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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Olive Bread

This bread is good, really, really good! And super easy to make. It takes a long time but it’s just waiting time! I found the recipe in the Ginger Beat blog (thank you, Ginger Beat!) which pointed to the original recipe at Splendid Table, reprinted from "My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method". See the recipe here. Ginger Beat said she also made it with walnuts and it turned out really good too. I usually point to recipes that I find in other blogs but I decided to add it to my post as well as I don’t want to lose it! 

Olive Bread
Yield: One 10-inch round loaf; 1 1/2 pounds
Equipment: A 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-quart heavy pot

3 cups bread flour (400 grams)
About 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pitted olives (200 grams)
3/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast (3 grams)
1 1/2 cups cool (55 to 65 degrees F) water (300 grams)
wheat bran, cornmeal, or additional flour for dusting

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, olives, and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
3. Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third, and place a covered 4 1/2 - to 5 1/2 -quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.
5. Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. (Use caution—the pot will be very hot; see photos, page 55.) Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to gently lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.

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