Combine water and yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add flour and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours at room temperature, covered with a kitchen towel.
Apply a light dusting of flour over the dough and divide it in half and shape into 2 loaves, rounding the top. If you only want to make one loaf of bread at this time, store the unused dough in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks until ready to use.
Place the unbaked loaf(s) on pizza peel that is lightly dusted with cornmeal. Apply light dusting of flour over top and cut three slashes into top of dough, using a searrated knife. Cover dough with kitchen towel and allow to rest for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450° F with baking stone on the center rack. When bread is ready to go in the oven, slide the dough off pizza peel onto hot stone. Place 1 cup hot water into oven broiler (or other oven safe pan), on bottom wrack of oven. Quickly close oven door to created a steam bath within the oven. This will help produce a crisp outer crust.
Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy!
Top Tips for this Crusty Bread Recipe
Read all of the instructions first.
Have all of the ingredients and kitchen tools laid out and ready before starting.
Make sure your yeast is alive. Proof the yeast to be sure.
Use a hot stone or skillet to bake your bread on.
Know your oven and babysit the bread as it bakes.
Rotate if necessary to ensure even baking.
If your oven runs hot, adjust the temperature as necessary.
Have patience while making homemade bread and take notes.
What works well for you in terms of baking time, temperature, the wetness of dough, etc.
If you don't have kosher salt, use one-half the amount of table salt. So, for this homemade bread recipe, about ¾ tablespoon of table salt.