Black Olive & Rosemary Bread

Baking used to intimidate me. I always felt that it was much more of an exact science than cooking. I saw cooking as an art form where I could add a pinch of this and a dash of that to create yumminess. Baking intimidated me because I thought that I couldn’t be flexible and I didn’t know how to make substitutions…. and then I learned how. 

 
Baking bread is a perfect example. I didn’t have enough bread flour. I had 2 cups and the recipe calls for 3 cups. No problem. Add 1 teaspoon of Vital Wheat Gluten for every cup of unbleached all purpose flour. Next obstacle: more flavor. Plain bread is delicious but sometimes you need something more… so add it! Black olives and rosemary transforms this bread into an artisan masterpiece! Indeed, both a science and an art.
 
Ready to make olive and rosemary bread!
 
Well, almost ready. I only had 2 cups of bread flour. No problem!
One cup of unbleached all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon of vital wheat gluten!
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Finely chop fresh rosemary.
No one likes a long piece of rosemary.
Trust me on that one.
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How much rosemary? I used about a tablespoon because I didn’t want it to
overwhelm the olives… if you love rosemary, go for more!
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About a cup of large black olives, quartered
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Incorporate the olives and rosemary into the dough and place it into a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover it with plastic wrap.
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Let it stand for at least 4 hours… no need to watch it. It will rise.
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Knead the dough for a bit, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for another 30 minutes
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Preheat oven & your baking vessel to 450 degrees.
(I ended up swapping this pot out for a smaller square ceramic vessel)
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Remove hot baking vessel from oven. Gently round out your dough and place it into the vessel. Cut an “X” into the top with a sharp knife to let it bloom.
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Freshly Baked Black Olive & Rosemary Bread
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Fantastic crust with a tight crumb and slight chew. Perfect!
Black Olive & Rosemary Bread
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Black Olive & Rosemary Bread

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Speedy No-Knead Bread

Ingredients

2 cups bread flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Vital Wheat Gluten1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup large black olives, drained and quartered
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Olive Oil for bowl

Directions

1. Combine flours, gluten, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
2. Add water. With a dough hook attachment and mixer on med/low, combine until blended. Dough will be shaggy.
3. Add olives and rosemary. With your hands, combine until incorporated. (some of the olives will stick out and that’s fine.)
4. Place dough into a large bowl, greased with olive oil. Cover and let stand for 4 hours, at room temperature. (You can let it stand for 8 hours and it will not over-proof)
5. In the same bowl, knead dough a little bit. Just a minute or so to let out some air. 
6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest another 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with your cooking vessel inside: 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic).
8. Carefully remove vessel from oven. Smooth the dough into a ball and place it into the baking vessel.  
9. With a sharp knife, cut an “X” into the top of the dough to let the bread bloom when it bakes.
10. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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