In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and yeast until well combined; add the warm water, stirring until a rough dough forms; the dough will be super wet and very sticky to the touch.
Cover the bowl of dough tightly with plastic wrap, setting it aside in a warm place, 8-12 hours (I prefer to do this overnight) until the dough rises, and then flattens out a bit on top; punch the dough down.
Generously flour a sheet of parchment paper; transfer the dough from the mixing bowl to the prepared parchment paper. With floured hands, form the dough into a rounded loaf, then sprinkle the top of the loaf lightly with flour. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough, letting it rest for 25-30 minutes on the parchment.
Meanwhile, as the dough is resting, prepare a 6-quart Dutch oven for baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place Dutch oven, along with the lid, into oven, letting it fully preheat for 30 minutes before baking bread.
Remove the Dutch oven from the hot oven. Uncover the dough; using the edges of the parchment paper, carefully transfer the dough into the hot Dutch oven, keeping the parchment paper beneath it. Cover the Dutch oven with the hot lid, returning it to the oven to now bake the bread.
Bake the bread 45 minutes, covered, then another 15-20 minutes, uncovered, until the bread is baked throughout and golden brown on top. Remove the bread from the oven and gently slather a bit of butter over the top of the loaf; cool the bread before slicing.....if you can wait that long. Serve the slices of bread slathered with softened butter.
Test the water that's running from the faucet with your elbow. When the water from the tap is nicely warm as it runs over your elbow, it's the perfect temperature for adding to your yeast.
This is a great recipe for newbies who may be a little hesitant when working with yeast. Instead of adding the warm water directly to the yeast, it is added to a mixture of flour, salt, and yeast together, which helps to protect the yeast.
Because the oven temperature for this recipe is very hot (450 degrees F), I don’t recommend the use of a glass casserole dish, just in case it might possibly break due to such high heat. Any type oven-proof pot or Dutch oven (it doesn’t have to be cast iron) will work fine, as long as you have a lid for it.