This is my all time favorite bread recipe! No kneading required!!
3 Cups Bread Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped
1 or 2 heads of garlic (depending how garlicky you like things)
Olive oil for the garlic roasting
3/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 Cups cool water
It really helps to have a Dutch Oven (about 9″-12″ diameter, at least 10″ tall), with a lid. …if you don’t, you can bake your loaf on a baking sheet BUT, you will need to create steam in your oven – you can do this by adding a cup of water to a baking pan and putting it on the floor of your oven, right as you put your bread in the oven.
Break up the heads of garlic and peel the cloves. Toss them with olive oil in a bowl and make sure they are each thoroughly coated, then put the cloves in a baking pan and into the oven at 375 F for about 20-30 minutes, or until slightly browned (not burnt) and soft but not super mushy. Remove the garlic from the oven when done and set it aside to cool.
Roughly chop the olives and make sure none of them have pits (If you’re using canned olives, drain them and lightly pat them dry first).
Mix the yeast, flour and salt together in a large bowl. Toss in the olives and garlic (make sure it’s cooled a bit), then the water and honey and mix it all together using a large spoon (I used my hands). After a minute or so of mixing, you should have a fairly wet but thoroughly combined dough.
Leaving it in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a cloth or towel and let it sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours (more won’t hurt, though). After it’s sat, it should have expanded quite a bit and look a little bubbly.
Now, scrape your dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface and fold it just a few times, adding more flour to the surface if it gets sticky. Don’t fold it too much, and don’t add too much flour… you want to add just enough that you can pick it up without it sticking to your hands.
Form the dough into a ball and place it seam side down onto a large piece of parchment paper. Place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover it again, and let it sit for 2 – 6 hours to let it proof. The longer it sits, the bigger it gets! The parchment paper isn’t mandatory, but it helps..
After your bread has been resting and proofing for at least 2 hours, preheat your oven to 500 F (yes, HOT!). Transfer the dough to the pot, by picking up the four corners of the parchment paper and placing it in the pot (don’t worry, the paper won’t burn, and it will ensure the bread doesn’t stick in the pot).
Place the pot into the oven and make sure you PLACE THE LID on the pot. Cook with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid (be careful of escaping steam! it will burn you!) and cook for another 20 or so minutes without the lid on until the crust is a deep brown color. You can tap the bread with your fingernail to test it, it should make a hollow sound when it’s done.
Lift it out of the pot by grabbing the parchment paper corners, let it cool, and then slice and enjoy!!