Kalamata Olive and Thyme Sourdough

For this recipe I stole a bit from Julia Child and a bit from the Mark Bitman No-Knead Bread recipe.

Originally published by Mark Bittman in the New York Times
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 26 hours rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1.5 cups of water
3/4lb of pitted Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh thyme

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, salt and water. Mix it all around, till combined. It will be a shaggy and loose in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours in a warm place (at least 70 degrees, my kitchen usually does a bang up job of being just a bit warmer than that). By letting this sit longer than the 20 hours in the Bittman recipe and upping it to 24 the dough has a chance to develop a wonderful sourdough quality to it that I absolutely adore.

After 24 hours flour your counter and fold your dough over several times. Let it rest for a few minutes (covered). I usually chop up the kalamata olives and fresh thyme at this point.

After the short rest I fold in the olives and fresh thyme, I work it through the dough attempting to get an even distribution. There will be bits and pieces that poke through, and this is ok. It is not going to look so pretty.

Place the dough on a towel (non-terrycloth) and cover with another (non-terrycloth) towl. Leave the dough to rest for 2 hours, shortly before the dough is done with it's final rise I turn the oven onto 450 degrees and place the roasting tin inside.

The orignal recipe calls for using a LeCruiset, but I am poor and therefor have no fancy dancy LeCruiset. It does suggest that you can use a pyrex dish that has a pyrex lid, I've used mine but found a much better alternative- my roasting tin. I know it is thinner than both the pyrex and the LeCruiset but I've found it does a wonderful job, so don't be afraid to use yours for this recipe.

Once the oven is pipping hot and to tempature remove the roasting tin. Drop the dough into the tin, sometimes I attempt to flip it over like the Mark Bittman recipe says to but I've also had times where I just sort of plopped it in there without the flippage. Either way it has turned out just fine.

Put the roasting tin lid back on and return to the oven. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake another 15-30 minutes. I had to check mine twice for doneness, I found it was averaging about 22 minutes baking with the lid off, but my oven is notoriously craptastic so keep an eye on your loaf.

I'm also going to show you what a regular loaf looks like when you don't add the olive or the thyme. I enjoy it both ways but have gotten far more compliments on the olive version, in fact one coworker compared it the olive bread from Big Chimney- the now defunct bakery that kicked some serious ass while it was open here in Athens.

Wally, you were the man.

Wally, you were the BMOC. Everyone knew who you were. Seriously. They all showed up to say goodbye.

You were Santa, not only when you were dressed up in the suit but also when out of it. Santa crossed with Sean Connery, because you were devistatingly handsome and knew it. Even in the hospital you managed to charm every single nurse on the floor.

You liked to hold my hand and call me 'pumpkin'.

Spending time with you in the hardware store is the reason if I'm homesick and missing the family I go to one (a real hardware store not Lowes/Home Depot). I step inside and breathe deep that odd air that a hardware store has, I know it is weird but it works. I feel at home there.

Thank you for helping me with my grade school project on India. Why did you never tell us you lived in a palace (I saw the pictures!) and were a British citizen? That was a right sneaky thing to keep from us.

You took me to get my ears pierced when I was 7, over the objections of my mother just because I asked you to. You also bought me a ton of earrings and I especially remember the pair of tiny little white rose ones.

Burger Tough. It was the motto, and probably for that reason I insist on doing most home repairs myself. It is also why I'm sure you'd be annoyed I was crying this week. Sorry, I just couldn't suck it up this time.

You loved football. LOVED it. You were never more happy to head off with Eddie to drink some beers and cheer on one of the high school teams.

My earliest memory is of our birday party in 1983, I was 3 and you were 56. It was in the basement and had a carosel theme, you made my cake and I can still remember what it looked like. It was magical.

This year our birthdays just won't be the same. It will be lonely having a cake all to myself.

I'll miss you all the days.

I should staple my mouth shut sometimes.

I cannot believe it, for the first time in my 27 years of living I will actually be living alone. That is right, if I feel like not washing my dish from dinner I can leave it in the sink without the fear that my roommate might be annoyed by it. Even though I doubt this will happen often- I can't stand dishes in the sink but just the shear possibility that I could do this makes me giddy.

I will live in quiet, without the sound of someone else's stereo bothering me. It is a freestanding apartment so I share walls with no one.

While handing over my deposit check I may have told the owner that I was looking forward to running to the bathroom without having to put on underwear. I have no idea what possessed me to say this to a total stranger, because you know she is now imagining me frolicking about the apartment sans any sort of bottom covering.

The odd thing is that I don't need to put on underwear to go to the bathroom now. I have a private bathroom, right in my apartment. Also I usually wear underpants. I don't often go about underpantless. But I guess I'll have to do it now since I told the landlady I would, I bet she is praying for my eternal soul since when she put me on hold earlier this morning I was listening to the Jesus station. I'm sure Jesus wants people to have their bottoms properly covered at all times.

Just another fantastic example of when things come flying out my mouth with absolutely no regard for who I am talking to or what I am actually saying.

I seriously need to stop that shit.


The sun is shining and from the inside it looks like it might be warm.

But you would be wrong. Dead wrong. Frozen limbed and found 1200 years later by explorers. They would call you Sally-Poor, sad bitch who didn't heed weathermen.

-1 degrees. -1.

-15 windchill.

I like the cold, but I must admit this is a bit motherfucking ridiculous.

Get the party started.

I'm about to run up the goddamn walls I've got cabin fever so bad.

I want to go out and be social, and laugh and rock out to some music. Have some hilarious conversations, drink some beer and do whatever.

The way I'm behaving you wouldn't know that I've done this for the last 4 weeks, rather I feel like a cooped up squirrel. On meth.

It is taking every ounce of my willpower not to jump up from my desk and jump up and down to my iTunes playlist. I would so do it too if it wasn't me and my one coworker- who already caught me talking to myself today.

If he saw me flailing around he would surely think I've gone completely over the edge.

Truth is, I might have.

That, young man, is how babies are made.

I need the funny in my life, which is probably why I think there is no justice in this world that I cannot have Will Ferrell's babies. Well, I could have them but he is happily married and shit so really I can't. Oh, and you know the small fact that I don't even know him could be an issue.

Everything about that man is wonderful, he really is the sort of man I hope to marry. Basically I'm looking for someone who makes me laugh so hard I cry, if you can do this I would also be willing to have your babies.

Since no one has taken me up on that offer yet I'll console myself with Will's new movie: Blades of Glory.

How can you not love someone who can utter the words "matching sets of crotch luggage" with a completely straight face.