Recipe From : Lin Pardy's book, 'The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew'
2 cups fresh water
2 tsp. salt
2 heaping tsp. dry yeast
1/4 cup of either sugar, honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar
5 or 6 cups of flour
Note: You can substitute for the water and salt with 2/3 cup salt water and 1 1/3 cups fresh water.
Pour water into a large bowl. (Water should be between 90 and 100 degrees, baby-bath temperature, comfortable on a bare wrist.) Stir in salt. Add yeast and stir until it dissolves. Add sugar and then flour. Stir the flour in with a spoon until the mix is too stiff to handle, then start working the last cups of flour in with your hands. There is no exact measurement on the flour because humidity affects the amount you'll use. It's difficult to work too much flour in, just keep adding until the dough feels smooth and doesn't stick to a clean finger when you press it firmly. It will appear smooth and feel almost satiny at this stage. Mix it with your fingers until it is an even consistency. This usually takes two or three minutes. If you want to knead your bread, go ahead now. (Not required.) Form the dough into a ball in the middle of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and put it in a warm, dry place to rise. (The engine room after it has been running or a sunny spot out of the wind works well.) You need any temperature between 80 and 100 degrees at this stage. If you are in a cool climate, turn your oven on for three minutes. Turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven.
In 30 minutes, check the dough. If it hasn't started growing, it is in too cool a place. If it's starting to get a crust, it's too warm. In 40-45 minutes, the dough should be about double.
When it has doubled in size either punch it down (yes, hit it with your fist four or five times) and let it rise again to get a smoother-textured loaf. Or if you don't have the time, grease 2 bread pans or line them with aluminium foil, cut the dough in half, form it into 2 loaves, and place them in the pans. If you rub your hands with salad oil before you handle the dough, they will stay cleaner. Let the loaves rise again until they are double. Then place them in a cool oven. Turn the heat on to 350 degrees and bake until the loaves are golden brown, or about 30-35 minutes. Turn the bread pans at least once during the process to assure an even brown color. Rap with a knuckle and if it sounds hollow it is done.
Let it cool 5-6 minutes, then remove it from the pan and rest it on its side or set the loaf on a cake rack so the steam escapes from the bottom.
Don't try to cut the loaf for 15 minutes at least.