The Washington Post, February 6, 2013
This is almost a flatbread: especially crusty, fragrant with fresh rosemary and laced with coarse sea salt and a smattering of kalamata olives. It's great to serve with a simple omelet or selection of cheeses. If you're not a fan of rosemary and/or olives, those ingredients can be omitted.
You'll need an extra-large zip-top bag, big enough to contain a baking sheet and two loaves of bread. (Alternatively, a large sheet of plastic wrap can be used.) We found the flours called for in this recipe at MOM's stores. Spring water is specified because it is not chlorinated (and therefore will not interfere with yeast development).
Store this bread wrapped in a clean dish towel for the first day, which will help keep the crust crisp; after that, in a zip-top bag.
MAKE AHEAD: The sponge starter needs to sit at room temperature for 8 to 16 hours. The dough needs to rise a first time for 45 to 90 minutes and a second time for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The unsliced loaves can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Makes 2 loaves (about 20 slices total)
Ingredients:For the sponge starter and dough
For the sponge starter and dough: Combine the water and yeast in a medium bowl, then add the bread flour, whole-wheat flour and rye flour. Stir to form a thick, puddinglike mixture. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, leaving a little head space. Let it sit for 8 to 16 hours. The starter should become foamy-looking or spongy.
For the dough: Stack two baking sheets; line the top one with parchment paper.
Stir the sponge starter to deflate it, then spoon it into the deep bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add the water, then quickly stir in the yeast, salt, honey, dark rye flour, oil and about half of the unbleached white bread flour. Mix briefly on low speed to form a soft mass. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let it stand for 15 minutes.
Continue to knead (using the dough hook attachment) until the dough is smooth and resilient, adding as much of the remaining unbleached white bread flour as needed and adding the minced rosemary. When the kneading is almost done (the dough will be soft and elastic), stop the mixer. Knead in the halved olives by hand.
Grease a large bowl with nonstick cooking oil spray. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Insert the bowl in a large zip-top bag (see headnote), which you will use again later as a proofing tent. Seal to close; let the dough rise for 45 to 90 minutes. It should almost double in size.
Lightly flour a work surface.
Turn the dough out onto the work surface and gently deflate the dough. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then divide it into two equal portions. Shape each into a compact oblong and arrange them several inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Dust each one with rye flour. Use a sharp knife or blade to make 3 diagonal, evenly spaced slashes on each oblong, then gently spread open the slashes.
Spray each loaf lightly with nonstick cooking oil spray, then sprinkle with rosemary leaves and coarse sea salt. Place the stacked baking sheets inside the large plastic bag. Seal to close; let the dough rise until puffy, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the baking sheet stack and dough from the bag. Drizzle the loaves very lightly with oil. Bake until browned and crusty, 30 to 35 minutes. If the bread appears brown but some of the recommended baking time remains, reduce the temperature to 400 degrees.
Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
From Montreal baker and cookbook author Marcy Goldman.
140 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 0g sugar, 4g protein.