Pane alle Olive, or Olive Sochi

Izzy loved the Olympics. Given the weather here in Minnesota, I think Izzy thought she was actually in Sochi, watching curling and ice dancing, gathering olives that fell to the floor like flowers after a gold medal-worthy nap. I will admit that Izzy does more impressive moves in one nap than a freestyle snowboarder completes in an Olympic half-pipe run. She and Will Ferrell shall remain among the motley crew of unsung heroes this Winter Olympiad.

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Meanwhile, the world bakes on.

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Pane alle Olive

Adapted from the Italian Baker

3 3/4 cups of flour, all-purpose or what have you

¾ cup of lukewarm water

1 ½ cups sourdough starter

¼ cup olive oil

a pinch of salt

a handful or two (to your liking) of delicious whole olives, deseeded

Mix the sourdough with the flour and water a little bit at a time until it comes into a dough. Add the salt and olive oil, and the olives. It’s great if the olives get crushed up a bit—their juices will add the necessary water to the dough.

Knead for about ten minutes then set the dough in a large bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place away from draughts for at least two hours.

Form into the desired shape, I chose one long batard. Preheat the oven to 450 with the baking stone, then when you have the bread inside, reduce the heat to 400. Bake 35-40 minutes. Enjoy!

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This was fantastic with oil and vinegar, obviously, but also really good with spicy soups.  

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