The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question on Hamelman's Olive Levain

SallyBR's picture

Question on Hamelman's Olive Levain

I am making this bread tonight to bake tomorrow - in his recipe, he says the bread profits from retarding the shaped loaves, which I will do


but it does not say if they can be baked straight from the fridge, or if they should stay at room temp for a few hours.


has anoone made this bread? I think I will remove it from the fridge and leave it for 3 hours over the counter, since I've been doing this for his Vermont sourdough and works fine, but if anyone has specific instructions, I am all ears!



LindyD's picture

Sally, if you read the pages before the Vermont SD recipe (am at work and don't have the page numbers), you'll find his comments about baking breads that have been retarded.

Hamelman believes in baking the bread when it's ready, and that it doesn't make any difference if the dough is still cold.

I've found this to be true with the breads I've retarded overnight.



SallyBR's picture

Ok, thanks!


I will make sure to read that part again, it certainly applies to all of his sourdough formulas that are retarded (that sounds pretty lame... :-)


For some reason I have a problem sticking the bread still cold in the hot oven, but the man definitely knows about bread, I might go for it.


Will report back

dlt123's picture

That has been my finding as well.  I just take my breads out of fridge when the oven is ready and pop them in...  I've had no problems, accept on one set of loaves that were too high in water ratio... They fell a little, but would have happened anyway rather they were retarded or not. 

When your dough is too wet, it does have a tendacy to fall a little during baking.

My retarded loaves have come out just fine and the added flavor from retarding is really nice.

Best of luck,

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SallyBR's picture

This bread is amazingly tasty!  I baked it one hour after removing from the fridge, which is pretty much the time for warming up the oven anyway


worked great -


the bread stands on its own, no need for butter, cheese, nothing - the olives provide it all. We had it with a small bowl of zucchini/spinach soup, quite a nice Saturday lunch

Some photos for those interested.