Olive and Rosemary no knead bread
A while ago I posted a recipe for a no knead bread and thought I’d show you a variation, adding chopped olives and herbs to the dough to make it a little different. I have to admit that this no knead method took me by surprise the first time I tried it but it has become my go to method for baking bread. The flavour develops beautifully over the long, 18h fermentation, the crust is crisp and chewy and the crumb (the inside) is porous and delicious. If this is the first time you make it I suggest you take a look at my previous post that explain the details of this method.
To make this bread you need a cast iron pot. I use Le Creuset enamelled cast iron and one of my readers commented that she uses Henckel cast iron pot with equal success.
Bread baking is an organic experience that should not be missed. Just think of all the cooks and bakers of generations past doing exactly that in many kitchens around the world. It gives me a sense of heritage, history and continuity and a delicious loaf of crusty bread along with it. With all the soups that I have been making lately a home made bread was a natural thing to make along with the soups.
I start the dough in the evening, let it rise overnight and through the next day and bake it late afternoon so it’s ready for dinner fresh and warm right out of the oven. This bread, sliced, makes a good crostini. Brush it with olive oil and grill before topping with something delicious.
Adapted from Jim Lahey Sullivan Street Bakery.
3 cup all purpose flour (1 more cup for later)
1/4 teaspoon instant style dry yeast
1.5 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1.5 cups water
2 cups green or black olive
A large handful of fresh rosemary, minced
Place flour, yeast and salt in a bow and mix.
Add the water all at once and mix it into the flour by hand or with a wooden spoon. Just mix until combined, there will be flour left on the sides of the bowl and that’s fine. You can leave it in the same bowl (Lahey does), or place it in a clean bowl (I do).
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot in the kitchen for 18 hours undisturbed.
The dough will rise and fill the bowl and the top of the dough will be bubbly.
When you are ready to proceed sprinkle flour generously on the counter and pour the dough onto the floured surface. You will see the gluten in the stringy texture of the dough as you pour it out of the bowl.
Chop the olives, removing the pits and spread over and around the dough.
Scatter the chopped rosemary over the dough.
Sprinkle a little flour over the sticky dough and fold the four sides over into the center. Do this a couple fo time to distribute the olives and nuts throughout the dough.
Line a bowl with a cotton towel or parchment paper and sprinkle generously with flour. The nice thing about the parchment is that you can just throw it out when you are finished.
Lift the dough and place in the bowl seam side down. You will want the seam to be side up when you bake the bread, so it has room to expand.
Let the dough rest 2 hours.
An hour before you are ready to bake turn the oven on to 475F and place the cast iron pot in the over to heat.
When it’s time to bake remove the pot from the oven carefully and set the lid aside. Sprinkle flour into the bottom of the pot.
Lift the dough from the bowl (it’s sticky, don’t worry about the shape) and drop it into the hot pot seam side up.
Cover with a lid and return to the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes covered with the lid, then remove the lid and continue baking uncovered for another 15 minutes to let the crust brown.
Remove from the oven and carefully lift the bread from the pot and place on a rack.
Let cool a while before slicing (as if…).