3 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon regular yeast (not instant)
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
Mix all the ingredients in the morning before you go to work. This should take about 3 minutes and leave you with a thick, slightly goopy dough. Mark Bittman calls it “shaggy.” Cover with a towel or some plastic wrap and leave it in the warmest spot in your kitchen. It should get a 6 to 8-hour rise.
When you come home from work lightly mist a counter or baking sheet with spray oil and turn dough out on it. Shape it roughly into a ball, mist with oil again, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let proof for about an hour, or however long you have. (You can also proof your dough a little faster in the microwave!)
Heat the oven to 450°F. Put a Dutch oven (or one of these alternatives) in the oven to heat. When the dough has doubled in size, put it in the pan. You may have to pour it, pry it off the baking sheet, or just roll it in – the dough is very wet. Don’t worry if it looks messy. Cover the pot with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes to let it brown.
You can be really sure that the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of the loaf reads 210-220°F.