August 8, 2012 by hoosieroutwest
Once I made marinated roasted red peppers I knew I had to have kalamata olives. Why? Not sure but in my mind they go together.
I already had olives in the house and decided that since I had made the red peppers I needed to make a sandwich with the two and what better way then turning the olives into a bread – yum.
Now I don’t have a stand mixer, in my mind that’s a wedding present and I have no ring on my finger. So I’ve been scouring the web for bread recipes that don’t require a stand mixer. Surprisingly, those are few and far between.
But then I stumbled upon not only a recipe that didn’t require a stand mixer but also didn’t require kneading – I was in love.
The genius of this recipe is you let the yeast sit with the flour for a while and it does the kneading for you. The one caveat is that you really need a dutch oven to get the beautiful crust. Specifically one that is heavy bottomed – preferably cast iron – so it can withstand the heat of the oven.
As long as you have a hefty pot (you don’t even need the super expensive one) and some patience you can make this delicious bread. In fact, once you make the bread and the roasted red peppers then you can make this sandwich – best lunch I’ve had in a while.
Kalamata Olive Bread
adapted from Macheesmo
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes + rising time
3 cups bread flour (20.5 oz)
1½ cups kalamata olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped
¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups cool water
Mix yeast, flour and salt together in a large bowl. Toss in chopped olives and mix well.
Add water to flour mixture and mix well with wooden spoon – dough should be very wet (not knead-able). Feel free to add a little extra water if dough isn’t wet.
Cover bowl and let sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours. Resulting dough should be bubbly and clinging to the bowl.
Next, pour out the dough onto a floured surface and fold it a few times. Liberally flour all sides, forming dough into a loaf.
Take a tea towel and sprinkle liberally with flour and corn meal (no worries if you don’t have corn meal, it just adds a nice texture).
Turn the dough, seam side down on to the floured tea towel. Cover the towel and let the loaf proof for two hours.
Before the dough is done proofing – at the 90 minutes mark – preheat your oven to 500°. Place a heavy enameled cast iron pot in the oven when it’s cold and let it heat up with the oven.
After 30 minutes – when the dough is done proofing – place the dough seam side up in the preheated pot and put the lid on it.
Cook the dough – lid on – for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes – until the dough is a walnut brown.
Remove the bread from the oven and immediately take out of pot and put on cooling rack. Let bread completely cool before slicing.
When you chop the olives be sure to check that there are no pits, sometimes the pitting machine will miss an olive or two.
Make sure to sprinkle a good amount of flour on the tea towel. The first time I made this loaf I had to throw out the towel because the dough stuck to parts and wouldn’t come off.
When preheating the oven make sure it’s set on bake and not broil. Also, be sure to not add the lid when preheating the pot.
Make sure to remove bread from pot immediately after cooking. Cooling bread in pot will lead to the bottom of the bread getting moist and soggy.
To store bread place in paper bag with cut side against bag and leave on the kitchen counter. No paper bag? Wrap it in parchment paper. Don’t put it in the refrigerator as the moisture will lead to soggy bread.