This rustic bread has its origins in the towns and farms of the French countryside. With the addition of honey for sweetness and a golden crust, the further addition of a small amount of wheat flour makes a perfect loaf of daily bread.
In a mixer bowl combine the 1 cup bread flour,1/4 cup wheat flour, 1/2 tsp yeast, honey and water.
Whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Scrape down bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let ferment at room temperature for 1 hour up to 4 hours.Starter will have bubbled up and risen in the bowl.
Combine the 1 3/4 cups bread flour and the yeast.
Add to the risen sponge in the mixing bowl.Do not add salt at this time.
With the dough hook installed mix on low speed (# 2 on a Kitchenaid) for about one minute until you have a rough dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle on the salt at this stage and knead with dough hook (#4 speed) for about 7 minutes. Instant read thermometer plunged into the center should read 78 to 80 degrees.
The dough should be very elastic, smooth and slightly sticky;If too sticky,add a little flour up to 1/4 cup. You can knead in any extra flour by hand after you remove the dough from the bowl.
Let the dough rise in an oiled covered bowl until double at room temperature.
Press the dough down, fold it over and let rise again for another l hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
The dough may be formed into a ball or,placed in an 8 X 4 greased bread pan or rolled out to an oblong loaf.
Free form loaves should be placed on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with flour or cornmeal.
Cover the shaped dough and allow it to double. The freeform oblong loaf should be 8" by 3"inches high. In the loaf pan the center should be 1" higher then the sides of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 475 1 hour before baking. Adjust oven shelf to lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating the oven.
At this stage I like to mist the loaf with water and roll it in sesame seeds, poppy seeds or other whole grains.
Slash freeform bread diagonally with a sharp knife or razor blade making 1/2" deep slices.
If using a loaf pan, make 1 slash down the center or leave unslashed.
Bake for 10 minutes at 475 then turn oven down to 425 and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes more or until Instant Read Thermometer reads about 200 degrees. Cover halfway through baking if loaf becomes too brown.