3 cups lukewarm water 1 ½ tablespoons yeast 1 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt
1 cup whole wheat flour 5 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Whole wheat flour for the pizza peel
1. Mixing and storing dough: Mix the yeast and salt with the water in a lidded (not airtight) food container (I use a 2 gallon rubbermaid, and it's only slightly too big). (You can easily half this recipe and keep it in a loosely covered mixing bowl.)
2. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a wooden spoon or wet hands.
3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold (at least 3 hours refrigeration). Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.
5. On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour (I never do this) and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour (I don't do this either) and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest and rise on a whole wheat flour-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.
6. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray (I use an old cookie sheet.) on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
7. Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour (I don't do this) and slash a cross, scallop, or tic tac toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife. Leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before eating.
8. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of steaming hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.
9. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.