Saturday, April 17, 2010
Rustic Cyprus-style Herbed Olive Bread
The herbs in this bread are cilantro, chives and mint. I'm not a big fan of rosemary and I find it used so often in any bread with herbs that I just had to try this pot bread to see how it would turn out. The recipe says that the dough should be very stiff. When I mixed it I thought it seemed a little wet so I added two additional tablespoons of flour, one at a time. Then it was stiff enough that I found it difficult to incorporate the olives using a spoon or spatula so I ended up using my hands to mix them in. Some people use their hands to mix the bread from start to dough. Also this is the first bread that I have made that included an oil in the dough.
After a nine-hour refrigerator rise, I left the bread to rise in the microwave overnight. Nancy Baggett suggests a timeframe of 12 to 18 hour rise. When I looked at the bread the next morning after a 14 hour rise, it was apparent that this bread was ready for the next step. This pot bread was different because the second rise was in the pot not in the bowl and you did not heat the pot before you turned the dough into it. I worried about the wetness of the bread during this rise but decided that I should follow the recipe rather than trying to trouble shoot before I knew if it would work or not.
I used the excuse of cutting a slice in order to photograph it for you before I took it off to the dinner party but actually I wanted to taste it. It is delicious. I really like it better than the olive loaf I made from my other no-knead cookbook. Everyone at the dinner party seemed to like the bread as well.
I am having so much fun making these breads.