Sunday, March 14, 2010

Don't Yuck My Yum Sourdough Olive Bread

This Sourdough Olive Bread uses White Whole Wheat flour!  

I made it because I promised Nell I'd have a fresh loaf of Sourdough Olive Bread upon her arrival to New York.  However, this is also a retaliation post.

In a previous post, Lil confessed her dislike of raisins.  It used to be a much stronger hatred but I can give her some credit for letting raisins grow on her.  Fortunately, somebody taught me from a young age that raisins are candy.  

Our all out war over who was pickier started many many moons ago.  We were young and hot blooded.  I was upset that as a vegetarian I was treated as a picky eater.  Meat aside I eat most everything else.  I have never met a fruit or a vegetable I didn't love.  Except olives.  And mushrooms (but they're a fungus).  Both olives and mushrooms have a gross, slug-like texture.  I've never eaten a slug but if I did I am sure it would be just like a salty icky olive.  I can enjoy them when they are chopped up in a sauce or soup and (sometimes) on a pizza.  Otherwise, no thank you.  That is, until I met olive bread.   

For this olive bread, I set out planning on doing the Pain au Levain (the first sourdough experience) again and folding in olives.  I read that when you add nuts or olives to a sourdough loaf you need to compensate the waterworks.  For nuts, add a little extra water since they tend to dry out dough.  And for olives, use a little less water and salt because they are wet and salty.  Makes perfect sense.  
While measuring the flour, I realized we only had only enough all purpose to feed the starter... This is like the Nes Gadol Haya Sham (Chanukah miracle) of Sourdough breads:

Sourdough Olive Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups sourdough starter
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup kalamata olives (although next time I would probably use a full cup)
  1. Combine flours, water, olive oil and starter.  Stir well and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Carefully dump out onto a floured surface (I used bread flour).
  3. Fold in the salt and chopped kalamata olives.  I've learned that you don't really knead sourdough in the typical way.  Folding and patting the dough into thirds (sort of like you were folding a piece of paper to go into an envelope), rotating 90 degrees and repeating is the way to go so as to prevent degassing the good lactobilli bacteria.  
  4. Shape into a boule and let it rise for one hour in a olive-oiled bowl.  Be sure to turn the dough in the bowl so that the top gets oily as well.
  5. If you'd like, now is the chance to retard your loaf.  Either, pop it into the fridge overnight or proceed to step 6.
  6. Preheat oven to 450°F and let it rise for another hour outside of the fridge.  Remember to preheat your cast iron pan and dutch oven with the oven.  Also, have your water boiled on the stovetop and ready to turn your oven into a sauna.  
  7. Shape, slash, brush with olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes steamy and uncovered (resist opening oven door) and an additional 25 minutes steam-less, covered until the crust is richly colored and the internal temperature** of the loaf is 200°F.  
  8. Let it cool in dutch oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Resist cutting into your bread until it is completely cool.  Listen to it sing (crackle pop noises of water escaping out of the crust).  It's worth the wait.
  10. We recommend this bread with hummus, dunked in olive oil, or topped with a slice of brie cheese.  
**Internal Thermometers are relatively inexpensive and very helpful in bread baking.  We have one similar to this... It's a foolproof way to know if your bread is cooked through.   

So, Lil can eat raisins and I can eat olives.  Which is good because olives are really a miracle fruit.  They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and natural antioxidants.  

I am over this "who is pickier" war and I am ready to sign the treaty.  I will eat the cilantro and Lil will eat the mushrooms.  And of course, I'll finish the milk.  All in all, our "No Thank You" lists are relatively short and complimentary to each other.  

What started out as a retaliation post has turned into a peace-making post.


1 comment:

  1. I need some more of this bread! It was delicious. Rachel decided to spread cream cheese on it, which made me cringe but it was reportedly yummy.

    I'm also glad that I could share this loaf with Norman, Shoebox, and the monsoon of 2010. <3 Nell