bread at this temperature, but it will help offset the temperature drop when you open the oven to put the dough in.)
- Reduce heat to 425ºF. Quickly put baking sheet into oven. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Rotate baking sheet.
- Bake 15-20 more until bread is golden brown all over and sounds hollow when tapped.