Olive Bread from Nice

Olive Bread from Nice
Staff Writer

Penny de los Santos

Olives are a natural complement to bread, especially when they’re baked inside it. Be sure to buy firm unpitted olives for this — pitted olives tend to be softer, and though buying them that way may save you time, the olives will easily disintegrate and add extra moisture to the dough.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3  Cup  room-temperature tap water
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
  • 3 3/4  Cups  bread flour
  • 1 1/2  Teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4  Cup  Niçoise olives, or other firm-textured olives, pitted after measuring and coarsely chopped

Directions

Pour the water into a 3-quart or slightly larger mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast. Wait 30 seconds, then whisk again.

Combine the flour and salt and use a large rubber spatula to stir the flour mixture into the liquid. Scrape the side of the bowl to make sure that no flour remains stuck there. Once the dough is a coherent mass, beat it for a few seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It will more than double in bulk.

A couple of hours before you are ready to form and bake the bread, use a plastic scraper to transfer the dough from the bowl to a well-floured work surface. Flour your hands and pull the dough into a long rectangle. Scatter the olives over half the length of the dough, then fold the other half of the dough over them. Gently press to adhere the dough back together. Fold the 2 sides in to overlap at the middle, then roll the top toward you all the way to the end, jelly-roll style. Invert, flatten, and repeat. Move the dough to a well-floured place and cover with a towel or sprayed or oiled plastic wrap; let rest for 1 hour.

Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Use a scraper to invert the dough to a floured work surface and pull the sides of the dough in toward the center to give the loaf a round shape, pinching the pulled-in pieces in place at the top. Invert the dough to a floured banneton or a basket lined with a floured cloth and cover it with a flat-weave towel. Proof the loaf until it puffs visibly, about 1 hour — it will not double in bulk.

Invert the paper-lined pan onto the banetton and flip the banetton over onto aheavy cookie sheet or pizza pan lined with sprayed or lightly oiled parchment paper, and remove it. Use an X-Acto knife or a single-edge razor blade to cut a slash across the diameter of the loaf. Spray the loaf with water and place it in the oven. Wait 5 minutes and spray again, then decrease the oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Bake the loaf until it is deep golden and the internal temperature reads 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 30-40 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
3g
4%
Sugar
6g
7%
Carbohydrate, by difference
82g
63%
Protein
15g
33%
Vitamin A, RAE
4µg
1%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
1mg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
3µg
3%
Calcium, Ca
34mg
3%
Choline, total
11mg
3%
Fiber, total dietary
5g
20%
Folate, total
197µg
49%
Iron, Fe
5mg
28%
Magnesium, Mg
35mg
11%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
7mg
50%
Phosphorus, P
130mg
19%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
39µg
71%
Sodium, Na
98mg
7%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
67g
2%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Olive Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Olive Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.