For times when you want fresh bread but you're feeling lazy. When you want to feel productive and accomplished but have a limited amount of bandwidth. This bread is for you. It's a no-sour-dough, no-knead bread that takes less than 5 whole minutes of your attention. Seriously, it really can't get any easier for a result this wonderful. Mix a few ingredients in bowl, leave it alone for 12-24 hours, fold the dough over a few times, tuck into a towel, leave it alone for another 2 hours, then bake for 45 minutes. With a perfectly crisp crust and a soft, pillowy interior, this bread is everything you'd want in a fresh loaf and more!
However, this bread does take a bit for forethought, so you need to start prepping this the evening before you want it. Also, you'll need instant yeast and a dutch oven or some other kind of heavy-bottom pot with a lid, that can withstand a very high heat in the oven.
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1-1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups water
cornmeal, wheat bran, or extra flour
Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the water to blend. What you have is a wet, shaggy, sticky dough, but not so wet as to be a batter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rest in a warm place for at least 12 hours, up to 24. I'ts ready for the next step when the surface is dotted with bubbles.
Flour a work surface and dump the bread out onto it. Sprinkle over a little more flour and fold the dough once or twice. Cover with a tea towel and let rest 15 minutes.
Using only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers, shape the dough into a ball. Coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal and lay the dough on it, seam side down, and dust with more flour, bran, or cornmeal. (you need quite a lot of flour because you want to be sure the dough doesn't stick to the towel). Cover and let rise about 2 hours. When ready, the dough will be more than double in size.
Half an hour before the dough it ready, heat the oven to 450'F. Put an 8-quart/2-litre cast iron pot or dutch oven inside to heat. When the dough is ready, remove the pot from the oven, turn the dough into it, seam-side UP. (it will look messy, but it's OK). Shake the pan to settle the bread evenly. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15-30 minutes, until the loaf is nicely browned. Cool on a rack.