2 1/2 tsp or 1 packet active dry yeast
3 1/2 c unbleached flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Sprinkle the yeast over slightly warm (95 degree) water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Measure 3 cups of the flour and salt into large mixing bowl, blend with wooden spoon. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the flour and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the yeast and water mixture. Stir the flour with the yeast and water mixture until well blended, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. After kneading, you should have a smooth, springy dough that bounces back lightly when pressed with your finger. Check the texture of the dough during the kneading process. If the dough is sticky, add up to 1/2 cup additional flour.
Place the dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap that has a thin coat of olive oil, and a kitchen towel. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.
Punch down, then knead the risen dough by hand on a floured surface for about a minute to remove air. Form the dough into a ball, and place on a 15-inch baking sheet that has been sprinkled liberally with cornmeal. Cover the loaf again with wrap and towel, and let rise a second time for 20-25 minutes or until doubled.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the loaves for 23-25 minutes or until browned. Bake 5 minutes longer for a crispier crust.