guys. this bread is a revelation. do you know how much work goes into it? practically nothing. this will become bread in less time than it would take you to convince yourself to go to the store (if you're me) and it comes together in less time than it takes coffee to brew (if you're my coffeemaker).
sullivan street bakery is an award-winning institution in hell's kitchen and their owner/baker, jim, lahey, is renowned in the world of bread and dough-making. he's perfected a technique of 'no-knead' bread, letting time instead do all of the work for you. the premise is simple - throw all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and ignore for 12-18 hours. then dump it into a hot oven and let it do the rest! 45 minutes later and you have a perfectly baked, easy, cheap, and delicious load of artisan-style bread. you know the one, the type with the big holes in the crumb and the crackling, hard crust.
i'd like to say i do something fancy with it but really i eat it late at night standing up at the sink, smeared with peanut butter or jam.
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 cups tepid water
combine flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. add water and combine until a shaggy dough is formed. make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated! cover with a towel and leave in a moderately warm space for 18-20 hours (err on the longer side if your kitchen is chilly).
flour a work surface. gently fold the dough into a ball and let rest, covered with a towel, about two hours. meanwhile, preheat a dutch oven or covered pot in your oven at 450. once the oven is at temp, drop the dough into the pot and cover. bake 20 minutes. then, remove the cover and bake an additional 20. remove and let rest on a rack or cool surface.