2 lbs 3 oz (7 cups) strong white bread flour
¼ oz fresh yeast [1/2 package of dry yeast]
1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
2 cups warm water
¾ cup water at room temperature
Put the flour on a working table and make a well in the center. Crumble the yeast around then edge of the well and add the salt. Pour the warm water into the well. Gently add the flour to the well, amalgamating the flour and water as you go. Knead for about 5 minutes to very firm dough.
Now sprinkle some of the room temperature water on top of the dough and knead until amalgamated. Keep on doing this process of sprinkling water and kneading until the water is used up. The dough will seem very strange and the texture will be very sloppy when you add the second amount of water. But do not worry – just keep kneading until all the water is absorbed before sprinkling on the next lot of water. Lightly dust the work surface with flour, give the dough one final knead and then place it in a large mixing bowl. Cover the surface of the dough with a lightly oiled piece of film and place a cloth on top to cover. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead again briefly. Shape the dough into a large round, flat loaf, and place it on a baking tray and leave, covered with a cloth, to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 0F for 35 minutes. Turn the loaf over after 15 minutes baking. Leave the loaf to cool on a rack.
Makes one big loaf.
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