In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy, sticky dough. This should take roughly 30 seconds. You want it to be really sticky, maybe even unusually wet looking.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 18 hours in a room temperature (70-72 degrees) space to ferment, out of direct sunlight. The dough will be ready when it's dotted with bubbles and appears a bit darkened.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the dough, fold it over on itself once or twice and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle a little more flour on the work surface and using your fingers or a pastry scraper, quickly shape dough into a ball.
Generously coat a kitchen towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Place dough seam side down on the towel and dust dough with more flour. Cover dough with another towel and let dough rise for 2 hours. Dough is ready when it has more than doubled in size and will not spring back when poked with your finger.
At least 30 minutes before dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a 6 to 8-quart heavy covered pot in the oven. This can be cast iron, Pyrex, enamel, or ceramic, just as long as it's oven-friendly at higher temperatures. (If you have an enamel Dutch oven with a phenolic knob, they're only safe for baking at lower temperatures; switch out your knob for a stainless steel one.)
When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough into the pot, seam side up. The dough may look messy, that's okay! Give it a sturdy shake to evenly distribute the dough. It will even out more during baking.
Cover pot and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for 15-30 minutes, until the loaf is beautiful and browned. Remove from pot and allow to cool one hour on a wire rack.