In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast. Stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough. Do not over-work the dough. The less you "work" it, the more soft, fluffy air pockets will form. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours*. Dough will bubble up and rise.
After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450º degrees F. Place your Dutch oven, uncovered, into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
While your Dutch oven preheats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest. After the 30 minutes are up, carefully remove Dutch oven. With floured hands, place the bread dough into it. You can put a piece of parchment under the dough if your Dutch oven isn’t enamel coated. Score the top with an X.
Replace cover and bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove cover and bake for 7-15 minutes more, watching closely for desired color. Carefully remove bread to a cutting board or cooling rack.
*You can let this dough rise anywhere between 8-24 hours. Just make sure it has risen and appears to “bubble” to the surface.
There’s no need to grease the Dutch oven/baking dish/pot. If you are concerned though, put a piece of parchment paper under your dough before placing into your pot. Use a 5.5-quart enameled cast iron pot with lid, any large oven-safe dish and cover. These will also work: a deep baking dish covered with aluminum foil, crockpot insert (watch for plastic handles on lid), stainless steel pot with a lid, pizza stone with an oven-safe bowl to cover the bread, and old cast iron Dutch oven.
Not recommended to use whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour in this recipe. The resulting bread will be very dense, and not as fluffy and delicious.
Add any mix-ins you like - herbs, spices, dried fruit, chopped nuts and cheese all work well. Add them into the initial flour-yeast mixture to avoid over-working the mix-ins into the dough. The less you "work" it, the more you're encouraging soft, fluffy air pockets to form.