The guy who said that man cannot live on bread alone hasn’t tried this pane all’olive. It’s pretty impossible to resist. And with an overnight rise and a post bake rest period of an hour or two, the boys in this house are well primed and more than ready to tear into each densely chewy, slightly salty loaf.
All credit goes to Jim Lahey and the good folks at Sullivan Street Bakery for the magic that happens with this one.
3 c. bread flour
1.5 c. chopped, pitted olives
3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1.5 c. cool water
Stir together flour, yeast, olives. Add water and quickly mix with a wooden spoon until you have a nice, sticky dough. (You might need to add a tablespoon or two of cool water to get a wet dough ball.) Cover with a tea towel and lest it rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
Generously flour your work surface and turn the dough out in one piece. Lift the edges of the dough in toward the center and tuck in the edges to make it round.
Lay flat a clean tea towel and dust it with cornmeal. Place the dough on the towel, seam side down. Loosely fold the ends of the tea towel over the dough and let it rise another 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Heat a 5 qt. covered pot in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes or so.
Remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the towel and carefully invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake another 15-30 minutes, until the loaf is a nice chestnut-y color. Using pot holders, lift the bread out of the pot and let it cool on a rack for an hour or two.
Serve this up as is, or with a splash of olive oil and some flaky sea salt.