I’ve been trying various additions to the basic recipe in Alexandra Stafford’s amazing cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs. Adding a half cup of chopped kalamata olives produces a total winner.
The original recipe for basic peasant bread is sized to produce two loaves. I’ve adapted the recipe to make one loaf. It could easily be doubled and baked in two one-quart bowls.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 cup lukewarm water
Softened butter, for greasing
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast, and olives. Add the water. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the water is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough.
2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in bulk.
3. Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a 1-quart oven-safe bowl, like Pyrex, with softened butter—be generous. Using a fork, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it toward the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the mass into a rough ball.
4. Slide the dough into the greased bowl. Let the dough rise on the countertop near the oven (or another warm, draft-free spot) for about 20 minutes, until the top of the dough just crowns the rim of the bowl.
5. Transfer the bowl to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375° F and bake for 20-22 minutes more, until evenly golden all around. Remove the bowl from the oven and turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack. Let the loaf cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.