I want to be one of those people that cooks bread in a hearth. Instead, I have a rented oven with an inaccurate thermostat. BUT, I do have a thermometer that lets me know what the hell the thermostat is up to these days.
4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 tsp active yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
1 stick melted butter
1 1/8 cup warm water
2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
Mix all dry ingredients together in a very large bowl.
Add chopped herbs to melted butter. Mix wet ingredients in small bowl.
Stir together for several minutes, then move in with your hands.
Knead until the dough no longer has CRACKS everywhere. I'll say it again. CRACKS. I love Mean Girls. This bread does not rise much, so shape into the desired form. Cover with Saran wrap. Let the dough sit for 1-3 hours. Cut an "X" in the center.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread on middle rack. Cook for 20 minutes, then place aluminum foil over top to prevent the top from burning. Let cook for a remaining 20 minutes.
This bread is very dense and savory and delicious. It has a thick crust and chewy center. Very tasty. I gave some to my work buddies, and let me just say since we're amongst friends, it got rave reviews :)