Combine four cups flour (white, whole-wheat, or any mixture thereof, but see my entry on whole-wheat flour immediately below this one) with a heaping teaspoon of salt, a third of a teaspoon of yeast, a cup and a half of liquid (water, milk, beer, yogurt, a combination), and anything extra you want--cheese, fruit, nuts, sugar. If you add butter, eggs (don’t worry--they won’t go bad), honey, oil, or another liquid, you might want to decrease the amount of water correspondingly. I use a Kitchenaid to mix it all together, but a spoon works just as well, though it takes longer. You should end up with a mess just solid enough to form into a ball but far too sticky to knead. If it's not sticky enough, add more liquid; if it's too goopy to form into a ball, add more flour.
Place in a large, well-buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place for at least eighteen hours, but it can be longer. The dough will end up looking like a massive sponge about three times the size of the original ball.
Sprinkle a cloth with lots of whole wheat flour or finely ground corn meal. Slowly dump the dough onto the cloth (if any remains stuck to the bowl, just scrape it off with your fingers and add to the lump). Using the cloth, fold this mess in half once or twice, then let sit for about fifteen minutes. Cover your hands with whole wheat flour, pick up the dough, and form it quickly into a loose ball with the seams from the fold(s) on the bottom. Put it back on the floured cloth, fold the cloth loosely over it, and let it sit in a warm place at least two hours.
Put an oven-proof pot with an oven-proof lid (I use a clay pot, but you can’t use one of those you have to soak before use) in the oven and heat it to 450 degrees. After twenty minutes, take the pot out of the oven, lift the dough by picking up the corners of the towel, put your hand under it, and gently turn it over into the center of the pot, removing the cloth as you do so. Cover the pot and place it back in the oven for thirty minutes. Take the lid off and bake for another twenty-five to thirty minutes, until the crust is a rich brown. Cool on a rack.