3 and 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for counter
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup cornmeal
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast and sea salt (you can also use a food processor, just follow the same steps). Turn on the hook for about 5 seconds. Slowly add 1 and 1/4 cups of warm water (110 degrees) while the dough hook is running. The dough should come together, forming a somewhat sticky smooth ball in a couple of minutes (your sides and bottom of the bowl should be clean at this point). Add a little more flour if the dough is wet or a little more water if it is too dry.
Turn the dough out on the counter, shape into a ball, spray your mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in bulk.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball, making sure you don’t press out all the air bubbles that have developed. Place on a plate or baking sheet and cover with a towel for another 15 minutes. Preheat the oven with a baking stone in it to 475 degrees (or a baking sheet if you don’t have a baking stone).
On a lightly floured surface, take one of the balls of dough and start to roll it and stretch it to about 12-14 inches. Repeat with the remaining ball of dough. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Slash each cylinder diagonally at 3-inch intervals with a sharp knife or razor blade. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Place on a baking peel sprinkled with the cornmeal and dust the bread with flour; slide onto the baking stone. Lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crisp, misting with water from a spray bottle 3 times during the first 10 minutes (I just used my hands to spritz water from a cup – but I’ll probably get a spray bottle for next time). Cool the bread on a wire rack and serve at room temperature. Or freeze up to 2 weeks – reheat for 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
(Source: Adapted from Rustico Cooking)