For the Sponge:
8 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water – just warm to the touch
1 cup flour
For the Bread dough:
7 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. olive oil plus an additional cup of olive oil
2 cups & 2 Tbsp. lukewarm water
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand in a warm place 10 minutes until frothy. Stir in the first cup of flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. This makes the sponge.
2. Place the 7 cups of flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the sponge, salt, 6 Tbsp. of olive oil and lukewarm water.
3. Gradually work in the flour to make a soft and sticky dough.
4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 15 minutes. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour.
5. Divide dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a long fat snake.
6. Slice each snake into equal pieces. You should have small equally sized dough balls about the size of a small kiwi or lime.
7. If using a convection oven heat to 400 degrees. If using a conventional oven, heat to 450 degrees. Using the reserved cup of olive boil, coat a sheet pan heavily in oil.
8. Dust each dough ball lightly in flour and turn through a manual pasta machine set to number 4, one time. A rolling pin may also be used if no pasta machine is available. They should be long, thin ovals.
9. Lay on the well greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.