In a small bowl, combine sugar or honey with 1/2 cup of warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture; let the stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in remaining water, yeast mixture, and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Mix approximately 5 minutes or until you form a dough; transfer to your work surface. Knead for 10 minutes then add the salt and knead for a approximately 6 to 10 minutes or until the dough is very smooth (if the dough sticks to your hands, add some additional flour, one tablespoon at at time).
Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Form the dough into a round shape and place dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place (draft free) to rise for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in bulk. At this point you can refrigerate the dough overnight. Be sure to allow the dough to return to room temperature before putting it in the oven.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet (I use the new silpads instead of oil). Lightly flour work surface and roll out dough into a large rectangle. Transfer dough to the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rise approximately 30 to 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
While dough is rising, make the lavender garlic topping. Finely chop the lavender. In a small bowl, mix lavender and garlic with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Make dimples in the dough with your fingers by pushing into the dough several times. Brush the lavender-garlic topping all over and into the dimples. Sprinkle coarse salt and pepper on top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The internal temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees F.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool, Let baked loaf cool for 30 minutes before cutting (this is because the bread is still cooking while it is cooling).
Makes 8 servings.