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.
Meanwhile, the world bakes on.
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!
This was fantastic with oil and vinegar, obviously, but also really good with spicy soups.