¾ C water
1¾ C unbleached AP flour
¼ tsp active dry yeast
Mix together, cover and allow to sit at room temp 6 to 8 hours or up to overnight. Refrigerate if you need to leave it longer.
RUSTIC ITALIAN BREAD
1½ C room temp water
4 C unbleached bread flour
Sponge from day before
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp organic sugar
Combine the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix for 1 minute then, allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. Repeat this three times or until the dough has formed a smooth ball and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. It should still be a bit sticky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rest in a warm spot for 2 to 3 hours. It will rise but may not quite double.
Flour your hands and a work surface. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and divide in half. Shape each ball by tucking the edges underneath as the top is pulled into a taut surface.
Place the loaves onto a parchment lined sheet with 3 or 4 inches in between. Cover them loosely and allow to rest again at room temp for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and position a rack in the center. Place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with flour and make a few slashes with a very sharp knife. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are dark brown. They are done when you hear a hallow sound when you thump the top and bottom of the bread.
Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Store them right on the counter or in paper bags. Only use plastic if you need to freeze them.
Get ready for some crazy good bread.