In a medium bowl stir together the flour, the yeast and the salt.
Add the water and stir for about 30 sec, until you have a sticky and wet daw. If it's not add 1-2 tbs water.
Cover with a tea towel and let it sit in room temperature out of direct sunlight or draft for 12-18 hours, until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size.
After the first rise, generously dust a work surface with flour and with your hand or a spatula scrape the dough onto the board in one piece. Try not to tear the thin strands that have developed due to gluten.
Add no more flour but with lightly floured hands lift the edges of the dough in toward the center.
Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
Place a cotton or linen tea towel (that won't leave lint in the dough) and generously dust the cloth with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour, and gently put the dough onto the towel, till it is seam side down.
Fold the ends of the towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for about 120 min.
The dough is ready when it's almost doubled in size.
If you gently poke the dough with your finger it should hold the impression. If it doesn't, let it rise for another 15 min.
Half an hour before the second rise preheat the oven to 240-250 degrees C, with a rack in the lower third position and place a covered clay pot in the center of the rack.
Very carefully and using pot holders remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it.
Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough -with the flour- into the pot, seam-side up.
Cover the pot and bake for 30 min.
Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is deep chestnut in color but not burnt, for 15-30 min more.
Remove carefully from the pot, place the bread in a rack and let cool thoroughly.
If you put your ear near the bread you can hear the crust cracking while the temperature falls.
Don't slice ore tear into it until cooled, which usually takes at least an hour.