In a 5-quart lidded, but not airtight food container, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten.
Add the liquid ingredients and mix without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment) or a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle. You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you are not using a machine.
Cover, and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), ~ 2 hours
The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate and use it over the next 7 days.
On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 lb (grapefruit size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball ¼ turn as you go
Elongate the ball into a narrow oval. Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper for 90 minutes. (40 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough. Alternatively, you can rest the loaf on a silicone mat or greased cookie sheet without using a pizza peel.
Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450° F, with a baking stone placed in the middle oven rack. Place an empty metal broiler tray on any other rack that won’t interfere with the rising of the bread.
just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top with water. Slash the loaf 1/4” deep parallel cuts – using a serrated bread knife.
Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes until richly browned and firm. If you used parchment paper or a cookie sheet, carefully remove it and bake the loaf directly on the stone or an oven rack ⅔ of the way through the baking time. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.
Allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.**Makes enough dough for at least four 1-lb loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved. I also use this dough to make focaccia and pizza crusts.