1/4 teaspoon instant yeast, or active dry yeast, SEE NOTE 1
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Bake, spraying the loaves with water twice more during the first 5 minutes of baking time, until the
until the crust is a deep golden brown, about 22-27 minutes.
The internal temperature of the bread should be 205-210F.
Transfer to an oven rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Make the sponge
In a medium-sized bowl combine 1 and 1/2 cups
(200g) of the flour, 1 cup (240g) of the water,
and yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until the
mixture is well mixed and free of lumps.
Cover the bowl will plastic wrap and
refrigerate overnight, at least 12 hours but up
to 24 hours. This will add a lot of structure
and flavor to the finished bread.
Make the bread
Remove the sponge from the refrigerator and add
the remaining 1 cup (240g) water. Gently run a
rubber spatula around the outer edge to release
the sponge from the bowl. The water you just
added will make this easier.
Transfer the sponge mixture to the bowl of a
stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the remaining 2 and 3/4 cups (353g) flour
and the salt.
Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Turn the speed
up one notch and beat for another minute. Then
turn the speed up one more notch and beat until
the dough starts to release from the sides of
the bowl, about 4 minutes. You may need to
scrape down the sides of the bowl in order to
get the dough to mix together properly.
Drizzle the olive oil in a large bowl and rub
it around to evenly coat the inside of the
bowl. With wet hands, transfer the dough to the
bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for
Using a well-greased scraper, gently fold the
dough over onto itself. Cover with plastic wrap
and let rise for another 45 minutes. Repeat
this step once more and let the dough rise for
a final 45 minutes. (The dough isn't going to
rise much during this stage. Don'tpanic, this
is normal for this recipe.)
Liberally flour your work surface with flour
and let the dough slide out of the bowl onto
the counter. Be very gently here so you don't
knock all the air out of the dough and try to
handle the dough as little as possible.
Liberally dust the top of the dough with flour.
Using 2 well-floured bench scrapers, carefully
manipulate the dough from the sides to form a
square. Take care not to put pressure on top of
Cut the dough in half, down the middle of the
square. Gently shape each half into 2 loaves by
using the bench scrapers to manipulate the
Lay a lint-free baking towel over a large
baking sheet and liberally dust it with flour.
Using both bench scrapers, slide them under
both ends of the dough and transfer the dough
to the prepared cloth. Fold the cloth up in the
middle to separate and support the loaf. Repeat
with the remaining loaf.
Cover the dough with another lint-free cloth
and let it rest for 20 minutes. (The dough will
rise slightly and should resemble a puffy
marshmallow. It will be loose and full of gas.
Once you place the dough into the hot oven, it
will quickly puff up.)
Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the lowest
position. Place a large inverted baking sheet
on the rack and preheat the oven to 450F.
Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 12x6-
inches. Place the parchment paper on a pizza
peel or inverted rimmed baking sheet.
Using the cloth, gently roll the first dough
loaf over to loosen it. Carefully slide your
fingers under each end of the dough and
transfer it to the prepared parchment paper.
Repeat with the second loaf.
Dust off any excess flour and spray the loaves
lightly with water
Carefully slide the parchment with loaves on
the heated baking sheet in the oven using a
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