Bloom the yeast and water in a large bowl for five minutes. Then add in 1 ¾ths cup flour and mix by hand or in a stand mixer. Cover and set aside to rise in a warm place, about 8 hours or overnight.
Add 3 cups flour and knead until a smooth but soft dough forms. It should come off the sides of the bowl and shouldn't feel sticky. Knead in the olive oil and continue kneading in the stand mixer for eight minutes, with the speed set to medium, or by hand for 10-15 minutes. Add flour, a little at a time, if the dough starts sticking to the bottom of the pan while kneading.
Place the dough in an oil-coated bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside for two hours or until it's doubled.
Lightly oil a baking sheet and cover it with some cornmeal or semolina. This will make it easier to slide the loaf off the baking sheet.
Punch down the dough and shape it into a round by pulling on the sides and tucking them underneath. You can either set the loaf to rise on a baking sheet or, if you have a banneton, place it inside the banneton, smooth side down, to rise. Cover the dough loosely with a shower cap or, if it's rising on the baking sheet, sprinkle some flour on top to prevent it from sticking and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise another 1 ½ hours or until the loaf has doubled in size.
About half an hour before baking, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a small, ovenproof pan in the lowest rack of the oven.
With a sharp knife or a serrated knife, make two quick gashes, like a cross, on the top of the loaf, taking care not to deflate it.
Place the bread into the preheated oven, and immediately add a cup of water to the ovenproof pan you'd already placed in the lowest rack of the oven.
Bake the bread for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the loaf on a rack to cool.
After the bread has cooled, slice with a serrated knife.