This crusty bread gets its flavour and chewy texture from a long, slow fermentation. It is baked in a cast-iron pot in a very hot oven. It looks just like a loaf you'd get from an artisan bakery. The herbs are optional but work really well in this bread.
To ensure the dough is fully risen and ready for the oven, try this test: flour your index and middle fingers and poke the side of your loaf about 1cm deep. If the indentations spring back, the dough still needs more time to rise. When the indentations stay put, the loaf is ready to bake.