The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mixed Spicy Olive and Blue Cheese Levain

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umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

Mixed Spicy Olive and Blue Cheese Levain

So, in my last post many weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to make this bread. It's finally happened in this second to last weekend of school. This is it, sort of put together myself with a few checks against Hamelman and Leder's olive bread formulas to check proportions.

 

I used 8ozs of a spicy olive mix from Whole Foods that had both green and black olives of different shapes and sizes; I also crumbled up a fair amount of blue cheese into it in the final folding before shaping, though I forget what kinds I used. It was really good in the end, and the cheese was bubbling up pretty intensely towards the end. Good work food.

 

PS: My girlfriend thinks olives and blue cheeses are gross, so I guess it's good that I waited until after she went to study abroad to make this! She might have had something to say to me if I actually asked her to eat it.....she might be reading this right now.....hi honey.....its not so bad if you can't smell it right? ....right?

Comments

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Umbreadman,

Sounds awfully good to me, but I have no aversion to blue cheese or olives - combination sounds good too. The loaves look great - the concentric flour circles are classic. Just curious if it was sourdough or yeast based bread and any flavor comments about that aspect. Is it mostly or all whole grain? The tan crumb with embedded olives looks delectable from here.

Bill

umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

This was a naturally leavened bread at ~70% hydration. I used a high extraction flour (Golden Buffalo) for the whole thing. It turned out really good. The olives were left to dry a bit before I used them. I know that Hamelman suggests for his Olive Levain to retard it overnight to intensify the olive flavor, but I was a little hesitant to do that with this one the way I went about it. So in this batch, the olives tasted great, but the flavor didn't seep into the surrounding bread that much.

The way I did it is I mixed the olives in after a brief autolyse, but didn't mix the cheese in until after the final fold/pre-shape. I think if I had stuck it in the fridge then, the olive taste would have gotten stronger, but I thought the cheese might disintegrate and become lost in the bread becoming a vague general sort of taste instead of little pockets of cheesiness. Perhaps a different way could be to retard the dough after mixing in the olives but before the cheese, and then pulling it out afterwards, folding the cheese in, proofing, and baking. That way, the cheese would still be reasonably intact.

Also, I guess if anyone out there is a bit averse to blue cheese, I would suggest trying this with another sharp cheese of your choice. Whatever you like would work I think, it just needs to be strong enough to stand up next to the olives, especially if you retard the fermenting. I also greatly prefer the pre-pitted olives....self explanatory I guess. This was a spicy mix, and I definitely bit into a little piece of chili pepper...spicy bread? Whoo....yeah. it was good.

-Cyrus

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Cyrus,

Thanks for the tips on how you did this bread. The Golden Buffalo flour is one of my favorites for sourdough. I understand your thoughts about how to incorporate the olives and cheese. I see why you didn't want to retard it. Thanks again for the details.

Bill