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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recipe: No-knead olive bread

File this in the category of special-occasion breads along with Red Cheddar Flake and Roasted Garlic No-Knead.

By Chris Siciliano

Few things in life go together so well as bread and olives. While some familiar combinations might be their equal--wine & cheese, beer & brats, Hall & Oates--there is little that outshines a crust of good bread and a few ripe kalamatas. Fact is, one of the best meals of my life consisted of little more than these two ingredients, a bit of cheese, and good company.

It makes perfect sense then that the addition of olives to the standard no-knead bread recipe would result in a whole far greater than the sum of its parts. Of course, that's just my opinion. I suggest you test the hypothesis yourself. For the recipe, see below.

  • 454g (1 lb) white flour
  • 340g (12oz) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 9-12g (1.5-2 tsp) salt
  • 5.75oz jar manzanilla olives, drained, sliced or chopped
Tips & Tricks

  • To learn the no-knead method, click here. Or, watch these two short videos, here and here.
  • I use manzanilla olives with pimentos because we usually have an unopened jar in the pantry for pizza and bloody marys. Any other olive will taste just as good, and maybe better. Double-check though that the olives are without pits. Nothing ruins a good meal faster than a mouthful of broken teeth.
  • Remember, olives are salty. Depending on your tastes and diet, you might want to back off on the total amount of salt you add. Sometimes I back off by about half a teaspoon for a total of 1.5 tsps, that's 9 grams if you're measuring by weight. Then again, sometimes I just use the full amount of salt (2 tsp), blood pressure be damned. It's up to you the route you want to go. You can get away with 1 tsp or even a little less.
  • Usually I start slicing the olives in meticulous and uniform fashion. Halfway through I grow impatient and begin chopping indiscriminately. I find this strategy suits me. Add the sliced/chopped olives directly to the dry ingredients before you add the water.

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