1 3/4 cups
warm (110º to 115ºF) filtered or bottled non-carbonated water
Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 to 4 1/2 cups
King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
fine sea salt
To make the dough by hand in a bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the water in a large bowl, stirring to mix well. Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes, or until tiny clusters of chalky-looking bubbles appear on the surface. Stir the remaining 1¼ cups water and the olive oil into the proofed yeast. Begin adding the flour to the yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing it in well with your hands. Add the salt with the third cup of flour. Add just enough flour so that the dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until you have a soft ball of dough that is slightly tacky but not sticking to your hands, about 5 minutes. Lightly spray a large bowl with olive oil spray, put the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line a baker's peel with parchment paper or lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is smooth and no longer sticky. Form the dough into the shape you desire and place it on the baker's peel or baking sheet. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rise until almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF if using a baking stone, or 400ºF if baking the bread on a baking sheet. If using a stone, put it on the lowest oven rack to preheat.
If using a stone, hold the handle of the baker's peel and with a quick jerking motion, slide the dough, with the parchment paper, onto the baking stone. Using a mister, mist the oven walls with water and immediately close the oven door. Repeat the misting process two or three times more during the first 10 minutes of baking.
If using a baking sheet, put the bread in the oven on the sheet and mist the oven following the instructions above.
Bake the bread on the stone for 35 to 40 minutes, or on the sheet for 40 to 45 minutes, until it is evenly browned on the top and bottom and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the bread to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
I love this recipe! I found the book, “What You Knead” about ten years ago so that I could learn how to make bread. This book and this recipe have been a staple ever since! I especially enjoy how Mary Ann teaches to do the fontana method and this is the only way that I make bread any more.
I found this site after losing my book recently and not quite having the recipe memorized, I searched for and found this site! I love it, great job!