In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir the water, honey, and yeast together.
Let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.
Add 2 ½ cups of flour, olive oil, and salt.
Knead on low, continuing to add flour 1/4 cup at a time until it forms a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides of the bowl.
Once it forms the dough, continue to knead for 5 minutes on low.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Form the dough into a tight ball and place in a cast iron skillet.
Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Toward the end of the second rising time, set your oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat oven to 400F.
Just before you place the bread in the oven cut two slits width-wise and one lengthwise.
Bake for 12-20 minutes. The bread will brown quickly toward the end of the baking time, so keep an eye on it.
OPTIONAL: I brush a little melted butter over the baked bread and sprinkle sea salt on top.
Water: If you don't have a thermometer, feel the water. It should feel a little warmer than bath water but shouldn't feel uncomfortably warm. If it's too hot for you, it will be too hot and could kill the yeast.
Oil: I like to use olive oil in this recipe. Another neutral oil should work in place of the olive oil.
Flour: I haven't tested this recipe with all-purpose or another type of flour.
Cast iron skillet: I've only used a cast iron skillet to bake this bread.
After baking, I lightly brush the outside of the bread with butter and lightly sprinkle it with sea salt. It's optional, but the butter does help to keep the crust soft.