Bright and slightly bitter, the salted lemon slices atop this bread give it character. But this recipe is endlessly flexible. Instead of lemons, try topping the bread with your favorite cheese (about 1 cup shredded), some chopped fresh herbs, or whatever else strikes your fancy. This dough makes a wonderful pizza crust too. Prep and Cook Time: 3 hours. Notes: The final sprinkle of salt is a nice way to use fleur de sel or other fancy salt, if you have some. You can make the dough a day ahead and chill it, covered, in the refrigerator overnight for its first rise.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and pans
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons salt, divided (see Notes)
How to Make It
In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in 1 3/4 cups warm water (90° to 105°). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Attach dough hook and, with mixer on low, add olive oil, flour, and 4 tsp. salt. Mix until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. (It will still be fairly sticky and won't pull away from the inside of bowl.) Using a spatula or oiled hands, put dough in a large, oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, slice lemons as thinly as possible. Discard any seeds. Put lemons and 1 tbsp. salt in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly oil two 10- by 15-in. baking sheets. Punch down dough, divide in half, and put each half on a baking sheet. Flatten dough as much as possible, pushing gently from the center out. (Dough will pull back toward the center; don't worry if it doesn't stay in place.) Let rest 10 minutes and then flatten again, pushing the edges and corners down to help them stay put (if it pulls back a bit, that's okay, but you want to make the dough as thin and flat as possible).
Lift lemon slices out of their juices and lay them evenly over the dough, pressing them into dough as much as possible. Sprinkle dough with remaining 2 tsp. salt. Bake until brown and crispy, about 25 minutes. While bread is still warm, cut each sheet into 15 pieces. Cool on wire racks.