by / Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spicy Kalamata Sourdough Loaf

Even though my kitchen winds up being like 1000° when I bake something lately,  I just can't help myself sometimes.  The name alone was enough to convince me that I needed to try this loaf of bread.  I wish that I had a smaller brotform (or that I had used a bowl instead) so that I would've ended up with a rounder, taller loaf...but really that's just aesthetics...because this loaf does not lack at all for flavor.  It's the kind of loaf you want to wrap up and tuck into a picnic basket with a bottle of wine, some thinly sliced ham, a few hunks of cheese, and a bottle of chilled white wine.  Now if you'll excuse me, my blanket is getting heavy...I'm heading off to sit under a shady tree.  Just me and my picnic basket.
adapted ever-so-slightly from the Bewitching Kitchen
makes 1 loaf

200g (200 ml) water at room temperature
142g sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)
¼ tsp. instant yeast
280g bread flour + more as needed
85g dark rye flour
9 g salt
¾ c. (~80 g) kalamata olives, halved
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves, chopped

Dissolve the starter and the instant yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add the flour, mix to incorporate (or use a mixer w/ dough attachment on low speed), then cover with a plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt on top, and gently knead it in for a few minutes.

Once the salt is incorporated, add the olives, red pepper, rosemary, and oregano and knead by hand (or with the mixer at low speed).

Let the dough rise for 3 hours, kneading quickly three different times...once every 45 minutes or so.

Shape the dough into a round, place in a banetton/brotform or a bowl lined with well-floured linen with the seam up. I imagine you could free-form it, too if need be.  Let rise until almost doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450° F during last 20 minutes or so of rise time.  Place a baking stone on middle shelf.

Slide into oven and spray with a mist of water, then close the oven door. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 425° F for another 20 minutes or until done.

Remove to a rack to cool.
This may not seem like a lot of spice...but it packs a lot of heat!  It's salty and sour and spicy all at once.  And extremely addicting.  I like as-is or toasted or as the bread on a sandwich.  I probably at half of the loaf toasted and spread with a layer of cream cheese with a big dollop of Tomato Jam...which I got from the super cool Meredith from Anchovies and Butter (along with a jar each of Peach Jelly, Apple Cranberry Jelly, and New Mexico Pepper Jelly...awesome!  Thanks Meredith☺).

I am sharing this post with:
BBD #42: Bread for a Picnic
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Heather is a Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.

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