12 March 2007

Almost any variety of brined or oil-cured olive works in this recipe, although we preferred a mix of both green and black olives. Instant yeast is commonly labeled rapid-rise yeast. Use a spray bottle filled with water to mist the loaves. The bread will keep for up to 2 days, well wrapped and stored at room temperature. To recrisp the crust, place the bread in a 450-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes. The bread will keep frozen for several months when wrapped in foil and placed in a large zipper-lock bag.

1 3/4 c water (14 oz, room temperature)
2 t instant yeast
2 T honey
3 1/2 c bread flour (19.25 oz), plus extra as needed for dough and counter
1/2 c whole wheat flour (2 3/4 oz)
2 t table salt
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 c pitted olives (6 oz), rinsed, chopped roughly, and patted dry

Whisk water, yeast, and honey in bowl of standing mixer. Add flours and mix on low speed with dough hook until cohesive dough is formed, about 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap; make well in center of dough and add salt and rosemary. Knead dough on low speed (speed 2 on KitchenAid) for 5 minutes (if dough creeps up attachment, stop mixer and scrape down). Increase speed to medium and continue to knead until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, about 1 minute. If dough is very sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour and continue mixing for 1 minute. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and pat into 12 by 6-inch rectangle. Press olives evenly into dough. Starting at long side, roll rectangle into tight log. With seam side facing up, roll log into coil. Transfer dough, spiral side up, to oiled container or bowl, at least 2 quarts in volume, and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free location until it increases in size by 50 percent, about 1 hour.

Fold partially risen dough over itself. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl again; fold once more. Cover with plastic wrap (illustration 5) and let rise 30 minutes. Repeat folding, replace plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface, being careful not to deflate. Divide dough in half (illustration 6), loosely shape each piece into ball, and let rest 15 minutes. Flip each ball over and, starting from top, roll into tight oval shape (illustration 7). Using palms, roll each oval (seam side down) from center outward until 12-inch loaf is formed (illustration 8). Poke any olives that fall off into bottom seam, then pinch seam closed. Transfer each loaf, seam side down, to 12 by 6-inch piece of parchment and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (dough is ready when it springs back slowly when pressed lightly with finger). Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees at least 30 minutes before baking.
Slide parchment sheets with loaves onto peel or back of inverted baking sheet. Starting and stopping about 1 inch from each side, use razor blade or sharp knife to cut 3 1/2-inch-deep slashes on diagonal along top of each fully risen loaf (illustration 9); spray loaves lightly with water. Carefully slide parchment with loaves into oven using jerking motion. Bake 15 minutes, spraying loaves with water twice more in first 5 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue to bake until bread is deep golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf registers 210 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, discard parchment, and cool loaves to room temperature, about 2 hours.

04 March 2007

salt roasted salmon

adapted from a recipe by Virginia Willis

2 c coarse Kosher salt
3-6 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1" pieces
1-2 T whole fennel seeds
1 T black peppercorns
4 6 oz salmon fillets

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the salt, cinnamon, fennel, and peppercorns in a medium bowl. Spread spice mixture evenly over the bottom of a heavy-duty or enamelware baking dish. Place the salmon, skin side down, one inch apart on spice mixture. Cover salmon with parchment paper, cover dish with aluminum foil to seal. Bake until desired doneness. Remove salmon from oven, allow to rest 3 minutes. Remove the foil and parchment paper. Using a spatula, remove fillets, leaving skin behind, serve immediately.

[try adding whole cloves, or whole juniper berries. also try sprinkling some of the spice mixture over the top of the filets before baking]