No knead Olive bread 

This is an Olive Bread recipe, based on the no knead method, pioneered by Jim Lahey.

(a small loaf for two to three persons)

200g Bread Flour
100g Kalamata Olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped (or a mix of green and kalamata olives)
1g Salt
1g  Active dry yeast
175ml Water

Step 1
Drain the olives and pat them dry. Roughly chop them and make sure all the olives actually don’t have pits. (If the olives are really salty, reduce the salt in the bread).

Step 2
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest  12-18 hours. The hotter the weather temperature, the shorter the time needed for fermentation. (Jim Lahey recommends  preferably about 18 hours, at room temperature of 20 Celsius degrees. My personal experience in the hot summer weather in Taipei is about 7-8 hours for the bread to double in volume and surface bubbly.)

Step 3
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface. Scrape dough out from the bowl gently, you don’t want to disturb the gas inside the bubbles too much, let he dough roll on to the floured surface. place Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

When fermentation is complete, the dough will double in volume and the surface will be bubbly.

Step 4
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Folded a couple of times on a floured surface and shape into a ball. Now let it proof the second time in floured towel.

How will you know when the proofing is completed and the dough is ready to go into the oven? The finger test is to press a finger into the dough. If it’s elastic enough that the mark of your fingers disappears, it hasn’t proofed long enough. If your fingers leave a hole that stays unchanged, or if the dough collapses, you’ve left it too long. Ideally the mark of your fingers remains in the dough, but springs back partially.

The dough is overproof which means the gluten in the dough has weaken and the bread will collapse when baked.

Step 5
At least 30 minutes before dough is ready, heat oven to 240 degrees. Put a heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.


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