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For 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven
Cook Time: 2 Hours | Serving: 1 Loaf (3-4 people)
1. Whisk together the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the water and vinegar in a measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the water mixture into the well. Use a spatula or your hands to stir the flour and liquid until no dry flour remains and a dry shaggy dough is formed.
3. Cover bowl tightly with a pot lid or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
4. Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface. Use floured hands to gently lift the edges of the dough into the center.
5. Turn the dough over and shape it into a tight ball – the tighter the better – by rolling it on the work surface between your palms.
6. Rub the bottom and sides of a 5.5 Qt. Dutch Oven with a little bit of oil. Put the dough in the center of the pot and place the lid on.
7. Allow the dough to rise again, about 1-2 hours (less if it’s very hot and humid, more if it’s cold) until the dough is about double in size and mostly fills the pot.
8. During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat oven to 450°F.
9. When ready to bake, score the bread with a sharp knife, razor, or baker's lame, making an X or a hash mark. This will allow the dough to expand freely.
10. Cover the pot and place it in the oven.
11. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through.
13. Allow the bread to rest on a rack for at least 30 minutes so that the interior finishes cooking.
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