425g of flour
375ml water *
1g yeast (equivalent of a “1/4 teaspoon”)
This is all converted from the original recipe which was in American Standard and I call bullshit on as there is a 10% variance from one “cup” of flour to the next and I have no idea how you are supposed to be accurate with such non-Metric idiocy. But, you mix all the ingredients together look at it and see if it’s too liquid, in which case dust in a bit more flour until the dough is more firm than sticky. Then, let it sit in a covered bowl for 12-18 hours in a room that’s around 21C.
Once finished sitting, flour up your hands, take it out and fold it once or twice on itself. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, quickly kneed it in to a ball and let it sit in a bowl, covered with a light towel for two hours. The secondary recipe I’ve linked to points out that covering it with a floured towel as the original NY Times article recommends is going to give you a very crappy towel.
Half an hour before the two hour rising is finished, pre-heat your oven, set to 230C and place a heavy metal or ceramic container (like a Dutch oven) with a lid in the oven to heat. Once the half hour has passed, take out this heavy dish, flour the bottom so that the dough won’t stick, and then flip the dough in to it, placing it back in the oven to cook for half an hour with the lid on and then half an hour with the lid off. It will look kinda crappy and uneven once you set it in there, but other than giving it a shake to settle, don’t worry about appearances.
Note that if you use a heavy, cast iron pot, cooking time can be reduced as much as 25%, otherwise once the hour is over, pull it out and let it cool for a half hour or so and voilà, awesome bread. It gives you about a 650g loaf.
* The amount of water can vary a little depending on the level of ambient humidity. You might need an additional 10-25ml if you are in a dry climate and the dough is like a rock.
Clotilde also has additions based on converting the recipe to Metric as well as using French flours, which are decidedly different than those from other countries.