Sunday, October 10, 2010

Olive Bread

I felt like doing something productive in the kitchen, but was too lazy to go to the store (that seems to happen a lot, doesn't it?). Glancing through what I had on hand, I soon came to the conclusion that I had to bake something, since every protein product I had was frozen solid, and pasta with homemade sauce just wasn't what I was looking for.

So, the first part of the decision was made. But what to bake? Hmm...I've got yeast. And a new bag of flour. Yeast + flour = bread. (Of course there's more to it than that, but you know what I mean.) Then I saw the containers of olives in the fridge, and remembered Ravenous Couple's no-knead olive bread. Everything about it was appealing, especially the no-knead part (see above regarding lazy).

So I grabbed my Oxo cherry pitter, and set to work on the olives (Castelvetrano and a marinated mix). I love my cherry pitter, and it's allowed in my kitchen because it pits both cherries and olives cleanly, and therefore has more than a single function.

I halved the recipe, and was later extremely glad that I did, because the jiggly puffy bubbly dough rose pretty close to the top of the largest bowl I own. After a few hours on the counter and a few more in the fridge, I scooped out a very sticky glob of dough, coated it in flour because I was out of cornmeal, and plopped it into my pre-heated enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven. Into the oven it went, along with a tray of water below it to provide steam.

Ten minutes later I turned on the vent fan and removed the batteries from the smoke detector.

Twenty minutes after that I had delicious olive bread with a crackly crust. I had a slice still warm, spread with butter. The rest we ate with soppressata, Spanish ham, and cheese.

The best part? The dough keeps in the fridge for days, getting a little more sour with the passage of time. Four days later I had another loaf that was even better than the first.


Ravenous Couple said...

that's a great looking rustic olive bread! thanks for the link back!

Vicki said...

Hey RC - Thank you, and thanks for the recipe! Couldn't have done it without you guys :)

Tuscan foodie in America said...

Interesting. Will need to try.

Vicki said...

Hi TFIA - Do! It's relatively foolproof, and I can see adding other things besides olives. Maybe roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes.

tigerfish said...

What is better than homemade rustic bread? :D

Vicki said...

Hi tigerfish! I'd have to say - not too many things :)