Hey, you’re the bread guy. Those five words have welcomed me on countless encounters, meetings, and/or random tweet-ups. And by no means am I opposed to it. I promise if you just give me a few minutes of your time, I bet we’ll end up talking about bread. With good reason; I’ve spent thousands hours in the last five years mixing, folding, shaping, and baking these wheat treats. The strange part is that even though I don’t give bread a huge amount of space on the blog (when I did I even last post bread?), the reputation stays like glue. So I thought I’d post a few pictures of a current favourite.
Based on the classic, and very tasty, Tartine Bread recipe (Chad Robertson) from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, all I do is add a pile of olives before the final shaping. Sometimes I mix different kinds of olives, sometimes I use spicy olives, and sometimes it’s just a mound of kalamata’s. From the City Market or the Italian Centre or the olive bar at Superstore, olives are available all over the city in varying prices, shapes, sizes, tastes, and quality. It’s like a never ending choice!
Once fully mixed, it’s just a matter of shaping, proofing, slashing and baking, and even though it may take 2 or 3 days, it’s easy work. Then, if the bread is lucky enough, a few minutes will pass before Sarah and I rip into the loaf. Well, to be honest, probably Sarah more than me. I’m all about letting the gluten relax and give some strength back to the dough. Sarah on the other hand, not so much 😉 But hey, that’s why I love her! Before you go slathering butter over everything, I must profess; this loaf is perfect as is. The salty olives, crusty exterior and soft, airy crumb add up to one amazing package. If anything, go crazy in the olive family and dip fresh slices it into a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I try to tell people not to stress about bread. It seems scary, and it might take a bit of time, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t look like gold. We’ve all had bread exploded out the side or bottom. It doesn’t matter. You have just made bread after all, and that’s what counts! Now, come on by for slice.