Best Bread Ever

© Katherine Stetson

This one-bowl dough creates a very chewy and porous crumb.  Its shapes, variations and uses are only limited by one’s imagination.

Overnight Starter:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup spring water

In a two-quart glass or ceramic bowl, mix ingredients well.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free 70-80 degree location for 8-16 hours.

Basic Dough:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cups spring water

Mix ingredients, except for salt, into the overnight starter and stir well.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.  Stir in the salt, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  The dough will be very sticky and wet.  Lightly oil a spatula and gently fold the dough inward three or four times while rotating the bowl.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  Repeat the folding step twice more at 30-minute intervals.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Place a baking stone on the center rack and a baking dish or broiler pan on the lowest rack.

Prepare a baking peel or upside-down baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Put one cup of water close to the oven.

Liberally dust the counter with flour and tip the dough out.  Gently dust and shape the dough and tuck under the ends.  Lift it carefully onto the parchment paper and slide the parchment paper onto the baking stone.  Pour the water into the baking dish or broiler pan and reduce the temperature to 450 degrees.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the parchment paper halfway through.  Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.