- 6 1/2 cups a.p. flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- In a large container, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Do not knead.
- Cover the container loosely, and allow to rest on the counter for about 2 hours. If you go over 2 hours...don't worry. It's not going to ruin anything.
- Place in the fridge for a bit. Over night would be good. Up to 7 days is fine. The dough is easier to handle once it's been chilled.
- Lightly dust the top of the dough and grab a big handful, about 1 pound, and shape it into a nice tight ball by rotating the dough in your hands and 'pulling' the dough down and under. This should only take a few seconds.
- Dust a pizza peel with corn meal or flour, or use a sheet of parchment paper and set the ball of dough on it and let it rise, covered loosely with a piece of plastic wrap. (The rise time is dependent upon the temperature of the surroundings. The book says 1 hour and 40 minutes. But if it's a bit on the cool side in your kitchen, it may take a bit longer. What I try to do is test the dough. I poke it with two fingers. If it springs back instantly...I know it's not done resting. The yeast hasn't completed its job. If the indent stays and bounces back very slowly....it's a good guess that it's ready to bake.)
- After about an hour or so of rising time....preheat the oven to 350' F for about 30 minutes if you're using a baking stone. If you're going to bake the bread on a cookie sheet (with the parchment paper), it only needs to preheat for about 10 minutes.
- Once the dough is done rising, dust the surface with a bit of flour and slice it about 1/4 deep a couple of times. Bake for 45 minutes or until the inside temperature reads about 205' F (that's where the instant read thermometer comes in handy). If you're using parchment paper, remove the paper after about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing.