Put the 1/2 cup (114 grams) of warm water in a stand mixer bowl and add the yeast to proof. Add a teaspoon of the sugar. When you start seeing bubbles, add remaining sugar, ONLY 3 cups (400 grams) of the flour, baking soda and salt and stir to mix. Stir in the cottage cheese, egg and oil (or oil/butter combo). Use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to blend.
Switch to the dough hook and begin kneading. It should be very sticky, so add another 1/4 cup of flour. Continue to knead and scrape sides of bowl. Continue adding flour by tablespoons and kneading until dough climbs up the hook and doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Dough will be a tiny bit sticky, but easy to handle with a little oil on your fingers. This is a very smooth but firm and not too airy or fluffy dough. It will rise, but it takes its time, so be patient.
Put a little extra olive oil in a large bowl.
Put the dough into the oily bowl and then turn so that the dough is coated with oil Cover and let rise until it doubles in size. This should take at least an hour and maybe up to an hour and a half.
Punch down the dough and shape into a rectangle. Roll into a cylinder, pressing out air as you roll.
Pinch down the ends and put in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan or a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Note: If you use the 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch pan, it will rise VERY high and be a little more awkward to cut. I kind of like the drama in that, so I use that size anyway. A 9x5 inch is more practical.
Cover loosely with some greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough domes about an inch (in the center) over the edge of the pan. This should take around 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the loaf in the 400 degree oven, then close door and turn the heat down to 375F. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and brush hot loaf with honey and sprinkle top with a little sea salt.
Let cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.