The Fresh Loaf

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Kalamata Olive, Sun dried tomatoes and Feta Sourdough

Danni3ll3's picture

Kalamata Olive, Sun dried tomatoes and Feta Sourdough

I’ve been working on strengthening my starter for the last two weeks. I found fascinating info from Doc Dough on determining when a starter was ready for a feed or to be used. Link here: 


Long story short, your starter including the container should lose 2% of the weight of flour added for the feed. I’ve been using this to judge my feeds and my starter has more than doubled each time. I also no longer have that acetone smell when it came to the next feeding. Feeds were generally 12 hours apart as I left very little in the container and fed between 40 and 50 g of some rye and mostly unbleached flour. 

Now that my starter seems back up to speed, I fed it pure rye and put it in the fridge. I made it a bit thicker but not as thick as Doc Dough stated in his post as I plan to do builds with it rather than using it right away. I’ve learned my lesson about neglecting my starter! Never agsin




Makes 3 loaves


Add ins

130 g Kalamata Olives, sliced

40 g Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped, not in oil (See note in recipe)

100 g crumbled feta

30 g olive oil 



700 g unbleached strong baker’s flour

200 g freshly milled Red Fife flour

100 g freshly milled Spelt flour

50 g freshly ground flax seed

700 g tomato soaking liquid/filtered water

21 g salt

250 g levain (Procedure  in recipe)



The afternoon before:

  1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the rest of day. 


The night before:

  1. Mill the Red Fife and  Spelt berries. Place the required amounts in a tub. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. 
  2. Grind the flax seeds in a bullet and add to the flours in the tub. Cover and set aside.
  3. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in 300 g of lightly salted (pinch of salt) hot water until the skin is easily pierced with a knife (~2 hours). Place in the fridge overnight.
  4. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 


Dough Making day:

  1. Early in the morning, remove the tomatoes from the fridge and let warm up on the counter. 
  2. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 25 g of wholegrain flour as well as 75 g of strong baker’s flour. Let rise until doubled (about 6 hours). 
  3. Two hours before the levain is ready, drain the tomatoes but be sure to save the tomato water. Put the tomato water in a stand mixer’s bowl and add filtered water until you have 700 g. Add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for at least a couple of hours at room temperature. 
  4. Chop the olives and crumble the feta if needed. Add to the tomato mixture (no point having a million bowls out). 
  5. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the olive oil, the olives, the drained tomatoes, the feta, and the levain to the mixing bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 9 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 
  7. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 25-30%. This took about another 45 minutes on this particular day.It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well. 
  8. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  9. Do a final shape by flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and cross over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  10. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

Baking Day

1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 

2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.


I can’t complain about these loaves considering the amount of add-ins. I’m quite happy with the oven spring. 


Benito's picture

Lovely Danni, I love kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes and feta so these loaves are perfect in my eyes.  I’ll have to use this combination of inclusions in a loaf soon.


Danni3ll3's picture

Let me know how yours turns out. 

DanAyo's picture

I really like the combination of your add-ins.

” Add ins

130 g Kalamata Olives, sliced

40 g Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped, not in oil (See note in recipe)

100 g crumbled feta

30 g olive oil ”

Have you noticed if any of the add-ins affect the sourdough fermentation?
I love feta cheese...

Danni3ll3's picture

honey or something sweet, then fermentation might speed up a bit. Overall, my fermentation times are pretty consistent within a half hour or so. The weather seems to have more effect. 

gavinc's picture

I love the flavour combination in these loaves. Classic Greek flavours and beautiful.


Floydm's picture

No one else in my house eats kalamata olives but me but that sounds amazing. That's one of my favourite combos on pasta.

Danni3ll3's picture

It definitely is a good combo! I’m so happy that the loaves had great oven spring and weren’t bricks. I was starting to doubt my own abilities.