Sunday Baking: No Knead Olive Bread

August 14, 2011

This flavorful olive bread is an easy no knead bread that is a perfect baking project for a Sunday.  This recipe requires few ingredients and little work, all you need is time.  After the dough is made, it should rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours so that it is easier to work with.  I would use a black olive for this recipe, maybe a kalamata or nicoise.  I add whole roasted garlic cloves to my dough.  To make roasted garlic, wrap a whole bulb in foil with olive oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cloves are golden brown and slide out of the bulb.  This bread is delicious for sandwiches.  I like to make a sandwich with pesto, grilled veggies, and goat cheese.  

No Knead Olive Bread

(recipe from The Ravenous Couple)

Ingredients:

6 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
1 1/2 tbs yeast
1 1/2 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil or other high quality brand
2 3/4 cup luke warm water (just warm to the touch)
1.5 cup coarsely chopped pitted olives
1/4 cup coarsely chopped rosemary

Directions:

Combine the flour, salt, yeast, sugar and mix ingredients together in a large 5 qt container or a large 5qt stand mixer bowl. Add water and olive oil and using the mixing tool begin to mix. Half way until a wet dough is formed, add the olives and chopped rosemary. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, leaving a small opening and allow it to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse or at least flatten, about 2 hours. The dough can be used at this point, however, the book recommends refrigerating the dough for another 3 hrs so that it is less wet and sticky.
When ready to bake, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling corn meal liberally. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on the dough mixture and pull a good grapefruit size piece of dough, using shears to cut the sticky dough as necessary. We then roll the dough into a boule (ball) according to the book direction: Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Place on pizza peel and allow to rest about 40 minutes. 20 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place an empty boiler tray for holding water on another shelf.

At this point if you like an egg wash on your bread you can do that and slash the top of the bread with a serrated knife about 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. (This helps the bread expand during baking.) You can also dust liberally with flour and slash with serrated knife. The dough may flatten a bit, but you can reshape as needed.

With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about a cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch.

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