Friday, January 28, 2011

Saddle Up The Hobby Horse

There's a certain kind of majesty in escapism. And while some experts, some books and some Dr. Oz-advised individuals may tell you to face your own reality head on, I've decided that reality is, well, never really was my life technique. And the latest hobby thrown atop the growing pile is bread baking. The smell of baking yeast is second only to the crunch of the magnificent crust. Bread baking requires a certain amount of time, patience and love..I naturally have but one of these items listed...but there are days when all three seem to appear and hours of kneading ensue. I'm serving Martha's chicken club salad with these two loaves of freshly made white bread laced with fresh PA honey from Terrain. Here's a beautiful olive roll recipe, also from Martha, that I really love. Try it...especially if you need a little bit of escapism yourself.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for parchment, bowl, and plastic wrap
1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, (105 degrees to 110 degrees)
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush parchment with oil; set aside. Oil a large bowl; set aside. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir until dissolved.
Put 3 cups flour and the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add yeast mixture and oil; mix on medium speed until a soft dough forms, adding more flour if needed. Add olives and red pepper flakes; mix until fully combined, about 15 minutes.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and olives are set firmly in the dough, about 15 minutes. Transfer to oiled bowl. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface; gently flatten. Using a butter knife, cut dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each into a cylinder, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake rolls until tops are crisp and dark brown, about 15 minutes. Serve.


Nicole said...

they look amazing! it was so good to see you yesterday <3 think we can make that a bi-weekly friday date?

Miss Todd said...

uhm...there's no way life could be better than that! Of course! The bread was amazing...and a hit. Now we're spoiled on center street. I'll bring a loaf to our next 1/2 hour meeting <3