A stand mixer is absolutely necessary for this dough, which is nearly batter-like in its hydration level (I'm sorry!). Do not skimp on the second rise; it's critical to the loft and I've increased that rise time to one hour. The result is a tall, airy, soft loaf that is total glory! I've taken to baking this bread in an enameled cast iron skillet or braiser (about 12 inches), and it works beautifully. I've also reduced the oven temperature a touch an increased the baking time in the recipe below. Talami is perfect on its own, or slathered with salty butter, and extra-great served with a bowl of smooth, creamy hummus.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, a tablespoon of the sugar, and ¼ cup of the water. Set it aside until it is creamy and starting to bubble a bit, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Add 1 cup of the water, 2 cups of the flour, and the rest of the sugaar to the yeast mixture and stir by hand with the paddle attachment to combine.
Attach the paddle and on low speed, add the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water. Once the mixture is combined, increase the speed and beat on medium-high until the dough is smooth and batter-like and climbing all the way up the paddle, about 5 minutes. Stay nearby so the mixer doesn't bounce off the counter!
Coat a medium sized bowl with a teaspoon of canola oil, and also coat a rubber spatula or rubber bench scraper. Use the coated scraper to scrape the dough from the paddle and the bowl and transfer the dough to the coated bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (not against the dough), and cover that with a clean kitchen towel. Set it aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Gently deflate the risen dough by gently scraping it down the sides of the bowl with the oiled spatula or bench scraper, folding it over on itself a few times. Cover the bowl again with the plastic and towel and set it aside in a warm place to rise again for one hour (I've increased this second rise from original) while the oven and pan heat up.
Meanwhile, line a 9 x 13 x 2-inch quarter sheet pan with nonstick foil (this nonstick foil is key), or use an unlined 12-inch cast iron skillet (or enameled cast iron skillet or braiser). Place in the oven on the middle shelf and heat to 500°F for 30 minutes.
When the dough is risen, remove the pan from the oven and coat it with the remaining neutral oil. Use the oiled scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough from the bowl as you pour it into the hot pan. Start at one short end of the sheet pan and fill it with the dough as you move the bowl along with the dough to the other end of the pan. Use your oiled fingers or the bench scraper to very gently push the dough into the corners of the pan. It won’t be perfect, and that’s fine. Less touching is better. Brush some of the oil taken from the perimeter of the pan over the top of the dough.
Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F., or 375°F convection. Bake the bread until it is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes or so.
While the bread bakes, make the garlic butter glaze by stirring the garlic into the softened butter with a big pinch of kosher salt.
When the bread is done, set the hot pan on a rack. Glaze the top by generously coating it with the garlic butter using a small knife or spatula. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack until it is nearly room-temperature before slicing into pieces to serve.