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Pane con Olive
(Rustic Olive Bread)

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or one small cake yeast (18 grams)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp flour

1/2 cup water (120 grams)

2 cups water (475 grams)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups flour (400 grams)
3 cups whole wheat flour (400 grams)
2 tsp salt (10 grams)
2 cups black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped coarsely

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water and allow it to stand for
approximately 5-10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose
flour and mix until the flour is absorbed. Sprinkle the remaining
tablespoon of flour over the starter, cover it with a cotton towel,
and allow it to remain at room temperature until double in size
(approximately 1 hour). (An indication that the starter has doubled
in size is the disappearance of the tablespoon of flour or the
formation of large cracks on the surface of the starter).

Cover the starter with 1/2 cup water to soften it. Add the remaining
water (2 cups) and the extra-virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon) to
the softened starter, mixing well. Gradually add the unbleached
all-purpose and whole wheat flours (3 cups each). Continue to mix
until the dough begins to hold together. Knead the dough to a soft
consistency. Add the salt (2 teaspoons) and the coarsely chopped
olives and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Allow it to rise until it
is at least double in size (approximately 1 - 2 hours).

Gently turn the risen dough onto a flour dusted work surface.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and allow them to rest for
10 minutes. Dust a piece of canvas (untreated, 100% cotton), or a
proofing board (lumber core plywood) with flour. Cup your hands
beneath one portion of dough and gently fold sections of it toward
the center as you roll it on the work surface until it is round.
Turn the dough over, gently roll it on the work surface, and place
it on the canvas or board. Repeat with the second portion. Cover
the dough with a cotton towel.

Allow it to rise until it is nearly double (approximately 45
minutes). As the dough is rising, place a baking stone in the oven
and set the temperature to 450 F. Allow the oven to heat for 30
minutes. Ease your hands beneath the dough and transfer each
portion to a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Slide a
bakers peel beneath the parchment paper.

Slide the parchment paper from the peel onto the baking stone.
Quickly spray the oven walls using a plastic spray bottle filled
with cold water.

Spray again in 3 additional intervals within the first 15 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 425 F. Allow the dough to bake until
it is deep brown in color (approximately 30 more minutes). After
15 - 20 minutes, check the oven to be certain that the dough is
not browning too quickly.

If this is the case, cover the loaf with aluminum foil. Remove the
bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack.

Note: This bread may also be baked in a 10-inch springform pan.
Lightly oil the springform pan. After shaping the dough, place it
in the pan and cover it with a cotton towel. Let the dough rise
until nearly double (45 minutes ? - 1 hour). When the dough has
nearly doubled in size, remove the cloth and place the springform
pan in the oven. Spray the oven walls in the intervals indicated
above, and allow the dough to bake until it is deep brown in color.
Remove the springform pan from the oven, allow it to cool for 5
minutes, then open the pan and remove the bread. Allow the bread
to cool on a rack.


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