1) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl using a fork.
2) Once combined, squish the mixture together with your hands until the flour is fully absorbed. The dough will feel dry, rough and shaggy.
3) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, reusable wax wrap, or a very damp kitchen towel and let rest for about 30 minutes.
4) After the dough has rested, work it into a ball directly in the bowl (it doesn’t have look perfect). Let rise at room temperature for 8 hours. The dough is ready when it has doubled in size and no longer looks dense.
5) Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half to make 2 loaves, or leave it whole for a single loaf. Starting at the top, fold the dough over toward the centre. Give it a slight turn, and then fold over the next section of dough. Repeat until you have come full circle.
6) After shaping the dough, it needs to rise again. Generously coat the bottom of your Dutch oven with cornmeal (or line the bottom with non-stick parchment paper instead) and place the dough inside. This time, the dough will rise for a shorter period about 30 minutes- 1 hour.
7) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
8) After the second rise, and right before the dough goes into the oven, make a slash about 2-3 inches long down the centre of the dough. This allows the steam to escape and for the dough to expand during baking.
9) Place the lid on top of the pot and bake in the centre rack for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes is up, remove the lid and reduce the temperature to 120 degrees celsius. Your bread will be pale and shiny. Continue to bake the bread without the lid for an additional 40 minutes or until deep, golden brown.
10) Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.