My apologies, because I’ve had this recipe for so long – I think my father sent it to me originally – and I don’t know who wrote it. It’s great, though, and very adaptable; right before the second rise you can knead in anything you want: fresh herbs, roasted garlic, olives, etc. You can also use it for pizza dough, too.
- 6 1/2 cups flour (I usually use a mixture of bread flour and whole wheat flour, plus occasionally a little dark rye flour; if I’m going to make pizza crust with it I use all-purpose and whole wheat)
- 3 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 TBS yeast
- 1 1/2 TBS sea salt
In a large bowl combine yeast, salt and flour.
Add the warm water, stir well, then
put it into a large container which has a lid and let rise, partially covered, at room temperature, up to 5 hours or until
the top is flat. Cover but do not make completely air tight, and refrigerate, at least a couple hours and up to 2 weeks. The longer it’s in the fridge the more sourdough-y it gets.
When you want bread, take 1/4 – 1/2 of the dough and form it into a ball by grabbing from the top and pulling underneath (so the top looks smooth and the bottom is bunched up),
then place on a cornmeal covered pizza paddle (or back of a cookie sheet). Let sit at room temp for @ 45 minutes; you may not see it rise very much. Meanwhile, preheat a pizza stone in a 450 degree oven for at least 30 minutes.
Using a sharp knife, score the top. Slide dough onto hot stone and bake for 30 – 40 minutes (depending on the size of your loaf), or
until the bread is dark brown and sounds hollow when tapped. To try to recreate the injection steam of a professional oven, place a small pan in the oven while preheating and carefully pour some water or ice cubes into it right before you put the dough in. Let cool completely before slicing.
This dough can also be used for pizza crust, using 1/4 – 1/3 of the dough to make a roughly 12” thin crust pizza.