This rustic bread pairs perfectly with soups, stews, and red sauced pasta! It is crusty (but not hard) outside, and soft inside. Most delicious served fresh and warm from the oven, but my kids enjoyed it cold with peanut butter, too! It is also good with some homemade jam!
1Pour warm water and honey into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. Stir to dissolve honey. (If you need to microwave it for about 30 seconds, that's fine, but you don't want the water to boil, or it will be too hot for the yeast.) Add in the yeast and stir slightly. Let set for appx 5-10 minutes until yeast foams up.
2Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add in the flour and salt and mix until well incorporated. You may need to add more flour as you go, depending on the heat and humidity. Mix (adding flour as needed) until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. When you touch it, the dough should bounce back, and not stick to your fingers.
3Place dough in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Flip it over to coat, and cover bowl with a towel. Let sit in a warm place until it has at least doubled in size (appx 1.5 - 2 hours).
Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with cooking spray and dusting it with cornmeal.
4Punch down the dough and divide it into thirds. Form each third into a ball, tucking the ends in at the bottom. Place each ball at least 4 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. The tops should be semi-smooth. Dust the top of each loaf with a little flour, then using a sharp knife, make light slices in the dough. (I like doing an X)
5Allow to rise, uncovered, for approximately 40 minutes.
6Put a cake pan, filled with about 1.5" of water, on the rack below where you will cook your bread. Preheat oven to 450.
7Bake the loaves for 20-25 minutes until the crust is a dark golden and they sound hollow when you tap them.