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Good idea or no?

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Good idea or no?

In the middle of an Olive and Rosemary Sourdough. The recipe calls for black Kalamata olives. In my local store the choice I had was black pitted or green pitted olives by Crespo. 

  • The black olives were preserved in 'Salt, Stabiliser: Ferrous Gluconate; preservative: Potassium Sorbate'.
  • And the green olives were preserved in 'Water, salt, Acidity regulators: Lactic acid, Citric acid'.

While I was looking for black olives I had a brainwave. Better to buy the green olives which were preserved in lactic and citric acid. Even though I gave them a bit of a wash if anything gets in it can only be to my advantage. 

Very wary of chemicals and preservatives and it seemed a good idea to go for the green olives. Something to think about when choosing add-ins. 

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

We live about 20 minutes away from an olive grove/mill. They cold press & bottle oil from their own grove (as well as from other areas) and give tours so you can see how it is all done. The gift shop offers all-things-olive for sale, along with a variety of other cool things.They do not have or mention black olives, so I asked about them. Turns out black olives are created by taking ripe olives (which are a purple color) and soaking them in a lye solution. That doesn't apply to kalamata, just the standard black olives in jars/cans. I can't imagine lye being a good thing for dough, lol. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Surely lye is completely washed away, eating lye would be really bad for you.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I've cured olives a few times in different ways. Once with lye. No amount of rinsing could get that residual rye out of the olives. I suspect there's probably some traces in the olives we buy. But that it's at "acceptable levels" whatever that is.. I ended up chucking the lye cured olives. Won't try that again..

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

It'll burn off any of the residual lye. Trouble is often they aren't. Think I'll stick to buying them but next time finding some Kalamata olives. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Nice "seeing you" again Abe..

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Always nice to 'see' a familiar face. Hope you're enjoying the hols under the circumstances. Breads just gone in the oven. Now time will tell. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Just building a levain for David's buttermilk whole spelt..

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I look forward to the write-up. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I think any non-homeopatic amount of lye would make the taste really bitter. Plus, see this - lye reacts with the fats in the olive, and there isn't any of lye left: https://www.quora.com/If-olives-are-cured-in-lye-why-arent-they-poisonous-to-eat?ch=10&share=49d09ceb&srid=4pmk

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Good to know. The ingredients on the black olive label were less familiar and read more like something out of a lab. The green olives had ingredients that I was more familiar with. Lactic acid being present in sourdough and citric acid sometimes used as a dough improver. The choice was weighed in green olives favour. 

Nice to live near an olive grove. You don't have to go far to acquire some and I can imagine them being top quality with less time from tree to dinner table. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I have never experimented with this, but I think you are being over-cautious. While obviously just lactic&citric acids would definitely not do any harm, when diluted in the whole dough the preservatives from the other olives would be so diluted, I doubt they would be a problem. Also, I'd check if they actually inhibit yeast* and LABs, maybe the olives are not normally spoiled by them.

* Yeah, definitely used to inhibit yeast.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Then I'm sure the black ones would be fine. Since I had a choice the green ones seemed better. I'm positive that as an addition it would have no serious affect. However when making yeast water the differences are apparent. You can see what the preservatives do. It might seem overly cautious but when faced with the two I'm going to go for the one that makes more sense. Plus I prefer to be adding in lactic and citric acid into a dough then something that sounds more like a lab experiment.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I don't like olives at all (like, the only thing I don't eat!), so I've never added them to bread - but I think if you preferred the taste of black olives it would be fine to use. And if you are worried, just wash them well, and/or soak in water for some time.

Hope you enjoy the bread :)

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I like both! All other things being equal the choice was made. 

So I can't tempt you with this recipe then Ilya. Don't know what you're missing. Olive and Rosemary Sourdough toasted with cheese. Yum. 

Been a while since I've done an olive loaf. Now that I'm spending more time working from home more recipes are making the baking repertoire. Also bought two bags of Einkorn which will be my next bake I think. 

Thanks Ilya. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I know, a lot of people like olive bread a lot, but definitely not my thing! My girlfriend hinted she'd like it, so perhaps I'll do it once, a small loaf with olives for her and a small with some other inclusions for me.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Just send me an email Ilya. I'll send you a link to the original plus tweaked with added olive oil. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Abe, I'll ask you when I decide to try that.

gerhard's picture
gerhard

but she is cautious about the amount of salt in her diet so I don’t make it that much anymore. I found just draining the olives was sufficient to not affect the bread but maybe if I had rinsed them first the salt level would have been reduced. I even used olives stuffed with pimentos and it made for nice looking slices. I am not a lover of olives but I will eat pizza with olives and sandwiches made with olive bread.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Has less than the usual amount of salt in order to make up for the salty olives I suppose. Nice idea about the stuffed olives and fully agreed about olives on pizza. Olives, cheese and tomato are a perfect match. 

albacore's picture
albacore

The way black olives are made by Crespo et al is pretty grim. Normally you need storage time to convert green to black, but that costs money, so they put the green olives in a tall vat in a brine and then bubble air in through the bottom of the vessel for 24 hours.

