Additions like sage and walnuts add character to bread and to the sandwiches made with it.
What flour you use affects the taste and texture of the bread. This bread was made with King Arthur Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten flour and General Mills White Whole Wheat flour but you could use straight bread flour from the grocery store. You could also add "vital wheat gluten" to all-purpose flour to give it more strength and the bread more rise and chewiness. Experiment to see what you like.
1In a large bread bowl, thoroughly mix dry ingredients.
2Add the water, first stirring with a spoon, then using your hand to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated into a ragged ball. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rest for 50 minutes.
3On a lightly oiled counter, stretch the dough into a 12" x 18" rectangle. Fold in thirds as you would a letter. Turn 90 degrees and fold in thirds the other way. Return to the bowl and cover. Let rest for another 50 minutes.
4Repeat the previous step twice more for a total of 3 foldings and four 50 minute rests. Each time you do this the dough will present more resistance and you will make smaller rectangles.
5Gently shape the dough into a loaf by flattening it slightly, rolling into a loaf shape, and pinching to seal the ends and bottom. Place in a pan that will provide the loaf with some support, e.g. an oval au gratin pan. Either grease the pan or line with parchment paper.
6Let the formed loaf sit 20-30 minutes while the oven preheats to 400F. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor to release the surface tension and increase "oven spring" (continued rise while baking).
7Bake 1 hour, cool on a rack before slicing.
8Hint: The temperature of your kitchen will affect the bread. The times given here are for my 68F kitchen. In the summer, when the kitchen 78F, the rest times are shortened to 45 minutes. On a hot day with the windows open, I might shorten it to 35-40 minutes. Adjust the times to fit the temperature of your kitchen.