olive bread. the best bread.
this one and i don't quite remember why since my brain has essentially been mush since april 23rd. happy mush. sometimes productive mush. but mush.
3 cups bread flour
1-2 cups roughly chopped pitted olives*
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups cool water
1 teaspoon salt**
sea salt and olive oil to top
optional: rosemary can be baked in the bread or put on top and cornmeal can be used for dusting the bottom, though i used flour and it worked fine.
*depends how olive-y you like it. i'd go for 2 cups. you can also choose the kind of olives you'd like to use. i used kalamata but i think a mixture would work well, too.
**the recipe didn't call for salt because it claimed the olives would make the bread salty enough. i didn't actually find this to be so and i'm definitely going to add a teaspoon of salt the next time i make it.
1. stir the flour, olives, and yeast and then add the water and mix with your hands for about 30 seconds. the dough will be wet and sticky. if you're adding rosemary you should do it during this step.
2. cover the bowl with a tea towel or cloth napkin and let it rise for 12 to 18 hours. i made the dough in the late evening and then started working with it again late morning.
3. after 12 to 18 hours generously flour your counter and scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. use your hands to make it a round shape but don't knead it.
4. dust your tea towel or cloth napkin with either flour or cornmeal and place the dough on it seam side down. loosely fold the towel or napkin up over the top to cover it and put it in a warm spot to rise for another 1-2 hours. it should almost double during this rise.
5. half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 475 degrees F and place the rack in the lower third of the oven. put your pot in the center of the rack with the top on. when the rise is complete, carefully remove your pot from the oven and gently put your dough in the pot by inverting it from the towel or napkin so the seam side ends up on top. brush it with olive oil and sprinkle it with sea salt and/or rosemary. do not burn yourself! cover the pot and bake it for 30 minutes.
6. remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep brown but not too dark. the recipe said this would take about 15-30 more minutes but it took much less time for my bread for whatever reason, so keep an eye on it. you'll know when it's ready because it'll be perfectly gorgeous. gently lift the bread out of the hot and place it on a rack to cool.
7. dive in! the crust should be crunchy and the dough perfectly chewy.