Start to finish: 11 hours
Makes: 1 loaf
1½ cups filtered water
½ cup sourdough starter
3 cups unbleached bread flour
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
1/8 cup filtered water
If you don't have a starter, use 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast and follow the yeast method. Steps that differ from the original are denoted with numbers.
In a large bowl, mix together water, starter and flour just to combine. Let rest 15–30 minutes.
Add sea salt and additional water and mix again, just to combine. Cover with a towel and let rest for 1 hour. (1)
Transfer dough to a floured surface and lift four corners of the dough one at a time into its center to shape a tight round. Let rest for 15 minutes or directly move into a well-floured basket or colander lined with a cloth napkin. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. (2)
With an hour remaining in the fridge, heat oven to 500 F. Place a cast iron pot with a lid on the center rack and let it come to temperature in the oven for one hour.
Remove sourdough loaf seam-side down from the basket onto a well-floured piece of parchment paper. Score the loaf with a double-edge razor or sharp knife.
Place parchment and loaf into the preheated pot, cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cut warm into slices and serve with butter or let cool and slice for sandwiches.
1: Allow dough to fermet for 12–18 hours.
2: After the fermentation time, shape and let rest on well-floured parchment paper for 20 minutes before following baking instructions.