Monday, August 30

Olive oil bread

We all know how much I like the avocado/olive oil toast combo, right?  I wasn't happy with my first attempt at homemade olive oil bread, so I knew that I would make it again.  I finally did that the other night.  I gotta say, I was pretty impressed with myself on this one.  I'm not sure why this version was so successful, but I think it had to do with using bread flour and having the oven sufficiently warmed up.

Olive oil bread
From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

I mixed the dough in my stand mixer, but I will give instructions for doing it in the food processor or by hand.

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed (I used bread flour)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Stand mixer: Combine half the flour with the salt, yeast, oil, and water.  Using the paddle blade, blend until smooth.  With the machine on slow speed, add the remaining flour a little at a time, until the mixture has become a sticky ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl (switch to the dough hook, if needed).  Knead by hand for one minute, adding as little flour as necessary.  Proceed below.

Food processor: Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor.  Turn the machine on and add olive oil through the feed tube, followed by 1 cup of water.  Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.  Proceed below.

By hand: Combine half the flour with the salt and yeast in a large bowl and stir to blend.  Add the oil and water and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add the remaining flour a little at a time.  When the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading, adding as little flour as possible - just enough to keep the dough from being a sticky mess.  Knead until smooth but still quite moist, about 10 minutes.  Proceed below.

Form a smooth, round dough ball, put it into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.  When the dough is ready, shape the dough into an oval shape.  Put the dough on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap (I used the same piece as before).  Let rest until the dough puffs slightly, about 20 minutes.

Pinch the bottom of the oval to seal the seam as best you can.  Sprinkle all over with flour and put on a well-floured baking sheet.  Let rise, covered, for at least an hour and preferably longer, up to 2 hours (I did this for an hour and a half).  Slash the top of the bread several times.

About 30 minutes before you're going to bake, heat the oven to 425F.  If you have a pizza stone, put it on the bottom rack.  If you don't, on the oven floor, put a shallow ovenproof pot (I use 2 old metal bread making pans) half-filled with ordinary (but clean) rocks.  Boil some water.  Just before putting the bread in the oven, carefully pour boiling water to just over the top of the stones.  Close the oven door.  A minute later, put in the bread and start baking, turning the heat down to 375F.  If you like your bread a little bit darker, bake the bread at 425F until the bread just begins to brown, then turn the heat down.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread is at least 210F on an instant-read thermometer, about 40 to 60 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.

This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting.

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