Step 3: Shaping and Baking
About an hour before baking, pull the bin of dough out of the fridge, remove the lid, and dust the surface of a corner of the dough with a bit of flour. Dust your pizza peel (or cutting board, or rimless baking sheet) as well.
Make sure your hands are well floured. Reach into the bin and pull out a grapefruit-sized hunk of dough, cutting it off with the serrated knife.
GENTLY pull the outer surface of the dough around to the bottom of the ball, forming a gluten "cloak" around it. Less is more here. Don't manhandle or squeeze the dough. This should take less than 30 seconds. Don't worry about what the bottom looks like.
Place the loaf on the peel and let it sit for about an hour. It won't rise much at all, and this is normal and O.K.
Half an hour before baking, turn the oven on to 450 Fahrenheit, placing the stone on the middle rack, and the broiler pan below it.
After the loaf has rested for an hour (don't worry if it hasn't raised much), fill a cup with 1 cup of hot water from the tap and set it beside the stove. Dust the top of the loaf with a bit more flour and slash it a few times with the serrated knife.
Slide the loaf onto the stone in the over and immediately pour the cup of hot water into the broiler pan. Shut the door quickly, and set the timer for 35 minutes.
When the bread is done, thumping it on the bottom with your thumb will sound hollow, and as it cools there will be a surprisingly loud crackling sound from the crust.
If you plan on slicing the bread or eating it later, let it cool fully before doing so, but I'll bet that you won't be able to resist tearing into it immediately!