Olive Bread

I would say that this loaf of  bread lasted 15, maybe 20 minutes (tops) at Sunday Dinner.  It was ridiculously good.  And guess what?  Only 4 ingredients.  Sure, it took a little over 22 hours to make but 20 hours of that time were spent resting, 50 minutes were spent baking, and one painstaking hour was spent cooling.  If you’ve ever been daunted by the thought of making bread – try THIS bread.  It’s a no knead recipe and the only requirements are a cast iron dutch oven and some patience.  It’s worth the wait.

Note: If you want to make this bread, keep in mind you will have to start at least 16 hours before you plan on actually eating it; in other words, the day before.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups cool water
HOW TO MAKE IT
  • Mix the yeast and flour together in a large bowl and then add in the chopped olives (you don’t need any salt because the saltiness of the olives takes care of that)
  • Add in the water and mix everything together using a clean hand or a large spoon (I prefer using my hand, that way I can really tell when everything’s incorporated)
    • The dough will be very wet – this is how it’s supposed to be!
  •  Cover the dough with plastic wrap – make sure it’s touching all of the dough
  • Place the dough in a room temperature spot, preferably away from any drafts and let it rest for 14-18 hours (I let mine rest the full 18)
  • Now take out a large dishtowel and sprinkle it liberally with flour and cornmeal
  • Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the towel and fold it over a few times, liberally flouring both sides if it’s sticking to the towel – eventually, form it into a ball-like shape
  • Turn your ball onto the floured towel seam side down (the “seam” is where you’ve just folded it over onto itself)
  • Fold the towel over the ball of dough so the dough is totally covered and let it ferment and proof for another two hours
  • After the bread has been resting for about 90 minutes, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 500°F or as high as your oven will go – place the cast iron pot (without the lid) in the oven at this time, too, so it gets nice and hot
  • After the pot has been in the oven for 30 minutes, it’s (finally!) time to bake your dough
  • Pick up the towel with the dough and roll the dough into the pot so the seam side is up again
  • Put the lid on the pot and bake it for 30 minutes
  • Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes – the color of the crust of the bread should be a deep walnut brown
  • Let the bread cool on a wire rack for an hour before slicing it

Source: Machessmo, originally from Jim Lahy’s My Bread