Before baking bread in a Dutch oven. Mix all the ingredients into the flour other than the water, sausage, garlic, cherry tomatoes & cheese. Next, warm up some water to 28 - 33 degrees, then add the water, and mix well with a wooden spoon or by hand. I prefer just using a wooden spoon with the high hydration as it tends to be a little messier, just make sure to mix well, blending all the flour so it is absorbed. Now by letting it sit we create gluten by the long fermentation process; cover it up with the lid if the bowl comes with one or place saran wrap or towel on top; now you have the choice of letting it ferment for 12 – 18 hours or leave it to ferment for a couple of hours and then stick it in the fridge for few days. It is your time schedule.
Now that it is fermented, whether through retarding the fermentation over a few days or using a same-day method, gluten has now developed. I now incorporate stretching & folding the dough out while still in the bowl, this adds extra strength to the dough; to do this take a corner of the dough stretching it out the dough then pull it back on top of itself; rotating the dough 90 degrees each time, you can do this for a few rotations; repeat 3-4 times in regular interval roughly every 15 minutes. On the 2nd last folding cycle add the extra inclusions. In this situation sliced sausage, cheddar, olive oil & cherry tomatoes this will allow the new ingredients to get mixed in nicely. Let sit for 1-2 hrs, allowing the dough to rise. Take the dough out (dip your fingers in cold water with olive oil) bowl an place on a lightly flour dusted counter; make four or more folds to form a ball; flip the ball of dough so seam side is down; sprinkle a little flour over the dough; and tighten the dough up into a nice little ball using a dough knife if you have one, hands if not, push in on the bottom and rotating clockwise; once you have tightened the dough up with this method, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes; you should always give your dough a rest of at least 15 min between any forming or dough manipulation. Now flip the dough back over seam side up and place in a 6” cake pan coated with olive oil. Take an end of the dough & pull back to the center pressing it down so the dough can stick to itself; continue to do this until you have completed a circle. This is called stitching and should be done at the very end before final proofing as it makes a tight ball of dough that will improve your rise. Once the dough is stitched this is a good time to sprinkle with some seeds, sesame and poppy are a good suggestion or whatever you would like to garnish with, sprinkling some fresh Parmesan on top is always nice as wellNow give the dough time to rise, this is the proofing stage; we want the dough to rise in size by roughly 30%. During the proofing stage, you need to keep an eye, as you do not want to over prove, try to catch on the rise as it will continue to rise in the refridgerator. Touch dough with your finger if the dough responds back gently its good to go if it responds too quickly it has not finished. Best conditions for proofing are at 28 degrees C; if you want you can stick it in the oven with the light on this can simulate a good environment for proofing. If you leave on the counter, it will rise depending on your climate and house temperature that will dictate its speed of the prooving. The proofing process could take anywhere between 30 min to 2 hours, depending on temperature, climate and flour.
Once the dough has risen, place in the refrigerator overnight; make sure pan is covered with a lid or saran wrap, so it does not dry out. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F and place the Dutch oven in to for 45 minutes. Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and score with a sharp knife or scoring blade, much easier now that the dough is cold.
Take Dutch oven out of the oven, place cake pan in Dutch oven; then get a little water sprayer and give it a spray or two, just enough to dampen it, then cover and return to oven, for 5 minutes; after 5 minutes turn the oven down to 450 degrees and reset timer for 30 minutes; ovens can be different in temperatures so my times should be used as an approximation; after 30 minutes uncover, the loaf should be golden brown at this point If you like a softer crust (my preference) brush bread with olive oil; leave lid off and return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes; the loaf should be turning darker brown by now; pull loaf out and let it air on a rack for an hour before cutting.