Friday, May 7, 2010
My usual olive bread is a sourdough with a little bit of rye flour as its base, but I recently had a request for an olive ciabatta recipe so I decided to branch out. I made a couple of loaves of this--one for me and Rachael to sneak in to the movies, and another to take in for a work treat. Rachael didn't really like it (she's not a big olive bread fan in general), but it was a great success at work.
I usually measure my bread ingredients with a scale--as well as being more accurate, it's easier and less messy and makes for fewer dishes to wash--but have converted to volume measures for any scaleless readers.
makes 2 loaves
180g bread flour (1 1/2C)
180g water (3/4C)
1/8t instant yeast
400g bread flour (3 1/4C)
25g toasted wheat germ (1/4C)
260ml water (1C +2T)
12g salt (2t)
2t fresh thyme, or 1t dry
225g unpitted olives (1 1/2C)--I used kalamatas because that's what I had, but use any olives you like.
all of the poolish
The night before you bake, mix the poolish ingredients together in a little bowl and let rise, covered, overnight till it's very bubbly.
In the morning, thoroughly mix together all of the dough ingredients except the olives. This dough will be very sticky, so if you don't want to use your mixer to knead it do as I did and stretch and fold* it three times in the first hour of its rising. Let the dough rise for about three hours altogether, till about tripled.
Meanwhile, smash the olives with the side of a big knife, then tear them in half and get the pits out. Let them drain on a towel while the dough rises.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured counter and stretch out into a big rectangle (about 10"x14"), and scatter 2/3 of the olives over it. Fold the rectangle into thirds (like a letter), stretch a little more, scatter with the remaining olives, and fold into thirds again. Cut it in half and shape each half into a round, tucking in any exposed olives.
Let the dough rest for ten minutes, then stretch out into ciabatta shapes on a piece of parchment paper on a peel or back of a cookie sheet.
Veil the shaped loaves with flour, cover with a cloth, then let rise till very light, one to one-and-a-half hours.
At least 45 minutes before you bake, preheat your oven with its baking stone in it to 475°. When the loaves are risen, squirt them with water and then slide them onto the stone. After ten minutes, turn the oven down to 425°. Bake for about 25 minutes total, till well-browned and until the loaves' internal temperature is at least 205° (mine got up to 211° and weren't overdone).
*I just do this in the bowl, not laying it out on parchment paper, and stretch mostly lengthwise instead of making nice rectangles. It works just as well.