Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Olive Bread

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Whenever I used to hear of someone making their own bread, I always assumed it was a daunting task that took a ton of time and even more patience. That is until I heard of no-knead bread. It changed my life. If you let it rise overnight like I do, it will take you practically no time at all.

My Dad loves his bread and Olive Bread has always been one of his favorites. Growing up in New York, he would always be able to find the best fresh Olive Bread at the local bakery. Nowadays when we go up north, he finds that they skimp on the olives (how dare they!) making his beloved bread something of the past. So I decided to make some for him myself.
I know Olive Bread sounds a little strange, but if you enjoy Kalamata olives I promise you'll love this. The crust is flaky and crunchy and the inside becomes light and soft. Every once in a while you'll be hit with a salty olive, which is definitely the best part. We usually just eat this bread plain, but I'm sure it would be great as part of a sandwich. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups cool water

Drain the olives and pat them dry. Roughly chop and make sure that all the olives actually don’t have pits.

Mix yeast and flour together in a large bowl and then toss in the chopped olives Add water and mix everything together using your hands or a large spoon.

Cover this and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours.

Take a large tea towel and sprinkle it liberally with flour and corn meal. If you don’t have corn meal you can just use flour, but corn meal adds a great texture to it.

Scrape dough (you’ll need to scrape it) out onto a floured surface and just fold it a few times, liberally flouring both sides if it is sticking. Eventually you want to form a ball or loaf with it. Turn this onto floured towel with the seam side down on the towel.

Cover with the towel and let the loaf ferment and proof for another two hours.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Let a cast iron pot heat in the oven for at least 30 minutes so it is as hot as can be. Don’t preheat the lid in the oven, just the pot itself.

Once the pot is blazing hot, pick up the towel with the dough on it and roll the dough into the pot so the seam side is up again.

Put the lid on the pot and cook it for 35 minutes. Then take off the lid (be really careful of escaping steam). Cook it for another 10-15 minutes or so until the crust is a dark, walnut brown.

Let it cool on a wire rack for an hour before slicing it.

Source: Adapted from Macheesmo

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