Dec 26, 2010

No-Knead Olive and Garlic Loaf

Christmas Eve we went to V & G's for homemade mushroom lasagna and rum cake and to hang out with the foster kitties and, in general, have a good time. We were in charge of bringing bread and champagne. For the bread I was inspired to use a little bit of rye flour, like I used in the No-Knead Swedish Limpa recipe. I had recently made the Limpa so I had the rye flour. It won't last forever so I'm thinking of breads to make with it.

I thought the Limpa flour combo would be great for a hearty and crusty loaf dotted with olives and roasted garlic. A good companion bread for earthy mushrooms. I used a combination of white bread flour, whole wheat flour, and rye. For the olives I used one of my favorites, the oil-cured, wrinkled black olives that have such a fruity taste. For convenience, I bought roasted garlic from the olive bar and gave it a rough chop. I thought the mellow roasted flavor would round out the fruitiness and saltiness of the olives. For a bit of color and to bring the whole recipe together, some chopped fresh rosemary. Before baking, I dusted the top of the slashed loaves with more rosemary and coarse salt. The bread was amazing. It was crusty, it was packed with fruity olive goodness and sweet garlic and the burst of salt on the tongue in every bite. I used half the recipe for a large loaf to bring to dinner and split the remaining recipe into two small loaves for us at home.

Here is what I used. The special addition items I didn't measure but I've given you pretty close approximate amounts.

3 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (1-1/2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup rye flour
3 cups unbleached bread flour
-1/2 whole wheat flour
cornmeal for dusting the peel
1/ - 3/4 cups black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup roasted garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary

Combine yeast and sugar with the water in a very large bowl. I proof my yeast first, you don't have to. I just really like to know it's alive and kicking before I bother to continue.

While the yeast is proofing, combine the flours and salt.

Using a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or large spoon, combine the yeast mixture with the dry ingredients until just combined then add the olives, garlic and rosemary. Continue to combine the mixture until there are no more dry spots.
Remember, it's going to be wet and sticky but that's perfect.

Yes, you could also do this using a food processor with dough attachment or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. I've never used my food processor to make dough and I don't have a stand mixer. I prefer my hands when making bread. I like to feel the dough. How else can I tell if it's too wet or too dry or needs more kneading? The no-knead method is the farthest away I get from using my hands when making bread.

Cover to bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest until dough rises and collapses back on itself, about 2 hours. The dough can be used at this point but will be sticky to handle. I put it in the refrigerator for a couple more hours before using. Then again, you can let it go overnight. Ultimately, you can keep this dough mixture in the refrigerator for at least a week. Keep in mind the longer you keep it, the more sour and yeasty it becomes, like sourdough. We are not fans of that flavor at all so I make a whole batch of no-knead dough when I know I will use it all.

When you are ready to make some bread, dust the top of the dough mix with a little flour to help the knife avoid sticking. Flour your hands too. Grab a grapefruit-sized blob of dough and cut from the mix with a serrated knife.

Quickly shape the blob into a loaf by stretching the surface of dough around the bottom on all four sides. Dust with more flour if needed. Let the dough rest on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal for 40 minutes. You can cover with a dry, floured towel if you like.

Twenty minutes before baking (or however long it takes your oven to come to temperature), preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place an empty shallow pan on the floor of the oven and your baking stone on the middle rack. This is also when you score the bread with a razor or very sharp knife. Score, gently, slash marks or a cross (keep the cross small because they really expand), etc.

To bake - pour 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan to create a burst of steam. Please be careful! Then right away slide the loaf (loaves) from the peel onto the stone. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and firm. You might have to turn the loaf half way. I always have to do this because our oven is hotter in the back.



The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

There's no way I could let that loaf cool completely! I would be ripping hunks off it and burning my fingers!

vb said...

You know, we never wait either. It's just one of those things you say in a recipe, to cover your behind in case a reader says, "Hey, I cut the bread immediately and it was mushy, had a nasty crumb and a soft crust." Waiting for it to cool is what they say develops these things. Honestly, just eat the bread.

Mother Rimmy said...

I love rustic loafs of crusty bread, especially if I don't have to knead it!


vb said...

Mother Rimmy, if you don't want to knead it, this method is for you!

pressurized said...

looks so yummy .. i feeling hungry


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