I found this recipe on the NY Times website (from Sullivan St. Bakery in NY) quite a while ago and have made this bread a couple of times. It is fabulous. It is super simple but takes a while to get the end product as it must rise for 12-18 hours before baking. This is a wonderful light bread with a crispy outer crust….wonderful!

NOTE: Some people say that using parchment instead of a towel to allow the 2nd rising is not as messy so I might try that next time. Personally, I haven’t had any problems using a towel – just make sure it’s a tight weave and you flour it really, really well!

UPDATE: I’ve made this at least 5 times now and it is always wonderful…. make sure you let the cooking bowl warm before baking as it really does seem to make for a crispier crust and your bread won’t stick (as much if at all). Also, I’ve made this with 1/2 multi-grain bread flour and 1/2 regular flour and it was great…. and I’ve made it in a regular stoneware loaf pan which also turned out nice.

The original recipe is below:

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.