I believe myself to be quite capable in the bread baking department. I love baking with yeast. Love it. Can spend three days or three weeks nurturing a starter. Don´t mind planning my day around a certain two-day bread. So I set out to make beautiful bread from an even more beautiful book. I complain about books without pictures. This one has amazing photography; a perfectly good reason to buy books I might add. So with such enticing breads calling my name and fresh rosemary in my grocery bag I decided to bake the ever-magical-combination of that pungent herb and olive oil. The recipe calls for a few steps, something I particularly like when it comes to bread baking. Better flavor and all of that. In the spirit of giving you step-by-step pictures of the whole process I had a plastic container with a little mark to show how the sponge grew. After the necessary amount of hours had elapsed, my sponge was not even close to tripling its volume. After double that amount of hours it had only multiplied itself once. I´m talking here of 16, yes sixteen, hours. I had to go to sleep at some point. So, since I had every other ingredient measured, I went ahead and continued with the recipe. I wasn´t very confident. And my ego was suffering. You see, I kept my la brea sourdough starter for eight years. Alive and well. Made lots of breads, especially bagels. And that´s not a small enterprise I might add. So being defeated by a mere sponge. You understand, don´t you?
When I could get past the puffed focaccia-like thickness and missing crackly crust, the result was such a good tasting bread. Such a great tasting bread. I had some while it was still warm. Just what I had in mind when I set out to make this. We devoured what was left of it the next day at lunch. I´m craving for more.