Rustic Olive and Thyme Loaf

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The next recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking was the Rustic Olive and Thyme Loaf. This was perfect timing (or thyming ha ha) because I had some left over thyme in my refrigerator. I also had a jar of kalamata olives in my pantry.

The only thing I had to run out and buy was a banneton. A banneton is a special basket used to proof bread prior to baking. It gives rustic bread nice looking ridges. This recipe made enough for two loaves, but I only bought and used one banneton. At $$ a pop, I wasn’t going to buy two. Well, maybe I would have bought two but there was only one left at Sur la Table. :P Oh, no I wouldn’t have. I don’t need two. I really don’t.

A fancy bread proofing basket

A fancy bread proofing basket

As it turns out, the loaf I proofed in the banneton deflated when I dumped it out gently removed it. I’m going to have to work on that technique. Also, I should dried my olives a little more than the cursory pat with a paper towel. My loaves have a sickly shade of grey and loaves aren’t as crunchy as I imagined they would be. I think the dough was a little too wet with olive juices.

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And although my bread looks like sickly E.T., it tastes delicious. That’s what counts, right?

If you haven’t already discovered the companion blog to The Art and Soul of Baking, I urge you to check it out here. This week Cindy Mushet, the book’s author, is discussing pumpkin pie.

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