|YIELDS: 12 Servings||PREP TIME: 15 mins||COOK TIME: 40 mins||TOTAL TIME: 55 mins|
Baking bread in a cast iron Dutch oven is the best way to get bakery-style, artisan loaves at home. This easy olive bread has a crunchy crust on the outside, a soft inside, and requires no kneading!
3 cups all purpose flour (I used Caputo but any brand will work.)
2 tsp flaked sea salt
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped lemon thyme
¾ cup halved kalamata olives
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt and stir to combine. Add the yeast and water to the flour and stir with a spoon until a sticky dough forms and no pockets of raw flour remain.
- Carefully stir in kalamata olives and herbs.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 18 hours - up to 24 hours - until the dough more than doubles in size. (It should have tiny bubbles in it.)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place your Tramontina Cast Iron Dutch Oven pot and lid into the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes to heat up.
- When the Tramontina Cast Iron Dutch Oven pot and lid are heated, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Sprinkle the dough with a tablespoon of flour or so and flour your hands well. Make a fist and punch right into the middle of the dough to flatten it. Then working gently, shape the dough into a ball. Flour your hands as needed, but avoid adding any more flour to the dough. It will still be sticky and that's perfect.
- Sprinkle another Tablespoon of flour inside the bottom of your pot and then set the dough inside. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Don't cover it or the bread will lose it's crispy crust.
- Once cooled slightly (approximately 10-15 minutes), use a bread knife to cut slices and serve with a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar - either mixed together or in separate small bowls or ramekins for dipping your bread. Enjoy!