200gm French GruyereCheese, chopped into small cubes.
110 to 120 gm half sliced green Greek olives, chopped
225 gm Levain starter 100% hydration
255 gm filtered water
370 gm Unbleached bread flour
90 gm Semonila (duram) flour
7 gm Olive oil
7 gm fine sugar
11gm sea salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper-corns, coarsely grounded
2 tsp fennel seeds, grounded
Recently, I’ve been on a roll to bake Gruyere cheese and green olive bread, I have been testing out the autolysis method, I fine tuned the recipe, and this one produced repeatedly consistent results.
For this recipe, you need a Levain made with 100% hydration, (or any liquid sourdough starter). The Levain is made a week or two before using German Sourdough Powder and equal amounts of water and flour. Treat this as any sourdough starter, feeding the mixture to grow the wild yeast.
The day before you bake the bread, mix 225gm water with the 370 gm flour and 70 gm semolina flour. I use a Kitchen Aid to mix at speed No:1 for a few minutes till the water is incorporated into the flour. Leave this to autolysis for anywhere between 20 mins to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, mix the fennel seeds and black pepper corns and grind them into a fine powder. Also chop the cheese into small cubes and cut the green olives into small rough pieces.
After the autolysis period is over, mix in 225 gm of the Levain (after having fed this an hour or two before), with the sugar, olive oil, fennel and pepper mixture, and lastly, the sea salt. With the KA, mix the dough which will be a slimy, gooey mess, (speed 1 or 2 for 10 minutes) till the consistency is smooth, silky and soft. Let this dough proof for 6 hours in an oiled plastic bowl, turning it once or twice in this period.
At the end of the proof period, transfer the dough on to a floured surface, and divide into two or three portions depending on how many loaves you want. For each portion of dough, mix in the cheese and olive, shape and cover them with plastic wrap. Proof for an hour at room temp before transferring them to the fridge for proofing continuously for 12 hours or more.
The next day, bring out the cold loaves, and let them warm up for 1 or 2 hours on the table at room temperature. During this time heat up the oven to 220˚C. Use a shallow metal tray in the oven with boiling water to create steam as you place the dough into the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, open the oven door a few inches to dry the crust. Then remove the hot loaves and cool them on a metal rack before slicing.
“I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you?”
’Housekeeping In Old Virginia’ Marion Cabell Tyree ed. (1878)