Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kalamata Olive Bread

A friend once said that she baked on borrowed time and I am beginning to feel the same. There seems to be a thousand and one things to take care of. This is even more so with baking in a beehive oven.

I was itching to bake and eat bread again. I don't think I'll be eating scones for some time to come. That's the problem of having a big oven. Everything has to be done on an industrial scale. The advantage is that I get to eat my fill of my favorite goodies. Unfortunately there is also a tendency to get tired of them after a while. This is especially true for the sweet stuffs. I don't seem to get the feeling when eating bread.

Since the weather seem to be holding, I decided to chance it and fired the oven for lunch and for making bread. My wife bought some Kalamata olives which she used for her pasta the day before. Since my daughter loved the olives, I decided to make Kalamata olive bread. I made up a 40 oz formula with 10% semolina flour, 20% wholewheat and 70% bread flour. The hydration was 75% with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Lunch was pizza, my favorite banana leaf otah and roasted Japanese sweet potatos. The pizza came out horrible. It was a mistake baking it on a tray. I should've done it direct on the oven floor. The bread came out not too bad although it was a little pale at the top. Ideally, the beehive should be fired with larger logs but I was firing the oven with small pieces of charcoal which did not heat the roof sufficiently.

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