So here we go. Tonight, mix up the "pre-ferment." This is your starter dough. This is incredibly easy to stir together, it sits overnight, and will add a ton of flavor to your final bread.
In a bowl add the following ingredients:
13.4 oz (1 3/4 cups) Warm Water
1/8 tsp Instant Dry Yeast (OR 3/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast)
1 lb (3 5/8 cups) Unbleached Bread Flour
.4 oz (heaping 1/2 Tablespoon) Kosher Salt
Combine with a spatula or wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. The dough will be stiff, dense, and a bit scraggly, but you shouldn't have any dry flour. Add a few drops of water at a time if necessary to moisten it, or, if it is very wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and seal with a rubber band. Let sit 12-16 hours. The pre-ferment will be domed and beginning to recede a bit in the center when it is ready to use (though we'll see a picture of that tomorrow!).