Saturday, 18 June 2011

Show me the dough!

It's Saturday and that's my favourite day of the week. I get to relax and get everything done at home that I don't have time for during the week.

And since I plan on being home for such a large portion of the day, it's a perfect opportunity for me to make bread.

I started making bread because I love going to farmer's market and buying loaves of beautiful fresh artisan bread. These loaves smell and feel so much better than loaves from the grocery store, but it does cost at least $5.00 a loaf.

The cost and the challenge was what made me want to try my hand at making a beautiful loaf. And I found so much success in it, that now whenever I'm home long enough, I like to bake bread.

After learning how long it takes to make bread by hand, I decided that buying an artisan loaf is definitely worth the $5.00, but making something so yummy yourself is a great reward if you have the time.

And I'm home now, so show me the dough!

Whole Wheat Olive Loaf

1 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cups warm water, divided
4 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup pitted olives, well drained (I like to use green olives stuffed with onions and chilis)
1/4 cup cornmeal

1. Stir the yeast and brown sugar into 1/2 cup of warm water until everything dissolves and let the yeast begin to bloom and looks frothy on top, almost like a cappuccino. This will take about 10 minutes.

2. Once the yeast mixture has bloomed, combine it with 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the rest of the warm water. Mix in a large bowl until combined and then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the salt and knead for another 10 minutes. You may need to add additional flour if your dough is still sticky. Towards the end of the 10 minutes, incorporate your olives by pressing them into the dough and knead a bit more to fully incorporate the olives.

4. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a large bowl with a bit of cornmeal on the bottom to prevent the dough from sticking.

5. Place the bowl in a warm place, cover with a clean tea towel, and let it rise for about 3 hours or until the dough has almost doubled in size.

6. Punch the dough down to deflate it, recover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for another hour or so, until it doubles in size again.

7. Prepare a baking sheet for your dough with a little more corn meal to prevent the dough from sticking and empty your dough onto the sheet. Form it into a loaf and allow it to rise for about 20 minutes.

8. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake your loaf until a golden crust forms, about 40 minutes. Enjoy!

A recipe from the The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook inspired this recipe for me.

The Trout Point Lodge is a small boutique luxury accommodation in Kemptville, NS and I suggest visiting for food, relaxation, and an all around good time.

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