I think I’ve been on a minor sourdough craze lately.
The flavour combination in this bread is incredible. The saltiness of the olives, the aroma of the rosemary, and the slight heat of the chili just meld together perfectly to deliver the gustatory equivalent of a wonderful punch to the face.
And the flavours are all encased in a knife-sharp crust, lovingly cultivated by obsessive steaming of the oven.
I had a slight nightmare turning the dough out of the banneton as I didn’t flour the basket well enough.
So I had a minor structural collapse on one side of the bread. D; Nothing a cheeky cut and sneaky angling can’t cover up.
I really encourage you to use Kalamata olives if possible just for the superior taste and colour it brings. And to use the chili even if you’re a wuss to heat like me. I think that each of these components are essential for the flavour profile that this recipe aims for.
I had the bread with some salad and baked chicken and it just made my day. I got the recipe from here, and just reworded it because I thought the original was a little confusing.
- 200g water
- 140g starter (my starter is 100% hydration)
- 368g bread flour
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives (about 180g drained weight)
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Combine the starter with the water and mix. Add flour until the dough comes together. Leave for 20 mins.
- Add salt. Mix until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients.
- Cover dough and leave until not quite doubled in size (about 4 hours).
- Shape the dough and put it in your banneton, if using. Leave until doubled in size (about 8 hours).
- Heat your oven to 230°C and fill a tray at the bottom of the oven with water (this is to create steam, which is what makes your crust crispy).
- Tip your dough out onto a lined baking tray and score the dough. Put the dough in the oven, and spray mist into the oven using a spray bottle.
- After 3 mins, open the oven and spray mist. 3 more mins after that, repeat misting. Then leave the bread in the oven for 10 mins. (So basically mist at 0, 3, and 6 mins).
- After 16 mins total baking time, lower the temperature to 200°C and leave for 30 mins or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
- 100% hydration just means my starter is equal parts flour and water by weight.
- I didn’t score my dough (cut lines into the top of the bread, examples here and here) because there were already so many tears in the top from my mishap with flouring the banneton. Feel free to score the dough though.
- The original recipe suggests doing the second rise in the refrigerator overnight. I have done this before, and it does result in a stronger flavour in the end product. I didn’t do it this time simply because it didn’t fit my schedule.
- I thought the recipe could do with a stronger rosemary flavour. Not sure if it was because my rosemary wasn’t strong or if I sucked at measuring out 1 tbsp of rosemary (I just really don’t know how to measure tablespoons for things like this), but I’d probably up the rosemary ante next time, mmmmmm.