Olive & Rosemary Oregano Sourdough
We made olive bread at Artisan II course, SFBI, using double hydration method (see this post for a description of double hydration). At the time I felt the bread came out a bit dense because, with the double hydration method, you actually end up mixing the dough for quite a long time. The method is supposed to help build up the dough strength before any add-ins are incorporated into the dough.
With this Olive & Rosemary Oregano Sourdough, I wanted to experiment if I could first build up the dough strength with stretch & folds by hand, then incorporate the olives and herbs. What I did was after the usual autolyse of 30 minutes, I did the first set of stretch & folds, waited 3o minutes, then mixed in the add-ins by way of the 2nd set of stretch & folds. Perhaps because this dough was lower hydration than my usual dough (which is well over 70%), I found that some strength and good elasticity had already developed towards the end of the first set of stretch and folds. So, I was happy to incorporate the olives and herbs at the 2nd set of stretch and folds.
My kids are on school holiday this week; it's a week day today but felt like a Sunday for us. Here is the sourdough we enjoyed at today's lunch table.
- 704 g starter @75% hydration
- 412 g water
- 60 ml or 4 tbsp of olive oil (note: 4 tablespoonfuls of olive oil is 60 ml but not 60 grams; it is about 40 to 44 grams in weight. The SFBI formula that we worked on at the Artisan course does not use olive oil.)
- 704 g bread flour
- 17 g salt (I used only 1.5% of total flour because there is also salt in olives.)
- 280 g pitted kalamata olives, rinsed in water and drained (I used 25% of total flour)
- Chopped rosemary (I used only a sprig of 20 cm in length; this turned out to be on the light side, you could easily have 2 to 3 times amount of what I used).
- Chopped oregano (I used only 3 sprigs; this also turned out to be too little, you could at least triple the amount I used. Also note the SFBI formula uses Thyme, not rosemary or oregano.)
- Extra Whole Wheat flour to coat the olives (just before olives are to be incorporated into the dough); this is said to prevent the olives from being meshed during mixing, but I don't find it necessary.
Total dough weight 2.16kg (to be divided into two pieces); total dough hydration 70% (note: SFBI formula is 66% hydration)
- Mix all ingredients (except the olives and the herbs) by hand
- Autolyse 30 minutes
- Do the first set of stretch and folds of 30 - 40 strokes
- After 30 minutes, incorporate all the olives and herbs at the 2nd set of stretch and folds
- After another 40 minutes, perform the 3rd set of stretch & folds
- After another 40 minutes, divide the dough to two pieces and pre-shape to tight balls
- Rest for 20 minutes
- Shape to tight balls
- Proof for 2 hours then place in refrigerator to retard (I did 18 hours)
- Bake next morning with steam at 230 C for 20 minutes and 220 C for another 20 minutes
Some thoughts on this bake:
(1) The dough was slightly over-fermented as there was not very much oven spring. From the time the dough was mixed to the time it went into the fridge, it was 5 hours. Adding the 18 hours retardation, total fermentation was 23 hours. This normally would not be too much, but I wonder if my active starter has meant that I should shorten the proofing time before the dough gets into the refrigerator.
(2) 5% olive oil increases the keeping quality of the sourdough; the bread stays fresh longer and toasts beautifully. The oil gives the crumb a very light texture.