How to make
Mix the ingredients for the baker's yeast in a bowl. Cover with aluminum foil and let it sit for 6 hours at room temperature or for one night in the refrigerator. Then pour the very hot water into a large bowl, add 1 packet of yeast and stir.
Leave it for 10 minutes, to let it bubble again. Add to this mixture the prepared baker's yeast, the salt and flour and gradually knead a dough. At first, stir with a wooden spoon or your hands. The ready dough ends up sticky and wet. Cover it and leave it in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume.
Then transfer it to a counter top, and just hit it and fold it 2-3 times without kneading. Again, let it rise for 1 hour. You may also store it in the fridge for one night and work with it the next day.
Once risen, transfer the dough gently to a floured baking sheet, using enough flour so that it does not stick. Bake 1 large round loaf or two smaller ones in appropriate trays. On the surface of the bread, make small slits with a sharp knife. Put the Italian bread to bake in a preheated 370°F (190 °C) oven in which you have placed a fireproof container with water to moisten the air.
Bake 30 minutes, then reduce the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes. At that point, the bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on it.
Leave the basic Italian bread to cool and serve it.