package active dry yeast
1 - ¾
cups warm water (110 degrees F.)
cups hard wheat unbleached flour or all-purpose flour
1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of the water and let proof. 2. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, add the yeast mixture and the rest of the water. Mix thoroughly, adding more water or flour if necessary. Turn out on a floured board and knead for 10-15 minutes until dough is soft, silky and elastic. 3. Return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk (approximately 45 minutes to one hour) Punch down dough, remove from bowl and knead a few times. Let rest for 5 minutes and form a ball. 4. Sprinkle bottom of LaCloche dish with cornmeal and place the ball of dough in the center. Cover with LaCloche lid and let rise in a warm, draft free place until double in bulk (approximately 45 minutes to one hour). 5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Slash top of dough with a razor blade or a sharp knife and place cloche, with lid in place, in oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes or until bread is crusty, golden brown and tests done (loaf should sound hollow when tapped). The La Cloche lid should be removed for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Cool on a wire each and serve while still warm.