Makes 1 Large Loaf
For the Yeast Sponge Starter: Add all of the ingredients and mix together in a bowl. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours in a warm, draft-free place. The longer it rests, the more flavorful the resulting loaf will be.
For the Main Dough: Into the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast sponge starter and all of the dough ingredients and mix together on low for about a minute, until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Then turn mixer on medium and knead for 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand for about 10-12 minutes.
Once the dough has been sufficiently kneaded, place into a bowl and cover. Let rise for 1-2 hours until it has doubled.
Deflate the dough once risen and shape into a round boule or a batard loaf and place either into a lined banneton or onto a parchment-lined sheet dusted with semolina flour. Let rise for 45-90 minutes.
It is now ready to bake.
You should light your oven as the bread has approximately 45 minutes left to rise. Once lit continue to feed the fire. You want a robust fire that will break down the wood into coals. Keep feeding fire until you attain approximately 700F. Leaving the door off monitor temperature until temperature decrease to about 600-650F. Scrape coals as far as possible into the back of the oven (see photo). Place dough on your peel and launch into your oven with the goal of place the dough in the center of the stone but as far back from the coals as possible. Cover oven opening with full size oven door. Bake approximately 30-40 minutes rotating approximately every 6 to 10 minutes.