Bread from Provence!
25 g wet yeast / half a packet dry yeast
8 dl warm water (< 40 C/110 F)
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 kg flour
Rosemary, oregano, thyme or other herb.
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and add the salt. For dry yeast, let stand about ten minutes.
Stir the flour into the water with a big spoon. When the flour iswell integrated, place the dough (with the spoon) in a warm place with a wet, clean dish towel over it. Let it stand for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 C / 500 F. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and pour the dough from the bowl onto the sheet. Yes, it's supposed to look like splat. If desired, scatter some coarse salt on the surface (and look for the cool effect of dough surface tension breaking:) and distribute the herbs (stick in the rosemary if it's fresh twigs). Place the bread on the lowest rack in the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.
The next step must be done fairly rapidly to avoid bread collapse:
Take the bread out of the oven and turn the oven down to 220 C / 440 F. Leaving the oven door open to cool the oven faster is a good idea if you can keep an eye on it. While the oven cools, brush the break with olive oil if desired. Put the bread back in on the middle rack. Let it bake for 10 more minutes.
Take out your bread (it should look fairly dark) and enjoy.
The rising can also be done overnight in the fridge, if you can't fit the four hours wait into your schedule.
This bread is akin to foccacia and goes very well with soup. We have also tried using 1/4 whole wheat flour, work fine. The dough can be spread out thin and make a great pizza crust, or placed in a bread pan for a more conventional bread. Letting it rise in a metal bread pan did not work too well. I'll try more variations soon, so expect more updates as seeds, kernels, spelt flour and other oddities are tried. That's just the way I do bread:) The basic recipe is still really, really great -- I don't think I've ever had one of my breads disappear so quickly.