The Fresh Loaf

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My Dan Lepard, White Thyme bread

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

My Dan Lepard, White Thyme bread

This is the first recipe I baked from my new copy of Dan Lepard's "The Handmade Loaf". The book is beautifully illustrated and has breads from all over Europe that are unique and well described. The official name of this bread doesn't do justice to the ingredients list. Lurking in the list are 100g of olives and olive oil that help make the dough smooth and delicious. I thought the final dough was a touch dry, so I added a couple Tablespoons additional water. In the end I might have added a little to much but it was quite a nice dough by the time I got to the stretch and fold part.  The method calls for final shaping on a baking sheet coated with oil. I used parchment with a small amount of oil rubbed in. Dan calls for semolina or corn meal to be sprinkled on the top. That gives the bread a nice texture on the surface.


I baked this at 420F for 30 minutes and then lowered the heat to 390F when I turned the loaf for color. It was browning nicely at that point. My finished bread is quite a bit darker than the one in the book and the profile isn't as flat as shown. I did dimple the top with my fingers just before loading but I was taking care not to deflate the dough. Still, you can see by the pre-bake image, it did spring nicely.


The flavor is delicious. I would say the predominate taste is from the olives but I can taste the Thyme in the background. The Thyme may improve with time if it lasts that long. This is a keeper and I know will be a hit with the family.


This is the second bread from Mr. Lepard I have baked that tastes unique and better than the ingredients would lead you to expect. I think I am going to enjoy exploring here.


Eric






Comments

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Yay, Eric! So happy to hear you like this bread. Isn't the dough a delight, so full of life? Hope the family approve, otherwise you will just have to eat the entire thing, A.



ehanner's picture
ehanner

AnnieT,


Thanks for the nudge to try that bread. Everyone loved it so it won't last the night.


I think the next time I will try infusing the oil with the Thyme first to pick up the flavor a bit. The large amount of olives (70%) helps to make this a decadent bread.


Eric

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

That looks fantastic, Eric!

chouette22's picture
chouette22

...raving about this book lately and I am getting really curious. However I just bought quite a few bread baking books during the last months and I think I'll have to do them justice first before I move on. In the meantime I'll just be looking forward to more of your creations!


A very beautiful loaf!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Thanks for writing about the recipe and book, Eric.  A couple of years ago I received "The Art of Handmade Bread" as a gift but it was beyond my ability at that time, so I tucked it away in the bookshelf.


I dug it out tonight and found a few recipes I'd like to try (the crusty potato bread and sweet brandy buns sound great).


Did you use fresh yeast in the thyme bread?

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

this one grabs me! Beautiful crust! We have fresh thyme in our herb garden. I don't think I've ever heard of white thyme, but I'm sure whatever type it is will do. My husband loves olives. What type did you use?


Yum. Eric..I have to purchase another book!


Betty

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks for the kind words Lindy and Betty. Here in the upper Midwest, our garden fresh Thyme is long gone. I used some I bought at the grocery. It's just plain old Thyme as far as I know. The Olives Dan calls for are called "picholine". From the description in the book they are a crisp green olive. It must be something available in Europe. It's a big deal for us to have kalamata pitted olives in bulk on the salad counter. It's the price we pay for living in flyover country where the air is clean and you don't have to lock your car, lol.


So, I'll look around in the upscale grocers in Milwaukee next time I'm in town. The olives are prominent in the flavor so it would be worth finding a crisp green olive instead of the mushy black ones I used. It would be a different bread. Lepard picked what he did for a reason and I would bet they would be good.


It might be worth getting the US version but the European version is fine. I measure everything in grams anyway but I think they tried to make sure sure the ingredients are identified properly by US terms. Treacle/Molasses is one example I can think of. There is another name for it across the pond.


Cmon Betty, it's a good value. I think I saw it for $12 on Amazon.


Eric

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I believe Annie T from WA state and I corrresponded about this type of olive. We were talking about Mark's bread (Bake Home Bakery). I live in a netherland.. half way between rural and upcoming suburb.


OK, Eric, now I'm on a mission! I love a challenge!!


Betty 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Betty, I thought you were in Oregon. You should be able to find all that good stuff where you are. Good butter and goat cheese. Smoked fish and all sorts of great goodies.


Eric

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Betty and Eric, yes, we have picholine olives here in the boonies. The nicest grocery store here on the island has an olive bar and they often have them. They also have them in jars, waaaay too spendy. They are fiddly to prepare but worth the effort. Hope you can find them, A.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

that's home..and we have lot's of very good stuff!! Please look at a map..OREGON IS HUGE.. living in Connecticut, I thought a 2 hour drive was an all day mission. I now think nothing at all of driving 3 hours go to a Seattle Mariners game and back.


I live in a little town, soon up and coming. We have one "Drug Store"..no CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid etc. Great Mexican restaurants, a VERY NICE OUTLET MALL.


And a Walmart, which I don't count.


Umm, that's about it.


Betty

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When you wrote that you live in the netherland, well I didn't notice it wasn't capitalized. Lol. I was a professional pilot for 35 years. So a map is an inconvenience.


You got me Betty!


Eric

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

For once..I'm a winner!


My best to you Eric!


 


 

audra36274's picture
audra36274

   Jason loves olives, and I'm sure he'd love this bread! Thanks for following up on this bake!


Audra

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

That is a great looking bread!  I would never bake it without your recommendation, because the photo of the bread in the book did not seem very appealing to me  -  a little too flat, seemed dense


 


but now I want to try it, I have a lot of thyme in the garden, lemon thyme...


 


will report back for sure

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Wow Eric, this came out so nice. I love the color of the crumb- so pretty. Nice work.

rayel's picture
rayel

Eric, I refer to the bread's crust here. Very nice. Thyme is one of my favorite herbs. The earthy smell, or what ever it is, really gets me. Have been successful growing it outdoors but fail when I bring it in the house over winter. I will try that bread, I think the black olives would be my choice. your craftsmanship / ability, is making this bread look easy, but I will try it anyway. Thanks for sharing with us. Ray


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Audra, The olives really comes out in this bread. I'm sure Jason would like it.



Sally, Thank you for your words. It didn't look much like the image in the book did it. Let us know how yours turns out.

Inlovewbread, Thank you I do like the color too. Give it a try.


Rayel, The Thyme is not strong. You can smell it in the background nicely. If you want to bring up the aroma of you thyme, you can try warming the oil and infuse the flavor overnight by soaking the herbs in the oil.


Eric


 

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

What a beautiful looking crumb.


Shiao-Ping

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thank you Shiao-Ping. Good to hear from you.


Eric

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I cannot believe it took me sooooo long to make this bread, but I finally did, and WOW!


 


If you want to see my comments about it, please visit my blog, but I include one photo here too


 


http://bewitchingkitchen.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/for-the-love-of-bread/