So, let’s talk bread, people.
It exists because Parmigiano Reggiano and good red wine exist…that’s a good enough reason right? It’s also the number one reason I could never be entirely gluten free (like, you should just smell my kitchen right now!).
It’s often been said that if a really good meal starts with bad bread and ends with bad coffee, then diners will say the meal was inadequate…it’s that important. Some restaurants are now serving entire bread courses with different breads made from different flours and seeds served with artisanal cheeses and lards…that’s just spectacular.
But it takes too long, right?
It’s all in the timing. This bread can be put together at night before you go to bed, punched down in the morning (left to proof for the second rise) and then cooked when you are ready – no waiting because you are incorporating it into your day. Also, that whole mess of kneading dough is unnecessary if you incorporate time. When you knead dough, the action of kneading activates the gluten which is what makes for a really fluffy bread (that’s why gluten free bread sometimes tastes like cardboard). But, time creates the same stringy gluten but without the mess and energy it takes to knead. And, you also get a depth of flavour from the fermentation that you will never get from bread that hasn’t had time to sit. It’s all explained so nicely in this book (I have it and it is the best bread book out there!!)
So come on…you gotta try it. It’s so darn easy and you will be so darn proud of yourself. Seriously, who wouldn’t think you could save the world if you could knock off one of these babies?
This will make your head spin…it’s that good.
And for all of your gluten free people, I’m really sorry 🙁
Kalamata Olive and Sun Dried Tomato No-Knead Bread
- 3 cups bread flour see note 1
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 c kalamata olives pitted (or a mixture of good deli olives (not the ones in a can!)
- 1/3 c chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 c chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 tsp sugar optional...see note 2
- 1 1/2 c warm water you can use a thermometer and measure 100 degrees or use the inside of your wrist and it should feel like the temperature of milk in a baby bottle
- Get all of your ingredients together - this will work quickly so this is an important step.
- On a cutting board, chop all of the olives, sun dried tomatoes and parsley; pat dry and place in a small bowl.
- In a small glass bowl (or in a 2 cup measuring cup), add the water, sugar (if using) and yeast; stir to combine and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt; add the olives, tomatoes and parsley and stir to coat (this helps to keep the tiny bits from clumping in one place)
- Pour the water/yeast mixture into the flour bowl and mix well; cover the bowl with plastic wrap (to keep drafts away) and place a tea towel over top to keep the mixture dark.
- Put the bowl on the counter top and leave it overnight (or for 12 hours).
- The next morning (or 12 hours later), uncover the bowl and dump onto a floured cutting board (it will be very airy); knead a few times.
- Place the ball of dough on top of a piece of floured parchment and place the parchment and dough back in the bowl; cover with the towel again and leave for at least a few more hours
- Preheat the oven to 500 and place a heavy bottomed pot into the oven (I used an enameled cast iron pot...it must have a lid or you will need to use heavy duty aluminum foil).
- THIS POT IS PUT INTO THE OVEN EMPTY...it needs to get nice and hot. Leave the lid off.
- When the 30 minutes is over,and being very careful around this hot pot, gently drop the bread into the pot (it will seem like it deflates, but don't worry); place the lid on and bake at 500 for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take the lid off and bake for another 15-20 minutes (it needs to develop a crunchy crust so it will be quite brown).
- Remove it from the oven and carefully (with 2 oven mits on) place it on a wire rack to cool.