Back in Business and Ain’t It Grand: Makin’ Olive Bread

With Passover over, and the shadow of death passed over our apartment (the lamb’s blood properly sloshed), the time has come to revive my starter. Last we checked, the starter was sulking and shivering in the fridge; but now it’s had three days of feeding and looks beautiful and bubbly:

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Today we’re making Olive Bread.

It begins with a mistake: I purchased kalamata olives (correct) and green olives in oil (incorrect). The instruction was: “Oil Cured olives” and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that Oil Cured Olives are the wrinkly gross ones. Nancy Silverton wants the olives to fall apart in the bread and color the dough; but alas, that couldn’t happen now. So I doubled the kalamata and I’m a better man for it.

Anyway, I woke up at the crack of dawn (10:30 am) and began the arduous process.

I halved the recipe to produce only one loaf and to save my electric mixer from death (as almost happened last time with the extra tough, double dough portion).

So here we are adding some starter to some water:

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Then some wheat germ to the flour:

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Mixed it up with the dough hook:

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Added some salt, then the olives:

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Plus some Thyme:

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Mixed it all up:

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Kneaded by hand:

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Put it in an oiled bowl:

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Covered in plastic and went to school for four hours. When I returned:

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You can really see how it doubled in size.

Then we plop it out on the counter, and shape it into a boule. Place in a proofing basket:

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Let it rise for two hours and then cover in plastic and put in the fridge.

That’s where it is now. It will refrigerate until tomorrow when I will slide it into the oven. This process is known as retardation. I prefer to call it mentally challengedardation because I’m not evil. Stay tuned for the finished product.

[To see how the olive bread came out, read this very sane post.]

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