Olive levain no.2
Olive levain - cooling out of the oven
Olive levain no.2 - crumb
I'm much happier with the way this attempt came out. I left it to rise longer (I had more time). I left it to retard at room temperature over night (it got down to around 64 F). But the dough was very sluggish in rising.
I don't know if it's the acidity or the salt in the olives that slowed down the rise. The dough didn't taste all that salty, but the olives are vinegary, even after pressing them with kitchen tissue to mop up most of the fluid. I coaxed the dough a bit by putting a small bowl of just-boiled water next to the shaped loaves and covering with a big plastic tub.
The recipe called for 65% hydration, but I added less water this time ( it was way too slack the last time).
By contrast, today I also made a version of Hamelman's Five-grain levain (I used two grains - rye and oats. I didn't have the other grains. I made a starter yesterday. I forgot what I had in mind to make, so I flipped through the pages of Hamelman's book to get an idea).
The recipe calls for spiking the final dough with instant dry yeast - only 0.1 oz in 24 oz flour; a tiny 0.4%- but the dough looked as though it was starting to swell instantly. I wasn't used to such a rapidly expanding dough. I didn't appreciate the difference between levain and commercial yeast.
May be it was also the nutrient-rich wholemeal flour. I've got it retarding in the fridge to bake tonight!