Olive bread with mint & onions

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 tablespoon Active dry yeast
½ teaspoon Sugar
1½ cup Warm water
½ cup Whole wheat flour, preferably coarsely ground
3 To 3 1/2 cups white flour, preferably unbleached
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1 small Onion, chopped
2 teaspoons Dried mint
12 Black Greek olives, pitted and halved
Corn meal

Makes 1 large round loaf

Make a sponge by dissolving the yeast and sugar in the warm water and stirring in the whole wheat flour and 1½ cups of the white flour.

Beat at least 50 strokes, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand anywhere from 1 to 6 hours.

Stir all but a teaspoon of the olive oil into the dough, as well as the salt, the chopped onion, dried mint, and olives. Then work in remaining white flour until it becomes hard to stir.

Turn the dough out onto a floured working surface and let rest while you clean out the bowl. Knead dough for about 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is resilient. Lightly oil the bowl, return the dough to it, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double in volume - about 1 ½ hours.

Turn the dough out, punch it down, and form into a large round loaf.

Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise again until double - about 45 minutes. (Or let raise and bake in La Cloche.)

If you have baking tiles in your oven, be sure they are good and hot by preheating the oven to 425 F during the last 30 minutes of the final rising. Slip the loaf onto the tiles (if you're not using them, simply put the baking sheet in the preheated oven) and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F and bake another 35 minutes.

Brush with the remaining olive oil and let cool on rack.

The Book of Bread From the collection of Jim Vorheis

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