Yield: 2 Loaves
PREPARATIONS for BAKING: Take the baskets from the refrigerator and remove the wrapping. Let the dough warm almost to room temperature for 1½ to 2 hours--it is important that it not be chilled. HALF AN HOUR BEFORE ESTIMATED BAKING TIME: Place the baking stone or tiles on the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F. SLASHING THE DOUGH: Gently invert each basket, catching the dough in your hand and laying it carefully on a lightly floured wooden peel. With a single-edged razor, make a quick slanting ½" slash in the top of the dough from one side to the other. Open the slash slightly with your fingers. BAKING THE BREAD--45 minutes.
Spritz the oven liberally with water and close the door for 5 seconds to trap the steam. Then quickly open the door and slide the dough onto the hot baking surface, jerking away the peel. Immediately turn down the oven temperature to 450 F. Continue spritzing the oven with water every 3 minutes for first 15 minutes of baking. When the breads are firm enough, rotate their positions to ensure more even coloring.
Continue baking for about 30 minutes. The cut should open up and the bread will rise to almost double its original size. WHEN IS IT DONE? The crust will be a deep golden brown, with visible small fermentation bubbles particularly around the base. When tapped on the bottom, the bread should make a hollow sound--the temperature on an instant thermometer plunged into the bottom of the bread should be 200 degrees F. Remove the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing. Alternative overnight yeast batter: 1 package fresh or dried yeast ¼ cup tap water, in a 1 cup measure ¼ t sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup water, droplets more if needed Crumble or sprinkle the yeast over the water in the measure, whisk in the sugar, and let rise for several minutes until it begins to foam. Whisk it again, then scrape into a 2 quart glass or plastic container. Whisk in the cup of flour, then the water, to make a mixture the consistency of pancake batter. Set uncovered at room temperature for several hours, until it foams and produces bit heavy bubbles. Stir it up, and leave overnight. May be used in place of the Silverton starter in any of her recipes. AHEAD OF TIME NOTE: If not to be used the next day, cover and refrigerate. The batter will gradually turn into a sourdough; feed it and treat it in the same way as the finished Silverton starter. NOTES: The type of olives is important.
If you do not use firm enough olives they will dissolve into the bread causing a muddiness of flavor, and an excess of salt! I have a report of someone trying to use a DLC-7 SuperPro Cuisineart processor, which was a disaster! The starter oozed out of the bottom and it wouldn't knead the amount of flour and starter that's in the recipe. I use the Kitchenaid for this recipe with great success. It takes longer to knead, but is a much better alternative to a huge mess with the processor, plus I didn't have to do the recipe in two batches. I kept the dough pretty wet so I used only about 6 - 6 ½ cups of flour total.