1. Put the starter and warm water into a mixing bowl and break up the starter in the water with your hands. Add the flour and salt and bring together into a rough dough, then tip it out onto the work surface and knewad for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth elasticated dough.
2. Lightly oil your mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl, cover with a shower cap or a damp dish towel and leave at room temperature, ideally somewhere warm, for one hour.
3. Give the dough a fold, cover and leave to rest for a further one hour.
4. Give the dough a second fold, cover and leave to rest for another one hour.
5. Give the dough a third and final fold and rest for a final one hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 210C. If baking your loaf in a Dutch oven (casserole dish), place it in the oven to warm up. Alternatively, lightly oil a 900 gms loaf tin.
7. The dough should have had a total of three folds and four hours of resting time. After the final hour of proving, remove the dough from the bowl and shape it according to how you will bake it. Form it into a round if baking in a Dutch oven, or into a standard loaf shape if baking in a tin.
8. To bake in a Dutch oven, carefully remove the dish from the oven and gently place the dough inside, cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for a further 10 minutes.
9. To bake in a tin, place the tin onto the middle shelf of the oven and put a tray filled with 1/4 cup of water onto the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the tin around and bake for a final 10 minutes.
10. Remove the baked loaf from the oven and leave to cool completely before slicing.
Recipe courtesy: Matthew Jones – Founder, Bread Ahead Bakery and School, Expo 2020 Dubai