Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Another Homemade Winner

James claims he doesn't like olives. I just can't accept that. He likes olive oil. He likes the flavor. There is just something he doesn't like about biting into an olive.
Black, red, brown, green, brine cured, salt cured  . . . I love them all.
With a bag of black oil-cured super piquant olives in the fridge and my still favorite bread cookbook, My Bread by Jim Lahey, on the shelf. I decided to try a new recipe from the bread guru -- Olive bread. Basically it's Lahey's famous no-knead bread recipe (3 cups flour, 3/4 tsp yeast, 1 1/2 cups water -- no salt in this case as the olives can be quite salty -- all mixed together and allowed to rise for 18 - 20 hours)  with a good quantity of chopped olives.
After the first rise Lahey's ingenius home bread making plan instructs the baker to form the dough into a rustic loaf (well a rough ball, seam down) onto a kitchen towel dusted in cornmeal and allow the bread to rise again for 2 hours. The dough is then rolled into a pre-heated dutch oven (1/2 hour) to bake at 450ยบ for 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered to mimic the delightful results and chewy crust of artisanal loaves fresh from a wood fired oven.
James didn't try this loaf right away. When I set out an appetizer plate with salami, prosciutto, and Andante dairy's outrageously delicious seasonal mixed milk tomme, Impromtu James realized he may not like olives . .. but he loves Olive bread.

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