Kalamata Olive Bread

Salty olives add a mouth-watering element to this artisan bread, perfect for pre-dinner nibbling.

INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 2 LOAVES

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3–4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  1. To create the sponge, combine water, honey, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand 5 minutes. Add allpurpose flour and beat for 1 minute. Cover and let stand at room temperature 8–12 hours.

  2. Add to the sponge the milk, olives, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Return to bowl, dust with flour, cover with plastic, and rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, divide into 2 equal portions, and shape into 2 oblong loaves. Place onto prepared pan seam-side down, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  4. Dust the top of the risen loaves generously with flour. Using a serrated knife, cut decorative slash marks into the surface of the dough, about ½″ deep. Place a pan of cold water at the bottom of the oven to create steam.

  5. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.

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