Take five minutes today to make the starter, also called sponge, and tomorrow you can bake two loaves of this marvelous, slightly sour, rustic Italian bread that has a hearty crust. I cannot tell you how AMAZING this bread is. 3 loaves were gone in under a day and a half! It is crunchy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside and filled with all these lovely bubbly craters! I replaced the milk with water and just baked on a greased and floured baking sheet and it was still wonderful. I cannot rate this recipe highly enough. I served with olive tapenade and caprese salad for appetizers and it was wonderful. My family/friends could not get enough of it! They beg for it EVERYDAY. Will certainly make again! First, the sponge is amazing. Tastes just as good after only sitting for a few hours as it does after 24+. I made it once and left it for 24 hours in a cool place and that made nice fluffy bread without many air pockets.
* See My Note Below