All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lahey #3 - Olive Loaf

I simply followed Lahey's recipe here, using bread flour, and some pitted, roughly sliced Kalamata Olives.  Since they are so salty to begin with, this recipe doesn't need any extra salt.
I used a full 18 hour fermentation here.  When I took off the lid, it was very yeasty and had a pleasant  scent of olives that would carry through all the steps of baking and eating.  The dough was very gooey, and despite my wet hands, it was pretty tricky to form into a ball.  I have had to use a pastry scraper.  The couche kept the dough from spreading sideways too much while it rested, and as I've said before, it even soaks up some of the excess moisture too, even as the dough incorporates some of the bran you have sprinkled on the surface.

I should mention that when I place the dough into the crock pot, it is entirely removed from the oven, unlike the youtube video of Lahey, who flung his dough into his crock pot and probably burned himself. The question then becomes, what do you place the very hot crockpot on, when you remove it from the oven with oven mitts?  Well, I have been putting it on my baking stone, which sits on top of the stove.  So far, I haven't had any problems.

This dough was so sticky it stuck to the linen as I was putting it into the crockpot.  There is a huge wet spot on the couche, and the bran is impossible to get off.  I left the couche to dry in the sun outside.

I may not have had enough bran on the couche, the bottom of this loaf seemed to me a bit blonde.  And because it stuck to the linen, this boule didn't form well, didn't rise well, and was a bit misshapen.

We cracked into this one for lunch a trifle early; it was still warm.  It tasted great with the vegetable soup, but my wife said that she thought I could use a lot fewer olives next time.  She had the idea of broiling some bruschetta and cheese on slices of these, so that is what we had for dinner, too.

Notes to myself:
  • Make sure you have enough bran on your linen couche to completely coat the bottom of your loaf, so that it will not stick to the cloth
  • Anything you might put with the dough that contains a lot of salt might inhibit the gluten formation: make sure that you give it enough time to ferment
  • If what you are adding to the dough might have extra hydration (such as these olives), you may be able to back off your water content by a tablespoon or two.  You still want a wet dough, but it has to be manageable.
  • Try it with about 100 g less olives next time.

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