Four ingredients + time.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • A pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  1. Add the yeast and sugar to the water and allow to bloom for a few minutes.
  2. In a 2 quart bowl or larger, add the flour, salt, and yeast/water solution.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated (no flour piles on the bottom of the bowl). The dough should be sticky and resist non-magical attacks. If it’s runny, add more flour. If there are dry spots on the dough, add more water.
  4. Add a bit of oil (e.g. canola) to the sides of the bowl and spread it around. Roll the dough around a bit so both the bowl and the dough are coated.
  5. Put a lid on the bowl and stick it in the fridge for about a week. (A few days in either direction is no big deal, but the flavor gets better with time.)
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  7. Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with parchment paper. Use a spatula to gently detach the dough from the bowl. Being careful not to overhandle it, place the dough on the parchment paper in the desired shape (say, a round loaf or baguette). Let it rest for 30 minutes or more at room temperature.
  8. Slash the top of the dough if you’re feeling that slasher instinct. Garnish it with any desired toppings, like sesame seeds, margarita salt, caramelized onions, or cheese.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes for a round loaf, 30 minutes or so for a baguette. Spray the interior of the oven with water every few minutes for a softer loaf.
  10. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.