This bread is adapted from Mark Bittman, who popularized Jim Lahey’s 24 hour no-knead bread. When Bittman met with Lahey years later to show off a faster version, Lahey had a few tips — less yeast, hot water, and some acidity — to improve the crust.
Mix dry in a large bowl. Add water then vinegar, mix till shaggy and just combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and rise for 4 hours at ~70F.
Prepare a towel with flour, oats, or wheat bran. (This becomes the top/visual part of the bread)
Turn out dough on floured surface and using dough blade quickly fold four sides up and toward the center. The dough will be very wet, and difficult to work. Fast motions and plenty of flour are key. Flip dough onto the towel, folds facing down. Let rest for at least 30 min, up to an hour.
Preheat oven at 450F with a large pot with tight fitting lid [Dutch oven] during last 20 min of rest.
Flip dough into preheated pot so the folds face upwards, and bake covered 35 min. Uncovered for an additional 15-30 min until crust is dark and the bottom sounds hollow. Remove loaf and let rest on wire rack till cool.
Recipe can be halved for a smaller loaf, more appropriate for 2 people. Use 30min for covered bake.