This oxidises the green olives and they turn black. The ferrous gluconate is added to the black olives to stabilise the colour.

At a wild guess, I would imagine that 75% of the world's black olives are made this way.

Lance

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Looks like I made the correct choice. The green ones sound ok. Does it look ok to you? Can you advise of another brand for when I make this recipe next? 

albacore's picture
albacore

The green ones definitely sound a better bet. I would go for Kalamata's for future use - not cheap, but usually of good quality and available in most supermarkets and delis. I don't think the fake black olives are worth eating, TBH.

Lance

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Well as you know my oven issues has me baking in a pullman for best results. My non stick Pullman has become a stick Pullman with the coating coming off so out came the rarely used lekue (silicone pouch). It's not the best situation but I have a procedure where I bake it with clasp closed till the oven spring is done then I carefully take it out and return the loaf freestanding for a better effect. I over estimated how much the crust had formed and while I was taking it out squashed the bread. Burned myself at the same time. This is more disappointing then an outright flop because this would have been perfect if not for my stupid mistake. Smells amazing, crust looks good if you ignore the squashed bit and it would have been a tall loaf. An excellent loaf if not for my stupid mistake. Can't help but be disappointed. 

 

Tastes amazing. Apart from the misshap I'm very happy.

syros's picture
syros

Abe, your breads are always a hit, even if you mashed it! I’m sure it’s going to be delicious. You so rarely make a mistake! How’s the burn?

So I decided to make an olive bread last week for Christmas. Breadtopia has a recipe which I tweaked a bit. I added 90g of levain vs 75, added a tablespoon of olive oil, and for the olives, I used kalamata olives which were in a brine from a local grocery store. After I chopped them, I gave them a quick rinse and then dried them on a paper towel to remove excess water. I thought about using green olives as well but I really love kalamata olives. I would add more the next time. I also did an autolyse and only added the olives during the first set of folds. In the original recipe everything goes in at the same time. I might try that next time as it probably gives a better distribution of the olives. 

It’s been ages since I’ve been on TFL, so good to see all the delicious baking going on!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Smells wonderful. Glad you recommend this recipe to me. You know something despite the mashed bit the crust looks very inviting. Hope the crumb is as nice as yours. That's what I'm aiming for! Marvellous bake Sharon. 

Between chapped hands from the cold and the burn I think I'll need some time to rest from baking. Allow my hands to recover while I eat up this 'roadkill'. Looks a bit like it's been run over.

Benito's picture
Benito

Hey Abe, the crumb looks great no matter how disappointed you feel about the bake given the challenges you had, it sounds like it baked up well.  I'm sure it is really tasty bread nonetheless and doesn't look as bad as you say.

Benny

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Tastes great. Disappointment over! Such a lovely recipe which toasts up a treat. It's the Olive and Rosemary Sourdough from Breadtopia which was tweaked by Sharon with a little added olive oil. If you take the breadtopia recipe, add in one tablespoon of olive oil (13g) and lower the water by 13g (to make up for the oil) then you have the approximate recipe. Highly recommended! 

If you like olives that is. 

Benito's picture
Benito

I love olives, a while back I made this double olive sourdough http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/63854/double-olive-walnut-herbes-de-provence-sourdough which we loved.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Olive and Walnuts is not a combo I would have thought of. Love olives with herbs though. That can be a contender for my next olive loaf. Thanks for the recipe. 

I've gotta try and see if I can find a pot to bake in. I love the way how loaves come out when baked in a Dutch Oven. Your bakes are excellent. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Abe, that is kind of you to say.  The combo of two types of olives (I don't bother with black olives as they lack flavour to me), walnuts and the herbs de Provence makes this a flavour packed bread for those who like olives.  

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I can imagine pine nuts would go very well with olives too. They are often paired with olives and similar herbs like pine nuts and pesto.

Benito's picture
Benito

No I haven't tried baking any bread with pine nuts yet.  I agree that they would probably be excellent substitution for the walnuts in this bread, very good idea.