The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Olive Levain

occidental's picture

Olive Levain

I made my first attempt at Hammelman's Olive Levain yesterday and am pleased with the result.  The formula calls for mixing in the olives on the low speed in your mixer once you are done kneading but that didn't work for me.  I dumped the whole mess out on the counter and worked in the olives by hand kneading.  I retarted the formed loaves for about 5 hours while out for an afternoon hike then baked it up  as the centerpiece for dinner.  The flavor is fantastic and the olives have infused their taste througout the loaf.  I think I'll be making this one again.

The loaves:



The crumb:



Syd's picture

Very nice!  I always hand mix but I can see how incorporating the olives with a stand mixer could be difficult especially if the gluten is already well developed.  The gluten sheath tends to form an iimpenetrable wall which resists their inclusion.  It is for that reason I always add ingredients like olives, raisins, etc. before the gluten is too developed and opt for more stretch and folds than actual kneading (otherwise you have olives or raisins flying off in all directions)!