Important! This recipe must be made in advance, at least 1 day before baking, best if made 4 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Start the machine and in a steady stream pour in 1 ¾ cup of water, mix until it forms a shaggy ball, let rest 5 minutes so the flour has a chance to absorb the liquid, this prevents adding too much liquid to the dough and having to adjust with more flour.
Turn the mixer back on to low speed and add the reaming water if needed, you are looking for a moist dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl with no dryness. Knead the dough for 8 minutes. The dough should end up being tacky, sticks to your fingers but pulls away clean.
Grease a large Tupperware or bowl, large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. After the bread has finished kneading place it in the prepared bowl and spray the top to reduce the surface drying. Cover and immediately refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. I recommend at least 2 for more flavor, 4 for best flavor.
On the day you want to bake, let the dough rest on the counter for 2 hours to come to room temperature. To shape the dough divide it in half, this is where I like to use a square container to let the dough rise in so that the shape is almost there to start with. Working lengthwise pull half of the dough to the center line pressing with your fingertips to seal it, bring the other half of the dough to the same centerline. Pinch the two sides together pulling the skin of the loaf tight, flip it over and make any final adjustments to the shape.
Place both shaped loaves onto a greased tray, spray the top of the loaves with spray oil to prevent the skin from drying out, top with a towel and let rest for at least one hour, maybe longer if your kitchen is cold. You know your bread has risen enough when you lightly touch the bread and the dent remains.
Preheat your oven to 550F or as high as your oven will go, place a rimmed baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven and allow to heat up with the oven.
When the oven is hot and the bread risen slash the loaf, place in the oven and add a cup of water or ice cubes on the lower tray. Quickly close the door and turn down the oven to 450F. Bake for 30 minutes until you have an even golden brown crust.